By Kelly Goddard | firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by the St. Augustine Record
As the Gentlemen of the Road tour headed towards St. Augustine, many feared how the city would accommodate the projected 25,000 people. While the city steadily engineered ways to keep the commotion efficient, a few locals thought of their own ways to help out.
Before long, there were pages of temporary home openings for concert-goers to choose from on Craiglist. Elijah Hostuttler was one local who found success in offering his home up to festival attendees. Not only did he open his home to five men associated with the band Mumford and Sons, but an additional 14 others in his backyard, who stayed in tents.
Hostuttler’s visitors came from everywhere from Florida to Illinois.
“It looked like a mini festival in my backyard,” Hostuttler said. “My guests even told me I need to start my own summer camp.”
Surprisingly, there was zero preparation for housing the guests.
“I just bought extra toilet paper and made sure there were trashcans in the backyard.” Elijah said.
Many friends called him crazy, but as a former navy medic accustomed to living in hostiles, Elijah was perfectly comfortable in his advertised setting.
“I like to think of myself as my own delivery man. I like to make people happy,” Hostuttler said. “To get people in a group that don’t know each other, and fit in, and have a good time; I feel at home in that element.”
He even biked his guests in a petty cab to and from Francis Field as well as all over St. George Street. There was no damage to his home or missing belongings to report, according to Hostuttler.
“A few guys that were the last to leave even cleaned my house before I got home from work,” said Hostuttler.
By the time everyone packed their things and started to head home, Hostuttler had made a profit of over $600 for his accommodations, even though he hadn’t asked for a specific price.
A few students from Flagler College had the same idea in mind, like sophomore Antonio Berrocal, who housed two students from the University of Central Florida.
“It was easy money and they left us a lot of food,” Berrocal said.
Other students decided against the idea after putting the ad on Craigslist. Jessica Jagielski, a senior, changed her mind.
“I didn’t get an offer that made it worth it to me,” Jagielski said. “I would have had to move my pet, and empty out my valuables, so I wasn’t going to rent it out for a price that wasn’t worth it.”
Jagielski enjoyed the concert in the comfort of her own home on a weekend when she also played in three Flagler College soccer games.
Although she didn’t end up renting out her home, Jagielski believes that the success of the event could lead to more major events in the future.
“I think it definitely allows for another event of that stature to happen again,” Jagielski said.