- Fairfield Township woman saw too many guests arriving for motorhome rental.
- Ryann Wells told partiers to leave as soon as she saw them.
- Airbnb has policies and tech to try to prevent and stop large gatherings.
Airbnb has several initiatives, including a “global party ban,” aimed at stopping people from having unauthorized gatherings in the privately owned lodgings rented through its marketplace.
It has rules aimed at preventing college students from hosting parties on school breaks, and others that ban guests from making one-night bookings on New Year’s Eve. The company offers such technological helpers as a free noise sensor for hosts.
Saturday incident:Tuscarawas County sheriff’s deputy hit by vehicle while responding to 300-person ‘party’
Airbnb rental:Shipping container finds new life as Riverside Hideout Airbnb in Tuscarawas Valley
Ryann Wells has her own methods for preventing guests from breaking the rules at her Riverside Hideout overlooking the Tuscarawas River: Cameras, her own watchful eyes and staying close to the rentals.
When guests decided to throw a party at the recreational vehicle she rents through Airbnb, she shut it down herself.
“I live on the same property,” Wells said. “I could see people driving up my driveway, car after car after car. There was no camera needed. I could clearly see all the cars driving up there.
“They were only there an hour, max. I only let six-seven cars drive through there, and I went down there immediately. There was no way that any more people were going to show up. I wasn’t going to wait any longer.”
Wells said she does not believe her rentals would see the kind of gathering that included an estimated 300 people at an Airbnb rental on Saturday night in Bucks Township, south of Ragersville.
Deputies who responded to the Saturday night incident found security guards carrying rifles and wearing body armor, according to Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell. A 25-year-old Akron woman is accused of hitting a deputy in the leg with her vehicle and running over his foot.
Advice from an Airbnb host
“Both of my rentals reside on my property,” Wells said. “I clearly can see people coming and going, so that would never have happened for me. I would not have let it go that far. Armed security guards and everything else, that’s insane. That is just insane.”
Campbell said no further charges are expected from Saturday night’s incident on Evans Creek Road SW.
Wells is still dealing with the aftermath of having 15 people visit her two-person rental in Fairfield Township. She said they caused $2,000 worth of damage to her lawn, even though they left quickly after her arrival.
“When I went down there, people scattered and left,” she said. “They didn’t fight me. They didn’t argue with me. They left. That was it. But the damage was done. It was over. I wish there was a better way to ‘police’ it.”
She’s seeking reimbursement for her losses from Airbnb.
Wells, now in her sixth year of hosting, said the experience did not cause her to reconsider renting her lodgings to strangers. But she did decide to move forward with her efforts to get direct bookings through her website https://www.riversidehideout.com/, which shows the recreational vehicle and the tiny house she crafted from a 40-foot shipping container.
Direct bookings mean Wells won’t have to pay the 4% to 6% fee Airbnb charges.
In a December announcement, Airbnb announced a New Year’s Eve crackdown that banned guests from making one-night bookings in the U.S. and 10 other countries in an attempt to crack down on parties. The press release mentioned other measures in place to enforce its anti-party stance, including:
Reach Nancy at 330-364-8402 or [email protected].
On Twitter: @nmolnarTR