Airbnb hosts and local business owners recently came together for Airbnb’s second annual Ballard Merchant Fair. Dozens of hosts connected with 24 local businesses and learned about their products, crafts, services and promotions. Business owners brought treats and snacks from their establishments, providing a small taste of what they offer.
Many hosts were excited to have more local businesses to recommend to their guests. “Interacting with the local vendors and shopkeepers to better understand what services they have to offer our Ballard community has been a fundamental part of my hosting success,” says Ballard resident and Airbnb host Jorge Avalos. “I touched base with the shops I frequent and discovered the other nifty businesses within the vicinity. I can wholeheartedly recommend an establishment and refer them to the owner by name.”
Special thanks to Market Street Shoes for providing the venue for the Merchant Fair.
“Airbnb guests who stay in the Ballard area get to experience life like a local.”
Jorge Avalos, Airbnb host
The attendees also discussed the economic impact of home sharing across the city. In 2015, the Airbnb community generated $180 million in economic activity across Seattle, benefitting local establishments like Sweet Mickey’s Candy Shoppe. “Airbnb guests who stay in the Ballard area get to experience life like a local. Shop local, eat local and enjoy all the beauty of our great neighborhood,” says owner Randy Brinker.
Diane MaCrae, Airbnb host and owner of local boutique Venue Ballard, helped organize the event, and assembled the two dozen business owners.“Thousands of travelers are coming to Ballard every year, which wouldn’t be the case without Airbnb,” she says. “And as Ballard local business owners, we have a wealth of information for Airbnb hosts and their guests. I want to show people things that are genuine and unique to Ballard.”
“Thousands of travelers are coming to Ballard every year, which wouldn’t be the case without Airbnb.”
Diane MaCrae, Airbnb host and owner of Venue Ballard
Overall, the event was a smash hit: attendees appreciated connecting face-to-face and discussing the economic impact of Airbnb, as well as learning about new local businesses to support and recommend.
Special thanks to all the local businesses that participated.