MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Memorial Weekend is often considered the first official cabin weekend of the season as Minnesotans jam the highways heading north for some time by the lake.
But you don’t need to own a cabin to go to one, and if you do own one, you may not be going. In our new economy, there’s a new trend emerging: people blocking out some or all of the summer to cash in on their cabins.
Bob and Chris Vogt can’t wait to get back to the three-bedroom cabin they rent just north of Duluth for their annual Memorial Day retreat.
“It has a hot tub, a sauna,” said Chris. “There are several places to sleep, nobody feels cramped. It’s really an amazing cabin.”
However, it’s not theirs. It’s a cabin they found on VRBO.com, which stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner. It’s a private place with glasses, dishes and towels provided, and plenty of room to stay with friends.
“The great thing about it is you don’t need to own a cabin,” said Bob. “You can rent a cabin and it’s a getaway that is not a lot of work.”
It’s also becoming a source of cash for more cabin owners.
“Especially in this economy, a lot of cabin owners are looking to increase revenues,” said Cameron Hinkel of LakePlace.com.
LakePlace.com now lists 1,200 cabins ranging from $500 to $5,000 per week. Owners block out some or all of the summer, the same way people sell part of their season tickets.
“What better way to get use out of your lake home than to rent it a few weeks here and there?” said Hinkel.
If you’re wondering what your cabin is worth, there’s an easy way to figure your weekly rate.
“You take your property taxes for the year, divide that by two and that’s typically the price the cabin will rent for one week,” said Hinkel.
One warning — many cabin communities have rules against renters, so make sure to check out the local laws before listing your cabin.