Tourist Spot

Airbnb hosts in Mendocino, Lake Counties earned $27.5 million in 2021

Vacationers looking to get away during the COVID-19 pandemic meant good business for Airbnb hosts in rural California counties, including Mendocino and Lake, according to the San Francisco-based short-term rental company.

Company figures released Wednesday showed hosts in Mendocino County earned $22 million in 2021, while hosts in neighboring Lake County earned $5.5 million.

Mono County in east-central California topped the list of top-grossing rural counties, with $52 million. Last on the list of 21 counties was Modoc County, in the far northeast of the state, with $300,000.

Further up the North Shore in Humboldt County, the hosts earned $17.5 million last year.

Humboldt County resident Marisa Fleming has been an Airbnb host since 2016. After closing for several months in 2020 due to the pandemic, she said her 5-acre rental property, consisting of two homes that can each sleep six people, had been booked more than 90% of 2021.

“I think people were ready to get out of the house,” Fleming said, adding that his house was frequently booked before the pandemic. “We are right on Avenue of the Giants so it’s quite a popular tourist spot.”

Fleming said his experiences with Airbnb guests have been pretty positive overall. “People are generally respectful of our house,” she said.

Cumulatively in the Golden State, rural Airbnb hosts earned more than $200 million in 2021. That’s about $20,000 for each rural host, Airbnb reported.

In 2021, bookings in rural areas of the United States jumped 110% from 2019, earning Airbnb hosts more than $3.5 billion in 2021.