COVID-19 Business Survival Guide for Vacation Homeowners
iTrip Park City is an industry leader in property management and vacation rental services. We’ve operated in Park City since 2011 and manage just under 80 properties. iTrip Vacations is a multinational technology and marketing company and iTrip Park City is a franchise of iTrip Vacations.
Our goal is to be a true business partner with each of our homeowner clients. With that goal in mind, our team is working very hard directly (in a safe, socially distant fashion) with each of our homeowner clients to navigate this COVID-19 crisis. COVID-19, as you know first hand, is having an unprecedented impact on the hospitality and vacation rental industry. We are sharing the following survival tips with our homeowner clients as well as other owners of vacation homes in our markets.
What Can Vacation Homeowners Do to Navigate the COVID-19 Crisis?
- Explore Resources Being Made Available to Small Business & Homeowners.
The Small Business Administration loans & grants and other federal & state resources for small businesses will be available to vacation homeowners. We encourage homeowners who have established their vacation home as a separate business to research & explore these benefits.
- Here are links to Utah.gov Small Business Resource Guide for COVID-19: Utah Economic Task Force and its page with resources for small businesses.
- This article from the National Association of Realtors outlines resources available to homeowners. (Not all of these resources will be available to owners of investment properties but it is still worth taking a look.)
- Check out this article from the U.S. Treasury Department about its joint efforts with the Small Business Administration to mobilize relief for business owners through the CARES Act. This article also does a great job at answering questions about the CARES Act relief resources.
- Silicon Slopes also has a terrific COVID-19 resource & action center for local businesses on its site.
- Keep up-to-date at visitparkcity.com COVID-19 and sign up for Summit County Emergency Alerts here.
- Investigate your Mortgage & Insurance Options.
We suggest that you contact your bank or mortgage servicing company to find out if they are offering deferment or interest-only payment options on mortgages and home equity lines at this time. It doesn’t hurt to ask them what resources are available to you. You should also review the specific terms of your homeowners insurance or umbrella policy to determine whether you have coverage available for the loss of rental revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Few policies provide this coverage but you’ve got nothing to lose by checking the specific details of your policy.)
- Make Sure You Are Up-to-Date on the Emergency Short Term Rental Restrictions Now in Place in Your Vacation Home’s Municipality.
Summit & Wasatch County have implemented several emergency ordinances that restrict short term rentals to reduce the transmission and health risks of COVID-19 for its residents. See below for a summary of the emergency regulations in place in Utah overall as well as the restrictions on short term rentals enacted by local municipalities in the Park City, UT area.
- Consider 30+ Day Rentals in Your Home for the Next 60 Days.
We continue to receive inquiries for 30+ day bookings for our homes. When we receive a 30+ day rental inquiry for one of our homeowner client’s vacation homes, we contact the homeowner and work through the proposal with them. Please know that there is now a much larger supply of furnished homes in the area and a diminished level of demand for rentals. That means that the 30+ day rental rates that we are seeing for furnished homes are now much lower than the 30+ day rental rates you’d otherwise expect to see during the months of April or May. We are actively making adjustments to the rental rates for our homes in response to the changing market conditions.
- Review Your 2020 Reserved Dates for Your Vacation Home.
We suggest reviewing the 2020 dates that you’ve reserved your vacation home for your own personal use. iTrip Vacations does not restrict homeowners’ use of their homes — under our marketing & management program, you are free to reserve whatever available dates you’d like to stay in your home. If you do have changes to make to your reserved dates, however, now would be a great time to make those changes as guests who had booked your home for stays during March or April are now attempting to reschedule their stay to a later date in the year.
- Make Sure Your Vacation Home Management Company is Offering “Cancel For Any Reason” Travel Insurance.
iTrip Vacations strongly encourages all guests that book an iTrip Vacations managed vacation home to purchase travel insurance. We offer our guests the option of purchasing standard travel insurance and “cancel for any reason” travel insurance. Guests that purchased standard travel insurance on or before January 29, 2020 are receiving coverage for cancellations relating to the COVID-19 crisis. (In most cases, standard travel insurance that was purchased after January 29, 2020 does not provide coverage for COVID-19 cancellations.) Those guests that purchase our “cancel for any reason” travel insurance are able to receive partial coverage for their travel expenses if they cancel their planned trip due to fear of traveling as a result of COVID-19. Needless to say, we are seeing an uptick in the number of guests purchasing the “cancel for any reason” travel insurance, which is a terrific way of protecting future rental revenues for our homeowners.
We understand that local property management companies have laid off team members and are limiting their hours of operations. We are a small, family-owned business and we’ve not furloughed or laid off anyone from our company. Our team is tiny but mighty! If there is anything we can do to assist you in securing your Park City vacation home, then please contact me.
We hope you and your family remain healthy, safe & positive during this COVID-19 pandemic.
State and Local Municipal Emergency Ordinances & Restrictions
State of Utah
Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued a “Stay Safe, Stay Home” directive to all Utahns on March 27th. This is not a shelter in place order, but rather the next step in the Urgent Phase laid out in the Utah Leads Together plan. This directive seeks to make clear what individuals and businesses should do to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state and communities. Click here to view the full directive.
Summit County & Wasatch County
- Summit County issued a “stay at home” order, closing all non-essential businesses on March 27th, 2020. Effective May 1st, 2020, Summit County lifted the ‘Stay at Home Order’ and the new Joint Public Health Order went into effect. This new order transisitons Summit County to the Stabilzation Phase of COVID-19 response and lowers the risk level to Moderate.
- Wasatch County has issued a “stay at home” order, closing all non-essential businesses on March 30th. Effective May 1st, 2020, Wasatch County lifted the ‘Stay at Home Order’ and moved to the Moderate Phase, which includes specific guidelines for individuals and businesses.
- Utah’s COVID-19 infection curve is flattening and the state is moving towards the Stabilization phase from the Crisis phase of Gov. Herberts three phases of response (Crisis, Stabilization, Recovery) discussed in Utah Leads Together plan.
- Key Data Dashboard, a leading provider of real-time vacation rental data for the short-term rental industry, is showing bookings are currently on par with last year for August. You can view Utah booking and pacing activity here.