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Airbnb Mathews

A map on the wall shows everyone who has visited Airbnb Host Seth Mathews' farmhouse Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, in Buhl.

Have you ever found yourself wishing hotels offered more variety when you book your stay? In the Magic Valley, hotels now face a burgeoning rival — Airbnb venues — where guests can customize their stay according to their preferences. Some of the options include private bedrooms and apartments close to downtown, farmhouses in Buhl, 1950s themed-homes and apple orchards in Filer.

Venues like this appeal to those seeking a personalized stay, more privacy and a cheaper tally. Whether it’s a comfort of a warm fireplace or the companionship of a pet that visitors are seeking, Airbnb has taken tourism to a new height.

Reporter Heather Kennison and photographers Drew Nash and Pat Sutphin explored Magic Valley’s Airbnb venues and got to know their hosts for this in-depth report on Airbnb’s growing popularity in south-central Idaho. Watch for their Big Story on Thursday at Magicvalley.com and Sunday in the Times-News. And see more of the Times-News best reporting now at Magicvalley.com/bigstory.

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