Professional Properties vs Short Term Vacation Rentals
Professional Properties vs Short Term Vacation Rentals: “A rising tide floats all boats” conjures up a visual that applies to our unique lodging industry. When all segments play by the rules, the entire industry benefits. How so? With oversight and compliance with reasonable standards, guests can have confidence that their stay will be safe, clean, as advertised, and comfortable. Lodging owners, whether vacation rental owners, innkeepers, hotels, can speak with one voice that shows care, concern, and the desire to provide a favorable and memorable experience for the traveler. With the rapid expansion of lodging types, many state/local regulatory agencies are in the process of ‘catching up’. Our own City of Clayton and Rabun County are now trying to make sense of it all for the benefit of our communities and for you as travelers.
The proliferation of short-term vacation rentals means more properties are available, which can help a community’s business. But short-term rentals offer issues that may arise from renters. These problems can be anything from excessive noise, more traffic coming through the neighborhood, vandalism, and even small things such as leaving trash out on the street. Often these properties fly below the radar and avoid local taxes and safety regulations.
Beechwood Owners and Operators
At Beechwood Inn, we as owner and operators consider ourselves professionals. In every way we care about your comfort, health, and safety, just as we do our own. In furtherance of this, Beechwood Inn complies with State of Georgia Health and Safety Rules that apply to both lodging properties and to commercial restaurants. Our property is subject to surprise inspections twice a year for each. We are proud to say we have 20 years of straight 100’s for both our “Tourist Accommodation” and “Commercial Restaurant” Inspections.
In addition to health and safety we also have codes and licensing from our City of Clayton and County of Rabun regulating our tourist operations, food service and more. As a commercial lodging property we carry all appropriate insurances to protect our guests, our employees and us as owners for both property damage/loss and liability. Many vacation rental properties do not carry commercial insurance. We also follow fire safety guidance applicable to commercial lodging properties which requires appropriate smoke and fire detection, alarms (Including ADA compliant alarms), marking of exits, placement and inspection of fire extinguishers, safety lighting and more. Many vacation rentals do not.
The Beechwood Inn pays all its applicable taxes, which includes city and county Hotel/Motel Tax, State Transportation Tax, sales taxes as well as a host of local and state property and use taxes. In Rabun County we learned several years ago that most vacation rentals do not collect or pay many of these taxes. This we noted to our city and county leaders is revenue they should seek, which they now are making a better attempt to collect.
We are members of industry and trade organizations such as the Association of Lodging Professionals (ALP), a trade organization for Inns and Bed and Breakfast properties. They offer conferences, seminars, training, best practices, and guidance for our segment of lodging properties. They also work closely with the AHLA (American Hotel and Lodging Association) that has as members the large hotel chains, to keep us abreast of Federal and State laws, policies, and practices, such as COVID 19 cleaning and sanitation standards during a pandemic.
Select Registry – Professional Properties vs Short Term Vacation Rentals
Beechwood Inn is also a member of Select Registry – Distinguished Inns of North America, a coalition of the best 400 Inns and Bed and Breakfast properties in North America. They certify members only after inspections of each property and its operators and require recertification on a regular basis. We have adopted the Select Registry “Stay Safe, Select Safe” Program. It is a COVID 19 certification program based on recommendations by the CDC, US Travel, AHLA and other industry leaders. The program is designed to help Select Registry properties communicate to travelers the various enhanced cleaning, sanitation and operational procedures that are being undertaken to protect guests and staff. Practices not necessarily used by vacation rental properties.
During COVID 19 are short term rentals safe? You need to study this closely. Only since November has Airbnb instituted mandatory COVID 19 Safety and cleaning practices for its member properties. There are plenty of other short term rental companies besides Airbnb, and many independents, so proceed with caution.
We also live on our property. We consider our 7 acres that includes: the Beechwood Inn, the Garden Cabin, Blue Berry Cabin, and our private residence our “home on the range.” We want beautiful well-kept grounds, clean rooms, great food and wine and an outstanding reputation for our property and our employees. More than anything we value our guests, their comfort and enjoyment for their time away. When you as prospective visitors are looking for a wonderful place to visit and stay – look for properties that can say: This property offers commercial insurance protection, has the required permits, abides by all applicable professional practices and pays all its taxes. And the owners live on the property and respect their environment. It makes a big difference for you as a guest and for our communities where we live.
Gayle and David Darugh
Owners and Operators
Professional Properties vs Short Term Vacation Rentals
Would you like to visit the North Georgia Mountains and visit our lovely property? We offer wonderful lodging, great food and wine and elegant service. Check our availability now:
Want more things to do? Here are a few ideas: