Airbnb business is booming at the Lake of the Ozarks

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LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Airbnb hosts at the Lake of the Ozarks are quickly getting booked out for months.

Ever since Memorial Day weekend, Airbnb host Andy Brown says business has practically doubled. He said he's almost entirely booked through August. 

"This summer I'm having two people per week instead of one. Everything is selling out left and right," he said.

Brown says he thinks the increase is due to the fact that Airbnbs at the lake give people a safer getaway.

"I think right now we're living in a world where people just want to vacation," he said. "They want to do things, but getting on a plane is not something a lot of people want to do. So, I think driving to the Lake of the Ozarks is somewhere that you can 'quarantine.' You can be in your own place and not be at some place like a hotel and be surrounded by a bunch of people."

Throughout the United States, more people are preferring to rent out a local Airbnb.

"Since the pandemic began, the percentage of bookings made on Airbnb within 200 miles...has grown from one-third of all bookings in February to over half in May," according to an Airbnb article.

Airbnb also rolled out a new "enhanced cleaning protocol" all hosts must follow to make sure renters feel safe.

"The protocol includes a five-step cleaning process, room-by-room checklists, and more," according to an Airbnb article.

Every surface must be touched using a disinfectant, and linens are washed at a high heat, Brown said.

Looking ahead, Airbnb renter Chandler Haxton suggests finding a place early for Fourth of July weekend.

"You'd want to start looking probably 3 months ahead of time just because it's constantly busy down there, and then holidays are just unbelievably packed," Haxton said.

Haxton and his friends rented an Airbnb for Memorial Day weekend at the lake, but were too late for Fourth of July weekend.

"We had to end up getting a hotel only because there was one Airbnb left and it was in the middle of nowhere in the forest," he said.