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$108 million Vacasa Deal, Vacation Rentals Rebounded 127%, Florida Rentals Restrictions, Hawaii 68% drop in total occupancy

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Happy Friday Everyone!

Silver Lake is betting big on the travel industry despite what is happening with the global pandemic. The top Silicon Valley tech investment firm bought big stakes in Expedia and Airbnb over the past few months, and now it is leading a $108 million Series D round for vacation rental platform Vacasa. The Portland, Ore.-based company manages more than 26,000 vacation homes in 31 U.S. states and 18 countries, and bills itself as “North America’s largest vacation rental management platform.” Vacasa interim CEO Matt Roberts, who took over in February, said he believes there will be a consumer shift toward private vacation rentals as people fear going back to hotels and other lodging options due to safety-related concerns.

According to a report from AirDNA, Vacation rentals globally have rebounded 127% since April after coronavirus lockdowns halted nearly all travel. Short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb and VRBO reached rock bottom around April 5, but have nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels, according to AirDNA. Beach towns and other leisure destinations, especially in places that pushed to reopen quickly, are seeing the most growth. The numbers are one sign that people are starting to travel again, at least locally, as stay-at-home orders are eased, but the devastated industry is still fragile and a resurgence of cases could shut things down again.

Is anyone really able to go to Florida at this point? Florida vacation rental properties can resume operations subject to certain rules and restrictions. For more information consult Orange County’s full plan. Or consult Gulf county for their rules. Or Pasco county for theirs. Or Sumter county. Or maybe just ignore it all and do what you want.😄

Vacation rentals in the destination state of Hawaii reached only 5 per cent of total occupancy in the month of April. This represents a 68% drop in total occupancy from last year. Covid-19 travel restrictions have created a global drop in travel demand which has led to record low visitor numbers for the islands.

2 Comments (add yours)

Jun 7, 2020 9:43 AM
Joined Jun, 2016 1102 posts

Saw a quote from some analyst recently, something to the effect that many tech/digital co's think that they can just get into vacation rental space without prior knowledge and just run it like a tech co but that does not really work. I do not know who bought vacasa, but they obviously do not know that selling vacation rental stays is not the same as selling $5 widgets on Amazon. Vacasa has terrible reputation in my market (and I have heard in many others), so I do not know what they are thinking that a middleman (which is what vacasa is) with very slim value proposition is somehow a good investment.

Sarah H
Jun 7, 2020 9:13 PM
Joined Jul, 2019 109 posts

I did have a fairly terrible experience with Vacasa on Friday 6/5. It's impossible to get on the phone with them. Should mean good things for the small companies or individuals leveraging OwnerRez type software! No doubt volume has returned in the areas I work in.