The current situation in Big Bear
This page is where we are communicating with owners below; If you want to see how we are communicating with the public you can click here to learn more;
MAJOR WARNING – 1/22/2021 – The City of Big Bear Lake has passed an emergency ordinance. They are already enforcing with NO warning notice – if a homeowner is renting their home without a business license, correct sign out front, having passed the city person to person check in test and not paying TOT – By law if your are renting on your own and have a management company but do not have your own sign up or having guest check in you will be fined and lose the ability to rent at all.
Update 1/21/2021 – Locals are driving around and reporting Vacation Rentals that have more than 8 people, more than 2 cars or look like different households. 2 adult couples with kids will generate a city visit. If owners are present (city is checking names on licenses) then will not bother the group. If owners are not present and they are multiple households, we are told they will evict and fine $1,000.00 The city of Big Bear has limited cleaners. Many are not working right now due to COVID. The ones that are do not want as much work and they are charging much much more. Our home owner bookings are way up from last year. We have to charge more than we usually do for cleaning. We also may have to limit one homeowner cleaning per month.
Update 1/16/2021 – On 1/11/2021 – The city council adopted a new emergency vacation rental ordinance. Here are the basics – 2 cars, 8 people, one household, big fines up to $1,000.00. Over the next 90 days the city will adopt a more permanent ordinance. The city has hired 3 new code officers and now will be the first responders when a code call comes in rather than dispatching it to the agencies. The city has also taken over the hotline rather than outsourcing.
Update 1/8/2021 – 6:40 am – Due to COVID, we are experiencing 20 to 30 cancellations a day by guests on their own. Meaning they are just messaging us saying that they have come in contact with COVID or someone from their group has tested positive. We are issuing full refunds which has become industry standard and highly recommended by our local city management. We are also receiving no less than 15 cancellations a day in response to us emailing, SMS and calling future guests letting them know we can only service single house hold groups and 2 cars – Check out Governer’s Order – Big Bear Winter Restrictions
The city has been issuing a great deal of fines ranging from $250.00 to $1000.00 for guests that are not complying. We have designated one staff member that all they do is ensure guests are complying.
We are communicating with future guests about 7 to 10 days out. If we just mass communicate to all future guests the Stay at Home order we may see a great deal more cancellations. As you know bookings are based on ICU 15% capacity beds. We are hoping that by Feb or President’s weekend we are back on track and can be fully open. All this has led to most guests being reluctant to book future dates. The town’s available occupancy for the future is pretty high with rates continuing to drop. Basically a Supply / Demand premise.
The town is not even 70% booked for MLK weekend and many managers / home owners have just dropped their daily requirements to 2 days instead of 3. We do have a list of home owners where we have raised the rates 15% and dropped to two nights. These are generally our larger homes. It is understandable that a single family household would struggle to come up with 3 days of rents at over $1,000 a night.
If you wish for us to keep your home at 3 nights and the current rates then please SMS us. If you have told us in the past that you do not want discounts at all, your home is already “Frozen” and should not allow two nights nor rate reductions.
If we do not hear from you, we will use our best judgement to get the home rented for as much money and most days as we can.
Optimistically, we are expecting a record March (if ICU beds are at 15%) due to pent up demand and we are hopeful for some future snow storms. Currently there is no snow in the forecast at all. Our forecasts are showing that revenue per home from October to March (6 month snapshot) should be much higher this year then last year.
Update: 12/18/2020 – 8:0am – We now have cancelled 455 bookings in December totaling over $1.3 million. Before the shutdown we only had 30 homes left to book for Christmas, yesterday we had 130 cabins left before we did in depth pricing analysis and were able to book 17 cabins. We currently are booking homes at 3 days for Christmas and possible will start accepting 2 nights but keep prices as high as we can. Since we do not expect our ICU beds to get better by 12/28 this same process most likely will occur for New Years. We just started accepting 3 nights over New Years.
Update: 12/14/2020 – 11:00pm – Tonight the city council spoke in great deal as to only enforce the state order to shut down vacation rentals when the guests are from multiple households. They agreed that they will continue to educate all businesses to operate with safety protocols. We have already been sending out this message to all non cancelled bookings We are also sending out additional sign off contracts requiring guest to agree to single households.
What we are finding;
- Guests were traveling with extended families and sharing the costs; therefore they want smaller cabins, discounts on the larger cabin that they booked or they want to cancel.
- We have cancelled 333 bookings totalling – $969,000 gross revenue.
- Our plan, We are blasting out SMS, EMAILS, RAISING OUR MARKETING BUDGETS…..
- We have already found that since guests are now traveling themselves, their budgets reflect 3 night stays and smaller homes. You can imagine it is difficult to find families that will want to rent a 4 bedroom home that sleeps 12 at a cost of $800.00 per night.
- Goal: Our goal is to get all homes rented at 2019 rates for 3 nights Christmas, we do not know what happens after 12/28 as far as Restrictions.
We are excited to be open and have the best of the worst options available to us. SMS with questions.
UPDATE: 12/10/2020 – We have 150 completed cancellations just from December 7th to December 23rd totaling nearly $434,000.00 We expect this number to grow all day as we process them. We just have sent out messages from 12/23 to 12/31 bookings.
- The city of Big Bear Lake has evicted multiple groups since Monday.
- Palm Spring has shut down for the next three weeks just as we have to 12/27/2020, dependent upon ICU Beds.
- Our City Manager and council through their interpretation is keeping us open.
- We do not expect to move off the single family household until after the new year.
- Our thoughts are that Multiple families pent up demand could show up later this winter in March which could be an incredible revenue recovery period.
Post as of 12/7/2021
We are busy gathering data about what rates for December 2020 will look like due to the CA Stay at home order;
Here are some initial findings;
- Larger homes that sleep more will be the hardest to get re-booked at current market prices. Obvious reasons not very many single households have more than 6 to 8 guests.
- AIRBNB is automatically cancelling bookings if the guests live outside 3 hours from Big Bear per city manager’s mandate to AIRBNB.
- Extended families with adult kids wanting to spend time with their parents in Big Bear per the one household CA mandate is now outlawed.
- 3 bedroom homes booked by two families with one kid each are calling to change homes to two bedrooms or reduction in rates since one family is not coming. We are seeing this with 4 and 5 bedrooms as well.
- Only 20% of retail is open
- No Dining either indoor or outdoor
- 20% entry into grocery stores
- The mountain is only allowing pre purchased lift tickets.
- LA county has a conflicting Stay at Home Order which is telling locals that they face misdemeanor charges if they travel for non-essential.
- Many guests have contracted COVID or been around someone and they are in self quarantine.
- Our Published rates were already increased over last year. If we do get a cancellation, we are hopeful that we get it re-booked at or above last year.
- The city’s has expressed that if they receive a complaint they will ask people to leave the home. Guests are not willing to risk this.
- Our competition had been holding out for Snow and did not expect any closures ; therefore city’s available occupancy was already higher than we expected for the coming weeks, Competitive Analysis done 4 days go, there is estimated 3500 to 4000 rentals in town, this is a snapshot of about 1500. We will continue to evaluate this.