Archive for the ‘Comments by Waikoloa Vacation Rentals’ Category
The Big Island of Hawaii is a great spot to spend New Years. It is one of the few spots in the US where you can stand outside comfortable and enjoy the firework display. In recent years every resort had a display of fireworks that were magnificent. This year Mauna Lani Resort is offering the entertainment. The Fairmont Orchid is offering a “Beach Bash” that will go until midnight when the fireworks go off in the resort. If you do not want the hotel experience, Tommy Bahamas at the Shops at Mauna Lani offers entertainment as well as nice dining and bar area. The lanai at Tommy Bahamas is a great spot to watch the firework display.
As 2010 comes to an end we just wanted to extend a special thanks to all of our guests and owners in helping us have a successful 2010. We look forward to seeing many of you in 2011.
August was one of the busiest non-winter months Waikoloa Vacation Rentals has experienced since being in the vacation rental business. Talking with other professionals involved in lodging on the island, they also enjoyed more success than preceding months. Many speculated that we may be in “recovery” mode. With the recent release of vacation rental statistics it proved the exact opposite on a national level.
During August 2010, arrivals and revenues for the vacation rental industry fell 15% from August 2009. August caused the vacation rental industry to fall 3% behind 2009 in terms of arrivals. With over half of the year gone and the bulk of the traveling months passed, it is tough to tell if the vacation rental industry will have a better year in 2010 than 2009.
On a positive note, Hawaii fared the best out of all the states. The rental rates, arrivals, and length of stay were all up, generating a 19% increase in revenue. Considering that the states that fared the worst were the ones affected by the oil spill, many speculate that Hawaii did so well due to it being a viable alternative for those states. Looking at flight rates, which are also a large factor in contributing to Hawaii tourism, they were very similar to 2009 so that is not the cause of the increase in tourism.
Although we are extremely happy that August was a great month in Hawaii for the vacation rental industry, looking at the national figures it still appears that the vacation rental industry is far from recovery.
The vacation rental statistics have been released for the first half of 2010. While many people felt that tourism was doing better throughout the US in 2010 versus 2009, the statistics show the two years to be just about even. Hawaii was one of the few states that shows a large increase in occupancy in 2010 versus 2009. Hawaii enjoyed an increase of 24% in the number of nights reserved in the first half of 2010 versus 2009. There are a couple speculated reasons for this.
The first speculation is that many annual Florida vacationers chose to go to Hawaii due to the recent oil spill. Florida had a decrease in 3% in the number of nights reserved. A neighboring state, Alabama had a 15% decrease, which was one one of the largest.
The second speculation is that there were several large scale conferences held throughout the islands in the first quarter, which brought in a large number of people. Due to the economy in 2009, there were several large companies that canceled conferences in Hawaii that typically have conferences every year. A lot of hotels offered unprecedented deals on wedding packages bringing in groups to the resort areas.
The first quarter of 2010 started off strong and has steadily decreased throughout the US. This decrease will more than likely carry into the second half of 2010. From what is currently reserved Hawaii looks as though it will have a strong half of 2010 as opposed to 2009.
United Airlines has agreed to buy Continental airlines in a $3 billion stock deal. The deal will make them the worlds largest carrier. Although many people involved in wall street with the airline industry believe this is a good step forward, it is speculated that it will negatively effect travel to the Hawaiian Islands.
More than likely the merger will decrease the total number of flights (seats) available to Hawaii. With the current state of the economy and tourism down from what it was in 2008, it will not hurt the Hawaii tourism industry roughly 90% of the year. There were several weeks late December 2009 and early 2010 where travelers could not get to the islands due to no flight availability. It is speculated that these times of year will be worse and there will be a few more weeks where flights will be sold out to Hawaii.
The decrease in competition within flights coming to Hawaii will also cause a rise in cost. This is speculated to be the largest issue for Hawaii with the merger. Travelers could find this as being an issue as early as June 2010. It will more than likely allow Hawaiian Air to increase their rates, which were already increased in 2009 due to Aloha Airlines closing business.
The effects of the deal are just speculation by experts in the airline industry. Hopefully the deal will not continue to hurt tourism to the Hawaiian Islands.
The vacation rental industry is a large part of the Hawaii economy. Not only does it play a large role in tourism, but it also is a large contibutor to state taxes due to the transient accommodations tax. Just recently with the struggles of the economy the state and counties have had a hard time enforcing policies that have been set to regulate the industry.
The first issue is non conforming use of homes. This is when the homeowners attempt to rent their properties out as vacation rentals when the land use ordinance does not allow for that property to be a vacation rental. In these instances the fines can range from $50-$1000/day. Many homeowners can reach $100,000 in fines quickly. Typically if the county brings the issue to the homeowners attention and it is dealt with in a timely manner the fine will be drastically reduced up to 75%. If it is not dealt with in a timely manner then the county can enforce the maximum penalty since this non conforming use falls in the category of the homeowner doing it solely for financial gain.
