Hobbit-themed Airbnb owners in BC face crackdown from Warner Bros.

VANCOUVER – The owners in British Columbia of a Hobbit-themed Airbnb have embarked on a quest to rename their rental property to avoid a losing battle with the dragon of intellectual property rights.

The Hobbit Mountain Hole run by Christine Le Comte and her husband was modeled after the hillside houses envisioned in JRR Tolkien’s work – but there have been problems in the Shire.

The couple were recently contacted by a representative for Warner Bros. Entertainment, who asked them to stop using the company’s trademark terms.

“I had no idea Hobbit is word protected,” The Earl told CTV News. “I didn’t think about it. Maybe I was a little ignorant.”

The Airbnb is tucked away in a secluded part of the couple’s mountain ranch, about 30 minutes from Osoyoos. It was already built when they bought the property last year, and The Earl admitted she wasn’t very familiar with The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings trilogy when they took over – but she did. is quickly made aware.

“You’re really immersed in it,” Le Comte said of popular books and movie series. “You can’t help it, you know.”

She also found ways to enhance immersion in their location, picking up light fixtures and even ordering clocks and other items that she said had an eruption from Middle-earth.

“It was a lot more sterile when I got it, so I just spent the year adding it and improving it and adding things to make it more special,” said Le Comte.

The results exceeded the couple’s expectations. Despite opening amid a global pandemic, they said the Hobbit Mountain Hole has become a popular vacation spot for people looking to unplug.

The Airbnb doesn’t have a TV or Wi-Fi, but plenty of space to cook a meal, read a book, or play a board game. In other words, it wasn’t built for Hobbits, who measure between two and four feet in books.

“Everything is normal in size,” said Le Comte. “When you’re inside the ceilings are quite high and you wouldn’t think you’re in a hole. It’s a hole, but it’s actually quite spacious in there.”

With the work they’ve provided, the couple aren’t ready to give up their Hobbit association entirely. But they’re also not digging their heels against Warner Bros.

Instead, they poll their Instagram followers to find a suitable replacement name for their Airbnb listing, with options ranging from “Bags End on the Mountain” to “Second Breakfast Hideaway” – a reference to the Hobbits famous preference for seven meals a day. .

The latter has the most votes so far, although guests should know that this is not a bed and breakfast, let alone a bed and breakfast and breakfast.

“I guess they can just decide for themselves how many breakfasts they want to have,” Le Comte added.

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