Waco was just named 2018’s #2 travel destination by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards for Destinations on the Rise. To say I was expecting my hometown to make this list would be a lie, but I am glad the 254 is getting recognized for its contagious charm.
Some controversy has been conceived from Waco’s newly found spotlight, though. With more and more visitors coming to Waco, many drawn here by our neighbors at Magnolia Market, more and more homes have found a place on Airbnb. In fact, many of these listings, are “Magnolia Masterpieces” that have been featured on HGTV’s show Fixer Upper.
Questions of dishonesty have been pointed at these Airbnb owners. Is it fair that they were on the show for a presumably “family home” and now they are making a profit off Chip and Jo’s hard work? But honestly, I think we are missing the point. Why are we knit picking at these homeowners when they are allowing our out-of-town friends experience more of the Waco we love?
I love Airbnb. Not only do I like the concept, but I have used it myself from time to time. Most of the time I book Airbnb’s to host groups of friends so that we can all stay at the same place and catch up on lost time. Generally, when I travel, I like to take the approach that Airbnb champions— I like to hit the pavement to experience a new place. You see a lot more by walking or even going for a run than you do when you are in the car passing by quickly. It’s all about the local experience and that is exactly what our Waco Airbnbs offer.
Who knows maybe these Airbnb residents will be so smitten, they join our thriving economy and add their own ambitions to our bustling landscape. I think that there is a false perception when people say that the Waco real estate market is strong because of Magnolia. That’s not to say that Magnolia has not done great things for Waco! I believe the real estate market (residentially and commercially) is strong due to a strong overall economy— And that attracts people in and of itself!
I personally feel that Magnolia’s hit TV show, Fixer Upper has helped ignite interest in Waco from people *literally* all over the world. With Chip and Joanna’s expansion into other markets such as; Magnolia Market, Magnolia Bakery, Magnolia Table and Hearth and Hand through Target, I believe this will keep the interest in Magnolia strong and will continue to allow Waco to be a focal point, even when Season 5 wraps up this year.
So what do you think? Do you like using Airbnb? Are you a fan of the Fixer Upper Airbnbs in town?