Although Vancouver-area hotels have been fully booked for months by visitors drawn to the Olympic spectacle, property owners hoping to cash in on the event are having mixed success.
Vacation rental sites report huge increases in their listings, upwards of 70 per cent on the previous year.
“Whenever there’s a large event in a town we see an increase in demand of people asking for properties and for owners putting up their properties for rent,” says Alexis de Belloy, vice president of HomeAway.com, a vacation rental site.
His operation has seen the number of properties listed boosted by 90 per cent for the same period last year, while Whistler properties were up 73 per cent. More than 70 per cent of the Vancouver and Whistler listings during the Olympics were fully booked as of last week, de Belloy says, and owners are receiving nightly fees ranging from $570 to $880 for a three-bedroom home.
Other sites, however, still have an oversupply of properties in the area, with one on-line agent recording only a 30 per cent take-up of the 3,000 Vancouver-area homeowners advertising their properties for rent.
Yet private accommodation still ticks many boxes. Besides availability, staying in a private residence offers more space, more privacy and usually better value, especially if you’re renting with a group.
Searching the internet revealed a loft-style 800-square-foot one-bedroom apartment in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Vancouver going for $374 a night (or $2,522 a week) three blocks from the Olympic Village.
By comparison hotel room rates in Vancouver are hugely inflated during the Games. Moda, a 57-room boutique hotel in downtown Vancouver, for instance, is charging $609 a night for a room, in stark contrast to $158 a night it charges for a stay in April.