Pent up demand to travel and limited rooms at the gulf have driven rental prices up this summer. Tourism officials said it’s a classic case of supply and demand driving the market. People are ready to get out and the beach is calling.
Overall, occupancy rates have consistently been more than 80-percent this summer. Weekends are even higher, and that demand has driven prices up. Beth Gendler with Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism said the more rooms that are booked, the more rental agencies typically charge.
“Most of those companies have revenue management systems and they see occupancy at certain levels, and they start to raise their rate and then occupancy at certain levels. I think those systems are set up for that,” Gendler explained.
Tourism officials said outdoor destinations like parks and beaches are where people want to go, and they’re willing to pay the higher prices. How much more depends on several variables. Because of this, it’s hard to know exactly how much higher prices are now over past years.
“Prices are going up everywhere, but prices can vary so much depending on what you’re renting,” said Brandi Boykin with Young’s Suncoast realty and Vacation Rentals. “I mean, we rent anything from a one-bedroom studio condo to six, seven-bedroom houses, so yeah. It can be upwards of a hundred – two hundred more dollars a night.”
Boykin said their weekends are booked at near 100 percent and that’s through most of August. Visitors have noticed the jump in prices. Some either booked early or stayed well off the beach to get reasonable rates.
“Rates were constant when we booked about six months ago, not knowing whether or not we’d actually be able to come and we’ve watched them climb ever since then,” said Cincinnati, OH resident, Mike Moser who booked a beachfront condo.
“We’re about two, two and a half, three miles away from the beach but it’s cheaper to be further away from the beach and just a small commute to get here, so for four nights, two rooms…about fourteen hundred (dollars). I mean, we’re pretty good with that,” said San Angelo, TX resident, Chris Moody about their rooms at Red Roof Inn.
Another family brought their RV and are saving a ton going that route. So, will the prices go down and if so, when? Beth Gendler said once cruise lines and larger cities open up for tourism and internati0onal travel picks back up, we should see an adjustment as more competition opens up.
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