Which item would you want in your vacation rental?

21 Replies

Hey everyone! We have a vacation rental in northern Utah up in Bear Lake. Currently we have a ping pong table and a basketball shootout in the basement. 

We will be converting the basement in to two rooms. There really won’t be room for a ping pong table on a different floor. 

We are curious what you think and what guests might prefer to have out of these 5 choices: 

Ping pong table

Foosball table

Basketball shootout

Arcade machine (pac man or multi games)

Air hockey. 

Which do you think guests would prefer most? Thanks again!!

@Jason Johnson Get rid of them all. It’s just more junk to break and get complaints. “Where are the mini basketballs” 3am. Half joking. But not really.

Electronic games are not a great idea, @Lucas Carl mentioned just more to break and maintain.  I too have pool tables as @John Underwood mentioned and it is a worthwhile investment, just make sure you have a large enough area for it.  I also have outdoor games such as corn hole, rope toss, etc... but my VR locations are good for the outdoors.

Originally posted by @Kelly I. :
@John Underwood. Have you had many issues with the wear of felt tips or the felt in the table?

 No issues with table. I've had the pool table several years now. I have replaced a couple pools sticks but I just buy the $15 ones off Amazon.

@Lucas Carl these kind of kitschy and unusual house geegaws are very appealing to AirBnB guests seekIng ecperIences. Very different crowd from your typical renters

@Steve B. I self manage 5 vacation rentals and I assure you.... you don’t want gadgets in your home. Unless you want to answer questions at all hours about how to use the gadgets.

Originally posted by @Steve B. :
@Lucas Carl these kind of kitschy and unusual house geegaws are very appealing to AirBnB guests seekIng ecperIences. Very different crowd from your typical renters

 I agree with Lucas Carl. You don't want these things that break and cause questions and possibly get you a bad review. He runs 5 Airbnb's so this is his market. His opinion is from experience and he is an expert in this market.

I've got a pool table and foosball. Both are easy maintenance and folks love it. I replace the pool sticks once in a while and will probably have to refelt once every two years but the ROI is worth it.

@John Underwood I disagree I think pac man, a pool or ping pong table provides  the guests with a nice vacation experience.  I too owned airbnb’s.  Thanks repeating Lucus’s response though .  Looks like he gave  you an upvote for it. 

@Jason Johnson   I had a foosball in our cabin in Tahoe for many years until it finally died.  Seemed to get a lot of good feedback from it and the only thing you can lose is the ball which actually never happened.  Just be sure it's a high quality durable professional version as the cheap ones on Amazon won't last long at all.  

Good luck with the remodel! 

@Jason Johnson If I had to choose it would be the arcade machine -reason being it should work unless as you have power. All other items rely on extra pieces to operate which guests tend to lose. However, I'm with @Lucas Carl where I would not provide anything extra. You won't receive any more reviews/income and it's just a cost to you'll incur to replace.
Guest value an exceptionally clean home and great customer service over any amenity.

@Jason Johnson I find myself in the same position except we're about to close on a STR in Wears Valley/Pigeon Forge area and start listing it on our own on Airbnb. It was managed and its furnishings and reviews include the Pacman game that is going with the sale. Personally, I don't care and didn't think we'd replace it based on what I've read and heard from people whose opinion and experience I respect. We have board game with chess and a knock hockey table. I was not going to replace the Pacman game to start off. @John Underwood has a good idea with pool table but in our cabin we just don't have the room so we're not going that route. @Richard Ibeh offers good input - a clean home and great customer service will help.

@Steve B. If you had multiple STR’s you would not have gadgets or games that could break or lose items. We have logged calls about the TV remote at all hours of the night. We fixed that problem but I will never have anything that needs troubleshooting.

With regards to maintaining and inventory'ing all of this stuff, I suspect it depends on your price point.  Our largest property has pool, ping-pong, mini basketball, croquet, horseshoes, cornhole, volleyball, bocce, and we will be adding a multicade arcade game.  Our guests pay an average of $6k+ a weekend, so I can pay someone to inventory and replace without it taking a meaningful cut of our profits.  If we were getting $1k a weekend, it would be a different story.

Maximizing the number of beds will likely get you the highest return. To fill the extra space you could get a couch that could also be used as a bed. For our home we purchased fun activities that didn't take up space like board games, an XBOX (can be used as a dvd player), and an old school Nintendo Entertainment System. A lot of the games for the Xbox are free (fortnight) and the Nintendo came with a bunch of games already on it. A full list of everything that we bought for our Airbnb is located here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ebtdsg5VpOw5MVcwutNKO733lmg6T6vON70UT_3I4-c/edit?usp=sharing