Some of Parker Tergin’s favorite memories are set on a lake or pond: fishing with his grandfather, reuniting with his college buddies at one of their properties to tell stories around a bonfire, and finding peace and stillness outside the busyness of the city.
“I’m surrounded by tall buildings and concrete all day downtown,” he said. “So I started thinking, how can I go out and do this more often?”
His own experiences — paired with conversations with other Kansas Citians seeking some rural solace — led Tergin to start PondDay, a booking platform that connects private landowners with people wanting recreational access in new places. He describes it as “the Airbnb for private ponds and lakes.”
Launched July 1, PondDay so far has helped 30 guests book reservations between the 10 current listings. Experiences include camping in an RV or tent near water, staying in a lakeside cottage or A-frame, kayaking with no one else around, and fishing at a forested pond oasis.
“You can do things that you never would be able to do before if you didn’t own the land or have access to those places,” Tergin said.
Click here to begin exploring the spaces currently available through PondDay.
As an analyst apprentice at University Venture Fund Crossroads and a new business development executive at Guild Content before launching PondDay, the skills Tergin learned at those opportunities gave him the chops and confidence to start his own business, he said. PondDay hasn’t raised venture capital funding, but Tergin hopes to gradually build the business through cash flow, he said.
To keep the platform accessible and confusion-free, Tergin created a straightforward fee system that accounts for liability, additional fees, and profit. Guests are charged a 10 percent service fee, while hosts are charged 20 percent of each booking. A host would get $80 on a $100 booking.
Tergin discovered his initial hosts by connecting with fish suppliers across Missouri, who linked him with property owners.
One of PondDay’s hosts, Linda Ordway, owns Cedar Creek Resort in Columbia with her husband. She said Parker and a team of photographers visited the property to take original shots to help make their place look inviting.
Working with PondDay has given their resort extra exposure, she said.
“We have been found by couples and families that might not ever have heard about us any other way,” Ordway said.
Guests can also earn money on the platform by joining the affiliate program, PondDay Partners, which incentivizes them to recommend PondDay to friends. For every paid booking that is credited back to them, they can earn 3 percent of the net total, Tergin said.
For now, Tergin is limiting PondDay to Missouri. It’s a state he knows best, having grown up in a small town outside of Columbia, later attending William Jewell College in Liberty. But as the platform expands and adds more properties, he sees potential in scaling into other states.
Whether guests need a setting for their company’s next corporate retreat or an outdoor getaway with their family, Tergin said, “We’re really excited to give the best experience possible to people.”