BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — A visit to the world’s last Blockbuster in Bend can be a blast from the past — if only for a few fleeting moments of finding and renting that new or favorite movie. But what if you could spend the night in a sleepover, watching movies to your heart’s content?
The world’s last Blockbuster is going up as an Airbnb listing as a show of thanks to the Bend community for supporting the store during times of uncertainty.
The Bend store is the last remaining Blockbuster in the world. In recent years, its business model had to compete with video-streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.
This year, Blockbuster faced another foe: COVID-19.
But store Manager Sandi Harding, who has operated the Bend store since 2004, told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday the Bend community has kept the business going.
Now, it is offering people a chance to relive the ‘90s by transforming the store into an Airbnb, for a limited time: 3 nights of sleepovers, with all the video fun you can handle.
“If you close your eyes and think about the ‘90s, that’s what the room is going to look like,” Harding said.
Starting Monday, Aug. 17, people can book a one-night reservation for Sep. 18, 19, or 20. The store will be prepared following CDC, state and local COVID-19 guidelines.
Mattie Zazueta, an Airbnb representative, told NewsChannel 21 there have been other iconic listings in the past, including a Goodyear blimp and a Barbie Malibu Dream House, but he said this is the first listing for a functioning video store.
Harding will be the Airbnb host, making sure all of the shelves are stocked with people’s favorite movies.
The reservation costs $4 per night.
“It’s only a penny more than what we would normally charge for a three-night rental or a brand new release,” Harding said. “The whole point again is to give back, and to be able to experience that. It’s not meant to cost a lot of money.”
There are some rules, though. Due to COVID-19, guests should adhere to local and state guidelines.
The reservations are only open to residents of Deschutes County and only four guests per household are allowed per reservation.
The store will be cleaned and prepared in accordance with CDC guidelines and the Airbnb enhanced cleaning protocol.
Harding said security will be present on all three nights, to make sure the guests and the store are safe.
She said she hopes it will give families a chance to reconnect during a time when COVID-19 has changed so much.
“Bottom line is without Central Oregon, we could not stay,” Harding said.