Vacation Rental Owners/Managers: Book Direct is alive and well.

2009 seems so long ago, but that’s when we launched our first state-specific, vacation rental website: RentWisconsinCabins.com, from a home office in Waunakee, WI. Now we have 6 Live websites with plans for 21 sites by the middle of 2017. We now have ‘legit’ office space in Middleton, WI.

It didn’t take long for rental owners & property managers around the country to tell us that there is a big demand for a listing website that embraces the “Book Direct” philosophy. We speak to vacation rental owners & managers often, and the conversations are similar; “large OTA’s are out of control! They control our inventory, rates and are now charging our renters an extra traveler fee.”  Our consistent growth has confirmed that large OTA’s are not the only advertising choice.

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RentWisconsinCabins.com: Nearly 700 rentals
RentMinnesotaCabins.com: Nearly 400 rentals
RentMichiganCabins.com: Over 200 rentals
Plus our newer states RentNewYorkCabins.com, RentMontanaCabins.com and RentTennesseeCabins.com: Over 200 rentals
…We are just getting warmed up!

Our renter traffic grows an average of 48% every year. Over the last year, our websites attracted over 1 million page views.

Why take on the time & expense to roll out unique websites for so many states? It’s never been done before! By 2012, our Wisconsin website proved that (even from a home office) we can compete long term with large OTA’s in Google Search by targeting regional organic long tail keywords & topics. Search for yourself – go to Google and type in popular terms like Wisconsin vacation rentals; wisconsin cabins; wisconsin cabin rentals, etc. Then try michigan vacation rentals; michigan cabin rentals; mn cabin rentals, etc. There we are!! From these first page results, how many “book direct” websites do you see?

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We also discovered the immediate need for “traveler fee” education. We recently added a question about traveler fees to our survey and were shocked to learn that nearly every respondent had no idea that booking websites charge a traveler fee. What we’ve know for years though is that renters prefer to book vacation rentals with the owners and local managers 25-1.

What do you think of booking vacation rentals directly with owners/managers?

Joe and Team
JM Creative Group
Middleton, WI

Chippewa Retreat is one of Wisconsin’s finest resorts

Rent a Lakeside villa for multiple purposes. Use this for family reunions, family getaways, corporate retreat weekends, weddings and more. This year round resort offers many amenities and luxurious amenities. Each villa comes with:

  • Air Conditioning
  • Linens Provided
  • Furnished Kitchen
  • Vehicle and Trailer Parking
  • Fireplace
  • Outdoor Firepit
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Fishing Boat Available
  • Pier/Dock
  • Pool
  • Deck or Patio
  • WiFi Internet
  • VCR/DVD Player
  • Satellite/Cable TV
  • Year-round Rental
  • Canoe/Kayak

Expert staff on hand can help you organize your group accommodations, needs and personal touches.

To view a video of the resort villas and grounds, click here.

Enjoy pool side in the cabana, complete with a double sided fireplace and plenty of tables with umbrellas and more.

On site restaurant and bar provide exquisite brunches, dinners, and desserts with terrific presentation.

Planning a wedding? Chippewa Retreat can help you plan your lakeside dream wedding of up to 250 people.

Scroll through to see resort and villa pictures. Click on the links to view more about each villa.

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Chippewa Retreat: Duck Blind Lower

Chippewa Retreat: Duck Blind Upper

Chippewa Retreat: Lily Pad Lower

Chippewa Retreat: Lily Pad Upper

Chippewa Retreat: The Den

Chippewa Retreat: The Lair

Chippewa Retreat: The Nest

Chippewa Retreat: The Perch

RentWisconsinCabins.com

New Incredible #Fall Color Drives for #Wisconsin

Some love Wisconsin for its terrific weather in the summer, some come for the winter sports. What a lot of people don’t know, is throughout the last few years, as the temperatures decreased slightly and the amount of sunshine increasing, the fall colors that hug the winding roads up north are incredible and the fishing even better than summer (some would say).  Here are a list of fantastic fall drives:

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Manitowish Waters: While coming in September for the annual Northwoods Art Tour could be an incentive to visit for several days, it is actually the fall colors that are celebrated. You may admire the fall colors by car, bike or foot, but any way you look at them, take in the sheer beauty that compliments the calm waters of the Manitowish Waters. Explore one of the 5 routes or do them all. Highlight include the Cranberry Marshes, the scenic Powell Marsh Wildlife Area, Wa-Swa-Goning, a replicated Indian village, and the most scenic of them all, County Highway B and Lake of the Falls. Fall fishing is at its peak do be sure to dip your line into one of the thousands of lakes in Vilas County. To view cabins or vacation rentals in this area to make your fall trip complete, click here.

