In October of last year I had a blast meeting with Airbnb representatives from San Francisco (photo below). I am passionate about hosting and it came through. I loved sharing stories of connecting with guests. I told them about recommendations that I had given to guests of things to do, places to go, and restaurants to visit.
One of the first couples that we hosted through Airbnb were only up in Anchorage for 48 hours! To come all the way to Anchorage and only stay for 2 days, that seems impossible to me! To give a little more background, they live in Portland and were able to get a last minute deal on flights. They weren't planning on renting a car and spent that Saturday biking...they went from our home down the coastal trail to midtown for lunch and a stop at REI for bike locks (I sent them with cash...for our bikes), then to the Saturday market and over to UAA because college sweatshirts were the gal's favorite souvenirs. They asked while they were out where they should eat, and what they should do. I was able to read my audience (another fun thing to do) and give them great restaurant options along the way, things to see, even including an 80's night at Williwaw downtown. I'm not always able to give this much information to guests, but we were home and I was having fun trying to curate an awesome weekend for these two adventurous spirits. The next day they rented a car and went to Whittier, which is on the Prince William Sound. Part of the road narrows into a single lane through a mountain tunnel and shares right-of-way with a train. They had to be on schedule to complete their day and make it back to Anchorage for their evening flight.
I'm often amazed at what tourists can accomplish and what they see. When I feel like I'm stuck in town, it's refreshing to hear stories from guests of their adventures to Katmai to flight-see in brown bear country, and to fish the Kenai River with high class guides. (Apparently there is a trout fishing guide in our neighborhood who caters only to foreign tourists. Who knew?!) Another guest arrived during a layover for photography courses that are based out of Port Alsworth. There are definitely fun stories to hear when we host guests upon their departure of Alaska.
Anyway that conversation with the Airbnb representatives turned into an invitation to the launch party for the Airbnb Anchorage Home Sharing Club held at Anchorage Brewing.
Adam and I were able to meet other hosts and hear about how Airbnb is encouraging hosts to meet together regularly to share successes, challenges, tips for hosting, and gain each other as resources in this side of the business,. The club is now active. I'm on a team of three to help coordinate the location and agenda for upcoming meetings. The hosting club will meet primarily during the school year and less, if at all, in the summer, because we're all busy hosting then. The momentum is exciting. We as hosts get to share the best of Anchorage with fellow Alaskan travelers and those coming from a distance.
If you're interested in hosting through Airbnb feel free to ask me questions.
Or if you are ready to host now, check this out: