Mid-Atlantic
Ken Blevins / Wilmington Star News

NC - 'The Best Fall We’ve Ever Had': Coastal Vacation Rentals in High Demand

This year has been a rollercoaster for many of those who manage rental properties in the beach towns that dot the coastline of Southeastern North Carolina.

COVID-19 hit the United States in mid-March, just when rental properties tend to see an uptick in spring break bookings. Instead, many saw cancellation after cancellation. Temporary state and local bans on short-term rentals appeared to doom the rental season before it began.

But when bans lifted, people rushed to reserve vacation rentals. Reservations have remained steady for local rental companies throughout the summer and into the fall.

Watching the vacation rental season ‘fall apart’

For Ian Kraus, a property and reservations manager at Intracoastal Vacation Rentals in Wrightsville Beach, the cancellations began streaming in mid-March. Kraus estimates he handled 450 cancellations this spring. That's unheard of.

"I’ve never been anywhere close to that,” Kraus said.

The initial uncertainty surrounding the pandemic led to the flood of cancellations that seemed to threaten the rental season.

“People were cancelling, not coming, trying to reschedule," said Jessica Elliott, the marketing director at Sea Scape Properties in Wrightsville Beach. "This whole time, we’re just seeing our whole season fall apart.”

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