For Kevin and Joy Whear, hospitality is everything. Beginning as a hobby, Stay Owensboro has evolved into much more. The Owensboro couple, who now own three Airbnb properties, credit real-life experiences as an influence on the progression of their business venture.
Raising 10 children, family travel has never been an easy feat. With this in mind, the idea to accommodate large parties helped mold the properties the Whears rent out to guests.
“Vacations were always tough,” Joy said. “Because we have such a large family, lodging was always an issue.”
Having previously owned rental property, the Whears decided to take their business a step further and offer accommodations to a diverse group of travelers in the Owensboro area.
“When you consider the guests we have who are lodged for extended stays, an Airbnb makes perfect sense,” Kevin said.
The Whears classify their properties as “Airbnb rentals.” This term originally stems from a movement launched in San Francisco, California. Airbnb properties vary from accommodations as small as an air mattress to fully furnished homes and apartments.
Sporting events, world famous barbeque, music and occasionally an event as special as an adoption have brought guests to the Whears’ properties.
“It’s so rewarding being able to bless others through this process,” Joy said. “We truly love being able to provide a home away from home.”
Kevin credits his wife’s knack for “outfitting,” as he calls it, as an added bonus. Rustic, vintage and retro are all words they use to describe each property.
“Each of our Airbnb homes are different,” Kevin said. “Joy is so talented, and since they are fully furnished, they are really all very different. Unique pieces and themes, down to the silverware make them all one of a kind.”
Current listings include a cottage, a bungalow and a cabin. Each property sleeps multiple guests and is full of amenities including linens and even toys for small children.
The Whear family has hosted guests from as far away as Norway and Australia, with many becoming repeat guests, and “more like family” Kevin said.
“We host a traveling physician on occasion,” Kevin said. “She’s even joined us for Thanksgiving dinner before.”
The extension of hospitality has been a learning experience, so to speak, for the Whear family, but it has certainly proven to benefit all involved.
“Each of our children have been instrumental in helping out,” Joy said. “We are truly a family business in every sense.”
The Whear family has no intention to slow down anytime soon. There are plans to extend Stay Owensboro to include more properties in the future, adding a larger four bedroom home to the existing rentals available.
“We love interacting with our guests and providing a unique experience,” Joy Whear said.
To see what Stay Owensboro has to offer guests are encouraged to visit their website.