With both indoor and outdoor hot tubs, everyone can relax and unwind after a hard day on the slopes. (Airbnb)
A perusal of Airbnb shows the concept of direct online rentals has caught on in ski towns nationwide. Airbnb rentals are popular for the savings and convenience they can afford and in some places supplement limited mountain or town accommodations.
The ski town of Stowe, Vermont, is doing a substantial Airbnb rentals business, according to a Seven Days story by Alicia Freese. She notes Stowe hosts took in $3 million in 2016. Four of the five Vermont towns with the most Airbnb rentals are ski towns — Killington, Stowe, Warren and Dover — Freese reports.
“For the industry as a whole, Airbnb is a great supplementation to the lodging market for ski areas. It offers more options during the holiday and vacation weeks for skiers and riders. It also benefits the ski areas that do not have many lodging properties in their region by allowing for guests to enjoy their mountain for more than a day trip,” notes Karolyn Castaldo, Ski New Hampshire communications and marketing manager. Mount Sunapee is a case in point.
Some ski country Airbnb rentals offer rooms with shared or private bath but most offerings in ski country are for entire apartments, condos, and homes. Some come with amenities like pools, spas, hot tubs, adventure centers, etcetera.
While Airbnb rentals by owner/hosts can be found worldwide, listings by professional management companies, traditional inns and hotels abound. Online rentals have even led to some people purchasing homes to rent them out online in ski country.
Killington has the most Airbnb accommodations in Vermont. Offerings range from an entire apartment with two bedrooms for five guests on the Killington access road with shuttle service to an entire home that can accommodate 16, and from a private room with shared bath to a private room in a condo with private bath.
Killington Group lists properties it manages on Airbnb because the site is well managed, handles various taxes, and has helped increase occupancy rates, according to owner Bob Montgomery. Inventory ranges from big houses that sleep up to 24 to mid-sized townhomes to condos for 2 to 8 guests.
Tips and Considerations
Rates depend on the time of a stay and location; non-holiday midweek stays can be bargains but rates go up over holidays, weekends, and other high demand times. Like any reservation, it pays to look and book ahead and compare.
Read guest reviews — 17 million have been posted in Park City alone.
Check out fees, cancellations policy, and $1 million insurance included. Airbnb spells them out so no surprises.
Once you have found a place, you can communicate with the owner to get questions answered which is very helpful.
New Englander Matt Wilson and his friends chose to rent through Airbnb for a trip to Revelstoke and Kicking Horse, British Columbia. “The app is user-friendly and we’ve had friends who’ve had great experiences with it. We wanted to rent something more than just a hotel room, and with Airbnb we could see several lodging options and locations, and it was cost effective. Since we are going for multiple days, we wanted the option to cook our meals and each have our own space. We found just what we were looking for,” Wilson notes.
Some Airbnb private rentals may not yet be regulated by permit, health and/or fire safety regulations that govern hospitality properties like inns, hotels, and condominiums. So you might want to inquire as to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, which can be lifesaving. A no-smoking policy could be a plus.
On the other hand, many ski-country Airbnb properties (condos, hotels, B&Bs, and rental housing stock) meet codes so Airbnb can be a good option and you might just find a lower priced place to stay.