The second issue is homeowners attempting to rent their properties out on their own and not being fully aware of the taxes for vacation rentals. For vacation rentals not only do you have the general excise tax, but you also have the transient accommodations tax of over 8%. This tax was raised by 1% in 2009 and will be raised another percent in 2010. There are a substantial amount of owners that do not pay this tax. Another fair amount of owners were unaware of the tax increases and did not charge the guests accordingly and did not pay the state the correct amount. Failing to pay the correct taxes for a vacation rental is fraud and homeowners can potentially be imprisioned.
Where the battle of legislation comes into play is that the counties would like to see the tax records from the state to see who is paying transient accommodations taxes. The counties are confident that most people do pay at least a portion of the transient accommodations taxes to avoid legal issues. If the counties could gain access to this information then they could compare the data to the land use ordinances to see who is renting their home out as a vacation rental in an area where this is not allowed. The state of Hawaii tax department can not share the information with the counties due to legislation. The two have battled for over a year now and no agreement has been met.
As the economy continues to struggle the state of Hawaii is bound to see this as a greater issue in the future. Many second homeowners are doing what they feel they need to do to keep possession of their home and not lose it to foreclosure. Hopefully in the near future the counties and state can reach an agreement to help policies be enforced.
After focusing their efforts on the Waikoloa Beach Resort, Waikoloa Vacation Rentals has decided to expand their scope of vacation rentals on the Big Island of Hawaii to include more at Mauna Lani and Hualalai.
While Waikoloa Vacation Rentals currently has three of the nicest condo rentals at Mauna Lani they decided to expand to some of the private homes in the area at Pauoa Beach. Pauoa Beach is known to be the most luxurious destination at Mauna Lani Resort and has a wide range of upscale living. The majority of Pauoa Beach is custom homes that offer spectacular ocean and beach views and range in rental rates from $2000-$5000/night. There were also several two bedroom hales “cottages” built along the golf course, which offer the luxuries of Pauoa Beach at $1000/night. All guests of Pauoa Beach get to enjoy the luxuries of the Pauoa Beach Club and easy access to Pauoa Beach.
While Waikoloa Vacation Rentals currently does not manage any properties at Hualalai, they are set to put a lot of marketing efforts into the area in hopes to acquire some of these magnificent private homes and villas. Hualalai is known to be the most luxurious resort on the Big Island of Hawaii and is home of the Four Seasons Hualalai, one of the only five star hotels in the area. The values of these homes range in price up to $32 million. There are also a number of multi million dollar villas scattered throughout the resort.
By the end of 2010, Waikoloa Vacation Rentals is expecting to have one of the largest selections of luxury vacation rentals along the Kohala coast of the Big Island of Hawaii.
As the economy continues to struggle people are finding it more necessary to take a vacation and get away from the “stresses of life”. Many people that once desired all the amenities and services of hotels have moved to staying in vacation rentals in order to save some money. Just recently there were two great examples of the move towards staying in vacation rentals on the television.
HomeAway, one of the leading vacation rental marketers, launched the first vacation rental advertisement during the Super Bowl. They brought back Chevy Chase and portrayed the hotel experience as a really bad one. Not only was it great for HomeAway, but it also increased awareness of vacation rentals as an option for vacations.
The Bachelor is a television show that has been aired for years. I think they have had close to a dozen seasons. As the show comes to an end the setting is typically in a beautiful location and they stay in one of the finest hotels there. This year it was set in St. Lucia in the Bahamas where many people are familiar with the hotel chains such as Sandals Resorts that operate there. Instead of staying in these notable resorts, they stayed in two and three bedroom luxury vacation rentals with private pools and jacuzzis. It was not something that they really publicized, but it just once again built peoples awareness of vacation rentals.
When friends or family come to visit me on the Big Island of Hawaii I always take the time to be a tourist with them and enjoy all the things the Big Island has to offer.
Just recently one of my friends came and was eager to do everything and especially see the volcano. We left Waikoloa Beach Resort at about 10 am and went along the north part of the island. We stopped at Akaka Falls to enjoy the waterfalls there. We got to Volcano National Part at about 2 pm and hiked around for a while. I had been there before so it was not anything special to me. Around 4 pm we left Volcano National Park and headed to the area where you can walk in and see the lava flowing into the ocean. We took about a hour hike in across lava rocks and reached an area where it was roped off and a lot of people were watching the lava flow into the ocean from the distance. We decided we would take our chances and hike in down by the ocean. Once we hiked about 15 minutes further and got down by the water I was pleasently surprised to see a beautiful black sand beach down there. We were probably about 25 feet from the lava and the ocean water was a warm. As we decided to come out we found dozens of people coming to see the beautiful site.
Since then they have predicted that some of the land around their may break off soon so I would not recommend getting too far in or reasearch it first. I would also recommend taking water, pants, hiking boots, and a flash light.
The Waikoloa Beach Resort golf courses offer a Gold Membership program to owners, which allows guests in their condos to enjoy golf at $50 and $75 at the Waikoloa Beach Course and Waikoloa Kings Course. This is a feature of vacation rentals that has become desireable to potential rentals.