From a UFO house to a giant potato hotel, the growing trend of flexible living encourages travelers to seek out more unexpected places to stay. This demand has created new opportunities for creative hosts with awe-inspiring spaces to share – and now, Airbnb is helping those with an out-of-this-world idea to bring their vision to life with a $10M fund. Recently, Kristie Wolfe, host of the Big Idaho Potato Hotel and member of the OMG! Fund judging panel, conducted a satellite media tour to talk about the OMG! Fund and her experience being an Airbnb host.
A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/XPKfKgzbCuk
The first-of-its-size OMG! Fund is seeking original and offbeat ideas from existing and aspiring designers, architects, DIYers and makers from around the globe. The fund's $10 million will finance 100 of the craziest and most unique property ideas, giving 100 people the chance to turn them into actual Airbnb OMG! Category listings, which are Airbnb’s collection of one-of-a-kind, offbeat homes.
Starting June 22nd, 2022, anyone with an out-of-this world idea for an OMG! Category listing can submit an application at airbnb.com/omgfund. One hundred people with the 100 craziest ideas will receive a grant of $100,000* each to make their fantastical creations possible and, ultimately, bookable. Ideas will be judged for their uniqueness, creativity, feasibility, sustainability and how immersive an experience they might provide for guests.
The fund is shaped in part by the growing trend of flexible living that has emerged in the past two years. As part of this shift, Airbnb guests are craving more unexpected spaces that become the destinations themselves, and Airbnb Categories, which launched last month, provide a new way to search for these spaces. Over 30,000 unique listings across the world were added to Airbnb in 2021 and the OMG! Category showcases the craziest amongst them, making it easy for guests to discover these listings in places they wouldn't have otherwise looked. Additionally, Hosts of unique listings saw a 138 percent increase in worldwide earnings from 2019 to 2021, with nights booked at unique properties increasing globally by over 45 percent in the same two-year timespan.
Applications for the OMG! Fund open today for a period of 30 days, through July 22 at 11:59 pm ET. The 100 grant recipients will be selected by the panel over the coming months, with the intent of having several newly-constructed spaces available for booking next year.
To find out more about the OMG! Fund and how to apply go to airbnb.com/omgfund
About Kristie Wolfe
Kristie is a proud Idahoan who is passionate about living simply. In the winter of 2013, she fulfilled a lifelong dream of building her very own treehouse in Hawaii and sharing it with travelers from around the world. From the success of that unique stay, she has since been able to build a hobbit hole, refurbish a fire lookout and, of course, has transformed an over a 6-ton spud into a space guests can sleep in!