Vail rental company taps Denver convention market
Vail, CO, Colorado
VAIL ” Mark Cervantes and Tommy Hoffman were thinking about renting their own units near downtown Denver for the week of the Democratic National Convention. Then the idea hit: Why not rent other people’s places, too?
Cervantes and Hoffman, who currently run vailskivacations.com, had been thinking about opening a Denver branch of the business, and decided to use the upcoming convention as a springboard into that market.
They registered two domain names ” denverconventionhousing.com and democraticconventionhousing.com ” and started getting phone calls from prospective customers.
“We’re doing what we do for Vail Ski Vacations,” Cervantes said. “We know how to do this.”
So the new company went looking for properties for rent and offered their services. They also started looking for rates, and started rating properties. They also got an idea of what places should rent for.
It isn’t cheap. A one-bedroom unit right downtown can command between $750 and $1,000 per night. Two-bedroom places start at $1,300 per night, and there’s a home in Cherry Creek that rends for a cool $6,000 per night.
Even at those rates, though, some owners are looking for more.
“Some of the owners have been very aggressive,” Cervantes said. “We’ve had to tell owners, ‘What are you willing to go down to?'”
On the other hand, people are moving out of their homes for a week, so Cervantes said he understands why they’re seeking top dollar.
Chris Taylor made his downtown home available “to get out of the traffic,” he said. He found denverconventionhousing.com through the convention’s official Web site.
He had to provide photos of his place, and people from the housing company came in to tour his place near Cheesman Park. Not long after, his place was rented.
The money from the week’s rental will help pay for a vacation of his own, Taylor said.
Beyond rental, though, Cervantes and Hoffman have to make sure everything goes right for the renters, and the homes are in the same shape their owners left them.
“We don’t have to be property managers in Vail, because all the properties we rent are already managed,” Cervantes said. “In Denver, we had to become managers.”
The company hired a property management company at a per-home rate to take care of the units it’s renting out.
Cervantes said he hopes the convention rental Web site will lead to more business in Denver. And, he said, he hopes to get a few conventioneers up to the mountains in the days before and after the convention, using vailskivacations.com, of course.
“We’re just trying to build a business,” he said.
Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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