STROUDSBURG PA – Owners of property in the Pocono Mountains region of Pennsylvania, who either occasionally or regularly accept vacation rentals, may have an interest in an new membership-based, non-profit advocacy association called PoconosVRO. The organization was legally formed in April.
Officially known as the “Poconos Association of Vacation Rental Owners,” founders said it hopes to be “the voice for the vacation home and short-term rental industry” in one of the state’s most popular vacation areas. Dues-paying association members meet monthly, and it has already hosted several educational events.
The group said it intends to “support responsible regulation which would provide for a level playing field, lobby against overregulation, (and) advocate for individual owners.” It also plans to highlight good and stop bad practices, “publicize contributions to the region, (and) present opportunities for hotel tax support.”
It also is being welcomed by the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. “We are pleased to support the efforts of the Poconos Association of Vacation Rental Owners,” bureau President and CEO Chris Barrett said. “With third-party booking sites, vacation rentals grew into a larger part of the tourism industry, fueled by increased demand.” They “provide significant economic impact to the four-county region,” he noted.
Bureau statistics provided indicate vacation rentals generated $417 million in bookings in 2022, PoconosVRO reported, resulting in tax revenue of 9 percent. Nearly 1.8 million nights were booked in licensed vacation rentals in 2022, it added. The number represents “a significant portion of all guests who stay in the Poconos,” it claimed.
“Well-run (short-term rentals) are a win-win for communities,” according to PoconosVRO Treasurer Marty Nicoll. “They are well kept, raising property values; they contribute more tax revenue per home than long-term rentals; and they contribute to a healthy growing local economy.”
“With this rental owner’s alliance we will be able to save the Poconos as a vacation destination,” vacation rental owner Ellen Capell predicted in an organization media release.
The organization said charter membership costs $150; affiliate membership, $500. For more information, send an e-mail from its webpage form, or a postal letter to PoconosVRO, 70 Arrowwood Drive, Unit E, East Stroudsburg PA 18302.