Hunter Businesswoman Honored for 5-Star Vacation Spot | Greene County

HUNTER – A businesswoman Hunter has been recognized as one of the most successful Airbnb hosts in the country.

Jennifer Lopez, 23, was honored by the online vacation rental company as part of the nationwide 30 Under 30 of 2022 promotion.

Lopez operates the Cozy Hunter Mountain Getaway House, a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home that sleeps 10 people.

“I think it’s a big deal,” Lopez said. “We started as a family business and we are growing there. It was our vacation home. I didn’t think it would turn out like this. »

Originally purchased as a vacation home, the Lopez family decided to turn the Hunter property into an Airbnb at the start of the pandemic. Lopez was named to the 30 under 30 list because the Hunter rental house received an outsized share of five-star reviews from customers.

“Most of the people who have come to us are mostly from the city,” Lopez said. “I was born and raised in Brooklyn. So come to a place like this where the air is cleaner and you can see the stars in the sky. ‘you never even see. So I really feel like there’s that aspect with nature.

Lopez also rents a second property in town, a log cabin that has three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Lopez noted that the winter ski season is the main tourist season for her family’s rental home.

“Summer is a slower season,” she said. “The ski and snowboard season is when we see the most rentals. Fall is the second most popular, but spring and summer are generally a bit slower.

With tourists drawn to Hunter Mountain Resort, Lopez has experienced stiff competition in the rental business in her hometown.

Lopez said since she started renting the property in 2020, Airbnb listings at Hunter have doubled over that time.

“The house directly across from me also recently opened an Airbnb,” she said. “There are plenty of lodges and hotels in the area. But I think what sets us apart is the views. From our back yard you can literally see people coming down the slopes. So we pulled out binoculars and things like that. So it kind of creates that experience of being in the countryside.

Lopez credited her father Edison with being a key contributor to keeping the family’s rental going “It’s definitely a family business,” Lopez said. “Initially we started thinking about making the house a business, we asked about housekeepers and plumbers and all that. My father is a construction worker and he is very good at fixing things.

While the proliferation of online rental properties can be beneficial in attracting tourists to the city, Hunter supervisor Sean Mahoney said having a significant number of Airbnbs could exacerbate the city’s affordable housing problems. for local residents.

“We definitely have an affordable housing crisis at the top of the mountain and in the town of Hunter,” Mahoney said. “I think Airbnb is a double-edged sword. We are a tourism-oriented community and these Airbnbs provide a way in which people can stay here and attract this type of clientele. They benefit the local economy.”

Mahoney said the city would regulate rental properties while separately pursuing solutions to the affordable housing shortage.

“Our mission at the city, which we’re still working on, is to sort of approach Airbnbs from a health and safety perspective,” he said. “We just want to make sure that the Airbnbs we have in this city are managed responsibly and safely. We do not seek to ban or prevent them. But the affordable housing crisis is something of an effort that needs to be managed on its own. There is a project that is being proposed as part of the DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) in Tannersville that could be tools in the toolbox to address the affordable housing crisis. I don’t think attacking Airbnbs is the solution to this problem.

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