Going Offbeat in Estes Park

Estes Park, in the Front Range region of Colorado, plays host to its fair share of skiers, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.  After all, this town of roughly 6,000 inhabitants is a scant 12 miles away from Rocky Mountain National Park and all that it offers.  But like the rest of Colorado, there’s a lot more going on than skiing, ice climbing, and hiking.

Staying in Estes Park can mean a hotel or bed and breakfast; for others, choosing a vacation rental in the area makes sense.  This is en especially good option for families or groups that want extra space or those looking for a bit more privacy and freedom than a hotel offers.  If you can’t find your ideal rental in Estes Park itself, Denver and Boulder are within a 60 and 90 minute drive, respectively. Continue reading

Family Friendly Colorado Vacation Rentals

If you’ve ever traveled with your family, you know how important it can be to find the perfect accommodations for the whole family. While hotels can be accommodating, they often don’t offer enough space for an entire family. Hotels are simply not a very convenient, or economical, place for a family to spend a long vacation. Instead of fretting over finding an affordable hotel that will have enough room for your family when you are visiting Colorado, consider booking a family friendly Colorado vacation rentalContinue reading

Keystone, Colorado: A Village (or Six) Built for Skiers

Keystone is tucked away in the Northwest region of Colorado.  It’s almost not really a village so much as a collection of unique villages with several different attractions.  These include ski-centric River Run, relax-ready Lakeside Village, North Keystone and West Keystone, which provide access to both the wilderness and the town, and historical East Keystone, which started life in the 1880s as a stagecoach stop. Continue reading

Durango, as Seen From a Horse

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Colorado is Durango, a town of about 14,000 inhabitants.  It’s perched 6,500 or so feet above sea level, and its vista includes the usual stunning Colorado visual fare of towering mountain peaks, clear lakes, and picturesque streams and rivers.  Planning on staying awhile?  Many visitors opt to stay at rental homes; vocational rental homes in Durango and in nearby Bayfield offer freedom and privacy that you  rarely find in a hotel – not to mention a complete kitchen if you’re tired of eating out. Continue reading

What to Eat in Crested Butte, Colorado

Sites advertising vacations in Colorado usually fixate on skiing conditions, shopping opportunities, or the rich history that’s just around the corner from the world’s best slopes / fishing / hiking.  Sure, Crested Butte has all these things, but it’s time to talk about what can make or break a vacation:  it’s time to talk about food.  Anyone can tell you the top ten attractions, or What to Do in Crested Butte; gear up your gastric juices and let’s talk about What to Eat in Crested Butte. Continue reading

Getting A Good Start in Silverthorne, Colorado

In a way, Silverthorne is right in the middle of things in Colorado; you’re near many top ski destinations, for example.  But in another sense, it’s a bit away from the bustle.  It has the almost stereotypically mountainous backdrop of northwestern Colorado, but lakes and meadows play a significant part in the scenery as well.  And not to be overlooked is the Blue River.  The river winds through the town itself, giving rise to several landmark bridges.  In the summertime, it’s a big draw for fans of fishing.  The Colorado Wildlife Commission has designated a few miles of Blue River in the Silverthorne area to be “Gold Medal” – in other words, exceptional for fishing.  For non-anglers, there’s biking, hiking along the river, and a wide selection of shops.  There’s even a Blue River Festival for the townsfolk (and any visitors) to enjoy and celebrate the waterway. Continue reading

Last-Minute Booking Tips

Encouraging last-minute bookings at your vacation rental property is a great way to ensure that you are consistently booked year-round. Cancellations, a poor economy and off-season slumps can lead to fewer bookings all around, so giving potential renters extra incentive to book last minute could be the ticket to drawing in more travelers.

In addition to last-minute trips that unexpectedly spring up, budget travelers and special event travelers to Colorado often wait until the last minute to find accommodations because they are seeking out special deals. Offering your rental property at a discounted rate or with a special offer is a much better alternative to not having anyone at your property. Follow these tips ensure smooth sailing with last minute bookers:

  1. Make Specials Stand Out: Put special deals in the headline of your property rental description so that it catches the eyes of those browsing booking website listings. Even if someone was not planning to stay in a particular area, your offer could sell them on the location, and your rental property.
  2. Offer Incentives: If you are not particularly thrilled about deep discounts for open weeks, you can offer other incentives to sweeten the last-minute deal. Offer a gift card to a well-known local restaurant, a gas gift card, or free passes to a nearby amusement park or attraction. Travelers will love the extra mile you are going by making their vacation more enjoyable.
  3. Up Your Response Time: When last-minute travelers are searching for accommodations, every minute counts. Be sure to check your email and phone messages often so that you don’t miss out on an inquiries. Chances are that if you hesitate in responding, the last-minute traveler will move on to another property.
  4. Be Prepared: Always keep your vacation rental stocked with enough toilet paper and other offered toiletries so that you won’t be caught off-guard by a last minute booking. Also make sure that the house is cleaned immediately after each renter leaves so that the house will be ready for any new renters to come in at any time.
  5. Be Guaranteed Payment: The only way to receive guaranteed payment last minute is to accept credit card payments via a secure site like PayPal. Avoid Western Union transfers, cashier’s checks and money orders. You can also have your housekeeper or property manager collect cash from a renter if this is agreed upon ahead of time.