—Photo by John Burcham
Although Airstream trailers have been around for nearly a century, their recent spike in visibility (thank you, Grey’s Anatomy) has spawned a robust rental market. Denverite Bill Ward is reaping the benefits of the craze—by accident. The 40-year-old Ward, an avid traveler, bought his first Airstream for $2,700 three years ago. Immediately, his friends and his father offered to pay to use it. A self-described “serial entrepreneur,” Ward saw an opportunity and created Living Airstream, a Denver-based company that rents vintage and newer models to people from around the world. (Prices start at $175 per night.) The idea took off: Sales grew by more than 300 percent within the first two years and continue to climb. Today, Living Airstream boasts a fleet of nearly two dozen trailers and offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Scottsdale, Arizona, and Ward’s budget now allows him to stay in pricey hotel rooms. He says he still prefers an Airstream, though.