VANCOUVER – UK owners of a Hobbit-themed Airbnb have embarked on a quest to rename their rental property to avoid a losing battle with the dragon of intellectual property rights.
the Hobbit Mountain Hole led by Christine Le Comte and her husband was modeled after the hillside houses imagined in the works of JRR Tolkien – but there have been problems in the Shire.
The couple were recently contacted by a representative for Warner Bros. Entertainment, who demanded that they stop using the terms of the company’s trademark.
“I had no idea Hobbit is word protected,” The Count told CTV News. “I didn’t think about it. Maybe I was a little ignorant.”
The Airbnb is tucked away in a secluded part of the couple’s mountain ranch, about 30 minutes outside of Osoyoos. It was already built when they bought the property last year, and The Earl admitted that she wasn’t very familiar with The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings trilogy when they took over – but she quickly got over it. briefing.
“You really get into it,” Le Comte said of popular books and movie series. “You can’t help it, you know.”
She also found ways to enhance immersion in their rental, picking up light fixtures and even ordering clocks and other items that she said had an eruption from Middle-earth.
“It was a lot more sterile when I got it, so I just spent the year adding more, improving it and adding things to make it more special,” said Le Comte.
The results exceeded the couple’s expectations. Despite opening amid a global pandemic, they said the Hobbit Mountain Hole has become a popular vacation spot for people looking to unplug.
The Airbnb doesn’t have a TV or Wi-Fi, but plenty of space to cook a meal, read a book, or play a board game. In other words, it wasn’t built for Hobbits, who stand between two and four feet tall in books.
“Everything is normal in size,” said Le Comte. “When you’re inside the ceilings are quite high and you wouldn’t think you’re in a hole. It’s a hole, but it’s actually quite spacious in there.”
With the work they’ve done, the couple aren’t ready to give up their Hobbit association entirely. But they’re also not digging their heels against Warner Bros.
Instead, they poll their Instagram followers to find a suitable replacement name for their Airbnb listing, with options ranging from “Bags End on the Mountain” to “Second Breakfast Hideaway” – a reference to the Hobbits famous preference for seven meals a day. .
The latter has the most votes to date, but guests should be aware that this is not a bed and breakfast, let alone a bed and breakfast and breakfast.
“I guess they can decide for themselves how many breakfasts they want to have,” Le Comte added.