Vacation rental housing gaining popularity in Duluth

By KBJR News 1

July 11, 2014 Updated Jul 11, 2014 at 8:47 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) -- When you think about going on vacation, the first place you might look for a place to stay would be a hotel or a resort; but a growing number of people are choosing a more homey option.

"Come on in. Here is the entry way, and here is the kitchen," said Heather Pitschka as she opens the door to one of the homes she rents out to people on vacation.

"Our first year was 2011, and we were just sort of blown away, we were almost completely booked that first summer."

The Pitschka's have been able to keep that momentum going and the idea of renting a vacation home has gained traction in Duluth.

Before December of 2012, the city had no regulations for people who were renting out their homes, but now there are some ground rules.

"We check to make sure that everyone has a fire operation permit from the fire department, they have a lodging licenses, they are paying into the Duluth tourism tax, they have the state hotel/motel license." said Jenn Reed Moses, who works in the city's planning department.

Vacationers must stay in a unit for a minimum of five nights at a time during the summer and a minimum of two nights during the winter.

Price wise, it really isn't that much cheaper to stay at a vacation rental home. The price to stay at the South Pier Inn on Park Point for five days would cost you around $1,195.

To stay at a Bed and Breakfast would run you about $1,325 for the most expensive suite.

To stay at the Pitschka's home for the same amount of time would cost about $1,350 but you can generally fit in more people, which is why visitors say staying in a vacation rental is about the experience.

"The great thing about vacation rental is being able to have the family atmosphere, having meals together, and just kind of a home away from home," said Brant Skogrand who is visiting from Apple Valley.

The Pitschka's say they are booked for the rest of this summer.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.