In the News | Santa Catalina Island Vacations
Anyone who uses the Internet to book a hotel knows the routine. First you tell the website when you’re traveling, where you’re going and how many rooms will be required. At this point you are given the option to sort by price or rating. That can be a tough decision, especially if you’ve got a big family needing multiple rooms. There certainly are bargains out there, but that one or two star rating can sometimes bring on homesickness rather quickly. Some would-be travelers simply delay their travel plans and hold out for nicer accommodations when they can better afford them.
An option that is really getting enormous traction in this challenging economy is renting a vacation home. It’s something that many families don’t think about, but it offers some tremendous advantages and economies of scale.
One west coast destination that is doing an impressive vacation rental business is Catalina Island, the quaint getaway just 26 miles off the Southern California coast. Today a substantial number of visitors are opting for accommodations in delightful cottages, nicely appointed private residences, comfortable condominiums and the exclusive Hamilton Cove gated community. Of course, the island also offers a nice selection of inviting hotels for those that enjoy traditional accommodations.
ISLAND RENNISANCE BRINGS NEW VISITORS, LONGER STAYS
The brisk demand for larger self-contained properties has been fueled by what many are calling a “renaissance” on Catalina. Kevin Strege, President of Catalina Island Vacation Rentals, the island’s leading accommodations resource, says “The Santa Catalina Island Company has really gone to town on the island this past year; opening up a broad range of attractions that are really drawing visitors to the island in record numbers. Whether it’s the Zip Line Eco Tour, the Sea Trek Underwater Adventure, a wide range of interior tours, new dining opportunities or the beautifully transformed Descanso Beach recreation area, there’s just a whole lot more to do on Catalina Island than there ever was before. For us, that means that families and even groups of families are coming over and spending a lot more time.”
That particular fact makes a vacation rental a very attractive proposition for island visitors. That’s because most vacation rentals have anywhere between one and four bedrooms, which means you can put a whole family and sometimes even two into a single property. When you compare the rate for a vacation rental per night to that of a traditional hotel room, there really is no comparison. You can sleep a lot more for a lot less. And you get the bonus of added amenities like a living room, a kitchen that allows you to cook if you prefer to stay in, and patios and decks with beautiful views, most outfitted with a barbecue to enjoy.
Because the island has invested in its future and taken steps to give potential visitors a lot of reasons to come, business is surprisingly good. And that means that companies like Catalina Island Vacation Rentals and others catering to the tourism business can do other creative things to take advantage of the changing tide.
BUSINESSES TEAM UP TO OFFER ENHANCED VALUE
In an effort to make sure travelers discover the opportunities on the island, Catalina Island Vacation Rentals is offering one free night of lodging for every two nights that guests pay for. In addition to offers like this, a lot of island businesses are working together to develop package opportunities that really sweeten the pot.
According to Strege, “We all want to help each other and we do what we can to contribute to one another’s success. Right now we’ve got a very special deal going with the Catalina Flyer, which is the largest boat that comes to Catalina. The Flyer departs out of Newport Beach and is offering anyone who books lodging with Catalina Island Vacation Rentals a free companion ticket. What they’re actually doing is giving one free round trip ticket for every full fare ticket purchased. And their full fare rate is quite reasonable at $68 per person. The Flyer is running this joint special with us until May 31, 2011, so, for a while, visitors to the island can not only get three nights for the price of two, but they can also save half the cost of transportation over to the island.”
Transportation incentives aren’t the only thing that companies like Catalina Island Vacation Rentals are using to attract new visitors. In a special arrangement with the Santa Catalina Island Company, visitors staying with Catalina Island Vacation Rentals can book a plethora of tours and activities at the same time that they book their accommodations.
BRIMMING WITH ACTIVITY
One thing’s for certain, if you walked down the streets of Avalon anytime last summer or fall, you saw that there was a lot for the local travel industry to be happy about. The island was hopping with both repeat visitors as well as first-timers excited to discover the many new attractions that Catalina has to offer. Strege concludes, “The bottom line is, if you’ve got a good product and you can find ways to tell people about it, they really will come—and even a tough recession will have a hard time keeping them away. We realized that we had to go way above and beyond the call of duty to get people to pay attention to everything we have to offer on Catalina today. And because the Island Company and others were willing to step up to the plate and do some amazing things, we’re seeing those efforts pay off in ways we never imagined.”
If you’d like to know more about the properties available through Catalina Island Vacation Rentals, log onto CatalinaVacations.com.
About Catalina Island Vacation Rentals, Inc.
Catalina Island Vacation Rentals, Inc., offers the largest selection of vacation lodging on Catalina Island with nearly 200 privately-owned properties, ranging from beautiful villas at Hamilton Cove to quaint cottages, houses and condos in the charming resort village of Avalon, California. CIVR’s properties are very well maintained and offer something for every taste and budget. Their staff of reservation specialists, who are all Islanders, can help you plan a truly unforgettable island getaway.
David Wilson 909-337-7579