The vacation rental market has been gaining momentum and increased attention over the past years and while the industry was hugely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the rebound of travel has exceeded all expectations. A new norm of travel has emerged highlighting mountain towns as top travel destinations and cabin rentals as one of the most appealing and safest places to stay during the pandemic. 

Whether you’re looking to make a solid investment in a top vacation destination or purchase your dream family cabin in the mountains with the hopes of making a little rental cash on the side, buying a cabin is a smart investment if you establish your goals, plan strategically and do your market research wisely.

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The Short-Term Rental Industry Is Thriving

The global vacation rental market was valued at $87.09 billion in 2019 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 3.4% reaching $113.9 billion by 2027. A recent AirDNA report on the economic outlook of the industry shows that short term rentals thrived during the Covid-19 pandemic with occupancy rates up 67% and summer demand 62% higher than in 2019. 

Once a cottage industry, the short-term rental market is now mainstream and thriving! Google has jumped on the bandwagon with a new Google Vacation Rentals search feature, Netflix launches “The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals” and Vrbo’s recently released video highlights the appeal of a home-away-from-home to safely reconnect with friends and family. The explosive demand for vacation and cabin rentals confirms this is exactly what travelers want in 2021!

Vacation Home Sales Are Historically High

The purchase of vacation homes spiked during the pandemic making the vacation rental industry one of the fastest growing real estate markets in the US. A report from the National Association of Realtors shows that between January and April 2021, vacation homes sales skyrocketed with an increase of 57% year-over-year with 45% of vacation homes sales prioritizing proximity to water sports and outdoor activities in their searches. Historically low interest rates, the current economic climate and increased demand for vacation homes makes a cabin a worthwhile investment for memorable family vacations, a remote office with a view and a worthwhile investment that appreciates over time, yields substantial returns and capitalizes on the current demand for mountain destinations and cabin rentals.

Mountain Destinations Are Trending


Mountain destinations are trending, confirmed by a recent Vrbo 2021 Trend Report in which 82% of families surveyed already have travel plans for 2021 with 61% saying they are more likely to visit an outdoorsy destination. The shift in travel behaviors since the pandemic has boosted demand in rural drive-to destinations close to metropolitan areas with the calming appeal of a mountain town, the rustic charm of a timeless mountain cabin and socially-distanced and secluded activities in the great outdoors.

Cabin Rental Searches Up 148%

Cabin Rental

There is a rising demand for cabin rentals with 90% of travelers searching for rural destinations (compared to 70% in 2019) and 33% of searches including cabin rentals, up 148% from last year! The pandemic brought on a shift in work-life balance which has positively impacted the industry. Family travel is on the rise as remote working and online schooling becomes part of our new norm, there’s a higher demand for larger cabin rentals as families reunite and plan their long awaited family reunions and a bigger focus on amenities as we spend more time in the comfort of home. There’s a certain nostalgia we all feel at the mere mention of a cozy and secluded cabin rental! Connecting with family and friends in a quiet setting, outdoor activities for the whole family, tranquil mountain views and heart-warming family traditions. Buying a cabin gives you a mountain getaway you can call your own and an investment with ongoing rental income and the potential to pay for itself over time.

Location Is Key!

As with any real estate purchase, location is key! The latest trends show that travelers are still staying away from urban hubs and are seeking drive-to destinations with easy access to outdoor attractions. The location of your cabin will directly impact the performance of your rental so be sure to do an in-depth market analysis and research if you plan to add your cabin to the rental market. Research the rental demand, projected revenue growth, short-term rental regulations and seasonality. A popular four-season vacation destination with year-round activities and occupancy will maximize your earning potential, boost your ROI and create long-lasting vacation memories for your family, and many others! 

Bear Lake is ranked one of the best places to buy a Lake House in 2021! The spectacular “Caribbean of the Rockies” is one of Utah’s top attractions, an oasis in the summer months, a winter wonderland with easy access to one of the best ski resorts in Utah, and famous raspberry shakes year round! Bear Lake is experiencing a boom in tourism and there’s a higher demand for cabin rentals than ever before. Utah State Parks visitors increased over 2.6 million from 2019-2020, Bear Lake campsites and vacation homes are at full occupancy and the turquoise waters are alive with activity.

The Benefits Of A Property Manager

Bear Lake cabin rentals have a historically proven rental income, but the vacation rental market is not straight-forward and can be demanding on your time! Partnering with a local, reputable property management company offers a tried, tested and seamless property management experience that takes the hassle and headache out of managing your own vacation rental cabin. A reputable local property manager will even assist in the purchase, advising you on local market insights, prime property locations, suggested rental prices, local regulations and tax rules in the current market and the full financial potential of your cabin as a vacation rental.  

At Bear Lake Premier Cabins, we understand that each Bear Lake cabin is unique and offer homeowners a hassle-free solution to manage, maintain and market your home with custom designed tools to maximize your return on your investment for long-term success.

Contact us today to find out how we can partner with you to ensure your home is in safe hands.