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Necedah/Castle Rock Lake: This serene landscape is a must see for fall travelers in autumn. Not only does this area boast many types of hardwood trees that create a stunning topography, this area also has lots to do for your fall trip. Take the winding roads starting in Mauston and head towards highway G that weaves you throughout the countryside and ending in Castle Rock Lake, one of the biggest inland lakes in Wisconsin. Fall fishing is a great pasttime around here as well as the unique shops and restaurants. Necedah Fall Cabins

Wildcat Mountain: This area can be experienced by canoe, horse, hiking boots, or car. This ridge overlooking the Wildcat State Mountain stretches over 3,000 square miles with the Kickapoo River flows slowly in all kinds of castle rock lake widirections. Highway 33 takes a visitor throughout great country with a diverse landscape and incredible fall color. Be sure to bring your canoe and hiking boots. To make this a fall getaway, click here.

Summer Vacation in Wisconsin Dells

Vacationers know Wisconsin Dells as the “Waterpark Capital of the World,” but it is much more than that. We all love to splash around at the waterparks, but don’t forget about the scenic destinations around the Wisconsin Dells area. So cheers – cheers to exploring the beautiful Wisconsin Dells area. Here are a few recreation ideas in the Wisconsin Dells area that our team has enjoyed. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to view some great Dells vacation rental properties.

Original Wisconsin Dells Ducks

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Drive. Splash. Cruise. How awesome is that? No matter the age, the Duck tours are ideal to view the area. This exciting tour has been around for nearly 70 years. You’ll explore the Wisconsin River, Dells Creek, with a final splash in Lake Delton. We have talked to many vacationers who frequently visit the Dells area who make this a regular visit. Here is more information on the Original Wisconsin Ducks.

Water Recreation on Castle Rock Lake

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Thinking about being in the area during the summer months? Great! There are plenty of options to explore the local lakes. Castle Rock Lake is an extremely popular lake that our vacationers visit. In fact, view our Interactive Wisconsin Map and scroll to the Dells area to view all of the properties on this lake. We aren’t joking; there are plenty of options. Plus, there are plenty of watersport rentals available on Castle Rock Lake: pontoons, waverunners, kayaks, and paddleboats.

Tommy Bartlett Show

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After all of the fun in the sun, kick back and relax. In 1952 the Tommy Bartlett Water Ski & Jumping Boat Thrill Show began with its first show near Chicago. Their second show in Wisconsin Dells was such a hit that the team was asked to stay. Since then, the show has continued to be a hit. This takes water recreation to an entirely new level. So, let’s start the countdown to the end of May.

Vacation Rentals in Wisconsin Dells

SpringBrook

Spring Brook: Americana Cabin on the golf course & walking distance to the lake. The four bedroom home offers enough space to sleep up to 10 vacationers. The ranch style vacation property offers plenty of living space. Downstairs, vacationers enjoy the fantastic family room which includes a wet bar, foosball table, and two bar tables. Come, enjoy the fun!

 

SandCounty

Check out this gorgeous interior at Sand County: Herons Landing. The lakefront vacation home is on Lake Delton. Like one can tell from the above photo, the interior design at this home is unmatched. The living space features a wood burning fireplace and a modern, open-concept kitchen. Bring your family and friends; this home sleeps up to 14 guests.

CottageKeeper

The Cottage Keeper: Lakeside Lodge is on Castle Rock Lake. The outdoor amenities draw in many guests to this spacious vacation cabin. Relax in your screened deck or out on the stone patio – all with great views of the lake. By evening, gather around the campfire pit to enjoy a crackling fire with roasted marshmallows.

