Amanda and Michael Kingsley purchased the old dance hall building in Quilcene several years ago. They renovated the existing apartment and added an additional apartment on the upper level of the building; one they used for a rental and the other they used as an AirBnB.
“We found the AirBnB would be totally jammed in the summer with people from all over the world, which was so fun for me,” Amanda said, “but in the fall and winter, it would just be empty.”
Amanda owns a small antique store in downtown Port Townsend called Magpie Alley, where , before the pandemic, she worked behind the register. She consistently heard stories of people who were looking for places to live through talking to patrons of the shop. Shortly before the pandemic began, she and her husband decided to turn their AirBnB into a residential rental.
“I felt too much civic guilt holding a beautiful living space as a vacation rental when there are so many people who I want to be able to stay around here,” Amanda reflected.
This space is now being rented to a local working mother who had previously been living in Port Townsend and spending more on rent than her paycheck could sustain.
“I cried when I dismantled my AirBnB—it had been so much fun,” Amanda laughed, “but I just feel so much better to be providing housing.”