Dylan who? Covid shifts focus off celeb-tied short-term rentals

Airbnbs whose properties once housed famous residents like members of The Band or F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are just places to stay in a coronavirus world

New York Weekend Edition /
Aug.August 30, 2020 02:00 PM
Bob Dylan, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, with Big Pink (Credit: Evening Standard/Getty Images, Bettmann/Getty Images, and Wikipedia)

Bob Dylan, Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, with Big Pink (Credit: Evening Standard/Getty Images,
Bettmann/Getty Images, and Wikipedia)

Sure, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald once lived in the Montgomery, Alabama, home now available as a short-term rental. And yes, Bob Dylan and his fellow musicians slept and jammed in a Upstate New York house during their rollicking ride decades ago.

But in a Covid world, those have become just places to stay. The coronavirus has changed the short-term rental market in major ways, but some smaller shifts are also notable.

It was common before the pandemic for the homes of legendary figures to find their way onto short-term listing sites like Airbnb, often marketed as the place where this famous actor or that famous writer lived, usually with a premium attached.

While many still get booked, the pandemic has brought a change to clientele and the calculus of owners, according to the New York Times.

The owner of Big Pink, a modest home in Saugerties, N.Y., where Dylan and the Band wrote and recorded music in the late 1960s, said that his renters aren’t just superfans anymore.

“Most people were flying in from somewhere else to stay at Big Pink,” he told the Times. “But for the first time, we had renters from New York City who just needed a place to stay.”

Before the pandemic, it was common for properties like Big Pink to be reserved months and even years in advance and usually for short stays.

The owners of three cottages in California’s Monterey County, once the childhood retreat of “Grapes of Wrath” author John Steinbeck, said their renters are less attracted to the property’s connection to literary history and more interested in its utility.
They’ve also had to book for a minimum of a month, as required by city ordinance.

“There’s been a steady population of traveling nurses and people coming to stay near family,” said owner Kevin Delaney. “We’re booking months at a time, so comfortably sheltering in place is a big factor for renters.”

For Julian McPhillips, the owner of the Montgomery home where Scott and Zelda spent a couple of years in the 1930s, renters are now not as interested in its history. “We’re seeing a lot of concerned travelers, passing from one place to another who feel the suites are safer than a hotel,” she told the Times. [NYT]Dennis Lynch


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
From left: Mayor Bill de Blasio, 54 West 39th Street, 62 Grand Street, and 208 West 30th Street (Credit: Google Maps)
The Airbnb crackdown continues: City targets three more buildings
The Airbnb crackdown continues: City targets three more buildings
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Stanley “Skip” Karol, an Airbnb host (Credit: Getty Images and Youtube)
Airbnb host narrowly clears hurdle in First Amendment claim against city
Airbnb host narrowly clears hurdle in First Amendment claim against city
A West Village Airbnb listing (Credit: Airbnb)
Airbnb Luxe launched without listings in one of their biggest potential markets — why?
Airbnb Luxe launched without listings in one of their biggest potential markets — why?
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky (Getty)
Airbnb’s losses balloon to $4.6B in 2020
Airbnb’s losses balloon to $4.6B in 2020
(iStock/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Manhattan job losses in Q3 worst of any large county in the US
Manhattan job losses in Q3 worst of any large county in the US
R&B Realty's Aron Rosenberg and Maverick's David Aviram of Maverick with 28 West 36th Street and 32 West 39th Street (Google Maps)
Midtown landlord sues to stop foreclosure by Maverick
Midtown landlord sues to stop foreclosure by Maverick
HSBC COO John Hinshaw (Getty, iStock)
HSBC to shrink its office footprint amid shift to WFH
HSBC to shrink its office footprint amid shift to WFH
New Yorkers can enjoy going to the movies again on March 5. (iStock)
Showtime: NYC movie theaters to reopen
Showtime: NYC movie theaters to reopen
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...