Sunday, July 15, 2012

House Hunters on Vacation: A one-sided view of Vacation Rentals


The new HGTV show House Hunters on Vacation is a mixed blessing for those who want to see short-term-rentals gain legitimacy as a lodging option. This legitimacy is needed to protect vacation rental owners from poorly conceived local attempts to legislate VR owners into a corner or out of existence altogether.  


The story that is told on this show is not about the typical short term rental.  The show's story line consists of transporting a family to a fabulous destination and showing them 3 luxury vacation rentals.  At the end of the show the family gets to choose one of the three and stay there for free.


In the latest episode an east coast family is transported to the Hollywood wonderland, where they choose between a Mayan styled mansion designed by Frank Lloyd Wright Jr, a Beverly Hills complex packed full of high-end artwork near Rodeo Drive, and a 4 story 6000 square foot home with incredible views of the city.


Amenities include salt water pools, koi ponds, water fountains, restaurant style kitchens, luxurious furnishings and anything else you can imagine.  The places rent for between $8,500 and $12,500 per week!


Compare this to the 800 square foot beach front cottage on the Oregon Coast, or the rustic cabin in the Smokey Mountains.  The more typical vacation rental home may rent for $1,000 to $2,000 per week. These are the homes that are typically targeted by over-zealous local legislators.


What happens when the guest that learned about VRs from this show is disappointed to find that the house they rented was a humble little cottage on the beach instead of a luxurious estate?  Does the disappointed guest blow off steam to the local legislators, complicating our problems?  Do they complain to their friends, generating negative publicity about vacation rentals.


The show is well done, and it will help educate the public.  But the view of VRs they is presented is more along the lines of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, not the view of the typical vacation rental home. 


Many vacation rentals offer unique features that could be featured in a television show, and often the price tag on these places isn't out of this world.  It would be great if we could find a way to tell the world more typical stories about what its like to stay in a vacation rental, and it would help when we are faced with angry local citizens and the uninformed legislators.


For more about the show, click here...


Doug Coates

1 comment:

  1. That seems like an interesting show. I might have to check it out. I'm not one that needs a fancy vacation house. All I would need would be vacation cabin rentals. Cabins are so much fun.

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