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Are you headed to Reno and hoping to stay somewhere not so typical? Then an Airbnb experience might by right up your alley -- both literally and figuratively. These privately owned vacation rentals are popping up all over the area and offer a fun way to get to know some great neighborhoods from a local's perspective.

In 2008, co-founders Joe Gebbia, Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk started the site after Gebbia hosted travelers in his small apartment in San Francisco. Fast forward a few years, and now you’ll find Airbnb options in more than 34,000 cities and 190 countries. In a nutshell, this is a trusted community marketplace for hosts to list their room options and travelers to book unique accommodations around the world — including Reno and Lake Tahoe.

Local hosts

What makes this stay special is the personal touch adventurers who use it rave about. According to Airbnb, 74 percent of the listings are located outside traditional downtown districts and when guests stay in these places they are looking to become immersed in the community and with its people.

“When guests stay in a home on Airbnb, they have local hosts that can share inside knowledge about a neighborhood and its go-to locations for the best cup of joe or local cuisine, where to take a jog, where to find local art, artisans and more,” they added. “Many hosts already share these insights in their listings and in the Guidebooks product on Airbnb.”

Users are encouraged to read about the places they’re considering and assured that each property is fully vetted and reviewed before it’s listed.

Staying in the Sierra

A quick search on Airbnb.com presents nearly 100 options in the Reno and Lake Tahoe areas ranging in price from $35 for a one-night stay in a private room near the University of Nevada, Reno, to $1,150 per night for a five-bedroom lakefront villa in Homewood. Each place offers an exclusive experience based upon its location, amenities and décor.

Tessa Dee Miller, owner of the Nest in Reno, recently helped homeowners Oscar and Debbie Sessions prepare a riverside condo in Reno to be available to travelers using Airbnb. They reupholstered a vintage couch, hung a great piece of art highlighting the famous Reno Arch and added fun end tables to complete the look.

“You see many hosts designing spaces with repurposed furniture,” Miller said. “This is a fantastic way to provide a great atmosphere without breaking the bank, while also taking care of guests."

“Those traveling to the area have so many choices, and Airbnb is a fun option that is outside the downtown casino or hotel. It’s a chance to learn a lot about a new neighborhood, get a taste of what if feels like to live here, enjoy individually designed rooms, and make some new friends, too. This is definitely a great way to experience Reno and Lake Tahoe.”

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