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Monday, June 14, 2010

Vacation Cancellations along the Gulf Coast

by Calculated Risk on 6/14/2010 07:51:00 PM

From Kathy Jumper at the Mobile Press-Register: As oil washes ashore, property managers sharply cut condo rents (ht DaveinSV)

Property managers are offering 30 percent to 50 percent cuts at condominium units and beach houses, hoping to fill rooms and prevent cancellations in the wake of the BP oil spill.

"June has been gutted, as far as rental occupancies," said David Bodenhamer, a partner in Young's Suncoast Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores ... "We've had $220,000 in cancellations in the last three days." ... "The problem is that even at those lower rates, we're not getting near enough takers. Reservation calls have gone to a fraction of what they would normally be on a daily basis."
I'm not sure the lower prices will make much difference. Who wants to vacation at a beach and not be able to swim in the water? Or to see (and probably smell) the oil?

The article mentions that Alabama beach resorts generate about 75% of their annual revenue in June, July and August. So this entire season is lost.

On the bright side, other resort areas are probably doing better.

When I went backpacking in the Sierra in the summer of 2008, I asked the ranger how the economy was impacting traffic. He said it was their busiest year ever! People were still going on vacation, just to less expensive destinations. With the Gulf disaster, I expect the inland mountain resorts will have a banner year.