Walton County, FL and Baldwin County, AL are two beach destinations that have similar weather and are relatively close geographically. Although Alabama has re-opened since their initial COVID-19 related shutdown, Florida has not - their differing approaches have had significant impacts on their vacation rental markets. Although both markets are seeing a decrease in the paid occupancy rate over last year, occupancy in Baldwin County has been remarkably higher than in Walton County during the month of May. On May 16, Baldwin County’s paid occupancy reaches a peak difference of 55% over Walton County’s (66% vs 11%).
Similarly, Baldwin County is seeing a steep incline in reservations booked per property for arrivals within 30 days. Since reopening, their reservations are nearly double what Walton County is seeing. As a result, Baldwin County’s RevPAR during May is higher than Walton County’s, which is atypical for those markets. On May 8th and May 13th, property managers in Baldwin County had a significantly higher RevPAR than last year, with increases of 65% and 60% respectively.