Our website lists over 100 vacation rentals in the Wisconsin Dells area. Be sure to check them all out.

Questions? Comments? Let our team know.

The Ultimate Guide to #Hayward, Wisconsin

Four Season Vacation Possibilities

Year after year, vacationers visit this Northwestern Wisconsin destination to enjoy recreational activities, no matter the season. Sawyer County was ranked the #1 trail system in Wisconsin by The Wisconsin ATV Association. Snowmobilers and ATVs enjoy the 600+ miles of groomed trails. During the winter, the 300 miles of off-road mountain biking trails are transformed to pristine cross-country skiing trails. As the snow begins to melt, locals and vacationers start dreaming about the warm weather recreation. Hayward is often referred to as the “Golf Capital of Wisconsin.” According to the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, Hayward offers “an age-old gangster course, a Pete Dye course, historical courses with Scottish influence, traditional, modern and natural courses that compliment the environment and family-run courses with top-notch customer service.” Talk about variety! Don’t forget about biking, hiking, bird watching, and endless fun on the water.

Fairs, Festivals, and Fun

Mark your calendars, folks. There are a variety of annual festivals in Hayward, Wisconsin. Here are a few ideas to inspire your next vacation:

Musky Festival

Join the largest summer festival for their 65th annual celebration. Visitors and locals enjoy the handmade art show, sidewalk sales, live music & street dances, and a variety of food booths. During the weekend there is also a 5K and 10K non-competitive race and a fishing contest. End the weekend with a large parade on Sunday.
June 19, 2014 – June 22, 2014 | Musky Festival information
fishing, musky, festival, parade, wisconsin

Lumberjacks World Championship

Once a lumbering community, Hayward keeps the traditional alive with their international timber sporting competition. Participants compete to be crowned as the “King of the Forest.” Men and women compete in a variety of activities: boom running, sawing, chopping, speed climbing, and logrolling. Come view  this family-friendly event, live!
July 24 – July 26,  2014 | Detailed Lumberjacks World Championship information
Log run, hayward, wisconsin, logging

Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival 

Since 1983, thousands of  bicyclists participate in this 40 mile off roading event in Hayward and Chequamegon, Wisconsin. To register for the race, participants must enter a lottery. The event attracts locals and visitors from all over the country. A variety of other fun events are held throughout the weekend to make this a family-friendly event: Klunker Bike Toss, Lumber Jack & Jill Log Pull, Hammer Slammer Hill Climb, and more.
September 12 – September 14, 2014 | More Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival information
biking, bike, racing, wisconsin, hayward

 

Be sure to check out the Hayward Chamber of Commerce website for a full list of fairs & festivals.   

Vacation Rentals in Hayward, Wisconsin

All of our vacation homes in the area are located on the water. No matter the season, you’ll  enjoy the fun recreational activities nearby. Whether you’re looking for a week escape to paradise or a fun weekend to enjoy a local festival, you are in for a treat. Take a look at our full list of Wisconsin vacation rentals in Hayward to start planning your trip. Here are a few property photos to get you started. Click on the photo to view the detailed property information:

Wisconsin, hayward, cabin, vacation home

Mallards’ Landing: Mallards Nest I

Wisconsin, hayward, cabin, vacation home

Majestic Escapes: Eagle Point Lodge

Wisconsin, hayward, cabin, vacation home

Windsor’s Vacation Rentals: The ‘Log Cabin’ on Perch Lake

What do you look for when picking a vacation destination? Happy travels.

Fun, Wisconsin Vacation Destination: St. Germain

It’s that time of year again. There have been a few warmer days & people are starting to believe that there will indeed be summer. We’ve been starting to see more and more inquiries come through for the summer months, that’s where we come in. We want to help inspire those that are beginning their summer vacation planning. For the next few weeks, we will be sharing some popular Wisconsin destinations with recreational activities and some vacation rental ideas. We are ready to kick off the blog series with a popular northern Wisconsin location: St. Germain.

