Georgia Boy Scouts find empty land after booking Airbnb rentals in Big Pine Key – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

MIAMI (WSVN) – A trip to the Florida Keys started off badly for two Georgia Boy Scout groups who said they got accommodation through Airbnb for a house that doesn’t even exist.

Speaking to 7News on Friday, Troop Leader Scott Mulkey and his troops, 5506 and 506 from northeast Georgia, had planned their getaway to the Florida Keys for snorkeling, fishing and camping. .

“It’s more of a once in a lifetime thing that most Boy Scouts do,” he said.

Mulkey said it was nearly impossible to contain their excitement for their next outdoor adventure.

“It’s just a good time for us to make memories with our scouts while we can,” he said.

During part of the trip, the two troops booked two Airbnb rentals that could hold all 24 of them.

But before they even made their way to South Florida, they began to realize that their two separate bookings appeared to have failed. That’s because, Mulkey said, it looked like they had rented the same house from different hosts.

“The images were all exactly the same, and all for Big Pine Key,” he said.

After contacting Airbnb and the hosts, Mulkey said, they were told the listings were legitimate.

While they remained skeptical, the scouts were hopeful.

But once they arrived this week, they arrived to find mangroves and swamps.

“There is no mailbox. There is nothing at all there, ”Mulkey said.

After finding a vacant lot, Mulkey recorded a video to document his disappointment and frustration.

“It’s supposed to be a brand new house near the beach. What exactly are we supposed to rent? He said as he stood in front of the parking lot. “Explain to me, how is this not a fraud?” There is no house here. There is no address here. There is absolutely nothing here.

Always resourceful, the scouts reorganized themselves and paid for hotel rooms.

Airbnb spokesman Ben Breit said they will reimburse them in full. In a statement, he wrote: “This type of situation is extremely rare, but when it does happen, we take steps to protect the integrity of our platform. To this end, these lists have been removed and all associated hosts have been suspended pending further investigation. “

As for the scouts, they don’t let this setback ruin their plans.

“[We’re going to] hit the waters and try to leave it all behind, at least for now, ”Mulkey said.

Airbnb will also give these families a credit for a future stay.

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