Rent a castle in Ellington or a boat in Mystic: Airbnb brings $11 million in income to Connecticut

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ELLINGTON — Airbnb, the online marketplace that allows people to rent their private homes or apartments, now offers what they call a “quaint three-bedroom New England castle with expansive grounds and charming views.”

According to Airbnb, the Ellington castle was built in 1917 on seven acres by a local family whose trip to England had inspired the fulfillment of a childhood dream to own a castle. In early 2000, an artist purchased the castle and dedicated five years to refurbishing it. The kitchen is modern with new appliances and the dishwasher was just replaced last year. Downstairs there is a large dining room, a living room with a fireplace, and an inside porch guarded by a medieval knight.

Airbnb is proving to be big business in Connecticut. The state’s 2,400 active hosts earned more than $11 million in supplemental income in 2016, welcoming as many as 64,000 visitors to the Nutmeg State, according to the Hartford Business Journal.

A typical host in Connecticut earned $5,500 last year, HBJ said. But the amount you make depends a lot on where you’re located. New Haven saw about 15,000 guests, while Hartford, Danbury, New London, and Stonington were all between 2,500 and 3,700 guests in 2016.

The typical Connecticut dwelling listed on the site is occupied 32 nights per year and the average length of stay is 3.4 nights, said Josh Meltzer, head of Northeast public policy for Airbnb.

Last year, FOX61’s Matt Scott took us to Mystic Seaport and inside a yacht on the harbor you can rent through Airbnb.