Upton couple develops app for motorcyclists

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

UPTON — For the last six years, Paul and Debbie Douglas have been avid motorcyclists, traveling all over the western United States. One thing that’s bothered the lifelong Upton residents on their trips is finding a place to spend the night.

“We’ve been on the road at 11 at night looking for a room,” Paul said, and other times they’ve spent a couple hundred dollars on a “not-so-nice motel room.”

And even camping can get expensive in the summer, he said.

“We’re one large community, and I just got to thinking why can’t I offer my place (to a fellow biker)? They can throw up a tent in my backyard. I’ve got an empty camper and an empty bedroom,” he said.

Last March, Douglas began making his idea happen and at the end of October, BikerBuddy, a free mobile app, went live. It’s similar to Airbnb, but it’s exclusively for the biker community.

With Airbnb, the customer is at the mercy of the host, who chooses the rate. With BikerBuddy, however, there’s one flat rate across the board. A tent is $20 a night, while a camper is $30 and a bedroom is $40. An entire house is $100 a night. Hosts get to keep 100 percent of the site fee, and there’s also a 15 percent service fee that goes to the app.

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