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Airbnb OMG! Fund winner in Austin to receive $100K to build pig sanctuary

The top 100 aspiring designers, architects, DIYers and makers were selected to bring their crazy Airbnb ideas to life as part of Airbnb's $10,000,000 USD OMG! Fund.

AUSTIN, Texas — From tens of thousands of entries from around the world, 100 aspiring designers, architects, DIYers and makers from more than 20 countries and regions have been chosen to bring their unique space ideas to life as part of the $10,000,000 Airbnb OMG! Fund.

One of those winners includes Tracey Stabile, director of the Central Texas Pig Rescue (CTPR) in Austin. Due to the win, Stabile and Dan Illescas, founder of Central Texas Pig Rescue, will receive up to $100,000 to make their creation possible. Over the course of the next 10 months, they will design, construct and outfit the space to be guest-ready by summer 2023.

"Basically the OMG! Fund contest was a way for people to be really playful and kind of invent a really cool dwelling that would be something that's totally notable to people and be a destination," said Stabile.

Stabile said Airbnb left all of the freedom of creativity up to them. They went through several rounds of design and planning and review.


"Each step of the way, we were like, 'We're one step closer.' It was very exciting. Just getting those emails at each milestone and seeing that we were actually contenders in this contest. Then the fact that we, of course, won and now we're going to be able to build this amazing thing that we absolutely never would have been able to build under other circumstances. It's just an amazing opportunity," stated Stabile.

Stabile said she wanted to build something that was a little bit unpredictable and wanted to avoid some of the shapes that people might expect. The current pig sanctuary in Smithville, about 45 minutes outside of Austin, is home to over 200 pigs that were saved from abandonment. The sanctuary houses a mix of all different types of pigs, mostly potbellied pigs, and is 100% volunteer run and 100% donation based. 

Credit: Central Texas Pig Rescue

The project will be on the Smithville's property hilltop meadow. Guests who book the Airbnb property will have a semi-private access driveway and a rooftop deck overlooking beautiful sunsets over the Oakwood Ridge neighborhood. 

Credit: Central Texas Pig Rescue

"One of the unique features about the entire property and about the structure itself is that it will be 100% off-grid. So it's going to be powered by our off-grid solar system. We're actually not connected to the electric grid. I think it'll be a cool experience for people to disconnect with the real world and come out and connect with animals and connect with nature," said Stabile.

According to Stabile, the project will most likely start in January. They are currently waiting for the funding to come through. The entire sanctuary has to be finished and listed on Airbnb by Aug. 1 of next year.  

Going into the winter season, the Central Texas pig sanctuary says this is tough time for them to care for all their pigs. If you would like to donate to help CTPR, donations can be made here

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