By Kate Barcellos Staff Writer
SUDBURY — For those who’ve thought about becoming an Airbnb host to earn a little extra cash, but don’t have the extra furnished space to rent out, there are other options.
You just need land, and Sudbury resident Kurt Schneider has more than 10 acres at 370 Lake Hortonia Road with a perfect lakefront view.
It occurred to Schneider that if someone built it, the tourists would come, and it didn’t need to be four solid walls and a roof, thanks to a short-term stay program called Tentrr.
“This was the perfect income for me, because I’m retired. It’s my attempt to pay a little of my tax bill,” Schneider said.
Founded in 2015, Tentrr delivers and builds campsites for landowners to rent to campers for a membership fee of $1,500, which can come out of upcoming reservations for the site if the “campkeeper” or host doesn’t want to pay the fee up front.
The membership also includes 24/7 assistance, and $2 million general liability insurance coverage, in case unruly campers decide to really make the place their own.
Schneider thought his property was a perfect spot to enjoy the natural wonders of Rutland County, so in June, he began applying for permits through the Agency of Natural Resources and the town of Sudbury, and was quickly approved for Tentrr’s “primitive campsite” regulations.
“They came and set up within four hours,” Schneider said. “They brought the tent, the platform, and everything we needed, pretty much. We added the carpet and the tiki torches, and the Japanese lanterns were a gift for cat-sitting.”
The Tentrr crew built a custom platform tent for the ideal “glamping” experience, complete with woodstove and chimney for toasty evenings, materials to build a custom fire pit, two Adirondack chairs for lounging, a dining table with benches set for six, a sun shower, water container and a queen-sized bed.
“They even provide a camp toilet that utilizes ‘poo powder,’” Schneider said. “It turns waste into a solid. But I have an indoor toilet that they can pay more to utilize.”
Schneider’s site, called “Restoration at Cattail Cove,” went live on Monday, and offers two kayaks, a rowboat, fresh muffins and a grill set for a small additional fee, to those looking for a peaceful getaway.
“There are three holes for anyone who wants to practice their golf game,” Schneider said. “And there’s great bird-watching: There are egrets, great blue herons and an osprey nest just up the street.”
Schneider’s camp is one of seven such sites currently offered in Vermont.
Schneider bought the property in 1981 with a plan to renovate the 1880s post-and-beam cattle barn on the land into a home, Schneider said he’s admired the beauty of the property and wanted to share it with others.
“We’ve hosted one couple so far, and they were fantastic,” Schneider said. “We never saw them. They were down at the campsite using the kayaks and just enjoying the lakefront. They left it in perfect condition.”
“Kurt and Wendy are the best,” camper “John” wrote in his review of Schneider’s site on Tentrr. “We couldn’t have asked for more out of our campkeepers …Very hospitable in making sure we had everything we needed to make the most out of our experience on the lake … Site is beautiful, secluded and was definitely worth the drive … coming from R.I.”
If the property is a house, a room in a house, a cabin, condominium, ski lodge, barn bunkhouse, tree house, camper or tent in Vermont, the owner is required to charge a 9 percent sales tax, and on July 1, short-term rentals became required to list their Vermont meals and rooms tax account numbers on any advertisements for renting their property.