Popular Recreational Activities in St. Germain:

Hiking and Biking:

St. Germain is ideal for anyone looking to explore the area by foot or bike. The St. Germain Bike and Hike Trail offers 12 miles of family-friendly fun. Both visitors and locals love to visit this scenic stretch – and the gentle terrain provide the perfect opportunity to enjoy a leisurely trip. To access the trail, there is a Bike & Hike Park behind the St. Germain Chamber of Commerce (Highways 70 & 155). If you are looking for a trail a bit off of the beaten path, we recommend the Shannon Lake Trail. During the warm months, it is ideal for hiking and mountain biking. The hiking loops range from 2.3 miles to 7 miles. The lake loop is one of our favorites because it offers fantastic lake sights and is ideal for viewing wildlife. Once winter hits, the Shannon Lake Trail is perfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Golfing:

We find that many vacationers express their interest in golfing while on vacation. Well, be sure to pack you clubs when visiting St. Germain because you are in for a treat. There are 16 courses within a 20 minute drive of St. Germain!! What does that mean for you? Options. Flexibility. Fun. Two popular options are The St. Germain Golf Club & 19th Hole Par 3. Whether you are an aspiring professional golfer or a newbie, there is something for you.

Water Recreation

How could we not mention the exciting water recreation offered in the St. Germain area. This area has some of the cleanest water & locals and vacationers definitely take advantage of that. Take a break and relax on the sandy shoreline reading a good book or making a splash in one of the lakes. Other popular activities: kayaking, canoeing, skiing, tubing, pontooning, can you tell that the possibilities are  endless? Many of the rental properties in St. Germain come with these options or have affordable rental prices for kayaks/pontoon boats/etc. Be sure to ask the owners.

Summer Events

The Cropsey Vacation Rentals owners provided some awesome insight regarding summer events in the St. Germain area. Every Monday from Memorial day to Labor Day, the town hosts a large flea and farmer’s market featuring over 400 vendors. The farmer’s market is a new addition for the 2014 season that will be held in conjunction with the flea market. Following this, there is Monday Night Bingo from the first Monday in June to nearly the end of August. The Cropsey owners say that over $1,000 is guaranteed to be given away each week – wow!

Love St. Germain, Where to Stay?:

We love it too. Plus, because it is quite popular, there are a variety of vacation rental options, so you are sure to find something that fits your needs. Some properties are quaint and sleep just 2 while others are quite large and can sleep up to 15. We list over 100 St. Germain vacation rentals so be sure to check those out. Here are a few ideas to get you started. Be sure to click on the photo to view more property information!

Cropsey Management: Red Pine Lodge on Pickerel Lake

Cropsey Management: Red Pine Lodge on Pickerel Lake

IdleHours

Idle Hours Resort: Courtside Cabin on Little St. Germain Lake

SerenityBayResort

Serenity Bay Resort: Red Oak on Little St. Germain Lake

Have you been to the area before? Any recommendations for potential visitors? Share with us.

 

Enjoying a Fall Vacation in Wisconsin – “Colorama”

If we ask vacationers to tell us their favorite vacation memory, we typically don’t expect to hear about their road trip. Bustled with excitement, the road trip always seems to take longer than anticipated. Traveling with kids? We’re sure you’re used to the classic, “ARE WE THERE YET?!” We don’t even think we’re crazy to suggest that some adults may have slipped this phrase now and then. And finally, as the vacation comes to a close and you’re all packed up you’ll think, “Do we really have to go now?” That’s the drive home that no one is ready for.

It’s time to enjoy the road trip too.

We get it. When compared to the vacation itself, it’s hard to compete. But as fall begins in Wisconsin, we want to change this mentality. Sure, biking the scenic trails of Wisconsin, visiting an apple orchard, enjoying autumn inspired events and other fun activities may trump the “drive time.” Yet, we can say that this colorful drive will be something to enjoy.

Don’t dread the travel time! It’s time to enjoy the colorful drive to your next vacation destination. It’s not too late to book your perfect Wisconsin vacation property. And where can you turn to find that? We’ve got you covered. Search over 700 Wisconsin vacation rentals & book directly with the property owners to save.

Wisconsin, Fall, Colorful, Road trip, Driving, Autumn

For those of you looking for a Wisconsin color report, we recommend using the Department of Tourism’s Fall Color Report tool – it’s pretty neat.