Twenty years ago, if you counted the cabins available for short-term rental in southern Illinois, the tally would stop at around 100.
âI would say it would quadruple if not five times more now,â said Allison Hasler, owner of Southern Illinois Vacation Rentals, a property management company that manages rental cabins and other vacation units in the area. âIt just skyrocketed.
Simply put, rental cabins are big business in Southern Illinois, especially when their role in tourism is factored in.
âIt’s such a big slice of the pie,â Hasler said. âAt first you think, ‘Oh, it’s just a place for someone to rest,’ but the cottage rental industry is all about experience and improving tourism in the region as a whole. . “
From primitive log cabins in the woods to luxury accommodations for whole families with gourmet kitchens, hot tubs and entertainment centers, a growing group of entrepreneurs are offering visitors experiences they will never forget.
People also read …
âPeople come down – and I say low because most of our guests are from northern Illinois – and they want to get loose, spend time in nature, visit the wineries and the outdoors and really be in. a slower life for a few days, “she said.
Despite the growing number of units available in the area, cabin operators say they often have waiting lists for those wishing to book stays.
âEven with all the new cabins and new operators, I haven’t seen a drop in business, even with increased competition,â said Jim Morgan, owner of Woodland Cabins near Carbondale. “We continue to break records year after year.”
Morgan said the COVID-19 pandemic has given the cabin rental industry a boost. After falling drastically at the start of closings in March 2020, bookings have rebounded and have not slowed down, he said.
âIn mid-April 2020, it got crazy and we’ve seen higher occupancy rates since. I think it’s because the rental cabins are more secluded and a lot of them have contactless check-in and check-out and I think vacation rentals in general whether in the south of the Illinois or in the mountains or at the beach, all worked well. COVID has been good for rentals, âhe said.
Morgan and Hasler both said the cabins are a nice addition to other area attractions, including wineries, outdoor activities and the Shawnee National Forest.
These iconic locations, including rental cabins, are part of the Southern Illinois 100 – the icons of our region. Learn more at www.thesouthern.com.