Vacationers in the Smoky Mountains have a lot of options when it comes to overnight accommodations. Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are packed with thousands of:
- cabins and chalets
- resort-style hotel rooms
- motel and hotel rooms
It’s no great secret – today’s guests demand MORE for their vacation dollars. They want it all and will spend hours looking for it. So why not provide them as much as you can in the way of amenities? Give your property that “sizzle” that will not only get them to rent NOW, but will also excite them to come back and rent for years to come! Have questions about amenities? Please give us a call; we’ll be happy to help!
How do you make YOUR rental property stand out from the rest?
The answer is simple: Awesome Amenities. Check out the top amenities Smoky Mountain visitors are looking for - and why!
If your vacation rental property has an unobstructed view of the mountains (or the city), there is no better amenity you can have in the Smokies! Guests will literally spend HOURS outside looking at “the view,” as it’s something they just don’t have at home. If your cabin has a great view but it’s blocked by trees, it’s really not a selling point for guests. If you own the property the impacting trees are on and there are no HOA restrictions – consider investing in a quality tree service to remove them!
Whether they end up using it or not, guests want a clean and properly working hot tub. That means all jets, heaters, and seats/cushions are working well and in place! If yours isn’t, fix it immediately. Arriving to a broken hot tub is a bad first impression for a guest.
Who doesn’t love a great steak or grilled fish? Many cabin-goers LOVE grilling out while on vacation, so a quality grill is key. This is one of those “have to have” amenities! Gas (propane or natural), charcoal, and picnic-style charcoal are all welcome, but be mindful that there are regulations regarding charcoal grills ON DECKS. Be sure whichever grill you choose meets fire and municipal guidelines. Questions? Give us a call - we can help!
If you have the space, a pool table is a great amenity. Kids and adults love them. Here are a few tips:
- Choose the largest size to fit the room
- Ensure table’s felt is in good condition
- Ensure side bumpers are on properly (not sagging) and in good shape
- Ensure your table is level
Air Hockey Table
If you only have room for one game table - and not enough space for a pool table - an air hockey table is a great option. Why air hockey over foosball, for instance? Children and adults of ALL ages can play it. Be sure you opt for a commercial-grade air hockey table, or as close as possible, because it will be getting some serious use!
Teens and adults love foosball! It’s a fun game for single players and teams. Like the air hockey table, go for the highest-quality/most robust table you can afford.
This is a newer amenity for many cabin owners, and guests LOVE THEM! There are plenty of options, all appealing to both kids and adults. If you have the room and budget, this is something to really set your cabin apart! Some favorites include:
- Multicade (50+ games, from classic to new)
- Shooting games
- Stand-alone or multiple-driver racing games
- Golden Tee golf
- Tabletop trivia-style games
- Cocktail table games (Ms. Pacman, for instance) that double as coffee tables
There are other game options that are nice but aren’t at the top of our list due to their required space and maintenance. Basketball games send balls flying and require a lot of room; shuffleboard is fun for adults but does require table cleaning, conditioning, and keeping a supply of powdered wax available; and pinball is a favorite but has fallen out of favor because of the loud music and maintenance costs.
Video Game Consoles
If you want to include games but have a smaller space, game consoles like Xbox, PlayStation, and Wii are good options. Just be realistic about controllers breaking (or going missing) and games being taken from the cabin (if you provide them). As long as you set realistic expectations, these are wonderful and relatively inexpensive amenities to add.
Big Screen TVs
When it comes to vacation home TVs, the flatter and bigger - the BETTER! If you still have “tube” style TVs, PLEASE update ASAP! When guests see these, they see (right or wrong) an old and outdated property! Each bedroom should have a flatscreen TV, and living rooms should all have big screen TVs!
These are at the top of the list with hot tubs. You should have 1 DVD player for each TV in your property. DVD players are fine unless you have a large-group luxury lodge or a property with a “home theater” with a big screen. You should spring for Blu-ray players in those cases! If you have a VCR, upgrade to at least a DVD player and get rid of the VCR and any tapes lying around.
Home Theater | Movie Room
If you have the space - maybe using a spare bedroom - or are considering new construction, you may want to plan for a dedicated theater room. This amenity really stands out to guests online! However, if you do add one, keep the controls simple! Have questions? Give us a call for answer and ideas!
If you don’t have a dedicated theater room, consider adding surround sound for the main living room TV. If it’s properly installed and working well, it’s a nice amenity to offer and market!
Internet | Wi-Fi
Guests have come to expect this, and many will quickly move on from your property if you DON’T provide it. Even if you think they should just be relaxing, guests want to be able to check emails, post on social media, and stream shows. Do yourself - and your guests - a favor and be sure you have a good internet connection. High-speed Wi-Fi is recommended.
This is a relatively new amenity for short-term vacation properties, but it’s a great way to give your property that extra “sizzle” that stands out to guests. It may even save you money on cable TV packages. However, not all properties can use a smart TV, especially if they are restricted by internet service. Be sure you have unlimited high-speed internet before considering this.
Private Indoor/Outdoor Pool
Vacation properties with a private pool - indoor or outdoor - are hugely popular with guests. Unfortunately, most properties with pools had them installed during the construction process, with very few added after the fact. If you’re planning to build new, or have a cabin with suitable property, adding a pool is one of the biggest things you can do for your rental!
Having ample, comfortable, and well-maintained outdoor deck seating (and small tables) is a HUGE deal to our guests - especially when the cabin has a great view! If your deck seating is in poor condition, or there’s not enough of it, guests are turned off. They feel like they are missing out on a big part of staying in a mountain cabin - enjoying the outdoors. Give your guests the outdoor experience they deserve and have come to expect!
Outdoor Living Spaces
Besides the deck, outdoor living spaces - including a pavilion, fire pit, or outdoor kitchen/dining area - are really appealing to guests. From custom seating and low-voltage lighting to seating around a fire pit and space to enjoy outdoor meals, great outdoor living spaces really stand out to guests when searching for the right cabin. These are also relatively low-cost amenities that generate great returns - both in revenue and repeat guests!
Green Energy | Solar Power
This is a brand-new amenity we’re telling owners about. It’s unique and really appeals to many guests looking for something more ecologically friendly. If your roof is not impeded by a tree canopy or shade, consider getting a solar power company to do a survey. Solar panel costs are just ⅓ of what they were 5 years ago, and purchase/installation costs are now generally recouped after just 5 years! So it’s a “feel good” choice for renters and a utility savings for you.