Airbnbs encourage visitors to Stay and Wander in Louisville
A group of friends run a dozen specialized Airbnbs that are distinctly Louisville called Stay and Wander. They're hoping their southern hospitality will help more people fall in love with the Derby City.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In the heart of NuLu, tucked away in an alley, lovers of Louisville are rolling out the welcome mat.
"We just want people to have a great experience when they come to Louisville," said Mo McKnight Howe, who acts as the unofficial ambassador for the Derby City, along with Bella Portaro-Kueber.
"We feel like we're doing a great job as hosts for the city," said McKnight Howe.
Tourists are flocking to the 12 Airbnb properties they own and operate, along with their husbands and another couple.
"We have now branded them Stay and Wander Louisville," said Portaro-Kueber.
Located in walkable city neighborhoods like NuLu and the Highlands, Stay and Wander's short-term rentals are uniquely Louisville.
"We decorate them with locally made art from my gallery. A lot of the furniture is locally made from bourbon barrels," said McKnight Howe.
And people are loving them. "This is the number one Airbnb according to Airbnb's report, and I think that we're booked almost every single day for all of the locations in this building," said Portaro-Kueber.
Hotels are popping up in every corner of the city including one right across the street from their NuLu properties, but that doesn't seem to be affecting their business.
"I think the main reason people choose Airbnb over hotels is because you get an authentic local experience," said McKnight Howe.
Choosing to stay and wander comes with recommendations on where to eat, drink and play like the locals do. The two share their city with their guests, the way they live it.
"I think that sometimes we're viewed as being in the south and we're slower and there's not as much to do, but I think once you're actually in a neighborhood where people are living and eating, and it's all very central. I think it just gives a different view of the city altogether," said Portaro-Kueber.
Out of towners are encouraged to document that experience on social media sharing the Louisville love and getting even more people in the door. By using their unique brand of southern hospitality, the pair hopes by encouraging people to stay and wander they're also helping the city they love to grow.
"I think showing people how to live in Louisville is going to help all of us grow," said Portaro-Kueber.
"We all love Louisville and we want people to move here. We want businesses to move here. We take a lot of pride in the city, and we want others to see that," said McKnight Howe.
For a closer look at Stay and Wander's properties, click here.
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