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Airbnb guests vandalize deaf camp

Airbnb guests vandalize deaf camp during festive weekend.

SNOWMASS – In a Facebook post the Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing details the recent disrespect to its campus. The year-round camp for deaf people earns money for its scholarship program by renting cabins to skiers and travelers during its offseason.

This year was the first time the camp opened reservations during X-Games in Aspen. The camp expected a lively crowd during the recent weekend but did not anticipate vandalism to its campus.

The camp hosted 49 guests in its four cabins the past weekend. Each cabin housed separate groups. It is difficult for the camp’s administrators to determine which group vandalized the common areas.

According to the camp’s facility director, it will cost around $4,000 to repair damages made by the renters and make improvements.

“The Aspen area is safe. We never needed to install a security system. We will install security cameras in case something like this ever happens again,” says Katie Murch, Aspen Camp Marketing & Strategic Director.

Renters broke into the camp's kitchen, which provides food to its campers. Food was taken from the pantry and refrigerator – and carelessly placed on the trails and in trash bins. The camp was forced to discard the remaining inventory because the food’s safety was compromised.

Over half of the campers come to the camp on scholarships. The camp is seeking help from the community to get its grounds ready for winter camp in three weeks. So far the camp raised around $2,000 to cover repair costs and has outpouring support from the community.

“Volunteering is valuable - it’s not all about the money. People helped us clean the campus. We appreciate people willing to help in any way that they can,” says Murch.

If you have information about the incident please contact the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office at 970-920-5300 or Aspen Camp of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing via email at hi@aspencamp.org or phone at 970-315-0513.

Airbnb released this statement on Wednesday:

We take incidents like this extremely seriously and are urgently investigating what happened. We are in touch with our host and are giving them our full support. Additionally, we have reached out to local law enforcement to offer our assistance with their investigation. Our community standards prohibit behavior like this and if a guest violates our policies, we will take action including suspension or permanent removal from our platform. There have been more than 260 million guest arrivals in Airbnb listings to date and negative incidents are extremely rare, but even so, we’re constantly working to improve our policies, and our protections, because even one incident is one too many.