August 16, 2022

Your everyday place to rent

Those looking for a place to stay in Creston, but don’t want the traditional hotel environment, an answer is coming soon.

T.J. Bower and wife Paige are preparing to open an Airbnb at 600 W. Montgomery. With locations around the world, Airbnb property owners offer a home or other building to rent. Aribnb properties are common for those on vacation and the Bowers know of other ways those homes are utilized.

“We think there is a demand for places to stay for traveling nurses, doctors, people who visit factories and railroad workers,” T.J. said about how he thinks his property will be used. “There may even be people for Southwestern Community College with parents and those who are here for weddings.”

Bower said he and his wife were curious about opening an Airbnb by watching a Tik Tok, a social media site, about a year ago.

“It made sense in my head,” he said. “We looked at places across the country to do it. But with the way the housing market is, we saw places not feasible and wanted to stay around here.” Bower and Paige Jones are from Greenfield and attended Iowa State University and have been in Creston for a couple of years.

The two started their research including Zoom meetings with others who rent their home or property and met others through social media who have experience with property rental in destination areas like Nashville.

“A lot goes into it, more than you think,” he said.

Knowing Creston is where they wanted their property, they started looking for the right house in the right part of town they wanted.

“We wanted something close to Uptown so the people could walk to the restaurants, Fareway or for other needs. This place popped up,” he said. “We looked for houses that were already in good shape. I know there are rentals around here, we just wanted one to make it look nice and attractive to people.”

The distance to Uptown was “definitely walkable. That was a key factor,” he said.

The house has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The description will state it can sleep up to eight people using a king bed, queen bed, two twin-beds and a queen-size futon; which is a piece of furniture that can turn into a bed. Bower hopes the house can be listed on Airbnb’s website by mid-August.

The house also has a full kitchen, half-kitchen downstairs and fenced yard, all on a corner lot. The Bowers are still moving in furniture and appliances for the house. Amenities also include place settings with plates and silverware. But that is as far as the two will go knowing the name of the place will be Uptown B&B. The B&B is an acronym for bed-and-breakfast but they won’t provide the morning meal like a traditional bed-and-breakfast.

Bower said he still is not sure what clientele will be using the house. But it won’t matter who as they will all use the same automated system to gain entrance. Through Airbnb, a code will be sent to the customer who will then use the code to unlock the smartlock on the door.

“It should be a smooth operation,” he said.

Airbnb includes not only how customers can rate the property for other users to consider. Airbnb property owners can also rate those who use their facility. Other Airbnb owners will know the reputation of established customers.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.