Sabrina Buehler didn’t expect to make much from her Airbnb rental in North Stonington this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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“March and April, all our bookings were for concerts,” said Buehler. “When all the casinos closed down, all our bookings were canceled.”
Although March, April and May were quiet for Buehler, she said she’ll make more money in July than last year. Buehler and her husband rent out a barn apartment on 12 acres of land. It typically was booked for one-night stays by out-of-towners going to the casinos for concerts. Now it’s booked by people looking to work remotely while enjoying nature.
“Weekends we are always booked, but next week we have a Monday-through-Friday guest,” said Buehler.
Airbnb spokesperson Lisa DeBold Fusco said it’s a trend they’ve noticed this summer.
“People are looking to responsibly get out of the house,” said DeBold Fusco. “They are looking to go to the Connecticut shore. That provides them with the opportunity to be outside and social distance while still getting a little scenery.”
DeBold Fusco said that in the first half of the summer their hosts along the Connecticut shore saw a nearly 25% boost in income compared to last year.
Emily Cross says her Clinton rentals -- one in-law apartment and a guesthouse -- have drawn a ton of interest. But with new cleaning protocols in place, she expects to lose some money this summer.
“I'm still not making the same amount as last summer or the summer before because I have basically self-imposed an air-out time and sanitizing time,” said Cross. “With that day in between, I'm keeping my family and my guests safe.”
Cross said she has had a bunch of tourists cancel from states on Connecticut's travel advisory list, but those open dates are snapped up by tri-state travelers.