There are no such customers, Airbnb insists. So PandoDaily reporter Cale Guthrie Weissman cleverly decided to use this denial to frame a weekend piece about commercial users of the popular website:
I’m in an ancient, cramped lower Manhattan cafe, waiting for a Man Who Does Not Exist. I order a large coffee, take a seat at a table of my own, and wait. At one of the others, a couple sits, existing. They’re not who I’m looking for.
About five minutes later a tallish man with faded brown hair comes in. He’s in his late twenties, wears a muted-toned plaid button-up shirt and a long peacoat; his face is haggard but handsome.
“Are you Cale?” asks the Man Who Does Not Exist.
Per Weismman’s sit-down, this must-remain-anonymous individual has backers, charges $500 a night for a completely renovated nearby 900 square feet two-bedroom apartment and is getting ready to launch a second stealth hotel rental. Each location has its own Delaware LLC. The Man Who Does Not Exist says he is not too worried about the impending tightening of the regulations noose around Airbnb, suggesting that Apartment #1 will pay for itself within a few more months.
Weissman lucked out with his interview subject. This “Man” is a serial go-getter who previously hired homeless people and a German family to help him purchase iPad 2s from the SoHo Apple store for marked-up resale to Paris consumers. Read the rest of the PandoDaily article here.[Image courtesy: airbnb.com]
Previously on FishbowlNY:
Dozens of Homeless People Hired to Stand in Line at Apple Store