CANAL FULTON — A white piece of paper with the words "Tandem Trails" written in red-orange permanent marker hangs on the refrigerator in Dawn Durkee's kitchen.
Oct. 10, 2009, is noted on the bottom of the postcard-size slip of paper, marking the date Durkee thought of the name for her future bed and breakfast.
When Dawn and Ray Durkee purchased their Canal Street Victorian in 2004, Dawn Durkee envisioned opening the 1886 home to paid guests.
Fifteen years later, her vision is a reality with the help of Airbnb, an online marketplace and hospitality service. Tandem Trails debuted in April.
"When we purchased it, it was always in the back of our mind that we wanted to have a bed and breakfast," Durkee said. "Airbnb has allowed us to share our home and our love for the community."
The Durkees have stayed in bed and breakfasts numerous times during trips to Geneva-on-the-Lake and Brandywine Falls.
Turning their home into a bed and breakfast became a challenge because the home would have needed to be rezoned as a business instead of a residence. The kitchen would also have needed a health department inspection.
Using Airbnb helped the Durkees avoid some issues.
Breakfast is not a part of the package that comes with renting space in the home, Dawn Durkee said.
"Airbnb has allowed us to do what we've always wanted to do," Durkee said. "We loved the feel of the old homes. Our home has the feeling of a bed and breakfast."
Though the Durkee home has only been an Airbnb for several months, the couple has been hosting people in their home for many years, Ray Durkee said
As chief of the Canal Fulton Fire Department, he is an avid cyclist, and, with his wife, sometimes can be spotted on the Towpath Trail on a tandem bike.
Before the Airbnb, the Durkees opened their home to cyclists through a cycling community called Warm Showers. People who are willing to host touring cyclists agree to provide their contact information, according to the Warm Showers website.
When Tandem Trails is in use by renters, the Durkees stay in a camper outside of the home with their two sheepdogs to give guests privacy. Guests have access to a bedroom, a bathroom and an outside patio. The kitchen and downstairs area aren't included in the rental package.
Guests can borrow the Durkees' tandem bike if they wish to explore local trails.
"We love meeting new people and opening up our home," Durkee said.
Shannon Carney, who lives near Cleveland, stayed at Tandem Trails in late June for a wedding at Elm Ridge Event Center. It was her first time using Airbnb. She stayed in the home with her mother and her mother's friend.
Carney, who majored in history in college, loved the historic architecture and decor of the home.
She didn't get a chance to explore Canal Fulton, and hopes to return to Tandem Trails in the future.
"I thought it was awesome," Carney said. "I've had friends and family members who have used it before and they just really like it. It's oftentimes cheaper and more homey."
Airbnb also provided security for the Durkees as hosts. Lodgers can be rated by people who have hosted them before, letting the Durkees know if the renter is known for leaving behind a mess or not complying with house rules.
The Durkees typically require renters to have used Airbnb and stayed at another location before being eligible to stay at Tandem Trails.
"We love our community; we want to show off our community," Dawn Durkee said. "The Lord has blessed us with a beautiful home, so why not share it?"