Erinn....you may be sorry you asked!! But here goes................
I think I have told this story before on the forums and as with age…..comes some forgetfulness so I will do the best I can.
My first experience with Vacation Rentals was when my husband. son and I went to visit my daughter in Washington State. She lived on base at that time at Fort Lewis with her husband and family. Now keep in mind that the son I mentioned is now 30, is married and has 2 children of his own….so many years ago……. This little cabin was on a Lake and was perfect for us to go and visit with her and yet give us all some private time in the evenings. My son had his own room and so did we…it was my first experience in VR’s and I loved it. There have been many since that time that I have enjoyed in Oregon, visiting my mother and brother multiple times, in Colorado recently visiting my daughter at now Fort Carson, A family reunion in Montana for my husband and his large family. They all now use VRBO when traveling.
So back to my property……..In December of 2009 I decided to buy a home in Ozark, Missouri just between Springfield (closer there) and Branson, MO. I have family in the area and so it was somewhere for me to visit my family. (My permanent residence is in Wyoming near Keyhole Lake, State Park)
From day one it was my intention to list my home on VRBO for others to enjoy when I was not staying myself. More of a sharing my Vacation Home with others, in some ways to offset the expenses of keeping everything live as in electric, gas, internet, lawn care, taxes, insurance, etc. It went live with VRBO in February 2010……… But something else happened when I started to book guests ………………they loved it and expressed freely their gratitude for me sharing my home with them. During that time I grew to love sharing with others and hearing of their wonderful times in my home. It continued to be a such an amazing blessing to give so many their treasured vacation memories. To have others love my little home as much as I do……well there is nothing quite like it.
Now I have to admit, I was one of only 4 properties in the Springfield area at that time and so business was very good when I was not occupying the property, then the original 3 homes dropped off and I was the only one left. Life was good…..guests so very appreciative of having a home instead of a hotel. Fast forward 9 years….. I am part of much larger group and find that my property gets lost at times, but other than a couple of difficult guests, this little business still continues to bless me with wonderful, caring and appreciative guests.
While many treat this simply as a business, and I won’t say that the income isn’t appreciated, it is…..I have come to realize it has become a labor of love for me. Every year I wonder if I should stay in, whether I am spending too much time of my own life……. Enhancing guest vacation time (certainly a lot more to it now than then). So far, my love of this business even when changes come that complicates it has kept me in. I try not to look too far into the future and just re-evaluate each year……
Property located in Ozark, Missouri
Wonders of Wildlife museum in Springfield
Silver Dollar City in Branson along with many other wonderful attractions
Finley River attraction coming sometime in 2019 or early 2020,
a resort being built, along with Mill being restored by the owners of Bass Pro and Cabela’s. (also completed Wonders of Wildlife Museum recently.
P.S. The Fall colors this year were simply AMAZING had to include a picture