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Is Beryl posing a threat to short-term rental company business?

Posted at 8:52 PM, Jul 02, 2024

  • Short term rental companies are experiencing a surplus of calls from concerned renters deciding if they should cancel reservations.
  • Renters and property owners are worried about Hurricane Beryl potentially impacting the Fourth of July vacation week in Port Aransas.
  • Life in Paradise rentals is staying calm and telling stressed renters that they don't know anything more than them about the hurricane's status.

The potential threat of Hurricane Beryl in South Texas is causing short-term property renters vacationing for the Fourth of July to consider canceling their reservations. One of the local short-term rental companies dealing with stressed renters is Life in Paradise in Port Aransas. Life in Paradise manages 615 properties in a 5 to 7-mile radius.

“Whether it’s a tropical storm or a category five hurricane, it happens no matter what. And you know, they’re not here, so they don’t know," Life in Paradise employee Josh Murphy said.

Josh Murphy has lived in Port Aransas for his whole life and he has worked at Life in Paradise for 4 years. He said that people stressing about canceling their vacation rentals with talk of a tropical storm or hurricane is typical for his job. The Life in Paradise employees like to stay calm in situations like these.

“We all want to be very aware of any potential danger for our guests, or our owners, or anybody that’s visiting Port Aransas. We want to be aware of what situations might occur. But, we don’t want to over react. That’s kind of the danger of all of it," Life in Paradise Owner Steve Dewitt said.

Employees answered phones off the hook on Tuesday with Fourth of July week renters calling to ask if they should cancel their reservations in Port Aransas due to Hurricane Beryl or not.

"You know, we’re just being prepared. It could miss us by a thousand miles, you know, you just never know. But, we want to make sure that we don’t put anybody in danger," Dewitt said.

Dewitt and his team do not take safety lightly. That's why Dewitt said he will refund all renters in full, in the event of an emergency evacuation to make sure everyone stays safe and does not put themselves in harms way.

When people call with concerns, Life in Paradise employees inform them that if it is less than 30 days before their reservation, they will not be refunded unless there is an emergency evacuation in Port Aransas.

"The best information we can give them is that ultimately the decision is on their part to make the decision for themselves and their family's safety if they feel that it is unsafe. But at this point, you know, it looks like Fourth of July as usual for us," Dewitt said.

As for next week, the Life in Paradise crew is playing it by ear.

“You know, as of right now, I’m not too concerned with what I’m seeing. Obviously, if it does come here, you know, it’s probably gonna be another Harvey, where we all know what happened there. But again, I’m not overly concerned with you know, what it may do. I just want to kinda see what it actually does," Murphy said.

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