What a stay in an Airbnb bean bin actually looks like
In the city of Alexandria in west-central Minnesota, a quiet lakeside Airbnb has gone viral.
A local real estate agent stood outside the property adjacent to the cornfield, took slow panoramic photos and posted the video on social media last week. The real estate agent, Sam (@ sat.the.real estate agent), was using the youth-focused app of the moment, TikTok, best known for flash-in-the-pan dancing follies, where things are most likely to go viral these days.
@ sat.the.real estate agentAmazing Airbnb in Alexandria, MN! ##publication date ##Minnesota ## mn ## mncheck ## airbnb ## alexandria ##real estate agent ## minnesotacheck ##sheets ##fall ## views ##residence ## fyp ## fyp シNYC – J. Lisk
This Airbnb is in fact several Airbnbs. Grouped together, three old grain silos no longer contain grain and instead contain eight hotel-style rooms. Squat silos appeared on the 11-acre property last year thanks to Picked oaks, a business hosting weddings and events. Like the renovated Gathered Oaks farmhouse suite and converted barn (a few yards away), the metal trash cans have been charmingly reinvented: the raised decks and an abundance of cartoonish windows almost create the impression of an industrial-modern Elven village.
This uniqueness seems to be the reason they went viral. Sam’s video has garnered over 500,000 views and over 75,000 likes.
This is not its usual TikTok content. Since May, he’s been posting videos of upscale Minnesota homes that have been viewed between 2,000 and 4,000.
Among the 700-odd grain elevator video comments, Minnesota residents expressed concern that something so cool was so close. “Have you all been to a different Alexandria MN than me?” ??», Quipped one user. “WAIT… I’ve lived here my whole life and just heard about it,” another declares, to a chorus of “same! “
Sam responded with surprise (“I expected 2 likes ??“) and the meaning of the sale (” It’s about 2 minutes from Carlos Creek Winery! “).
When I reached out to Gathered Oaks for feedback, this was not our first correspondence. Last year Alexandria won Minnesota Monthly ”s “Best MN city” competition. In my research (which included Carlos Creek Vineyard), I visited Gathered Oaks in February, shortly after the grain elevators opened.
In my article, I wrote: “Corrugated iron on the outside. But, inside, it’s like HGTV’s Joanna Gaines has cast her spell. What the TikTok video doesn’t show are the comfortable yet stylish interiors. I stayed in the suite, which includes a living area as well as a bedroom. (Each piece goes for $ 125 per night.) My big takeaway: It’s oddly comfortable to fall asleep in a place that wasn’t meant to sleep – to lie down where the cereal was.
There was nothing kitsch about it either. Large windows look better inside, where white walls, white furniture, and white bedding glow at sunrise. Add a stone sink, repurposed wood headboard, and an old-fashioned window frame that’s now a bathroom mirror, and it’s Instagram ready. Or, ready for TikTok, I guess.
Before reusing the trash, the owners of Gathered Oaks pondered the idea for about 10 years. Anne and David Larson were inspired by an article in a magazine focused on farmers News from Mother Earth, which leads to fashionable upcycling.
“Since then we’ve done a lot of research, visited architects and played with design concepts,” Anne told me by email. An aunt had several disused grain elevators near Kensington. “So with his approval, a nod from the county and some engineering blueprints, we started. (I must point out that there are other grain Airbnbs out there, mostly in the Midwest, it seems, not surprisingly.)
“Have you been inundated with reservation requests?” I asked the manager yesterday Tessa Larson, Anne’s daughter-in-law. “Yes, we are… wild!” She replied via email. “The timing is a little hilarious with a baby coming in six days.”
Meanwhile, Sam seems to have found his formula. Her latest video is slowly unfolding an Airbnb in A in Battle Lake, and it already has over 25,000 views. (“Can I get a link or something?” Says a comment. “I literally want to book this.”)
For bug-eyed locals on TikTok, keep scrolling to see what the grain elevators look like inside.
And for those who couldn’t believe Alexandria is worth a visit (shit, worth the title of “Best Town in MN”), here are some recommendations from the Larsons themselves: Start each day with an IdaBomb juice. com from Nice juice, and if you’re looking for a scenic drive, take County Road 42 between two lakes to Interlachen Inn, where you’ll want to order the walleye. This drive can put a baby to sleep, says Andrew, Tessa’s partner. Which should come in handy in about six days.
(To book, go via Airbnb, as Tessa and Andrew are understandably busy at the moment.)