There’s a new attraction near Old Town Scottsdale – but you’ll have to spend $350 a night to experience it.
With tropical, flamingo-print walls, coral-hued couches and a showstopping pool paired with a hot-pink bar and a “Scottsdale” mural splashed on the backyard wall, this Airbnb – appropriately named the Pink Cactus – is just one of many Scottsdale-area Airbnbs seeing a spike in bookings amid the coronavirus pandemic.
So much so that the Pink Cactus homeowner and Scottsdale resident Nicole Patton Zopolos already has plans to create a replica of the Pink Cactus sometime next year because demand is so high.
“I was not expecting what it has become,” Zopolos said.
Zopolos, a Realtor with Evolve real estate, purchased the 1,900 square-foot southern Scottsdale home located near Scottsdale Road and Roosevelt Street in February.
By the time the home was lightly renovated, heavily decorated with a girls-getaway theme in mind and ready to be listed, it was mid-March – almost the same week businesses began shutting their doors and residents began social distancing.
“By the time we finished it, I swear it was the same week or two that shutdown started happening,” Zopolos said.
Because the Pink Cactus didn’t take off right away, Zopolos began offering a “quarantine special” throughout April, allowing people to book the home for a few hours without overnight stays as a brief staycation getaway.
Word quickly got out.
“I did that for a few weeks, and I had so many people posting about it and inquiring,” Zopolos said.
The Airbnb was consistently booked through April.
“Every day someone wanted to be there,” Zopolos said.
The Pink Cactus got so popular, Zopolos even created an Instagram account for it and a hashtag for guests to use, #pinkcactusaz.
Now with nearly 5,000 followers on Instagram, the Pink Cactus is booked through October, with some available dates starting November.
“I’ve never dealt with something like this, where the demand is too much,” Zopolos said.
The Pink Cactus is far from the only Airbnb home in demand.
According to a recent Airbnb report, after Airbnb experienced a 95 percent drop in short-term bookings in late March/early April, Airbnb saw an increase in nearby bookings, or, bookings made within 200 miles.
“The percentage of bookings made on Airbnb within 200 miles grew from one-third of all bookings in February to over half in May,” the report states, adding that nearly half of U.S. respondents said they preferred to stay within a day’s drive for their first trip once lockdown restrictions lifted.
Airbnb also noted an increase in nights booked for travel to Airbnb listings in the U.S. from May 17 to June 6 versus the same period in 2019.
And, 55 percent of the nights booked for travel to listings in the U.S. were with Superhosts, a 10-point increase over the same time period last year.
Demand is certainly up, but so is supply.
Following Zopolos’ Pink Cactus listing in March, Airbnb rentals in the Scottsdale and Paradise Valley area increased by more than 18 percent in April and 17 percent in May.
And from April to May, occupancy increased nearly 10 percent, with April’s occupancy at just over 22 percent and May at just over 31 percent.
The Pink Cactus isn’t Zopolos’ first Airbnb home, either.
She and her husband have rented a guest house just down the street from the Pink Cactus for the past three years.
“We’ve had a lot of fun and done really well with it,” Zopolos said.
But it’s the Pink Cactus that has really caught the attention of Airbnb guests, specifically women.
“Most people just love that it’s different. People are always asking, ‘Oh my gosh, do you have another one of these?’ And we do plan on doing another one, but not until probably January of next year,” Zopolos said.
In addition to girls’ getaways and bachelorette parties, the Pink Cactus has been booked for everything from birthdays to photoshoots, including one for ModCloth, an online retailer that sells indie and vintage-inspired women’s clothing.
“One thing people love is the painted concrete,” Zopolos said of the custom black-and-white concrete tiles in the backyard.
“I did all of this when I was nine months pregnant,” she continued. “I was running around painting concrete squares all day for like a solid three days.”
The Pink Cactus is a four-bedroom, eight-bed, three-bathroom home that can accommodate 12 guests.
Guests must book at least three nights.
Information: airbnb.com/h/pinkcactus, @pinkcactus.az