Early April is not exactly a popular time for vacationers to come to Vermont: It’s mud season, and ski resorts are beginning to wind down — though of course, there can always be that early-spring whopper snow storm.
But this year, there’s a rare event happening in Vermont on April 8: a total solar eclipse.
And according to data scraped by PriceLabs from Airbnb, Booking.com and Vrbo, there’s a big spike in people booking short-term rentals for that time.
“Currently the market occupancy for the night of April 7, which would be the night before the eclipse, is sitting at 42.8% for the entire state,” said Monique DeLorenzo-Pomeroy, a solutions consultant with PriceLabs. “At this time last year, our occupancy for that same Sunday night … was only 9.6%.”
In northern Vermont, where the total eclipse will be visible, just under 80% of listings for April 7 are booked in Franklin, Orleans, and Chittenden counties, according to PriceLabs. In Washington County, that number is nearly 70%.
As demand increases and the eclipse gets closer, more short-term rentals are expected to come online. That’s according to Julie Marks, the executive director of the nonprofit Vermont Short-Term Rental Alliance (VTSTRA).
“Certainly I’ve heard things … people are gonna go stay with their friends and rent their own home out for the weekend, to, you know, opening up the RV that’s sitting in their driveway,” Marks said.
Weather depending, she added that backyard camping could become an option too.
To prepare for this influx of visitors, VTSTRA is encouraging rental hosts to reach out to local businesses to make sure there will be things for visitors to do.
“‘What restaurants can we go to on a Sunday night, on a Monday night, in early April? You know, what’s going to be open? What other activities can we do?'” Marks said.
VTSTRA will host a webinar on Feb. 12 for homeowners wanting to rent out for the eclipse.
Corey Dockser contributed data reporting to this story.
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