For rent: Slow economy forces business owner to get creative - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

For rent: Slow economy forces business owner to get creative

We rent apartments, we rent movies and we even rent bowling shoes other people have worn. But thanks to a still-slumped economy, we're seeing people get very creative to try and make a few bucks on what they already have.

"You can get a cheap hotel in Phoenix, but you might not want to be there," said Lindsey Fleming, who works at Camelbackpacker's Hostel. It's not located in Hungary, but in the heart of Phoenix, full of bunk beds and all walks of life.

"I've stayed at a lot of hostels in my travels around the world so I was pretty psyched," said Brent McCoy, who is a traveling performer and said there are few options as cheap and comfortable as this.

"To have somebody's who's taken a residence and made it into a residence is a little atypical," McCoy said.

In July the owner opened the doors to the house-turned-hostel, inspired by her time in Europe. Fleming said the price - $30 a bunk - isn't the only draw.

"It's the whole social aspect of staying in a hostel, you meet people, a lot of times people who work there are local, they can show you around," she said.

They can sleep up to 16, and there's always someone around to cook with, chat with, or just hang out with.

"We've had a Tuesday night where we had 1 reservation but ended up with 11 people here," Fleming said.

There aren't only options to lay your head down for the night.

"Death and taxes are two inevitable things," said Ingried Lowman, who owns Lowman's Funeral Home in Phoenix with her husband. They provide options to rent a final resting place.

"Basically, what they're doing is purchasing the interior of the casket with the all the cloth material, it looks like a regular casket, none of the guests knows it's a rental," Lowman said.

Only you'll know that the beautiful, hard-wood casket holding your loved ones' remains is a rental. Lowman said renting caskets is an incredibly popular option, but it's only for cremations.

"Most families realize, 'Gosh what's the value in buying a hard wood casket only to have it burned for a one day event?'"

The Lowmans also rent out urns. But before you cringe, the caskets and the urns never actually touch what's inside.

"The good part of the population is in a survival state," said F John Mathis with the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He said more people renting unusual items or having garage sales is not a coincidence. It's the result of a slow economy and will likely stick around.

"The U.S. economy is not going to be growing over the next couple of years fast enough to absorb new entrants into the work force," he said.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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