Poconos STR Conference 2024 Raises Awareness and Gives a Boost to the Poconos Vacation Rental Industry

On March 7, 2024, the picturesque Camelback Resort in Tannersville, PA played host to the first-ever Poconos STR Conference, marking a significant milestone for the Poconos Association of Vacation Rental Owners (Poconos VRO), the local industry trade association. Co-sponsored by the Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau (PMVB) and the Pocono Mountain Association of Realtors (PMAR), this event aimed to unite the diverse interests of the local vacation rental industry, ranging from property owners and operators to community regulators.

With over 400 attendees, the one-day conference surpassed all expectations, earning accolades from Poconos VRO co-founder and president, Mark Shay, who described it as a “smashing success” that well exceeded the organization’s expectations.

“Vacation Rentals are a vital component of tourism and the local economy, and this conference brought together everything owner and operator needed to help their businesses flourish,” Shay stated. Furthermore, he added, “It was truly inspiring to witness such diverse perspectives coming together, engaging, and forging connections. The 2024 Poconos STR Conference marked a significant stride towards realizing Poconos VRO’s vision as the voice of the region’s STR industry.”

The event attracted a robust lineup of 30 exhibitors and sponsors, showcasing a wide array of services essential to the vacation rental ecosystem, from local property management and cleaning services to digital marketing and co-hosting solutions.

A highlight of the conference was the diverse range of keynote speakers and educational sessions, catering to professionals, investors, and those exploring the potential of vacation rental ownership. The morning keynote sessions featured Bill Faeth, a leading expert on operating successful vacation rental properties and delivering exceptional guest experiences. Faeth, who offers coaching services to property owners, emphasized the region’s untapped potential, stating, “You have a real gem here!” as he pointed out the window to Camelback’s ski slopes. He provided valuable insights into attracting guests to your property and profitably scaling.

Additionally, the conference addressed crucial topics such as regulatory challenges and community impact, with insightful sessions led by industry experts. Matt Curtis, representing Smart City Policy Group, provided valuable insights into the implications of vacation rental regulations, while local officials engaged in productive discussions during the “Revisiting the Model Ordinance” session.

One of the most significant contingents at the conference was realtors, with over 125 in attendance, demonstrating the real estate industry’s vested interest in short-term rental developments. PMAR’s efforts to raise public awareness of short-term rental issues proved instrumental in bringing over 30 elected and appointed officials to the event, fostering meaningful dialogue between stakeholders.

Cindy Knecht, Poconos VRO board member and chair of PMAR’s Short-Term Rental Committee, expressed enthusiasm about the event’s success, stating, “The Poconos STR Conference provided a valuable platform for realtors to engage with industry stakeholders and gain insights into the evolving vacation rental landscape. Our efforts, supported by a state grant aimed at raising public awareness on this topic, facilitated a real dialogue between municipal elected and administrative positions, paving the way for collaborative solutions.”

Tourism is a big part of the Poconos economy, with 1 in every 3 jobs directly tied to serving visitors. Chris Barrett, CEO of PMVB, emphasized the significant economic impact of short-term rentals on the region, noting that there are 11,000 hotel rooms in the 4-county region and roughly 6,800 licensed STRs. He further highlighted that the average visitor stays 1.5 days in a hotel and 3.4 days in a vacation rental, underscoring the key role of short-term rentals in the region’s continued prosperity.

In addition to realtors, individual owners also benefited from the conference’s educational offerings. Lindsey Rodriguez, owner of Stay Booked, a boutique property management company in the Poconos, hosted a jam-packed STR 101 session, providing invaluable insights for individual owners looking to navigate the vacation rental market.

In summary, the inaugural Poconos STR Conference provided a platform for constructive dialogue, networking, and learning, reflecting a balanced approach to the needs of residents, owners, vendors, and industry professionals alike. The resounding success of the event underscores the partners’ commitment to fostering a thriving vacation rental industry in the Poconos, with plans already underway for a repeat event in the spring of 2025.

For additional coverage, see STR conference connects owners, experts from Carbon County’s Times News.

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July 03, 2023

Some communities are more friendly to VRBO and Airbnb, others oppose the practice.  Here is an summary drawn from various HOAs (Home Owner Associations) and township regulations. Last Updated: March, 2024 ARROWHEAD LAKE (Coolbaugh Township and Tobyhanna Township, PA) As one of the area’s most recognized vacation home communities, Arrowhead Lake has a rich traditionContinue reading "Short-term Rental Friendly Pocono Communities"

The post Short-term Rental Friendly Pocono Communities appeared first on Pocono Vacation Home Sales & Short-term Rental.

March 01, 2022

Zoning, Rules and Regulations regarding Short-term Rentals, VRBO and AirBnB are changing in the Poconos, here is a scorecard of municipalities and what they say about running a short-term rental from your vacation home or income property.

The post STR Municipal Scorecard: Rules on Short-term Rentals in Boroughs and Townships in Poconos appeared first on Pocono Vacation Home Sales & Short-term Rental.