Dorchester jail Airbnb welcoming guests overnight once again
Published Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:12PM ADT
Last Updated Sunday, August 11, 2019 6:42PM ADT
The Dorchester Jail Airbnb is back up and running after an order from the fire marshal banned any overnight visitors.
After several security upgrades were made to the building, the doors reopened for business. Bill Steele, the owner of the Airbnb, says the closure resulted in a big financial loss for his business.
"It killed us," said Steele.
Last month, the fire marshal issued an order that banned everyone from the building until further safety upgrades were made. An updated order was then issued, that allowed guided daily tours with no more than five people. Sleeping accommodations required approval of a fire plan.
"The fire marshal came back here on Thursday to re-inspect the building for the required upgrades and we got them all done, and on Friday he gave us the go-ahead to open it up," said Steele.
Steele says the three weeks he was forced to close took a major financial hit on his business, with no guests allowed in during the peak tourism season.
"People are so excited to come here and then they get here from the States and its like, 'Ah, we booked this six months in advance', and I say, 'I know, I know, I'm so sorry,'" said Steele.
Some of the upgrades done to the building include exit and security lights being added, fire extinguishers were upgraded, locks changed, and a new manned door.
Steele said he's had nothing but positive reactions after he announced the reopening of the Airbnb.
"You know, coming by and congratulating us, today we had some people. They're so glad we're back open and able to survive," said Steele.
"There are some really interesting back stories. You might get a bit of a creepy vibe, but it's really neat. I like it!" said Cassie Guitard, who visited the jail Airbnb.
"I really love urban exploring so it really peaked my interest. I love history so this was right up my alley," said visitor to the jail, Benjamin Rockwell.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kate Walker