Airbnb Hosts in Rockland, Hudson Valley Thrive in COVID Era

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Nyack Hosts says Airbnb has become an economic lifeline for survival during pandemic

By Tina Traster

Almost four years ago, Lori took her greatest financial asset and made it work for her: she put up for sale a large loft in her Nyack house on Airbnb. Hosting travelers seeking short stays supplemented a largely earned income through a combination of dog training / boarding and photography.

But thanks to COVID, renting its digs through Airbnb has become a lifeline for survival.

“Renting the space allowed me to survive,” said Lori, who didn’t want her last name printed. “My dog’s income has always been stable. Before COVID, that income never went away. Fortunately, I had diversified before COVID. “

Airbnb has become a benchmark for many over the past couple of years looking to grow their income, with a proliferation of new hosts in Rockland County and the Hudson Valley and Catskill area in general.

According to new data from Airbnb, the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions are among the top ten profitable regions in the country for new hosts with a single registration for the first six months of 2021. New hosts have collectively earned $ 3.1 million between January and June 2021, data shows.

“Many of these hosts started hosting in the last six months, even before vaccines were widely available,” said Samuel Randall, senior communications manager at Airbnb. “What it really shows is that the Hudson Valley and the Catskills are areas where people want to travel. They are looking for more rural destinations, with open beauty and lots of activity.

Half of the new listings that were both activated and booked in early 2021 received a booking request within four days, and the average annual revenue per host who hosted at least one guest was $ 9,600, according to The report.

The report also reveals that 60% of new hosts were women, who have earned more than $ 83 million in the United States since January 2021. Additionally, new senior hosts in the United States, aged 60 and over, have won over $ 30 million.

“We know that women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and that accommodation has been an opportunity to supplement income,” said Randall

The top ten destinations for new hosts are: Atlanta ($ 8.5 million), South Florida Gulf Coast ($ 8 million), Phoenix ($ 6.3 million), Los Angeles ($ 6.2 million) ) North Carolina Coast ($ 4 million), Smoky Mountains ($ 3.9 million), Poconos ($ 3.5 million), Houston ($ 3.3 million), Catskills and Hudson Valley (3.1 million), Denver ($ 2.9 million.)

Although some of those top ten destinations are urban, Airbnb says more and more hosts are popping up in small towns and rural areas.

“These destinations are the most sought after areas in the country, and we expect to see this continued interest,” Randall said. “The pandemic has changed the way people travel. They are more flexible. They can travel longer if they work remotely. They are not attached to a central location. We have seen longer trips on the platform. The percentage of long-term stays, 28 nights or more, has doubled since 2019, from 14% in the first quarter to 24% in the first quarter of 2020. ”

An analysis of Rockland County shows around 25 listings of Airbnb hosts, from Nyack to Haverstraw to Suffern. Hosts advertise the benefits of lakeside getaways, accessibility to hiking trails, farm-fresh eggs, and privacy. The rules for short term rentals vary from city to city, village to village in Rockland County. For example, Clarkstown residents who wish to operate an Airbnb from a single or two-family home for less than 30 consecutive days need a permit. However, multi-family dwellings do not have short-term rental restrictions.

Nyack’s host Lori said travelers have typically booked their Airbnb when attending family events such as weddings or funerals. Others stay while they look for a job or wait for a house to be built. Short-term tenants come to Nyack for fairs or weekend visits.

Host says his Airbnb has been continuously busy since COVID. Additionally, she has noticed that clients have stopped trying to negotiate rents.

“On Airbnb, there is a way to request a discount or negotiate a rate,” Lori said. “But I don’t see it now. Customers don’t negotiate.

Lori, who has owned her home for 25 years, says Airbnb gives her the option of hosting guests for short stays, rather than looking for a roommate to help with mortgage expenses. and “very high taxes”.

“A long-term tenant can be a nightmare,” she said. “Airbnb gives me more control.”

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