There is the missile silo and bunker in Roswell, New Mexico, that you can rent, the covered wagon in Tennessee for a throwback form of glamping, the yellow submarine in New Zealand for Beatles fans, and the UFO house in the United Kingdom for out-of-this-world sleeping accommodations. Together, they make up just some of the many zany and one-of-a-kind rentals listed in the recently created OMG! category on Airbnb.
Of 56 new vacation rental categories (a program that launched last month that includes other groups like A-frames, tiny homes, and castles), the OMG! listings are some of the most wish-listed by users, according to Airbnb—it’s often challenging to find an available night. However, thanks to a new contest, there will soon be more of these fun and funky vacation rentals to go around.
Airbnb announced Wednesday that the company is creating a $10 million “OMG! Fund” to finance some of “the craziest and most unique property ideas” brought before them.
“The OMG! Fund is seeking ideas from existing and aspiring designers, architects, DIYers, and makers from around the globe,” the brand said in a press release, adding that the “fund is shaped in part by the growing trend of flexible living that has emerged in the past two years. As part of this shift, Airbnb guests are craving more unexpected spaces that become the destinations themselves.”
Most of the hosts develop the properties for the sole purpose of renting them out on Airbnb, the company says. According to the press release, the typical host in the United States earned over $13,800 in revenue in 2021.
The $10 million fund will provide 100 people with $100,000 to build an off-the-wall Airbnb listing. Those interested can apply for the financial backing via airbnb.com/omgfund, where they will be asked to explain their idea, what makes it unique, and what inspired it. Applications are accepted through July 22, 2022, and finalists will be announced in the fall.
Applicants do not need to be in possession of an existing home or space, but they are solely responsible for procuring the property, as well as the designers, architects, contractors, permits, and materials. Winners are awarded the prize money in three parts, earning one-third of the funds each time they reach one of the design milestones spelled out in the official contest rules.
According to Airbnb, ideas will be judged by an expert panel for their originality, feasibility, the experience the space will provide guests, and sustainability. Winners will be determined by a panel, including Airbnb superhost and the designer of some OMG! homes (such as the Potato Hotel, Crystal Peak Lookout, Big Island Treehouse, and the forthcoming Shipwreck House) Kristie Wolfe; founder of Koichi Takada Architects Koichi Takada; over-the-top style icon Iris Apfel; and Airbnb’s VP of experiential creative product Bruce Vaughn.