GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A unique Airbnb rental will open for renters next summer after a Southwest Michigan couple won a contest through the popular home share site.
Clayton Brown and Kim Sullivan won a $100,000 prize after entering a rendering of a tire-shaped home also made of tires to Airbnb’s OMG! Fund.
When Sullivan and Brown bought a heavily wooded property in 2014, they found a mountain of what they estimate to be more than 1,000 tires. They later discovered their new land was once a junkyard.
“Since then, we’ve been trying to figure out what to do with these tires,” Sullivan said. “Because we’re only allowed to recycle four a year, so we would be well gone by the time we had it removed. And to have someone come in and remove it for you is just astronomically expensive.”
The pair already rents out their home on Airbnb when they’re not there. Earlier this year, they got an email from Airbnb about the OMG! Fund.
“My mind kind of started churning and I thought of the tires,” Sullivan said.
She had a wild idea to upcycle the tires into a house. Brown turned to a builder he knew:
“‘We’ve got this crazy idea. Is it something you might be able to help us with?'” he asked him. “And he said, ‘I love crazy ideas!’”
The clock is ticking down for the build — Airbnb requires contest winners to have their new structure ready for renters by August 2023.
Sullivan and Brown spent the past couple of weeks moving tires from the woods to the build site.
“For one thing, it’s an environmental cleanup essentially,” Brown said. “We’re taking all of these tires out of the woods (and) putting them to good use instead of just sending them to a landfill. But then we’re continuing on the inside of the house with the same theme.”
The couple plans to use fallen trees on their property to build the furniture for the rental.
For now, they are keeping the location where the house will be built to themselves.