We are now almost two years removed from one of the biggest events in the history of the world; one that disrupted the way that people shop, work, vacation, eat, buy groceries, even the very way we live! As a vacation rental management company with a 20-year history at the Lake of the Ozarks, we can now look back and see how this world-wide event affected vacation rentals at the Lake of the Ozarks. Keep reading to learn how COVID affected our rental numbers and what we can expect for vacation rentals post-covid.
Background: It’s March 2020, and after coming off our best rental year ever in 2019, we are experiencing cancellation after cancellation. We are hoping to do at least 75% of the rentals that we did the year before. We are also hoping that we will not go out of business or have to lay people off. In March and April 2020, we had our two worst booking months in the history of our company. We booked roughly 33% of our total for those two months from the previous year.
The Lake of the Ozarks is “OPEN”
But then a magical thing happened that probably will never ever happen again. Schools were closed, most people were working from home and the government was handing out “free” money! The perfect storm for areas that were “open” such as ours. Prior to May and June 2020, our best booking month ever as June of 2019, when we booked $196,000 that month, on our way to our second consecutive million dollar rental season. We ended up booking over $400,000 in May and again in June, so over $800,000 in just two months! Compare that to our sales for 2009, at the height of the “Great Recession,” when we booked just $408,000 for the entire year!
2020 turned out to be a great year for our Lake of the Ozarks vacation rental company and for many others around the Lake, and 2021 was even better. Then in 2022 we were down 1% and this year we were down 11% from the previous year, but we were still up 42% compared to 2019! While we may not see the numbers that we saw during or immediately after the Pandemic, our area should continue to see plenty of visitors based on all the exposure that we received during the two covid years, when our destination was “open” compared to many vacation spots that were closed to the public.
“Investment” Properties at the Lake of the Ozarks
Now, many people who purchased investment properties during the pandemic, thinking or hoping that those numbers would continue, will have to decide if they will keep those properties or sell. For some, it may not be worth keeping properties that do not cashflow. As noted in many of our previous blogs and articles, our rental season is extremely short and it’s tough to have a true “investment” property here at the Lake of the Ozarks; not impossible, just not ordinary.
If you have a second home at the Lake that you’re considering turning into a short-term rental at the Lake of the Ozarks, give Your Lake Vacation a call at 573-365-3367. We can provide you a realistic estimate for what you can expect in rental income. We have 20 years of statistics to help homeowners understand how the vacation rental market works at the Lake of the Ozarks. Let us assist you in offsetting the cost of homeownership with some rental income!
Nightly Vacation Rentals at the Lake of the Ozarks:
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4571 Osage Beach Pkwy, Suite A
Osage Beach, MO 65065