“Just a toilet, basic needs.”
For a glorious moment, a gas station in Salinas, California, was listed on Airbnb, making the dream of sleeping in a convenience store almost a reality. (What? Have you not had that dream?)
The Sanborn and Market Gas Station was listed for $50 a night, local station KSBW reported. The “Gas station stay over” was promoted as a safe place to spend the night, with security cameras, good lighting, and a location on a busy street corner near the center of town with “easy freeway access.”
The accommodations were not meant to be luxurious (“just a toilet, basic needs”), and the owner was up front about the offering.
“Rather than stay at a real nice comfy luxury place, this has a real nice experience,” Pete Shen told KSBW.
The gas station is an actual, operating business, so there were a few considerations. Guests were not able to check in until 10 p.m. when the store closed for the night, and check-out was an early 5 a.m., when the store re-opened.
There was no bed (it is a gas station after all), so renters were instructed to bring their own air mattress (or stay up all night raiding the ice cream freezer).
According to Shen, gas station enthusiasts (which apparently exist) have jumped at the chance to sleep over.
“I've leased it for about two weeks now and we've had over 200 views on our listing," he said. “After our first stay over, see how it goes, maybe people might like it; maybe people may not like it. So we’ll see how it goes.”
However, the listing has since been removed from Airbnb. It is unclear whether it violated an Airbnb policy, or if the owner got cold feet about hosting guests and giving them unfettered access to the Slurpee machine.