When you think ‘Nevada mountain cabin’, it’s snow frosted peaks and a pair of ski’s resting in the doorway that spring to mind. And undoubtedly the ski season is huge for the western ski states: it’s when those high-value bookings come flooding in. 

But growing earnings from your mountain properties is about more than just nailing ski season. Whether you’re managing a cozy chalet or a luxurious lodge, understanding the seasonal rhythms and the preferences of your guests is crucial for maximizing bookings and income. Your strategy needs to encompass every season. And you need to understand not just what guests are looking for, but also where they are searching. 

Let’s dive into tailored strategies for peak ski season, shoulder season, and off-season, and explore the best platforms to list your properties on for maximum bookings.

Peak Ski Season: Seizing the High-Value Opportunities

As winter blankets the mountains, the ski season is in full swing, with guests eager to hit the slopes and enjoy après-ski festivities. During this peak period, your rates should reflect the high demand. The average daily rate (ADR) for this season is around $422, with an average booking value (ABV) of $1616 and a booking window of 35 days.

Your primary competitors are hotels, which have increasingly adapted their pricing strategies to compete with short-term rentals (STRs). To stand out, it’s essential to highlight the unique advantages your vacation rentals offer over hotels. Emphasize features such as more spacious accommodations, private amenities, and the comfort of a home away from home. Ensure your property is available well in advance to capture early planners, who make up the majority of bookings.

Consider adjusting your pricing to reflect the demand, keeping rates high to maximize your revenue during this bustling season. Hotels typically fill up quickly, creating a window of opportunity for vacation rentals to capture high-value bookings. Keep your listings updated with enticing photos showcasing your property’s best features, such as scenic views, hot tubs, and cozy fireplaces, which are particularly appealing during the winter months.

Shoulder Season: Attracting Last-Minute Bookers

As the snow starts to melt and the slopes become quieter, the shoulder season presents a different set of opportunities. The average ADR during this period drops to around $255, with an ABV of $907 and a booking window of 23 days. This is the time for offering attractive deals to travelers who are flexible with their plans and looking for good value.

To appeal to last-minute bookers, consider lowering your prices and offering non-refundable rates. This strategy can significantly boost your occupancy rate as guests seek last-minute deals. Highlight any discounts prominently in your listing descriptions and ensure guests understand the value they are getting. Besides skiing, promote other attractions and activities such as local saunas, dining options, and scenic hiking trails. These features can sweeten the deal for travelers who might otherwise be deterred by the uncertainty of the snow conditions.

Showcasing the versatility of your property and its surroundings can also enhance its appeal. Update your marketing materials to highlight summer activities and amenities, making your listing attractive to a broader audience. This approach not only boosts your occupancy during the shoulder season but also helps maintain a steady flow of guests throughout the year.

Off-Season: Embracing the Family Fun

As the high altitudes lose their snow and the weather warms up, the off-season offers a unique set of opportunities for attracting guests. The ADR during this time is around $304, with an ABV of $1038 and a booking window of 30 days. Families and outdoor enthusiasts are looking for adventures beyond skiing, such as hiking, mountain biking, and lake swimming.

To attract this audience, position your rental as the perfect base for summer activities. Highlight the local attractions, such as hiking trails, bike paths, and nearby swimming spots. Update your photos to reflect the sunny season, showcasing outdoor spaces and vibrant landscapes. Your pricing should be set competitively, positioning your rentals slightly below peak season rates but above the discounts offered during the shoulder season.

Maintain an updated and steady pricing strategy, and keep your availability current. Families planning vacations are likely to book in advance, so make sure your listings are always up-to-date. By presenting your property as a year-round destination, you can maintain a steady stream of guests and ensure your rental remains profitable throughout the off-season.

Choosing the Right Platforms for Maximum Visibility

Listing your property on the right platforms is just as crucial as setting the right price. For peak ski season, consider platforms like Marriott, where the ADR is approximately $497. This channel is ideal for attracting guests looking for a luxurious, up-market experience.

During the shoulder season, Google Travel is a valuable platform, with an ADR of $196. Its easy price comparison feature is perfect for last-minute travelers seeking discounts. For the off-season, Hopper is a great choice, with an ADR of $244. This platform is popular among domestic tourists, making it ideal for summer bookings.

By strategically listing your property on these channels, you can ensure that it reaches the right audience at the right time, boosting your chances of securing bookings and maximizing your revenue.

Leveraging Market Insights and Channel Management

Understanding your market and leveraging the right tools can significantly enhance your booking rates and revenue. Rentals United offers comprehensive market insights that help you set competitive prices and stay ahead of the competition. Their channel management system ensures that your listings, prices, and availability are always up-to-date across all platforms, making it easier to reach the right guests.

With these tools at your disposal, you can focus on refining your marketing strategies, enhancing your property’s appeal, and optimizing your booking processes. Whether it’s adjusting your rates for the peak ski season or showcasing family-friendly features for the off-season, the right approach will help you boost your bookings and increase your revenue year-round.

Ready to elevate your vacation rental game? Together, we can turn your mountain rental into a year-round success story.