Valdosta's downtown could offer Airbnb locations in the near future

Valdosta's downtown could offer Airbnb locations in the near future
The new Airbnb trend has reached the city and will allow for short-term stays if desired. (Source: WALB)
The new Airbnb trend has reached the city and will allow for short-term stays if desired. (Source: WALB)

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Community members in Valdosta took the initiative to help push the city forward by creating some "like home" spaces that will have a huge economic impact.

Many people flood to the downtown Valdosta area, whether it be for a weekend or for business during the weekday.

But now, the new Airbnb trend has reached the city and will allow for short-term stays if desired.

"We don't currently have a hotel where people can come and stay the night, the addition of some rental spaces, some overnight accommodations in downtown, I think is a really great draw for us. It fills a huge void that we have in downtown," said Valdosta's Main Street Director Ellen Hill.

Most hotels are located off I-75, so the city is working towards creating a permit for others who may be interested, which will come with a length restriction of a week.

"They've all been very helpful and very supportive at the same time they're having to feel their way around as we are because this is a new deal," said Mike Orenduff, owner of Book and Table Inn.

Orenduff and his wife of 53-years live in and own the Book and Table, which serve as a coffee shop, restaurant and mini library.

Orenduff said that since his children were grown, they decided to turn three rooms into spaces for short-term rent after hearing about Airbnb.

"We just had no idea that Airbnb was so popular, that people who travel today, many of them, especially millennials, they don't want to stay in the old chain hotels, they are looking for something different," said Orenduff.

People who visit for one day or seven days will put money back into downtown, as they will hopefully take advantage of all the other activities downtown has to offer.

"The fact that we can have a couple of people, three people at a time add to that, not only in a sense that they spend money in the shops and especially the restaurants, but they also come here and conduct business," said Orenduff.

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