Big Bear Vacations + Whimstay: Big Business for Small Town Stays
3 min

Big Bear Vacations + Whimstay: Big Business for Small Town Stays

How Whimstay helped Big Bear Vacations scale incremental revenue by targeting savvy and spontaneous travelers in search of last minute deals on vacation rentals in the region.

“Getting day-trippers to stay overnight has always been a challenge,” confesses Melissa Gade, Manager of Distribution and Revenue at Big Bear Vacations, the leading vacation rental company in Big Bear, California. In their quest to encourage more visitors to experience their vibrant small town, they found a reliable partner in Whimstay, who assisted in sparking a surge in last minute bookings.

Since 1907, Big Bear Vacations has been a cornerstone of their local community, offering comfortable accommodations and nurturing the growth of local tourism. Yet, they faced a daunting task: how to unlock the potential of last minute guests seeking a quick, affordable getaway?

The Challenge: Enticing Day-Trippers to Extend Their Stay

Situated at an elevation of over 6,750 feet, Big Bear is a year-round haven for Southern Californians. Its draw is significant – a refuge from the summer heat and a haven for winter sports. Yet, despite this appeal and its proximity to Los Angeles, getting travelers to extend their visit remained a significant struggle.

Big Bear Vacations operates in a drive-thru market. Overnight guests stay longer and spend more, which is reflected in the local economy. Vacation rentals are the second largest contributor to local tax revenue in Big Bear and constitute the fifth most significant source of employment. In fact, vacation rentals represented a staggering 77% of all visitor spending in Big Bear Lake in 2021.

Ensuring full occupancy, particularly for gap nights and weeknights, weighed heavily on their operations and the property owners they represent. Moreover, the goal to attract last minute travelers and day-trippers, especially during off-peak seasons, presented a persistent challenge as they strived to scale their business and support their employees and the community they serve.

Getting day-trippers to stay overnight has always been a challenge. We love that Whimstay is here for our guests and owners for last minute demand.

– Melissa Gade, Manager of Distribution and Revenue at Big Bear Vacations

The Solution: Pioneering a New Partnership

Enter Whimstay. Following a compelling presentation at a travel industry conference, Big Bear Vacations recognized the untapped potential of targeting last minute travelers in the short-term rental market. As a result, they formed a strategic partnership with Whimstay.

With its comprehensive approach, Whimstay not only facilitated the onboarding of Big Bear’s listings but also negotiated enticing discounts for travelers seeking spontaneous, budget-friendly vacations. Their platform offered an avenue for last minute booking seekers – a target audience that Big Bear Vacations was eager to attract.

The Impact: From Expiring Inventory to Increased Bookings

The results? Big Bear Vacations noticed an uptick in last minute bookings almost immediately. Whimstay’s proactive account management team continued to provide crucial market insights to Big Bear Vacations while also ensuring that customers received the highest standard of service synonymous with Big Bear Vacations.

Ultimately, this collaboration resulted in lower expiring inventory, increased revenue, and reduced churn, underpinning the growth and sustainability of Big Bear Vacations, the region’s longest-standing vacation rental company.

For other businesses facing similar hurdles, the success story of Big Bear Vacations and Whimstay underscores the value of strategic partnerships in tapping into new customer segments and unlocking revenue opportunities.

Vacation Rental cabin in Big Bear at night

One of the many stunning cabin rentals available at Big Bear Vacations

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