Wilderness enthusiasts don't have to go far to find a place to enjoy the outdoors anymore.
Outdoor Access is a website dedicated to creating a marketplace for landowners and people who enjoy the open-air.
"It's essentially like Airbnb in that it allows private landowners to make their land available for a variety of short term outdoor usages at a price they set," said Buck Robinson, one of the founders of Outdoor Access. "We facilitate that marketplace where supply and demand can benefit from one another. From the landowners perspective they fill they have property they can generate income from in a nontraditional way and we allow them access to our vetted members."
All members go through a background check for criminal records, according to Robinson.
For landowners, Robinson said the company is launching mutual reviews that will hold both members and landowners accountable for the accuracy of their listings.
The outdoor usages include hunting, fishing and camping.
Outdoor Access, which is based in Richmond and founded in September, has grown quickly.
Robinson said the company started off with 30 properties and with zero members but now boasts 100 properties and 540 members.
"We're in every corner of Virginia," Robinson said. So far, he said Outdoor Access has been well received.
"I like it a lot; so far it has worked out well. My property isn't really big so it's nice to make a little money off of it and cover taxes," said Bill Kane, who serves as a landowner for Outdoor Access.
Kane said he has been with Outdoor Access since day one and has had seven different members use his property.
"You find a few people you like and you are happy to have them come down and fish or hunt," Kane said.
Locally, Robinson said some of Outdoor Access' first properties were in James City County and the surrounding areas. He said, in total, the Williamsburg area has more than a dozen properties.
Outdoor Access now has its sights on expansion.
"We are getting ready to expand beyond Virginia and into neighboring states like West Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania," Robinson said. "We want to become a regional player."
Jefferson can be reached by phone at 757-790-9313.
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Gov. Terry McAuliffe recoginized Outdoor Access in his weekly business spotlight on his twitter page. To view the shoutout visit: http://bit.ly/2lZb7cw.