Historically, renting a vacation rental home has been quite an adventure: visiting dozens of sites, calling or emailing multiple owners or property managers, reviewing and signing rental contracts, mailing deposit checks, going elsewhere to secure air and ground transportation. VacationRoost was founded to make shopping for vacation rentals as easy as booking a hotel online.
In 2006, VacationRoost began consolidating vacation rental home inventory. Along the way, the company acquired several providers of vacation homes and villas that were helping consumers find vacation rentals in specific vacation destinations including Mountain Reservations, Mexican Destinations, Moguls Mountain Travel, Rooster and VR Gateway. Today VacationRoost offers over 150,000 vacation rentals in over 80 vacation destinations.
Getting the inventory was only the first step. Unlike hotels, airlines, rental cars and other major categories of travel that are connected to global distribution systems, the vacation rentals industry is hugely fragmented and does not utilize any consolidated systems or electronic distribution mediums. VacationRoost has spent years building direct-connect gateways and electronic connectivity to over 800 property management companies. This real time connectivity allows VacationRoost to display updated rates and availability on its websites, and allows consumers to book online with a credit card. VacationRoost compliments this online booking capability with online merchandising techniques that are custom designed to showcase the specific details of unique vacation rental inventory. Finally, VacationRoost includes online shopping for air, car, ground transfers, lift tickets, and ground activities to allow the consumer to have full-service vacation planning capability online with the vacation rental product.
While providing customers with online availability and booking is important, VacationRoost listened to its customers who told them that they wanted help when shopping for vacation rentals. Customers were looking for a knowledgeable customer service expert who could advise them about vacation destinations and help them select the perfect vacation home for their needs. VacationRoost met this need with its Destination Expert Program, where customers are routed directly to experienced Destination Experts who take calls from their homes in the destinations themselves. Customers were thrilled to know that they were talking with a person who knew the properties and could look out their window and describe the current weather in their vacation destination! Destination Experts help VacationRoost’s customers arrange all aspects of their vacations, from finding the perfect home, arranging air and ground travel, booking destination activities, to advising customers about local events and great restaurant.
VacationRoost's combination of broad inventory, cutting edge technology and in-market Destination Experts proved to be a winning formula and quickly got the attention of the company's resort and destination partners. VacationRoost has partnered with vacation resorts to provide central reservations and vacation planning services in more than 25 resorts and vacation towns through sites like Park City Reservations and Jackson Reservations. Together, these destination sites make up The Vacation Home Reservation Network. In 2010, VacationRoost expanded this service and is now providing central reservations services on a Partner Services basis for its partners through its Partner Services program.