As the oil washes ashore in the Gulf region more and more vacation rentals are getting some deep discounts. The Mobile Press-Register reports that some property managers are offering as much as 30 percent to 50 percent cuts at condominium units and beach houses. Cancellations have been rising and there has been a struggle to fill the properties. The article quotes David Bodenhamer, a partner in Young's Suncoast Vacation Rentals in Gulf Shores, who says he received $220,000 in cancellations in just three days and that they are running at less than a 50 percent occupancy. Even with new lower rates they still aren't getting enough takers as more and more people are opting to stay away from beachfront rentals.
As the picture above shows, Gulf Shore, Alabama is full of tall buildings positioned on the white sand beaches. Recent updates have waters closed at the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. The beaches are open and visitors can walk on the beach but that isn't being recommended. The Alabama Department of Public Health has expanded the swimming advisory to gulf waters off Gulf Shores, Orange Beach and Fort Morgan, as well as bay waters immediately adjacent to Fort Morgan, in Bayou St. John, Terry Cove, Cotton Bayou or Old River. Beach raking machines are scouring the beaches. Small tarballs have also started to wash up on nearby Dauphin Island, another popular spot for beach rentals.
Can condo owners find relief from BP? Alabama's WAFF has a report on a woman who rents out her Gulf Shores condo. She filed a claim with BP for her losses and received a check. As the situation continues to worsen more condo owners who rely on vacation rentals in order to pay their mortgages may have to take similar action.