PLYMOUTH — A college student from Sheboygan County is capitalizing on renting out a cabin in her backyard ahead of a busy summer in Wisconsin.
Delaney Scudella, 21, rents out a little red cabin behind her home in Plymouth through Airbnb.
"We've always had this little guest house behind my house growing up, and we kind of used it as storage and things like that," Scudella said. "But my senior year of high school, I was like, 'You know what, we should fix this up.'"
Since then, she's come home from school at UW-La Crosse each summer to greet guests, make breakfast, and turn the cabin over for the next visitor. She's welcomed guests from California to France. The rental is only open during the summer. Scudella says guests come for Road America in Elkhart Lake or just a quick weekend getaway.
It's rewarding not only to meet people from all over, but her short-term rental has proven to be very lucrative. She will graduate college in 2021 debt-free.
"It usually covers about a semester each year," Scudella said.
Scudella's not alone. In 2018 Airbnb found there were about 5,400 renters through their program throughout the state, each making on average $5,200 in extra income.
Scudella's parents are proud of their daughter's unique idea. They lend a hand when the guests need a ride and have even gone out to dinner with some. Scudella also employs her brother to help as a groundskeeper.
"It's been an amazing feat on her part, and it's been fun to watch her really manage all this, and she's wonderful with her communications with the guests," said Chris Scudella, Delaney's mom.
You can book Scudella's cabin for $125 a night during the Democratic National Convention. As of Tuesday afternoon, there was one night left for $200 for the Ryder Cup at the end of September.
That's a steal, compared to rentals on other sites, like Rent Like A Champion.
"We have people that are actually renting their homes from $5,000 to $20,000 for a week," said Joe Sheehan, the executive director of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation.
Sheehan says the Ryder Cup will bring in an estimated $135 million to the local economy—a big portion of which will be lodging.
"We're hoping that people come to visit, too, that Sheboygan is a friendly place, come back. Come back and visit," Sheehan said.
If that happens, the big events in 2020 could pay dividends for hosts like Scudella for years to come.
"I really run it like a small business," Scudella said. "So in some ways, I feel like a small business owner. So that's been exciting. It's just been so rewarding because I love hospitality and just giving people the best experience that they can."
Sheehan said if you're interested in renting out your home, contact PGA or the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation.