All Belong Co is Changing the AirBnB Industry by creating inclusive & welcoming spaces
By Robin Sutton Anders
Amy and Marc Corbett’s family doesn’t look like every other family. Their daughter has a condition called alopecia, which caused her to lose her hair when she was 2 years old. Amy and Marc are white, and their son is Black. “When we travel out of town in different places, it can be hard to see people’s reactions. We don’t always feel like we belong,” Corbett says.
But it’s different in Lynchburg. “Lynchburg has been by far the most friendly, welcoming community—even with strangers you meet on the street,” she adds.
That’s just one reason why Lynchburg was the perfect town for them to start their company, All Belong Co, a collection of Airbnb properties that spans across town and beyond. In addition to offering consultations, set-up, and hosting for people getting started on Airbnb, Amy and Marc transform Lynchburg properties into unique rentals that highlight Lynchburg’s desirable features.
Right now, for example, the couple is renovating a vintage train caboose that overlooks the James River. They hope to have James Station up and running in the spring of 2022.
“James Station is probably my favorite because it’ll be so one-of-a-kind,” Amy says. “It not only has an awesome view overlooking the James River, but as they’re staying in a train, guests will be able to watch an occasional train go by as part of their experience.”
Whether their guests are looking for a peaceful respite with close proximity to nature trails or an apartment within an easy walk to Lynchburg’s colleges and universities or downtown, they can probably find it on All Belong Co’s website.
4 Airbnb Favorites
Amy shares a little more information about a few of their most popular rentals:
- The River House Apt, located in Lynchburg’s historic Daniel’s Hill neighborhood, was the Corbett family’s first Airbnb in 2018. “When we listed it, people immediately started booking it from all over the world,” Amy remembers. “People raved about the city—about the hiking trails, how charming and quaint our downtown is, and if they were traveling with kids, they loved the Amazement Square children’s museum. It’s fun to see your city through other people’s eyes. It shows you what a gem you have.”
- Church Street Loft is the perfect rental for guests with tickets to a show at the Academy of the Arts. The location is prime for walking to one of Lynchburg’s downtown restaurants and is just across the street from the Skyline rooftop bar and Marigolds Coffee Shop.
- From its location along the paved Blackwater Creek nature trails, Greenhouse Apt invites visitors to explore Lynchburg’s natural surroundings. This escape offers a peaceful setting just five minutes away from downtown.
- The Nest, an 1820s colonial home with 200-year-old exposed wood and brick, gives guests an opportunity to stay in one of Lynchburg’s oldest homes.
Helping All to Belong
The Corbetts have always believed in the importance of inclusivity. They originally moved to Lynchburg 13 years ago for work in ministry with college students. “We originally came thinking it would be for Liberty students, but there are more than five colleges here, so we changed it to have a multi-campus focus with students from all colleges attending,” Amy explains. “That was right up our alley—to bring people together who wouldn’t normally be together.”
She and Marc had a mission to bring students downtown to events and help them get connected in the city. “So when we left the ministry, this felt like a natural transition,” she says. “We had an opportunity to do the things we’d been encouraging the students to do—unite their talents with their passions.”
Amy loves it when guests ask for advice on things to do in Lynchburg. “I definitely have a favorite itinerary I like to share,” she says.
Amy’s Perfect Lynchburg Evening
- Eat at Waterstone Pizza (1309 Jefferson Street), a downtown favorite with fresh salads, house-made pasta, and inventive pizzas like Chicken Thai and the Figalicious, topped with pesto, mozzarella, red onion, scallion, figs, arugula, and tossed in balsamic vinaigrette. “Their gluten-free pizza is the best in town. I always get the Greek pizza,” says Amy.
- Take a selfie or a family photo by the LOVE sculpture (1600 Concord Turnpike) at the trailhead of Percival’s Island. The letters might inspire you to walk, hop on a bike, or paddle the James.
- Take a walk over the river to Percival’s Island. “I love this trail because it’s paved and level but you really feel like you’re out in nature,” Amy says.
- Toast to a great getaway from the patio of No 7 Rooftop Bar (1208 Commerce Street, Unit 701), a new downtown hangout. “This is one of my favorite spots with a river view. It’s the perfect place to have a cocktail at sunset.”
According to Amy, each of their properties gives guests a new way to experience the city. “And I can’t tell you how many guests we have who have actually ended up moving to the area! They’re so impressed after visiting that they come out and look for housing,” she says. “That’s been a neat thing to see. Lynchburg truly is welcoming.”
Robin Sutton Anders is a Greensboro, N.C.-based writer and the managing editor of Verdant Word Communications.