American families have gotten pretty creative in coming up with ways to trim the budget on vacations. So here's a vacation idea that could save the whole country money. HomeAway, a company that arranges vacation stays in private homes, crunched the numbers and came up with this fun factoid: If the First Family rented out the White House when they go on their seven weeks of vacation every year, it would add almost $4 million to the nation's coffers.
HomeAway, the online marketplace for vacation rentals, asked owners who use the service what they would charge vacationers to rent the 55,000-square-foot White House's 132 rooms. The answer: $551,000 per week.
While we suspect those sun-seeking Brits would still prefer Florida to Washington, D.C., in January, we do admire the chutzpah behind the idea. Of course there would be some issues to sort out: Would the Secret Service bodyguards be included? Could we use the pool?
Vacation rentals in private homes are holding their own in this economy, as many tourists see them as a way to reduce travel expenses. Having a kitchen to cook in and enough space for multiple families to share the rental fee all helps keep spending in check. More than two-thirds of owners of summer rental homes reported occupancy rates of 76 percent or higher. These owners charged an average weekly rental rate of $1,685, or $241 per night, to book an entire home. By comparison, according to HomeAway, the average occupancy rate for U.S. hotels from June to August was approximately 68 percent, with an average rate of $102 per room.
We assume that at a half-mil a week, the White House rental includes daily linen service, free Wi-Fi and complimentary valet parking. Just one question: Will the Obamas kennel the dog or would we have to walk him?
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