In Summit County, vacation rentals often, but not always, more profitable than long-term leasing | SummitDaily.com

In Summit County, vacation rentals often, but not always, more profitable than long-term leasing

A new report produced by a Denver-based company that manages vacation rentals shows just how much money these properties can generate in Summit County.

Based on the report produced by Evolve Vacation Rental Network, the owner of a nice, five-bedroom home in Summit County can see up to $100,000 or more in annual revenue offering up the property as a short-term vacation rental.

At more than $8,000 a month, that's a nice chuck of change no doubt, but it's not to say everyone who goes this route can expect the same kind of windfall, said one company official familiar with the report, released at the beginning of March.

"There are always a lot of considerations," explained Brian Becker, senior vice president of marketing.

Providing one example, he said five-bedroom properties are harder to find in Summit County than smaller accommodations are, and like many other pieces of the local economy, it's all directly tied to supply and demand and not all properties are created equal.

As such, only properties in the top 25 percentiles of five-bedroom vacation rentals eclipsed or came close to surpassing the $100,000 mark, according to the report.

"Another way to look at that," Becker said, "is that a five-bedroom unit in Frisco is going to command less than a five-bedroom, ski-in, ski-out unit in Breckenridge."

Evolve manages more than 7,000 vacation rentals in 500 markets across North America, according to Becker, and these are the same accommodations found on websites like Airbnb.com or VRBO.com.

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The graph above shows the median yearly revenue generated by different vacation-rental properties, broken down by their number of rooms, in Breckenridge (blue), Vail (orange) and Winter Park (red), based on figures provided by the Denver-based vacation-rental management company Evolve Vacation Rental Network.

In fact, Evolve creates some of those listings for its clients, Becker said, as he touted the benefits of working with Evolve, which manages more than 200 vacation rentals right here in Summit County.

Most of those properties are in Breckenridge, he said, which has 87 vacation rentals currently being managed by the company. Frisco was a distant second with 34, followed by Silverthorne (29), Keystone (28), Dillon (14), Blue River (7) and a few more at Copper Mountain.

So far, Evolve has produced performance reports for Summit County, Vail and Winter Park with plans to release about 50 more in the coming months focused on other markets they're working in, Becker said.

"With Summit County in our backyard, it’s one of our favorite markets, and it’s one of the reports we did first," he explained, adding that the reports are based on the last 365 days prior to their release, not the last calendar year.

Most basically, the reports detail the annual revenues generated by vacation-rental properties in the 50th and 75th percentiles, segmented into different accommodation types, ranging from studios to five-bedroom homes, with a number of other stats.

The 50th percentile is the same things as the median, or the amount generated by the property or properties in exact the middle of the sample.

According to the report, the median revenue generated by a three-bedroom vacation rental in Summit County was at $33,230.

For comparison, a three-bedroom property in Frisco advertised as a long-term rental was priced at $2,950 a month in Monday's newspaper. That means a renter would pay just over $35,000 annually, provided the home stays occupied year-round.

In this instance, the amount a landlord who rents on a long-term basis would actually be slightly greater than what someone gets using the same property as a short-term rental. However, based on the report, that's not usually the case.

A three-bedroom vacation rental in the 75th percentile, for instance, generated significantly more revenue at $48,000 annually, according to the report. At that rate, it would produce $12,000 more in revenue every year than listing the same property as a long-term rental, even at $3,000 a month.

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The chart above shows the average yearly occupancy rate in Breckenridge, along with the average daily rate.  (Source: Evolve Vacation Rental Network)

At the smaller end of the accommodations, there's plenty of room to make money with short-term rentals, too.

According to the report, the median annual income for a studio vacation rental was $22,000 annually, and duplicating that at a monthly rate would require a landlord to charge more than $1,800 a month.

In addition to revenues generated, the report also pegged average-daily rates, which showed considerable range, as the Summit County studios came in at $153 a night while five-bedroom units went for $576 a night on average.

In terms of occupancy rates, every type of accommodation in Summit County saw similar figures, with the four and five-bedroom accommodations at 40 percent, the lowest occupancy rates in Summit County, while the one-bedroom units saw the highest occupancy rate at 49 percent.

Additionally, the report also measured the average length of stay and the average daily rates for both the high and low seasons, defined as the best and worst four months of the last calendar year.

According to the report, the average length of a stay varied little between seasons at 4.0 days for the peak season and 3.7 days for the low season in Summit County.

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Summit County vacation rentals

The following figures were taken from a report issued by Evolve Vacation Rental Network at the beginning of March that shows how much different accommodations can generate for their owners, including the 50th and 75th percentiles, for the Summit County market, along with the monthly equivalent for both figures.

Bedrooms 50th Percentile 75 Percentile Monthly equivalent

0 $22,389 $28,717 $1,800-$2,400

1 $20,609 $28,302 $1,700-$2,400

2 $26,123 $35,844 $2,100-$3,000

3 $33,230 $48,109 $2,700-$4,000

4 $46,678 $64,312 $3,800-$5,400

5 $76,794 $98,392 $6,400-$8,200

Source: Evolve Vacation Rental Network