The Best Time to Begin Your Vacation Rental

A lot goes into your vacation rental’s availability. It takes time to get a home prepared for reservations. If you’re buying a home, the process can be extended as you search the market, work through closing and furnish the home.

However, knowing a good starting date can get you up and running with little to no time between listing and your first reservation.

Before You List

One small aside before we jump into it: My first piece of advice is to get the home completely ready before you list it on sites like Airbnb or Vrbo. You never know if someone will make a reservation for that night (I’ve seen it happen), so you don’t want to scramble to finish projects, clean or stage the home before guests arrive. 

Spring is Best

As many of us know from the traffic flow through Colorado Springs and Woodland Park, summer time is peak tourism season in the Pikes Peak region. This is why I suggest new vacation rentals come “on the market” just before summer in February-April. If you’re closing on a home, shoot for this time frame!

You’re likely to get some weekend reservations for February and April, and you may see a little uptick in March for spring break. Spring is also when I see an influx of summer reservations hit our books. Preparations for summer vacations begin in the spring, especially for those traveling to Air Force Academy or college graduations. Your summer calendar will start to fill in, and if you have some reservations (and reviews) from the spring to entice potential bookers, your summer will book up nicely!

Summertime

Beginning your short term rental during the summer can be effective, but stressful. The demand from travelers may leave you scrambling to get things done before people arrive. Make sure you have a plan for resetting the home after each reservation, or you may find your calendar filling up faster than you can handle. This is where having a manager with a team comes in handy! We have the resources to get your home listed quickly (to take advantage of the remaining summer season), and we can take care of back-to-back or last minute reservations when they start rolling in!

The spring and summer months should help you build lots of good reviews to keep those winter reservations coming in!

Fall and Winter

If you start your short term rental during the fall or winter, you may long for those long lines of summer tourists! As school starts, the demand for vacation rentals goes down. You may find some holiday and weekend reservations, but expect to do a lot of the heavy lifting financially during the fall and winter the first year.

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The Coffee Cottage

Stop by the Coffee Cottage for unique seasonal drinks like this custard latte–with a blend of eggnog, vanilla and cinnamon to put you in the holiday spirit! Photo Credit: @thecoffeecottageco via Facebook.

The Coffee Cottage is new in town, but has already found a special place among the locals.

They boast all organic coffee and pastries hoping to appeal to a health-conscious niche market in the small town of Woodland Park, but they succeed in serving great coffee to everyone who walks through the door.

Located in the group of shops near City Market grocery store, you’ll find them under the “coffee” sign near another Woodland Park favorite, AJ’s Pizza.

All organic and locally made. These “poptarts” are yummy and kid-approved.

Their owners take pride in their work and the things they offer; they have some unique treats as well as many of the coffee shop staples you’ve come to expect. But their coffee roast has a unique flavor that will mix up your normal order.

We’ve had several things from the Coffee Cottage including cappuccinos, lattes, flavored drinks, unflavored drinks, iced, hot–you name it. I think it’s well balanced and smooth, but the coffee they use has a hint of a smokey taste. It makes me feel like sitting around a campfire with a warm blanket and a warm cup of joe! I really like it, and because I only stop by when I’m “up the hill” – as those of us from Colorado Springs say when we visit the mountain towns up Ute Pass – it’s a pleasant surprise every time I return.

Have your coffee or tea your way, then grab a board game for some old-school fun.

The shop continues to grow; this is their first year in town, so they’re still getting settled. And I’ll be interested to see how the shop evolves and flourishes. The shop is filling in, and there are several regulars who use the space to study, have meetings or sit and relax. The Coffee Cottage also has a strong community mindset by lending a helping hand to other small creators in the area by displaying and selling local crafts, jewelry as well as other products.

I give the Coffee Cottage an 8/10. A solid score for their first few months in business.

Drive Through: No – plenty of free parking, though.

Kid Friendly: Yes – they can whip up a mean hot cocoa and there are some toys and games to play with, too. They really want everyone (even busy working moms with kids in tow) to stop by.

757 Gold Hill Place, Woodland Park, CO 80863 | thecoffeecottageco.com

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