Homeowner’s Airbnb ‘Hobbit House’ Draws The Ire Of Warner Brothers
When Christina Le Comte listed her “Hobbit House” on Airbnb, she didn’t expect to receive a lawsuit threat from Warner Brothers.
A British Columbia native, Le Comte purchased a ranch located in a rural town of Bridesville two hours away from the popular vacation city of Kelowna in 2020. Along with a lot of land, it comes with a side house fit fit for a hobbit — a stone, circular grotto built into the earth and surrounded by moss and grass. Le Comte put it up on Airbnb and called it ‘The Hobbit House” to attract visitors to the less-visited part of the Okanagan Valley.
While the gnome-like residence became very popular online, Le Comte reports being contacted by Warner Brothers and asked to change the name to not have any reference to the 2012 “Hobbit” movie or the wider “Lord Of The Rings” franchise. Le Comte immediately held a contest letting fans suggest another name and settled on “Second Breakfast Hideaway,” a reference to the habitual gluttony of hobbits.
“And the h***** mountain hole is now a Second Breakfast Hideaway (I’m still full from the first one),” Le Comte wrote in an Instagram post on May 22. “Thank you to everyone who voted and to @arikanacres for the suggestion. I had a lot of fun with it, I hope you did too, and thanks to everyone for the coolest name suggestions and kind words and really totally overwhelming and unexpected support far and wide.”
Warner Brothers did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the situation but Le Comte told the Canadian Press that the instant agreement to change the name came because “there’s no way in the world I can take on these guys.” Le Comte also temporarily closed bookings on the Airbnb listing while she deals with the situation and hopes that the name change will satisfy Warner Brothers into not pursuing any legal action. She will be contacting them to inform them of the name change and also rebranding her Airbnb listing and Instagram as a fantasy, gnome-like escape not related to the “Lord of the Rings” franchise.
“It really gives people a place to disconnect,” Le Comte said. “It’s not just people who come here who are huge ‘Lord of the Rings’ fans, it’s people who want to come and have an escape.”