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COVID update 8/2/20

Updated 8/2/20 – Staying in Vacation Homes is more popular than ever.  Our bookings are almost double what they were last year as guests seek safe ways to get outdoors with loved ones this summer. So what started out to be disastrous for second home owners has turned out to be very positive.  

We don’t yet know what winter will hold though.  Pre reservations for winter are slow. But that’s understandable. 

6/2/20 – Boulder County is now OPEN for vacation rentals and we are seeing a surge of pent-up demand from people wanting to come to the mountains.  All of the Colorado mountain resort towns and Estes Park (and the Nationa Park) are all open for guests.  A few have restrictions and most have alot more paperwork to comply with.

From mid-March-to mid-May new bookings stopped and previous bookings all cancelled.  So we were down 90-100% of our normal booking volume and in addition, SkyRun as an overall company in 30 locations lost $5M in advance bookings (mostly for the end of Winter/March and for this coming summer) as uncertainty over safefy for their travel group and local laws thankfully put in place for our safety drove poeple to expect their money back.   In addition, festivals were cancelled and restuarants and attractsions closed so people’s reason to come went away too.

Looking forward, starting in late May it looked like things were going to open up soon AND SkyRun agressively changed our policies so that we offer summer guests a full refund if they change their minds up to 14 days prior to arrival.  We also are scheudling one blank night between guests so that the property sits and disinfects 24 hours before our cleaning staff goes in and gives it a CDC-complient scrubbing.

With these changes, our booking volume has gone from 90-100% down, to 250% up over the same period last year.  Our dynamic pricing is also helping where the property is priced higher initially, then the price lowers based on demand, days until arrival and on the prices of competitors.  Usually, if something happens and unemployment goes from 4% to 8% bookings stop.  People are worried about the future.  But in this very odd downturn with unemployment nearing 15%, the normal rules don’t apply.  People want to come stay in a vacation home.

We are encouraging our guests and staff to work remotely from each other whenever possible and to comply with local rules.  In Nederland, we are 100% remote-check-in with our locks, so this is easy and guests love it.  We encourage our guest to buy their grocerites before they come up to Ned and wear masks when you’re indoors in public places or crowded outdoor spaces to protect their interaction with those of us who live here.  It’s important that we keep the spread down to save lives, but also to be able to keep renting our properties.  If the ‘curve’ starts going up, lodging seems to be one of the first things to be stopped.  Our politicians don’t seem to understand how in-home rentals to small groups that cook in their homes is much safer than a hotel.