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(Topic ID: 252082)

Pinball Airbnb in Gatlinburg TN


By jake35

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 11 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Vyzer2
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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    #1 1 year ago

    Wife and I are purchasing 3 cabins near Dollywood in Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg TN, and I'm thinking of converting one to an arcade themed Air BnB with arcade games, and of course pinball machines. I feel like there would be a lot of interest in it and would be a great place to relax in the evenings after taking the family to Gatlinburg etc. My brother manages several in the area and will help me do these as well since he lives up there.

    Has anyone else ever had success with these in a short term rental setting?

    #2 1 year ago

    I fixed up an EM for a friend's AirBNB that has a guests most weekends. A good haul is $3 in a month. Most of the time they don't even use the couple free credits he leaves to entice them. But it's usually only a couple staying there. If these cabins are big enough for a large family vacation, then I'm sure it would get some more use from kids and parents.

    #3 1 year ago

    My results are mixed. We used to rent up there and I always picked one with a video game, just in case it rained and were were stuck in the house. But never rented one with a pin.

    We now own and rent out a house in Blue Ridge, GA with a cocktail pin, a 60-in-1 and a pool table. I have no feedback from our guests or management company that the pin is a deciding factor on the rental.

    After some "research," I found the rental decisions are often driven by the wife/girlfriend/mother - who generally don't care much about pinball. Cabin rentals are focused on family events or for couples weekends, neither of which are pin-friendly. If your cabin is a big Party House, then it might help.

    A great view from the deck will always sell better than a pinball machine. Great on-line pictures are a very important to attract renters. The number of bedrooms already filters the market down to a sub set of potential renters.

    I keep the machine in our house because we use it at least once a month, and I need to get my fix sometimes. If it was a 100% rental I probably wouldn't mess with it.

    If you end up with 3 similar cabins, one with an arcade, please keep us updated on its performance, I am interested in better, real life data. GL.

    #4 1 year ago

    I rented a cabin in Pigeon Forge with 2 home pins (Avengers and I forget the other), pool table and multi-cade. Both pins were non-working and since the owner of the cabin used a property management there was nothing they would do as they didn't have keys for them. So I would say if you're going to do something like this then make sure the pins are always in working order or don't bother doing it.

    So with that said, is your brother able to maintain the machines? Is he willing to run out if a renter has an issue with the machine(s)? Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that people are willing to do this but..... might be more of an inconvenience.

    If you wind up doing it let me know (PM) as we're actually looking at another trip to PF within the next 2 summers!

    #5 1 year ago

    Owned a rental up there for a few years. Lost it in the big fire. It rented often and I also had arcade games. Pool table, air hockey, sit down mame cocktail etc. The games all seemed to be an afterthought. Here is what I learned about owning a rental in Gatlinburg. Rentals are huge with honeymooners and folks celebrating anniversaries. Go with 1 bedroom if you can. As you climb the bedroom count ladder, your audience shrinks. Don’t occupy your own property on holidays cause that’s when all your renters want it! Got to have a hot tub and prefer an old school whirlpool tub indoors too. Allow pets if are OK with that. Keep it maintained. Visit it regularly to review maintenance needs.

    As others have said, view means everything. I estimated the view alone on my property was worth $75K. If a remodel is called for, make it “look” like a cabin. Use lots of tongue and groove pine. Lastly, get a professional rental management company for several reasons. If not, you will deal with renters, issues, missing blankets, forks, broken keys in locks, etc. Also, not sure what the revenue share is now but the management company used to take 40%. That was the best 40% I ever spent. They worked their butts off to get me rental nights (and their 40%) and trust me ... the winning formula is NOT rate per night or what percent you keep, it’s nights rented period.

    Good luck up there. Beautiful area

    #6 1 year ago

    Thanks for the insight, lots of good info! Hope that Time Machine is treating you well! Love the gameroom remodel.

    Quoted from MT45:

    Owned a rental up there for a few years. Lost it in the big fire. It rented often and I also had arcade games. Pool table, air hockey, sit down mame cocktail etc. The games all seemed to be an afterthought. Here is what I learned about owning a rental in Gatlinburg. Rentals are huge with honeymooners and folks celebrating anniversaries. Go with 1 bedroom if you can. As you climb the bedroom count ladder, your audience shrinks. Don’t occupy your own property on holidays cause that’s when all your renters want it! Got to have a hot tub and prefer an old school whirlpool tub indoors too. Allow pets if are OK with that. Keep it maintained. Visit it regularly to review maintenance needs.
    As others have said, view means everything. I estimated the view alone on my property was worth $75K. If a remodel is called for, make it “look” like a cabin. Use lots of tongue and groove pine. Lastly, get a professional rental management company for several reasons. If not, you will deal with renters, issues, missing blankets, forks, broken keys in locks, etc. Also, not sure what the revenue share is now but the management company used to take 40%. That was the best 40% I ever spent. They worked their butts off to get me rental nights and trust me ... the winning formula is NOT rate per night or what percent you keep, it’s nights rented period.
    Good luck up there. Beautiful area

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    I fixed up an EM for a friend's AirBNB that has a guests most weekends. A good haul is $3 in a month. Most of the time they don't even use the couple free credits he leaves to entice them. But it's usually only a couple staying there. If these cabins are big enough for a large family vacation, then I'm sure it would get some more use from kids and parents.

    Don't you think free play would be the way to go here?

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from jake35:

    Thanks for the insight, lots of good info! Hope that Time Machine is treating you well! Love the gameroom remodel.

    PM me if you ever want to chat about that business. I learned a lot in a few years

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Don't you think free play would be the way to go here?

    I would put all games on freeplay, not coin.

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Don't you think free play would be the way to go here?

    To what ends? He already regularly books the place. The pinball being free or quarter per play makes very little difference in the desirability of the rental. Two or three husbands a year will talk about loving it, but that's about it.

    To most people, an arcade or pinball machine in a rental is neat but not worth paying more for (compared to renting somewhere else). The sole exceptions are large houses/cabins meant for a family trip where there needs to be stuff to do at the house. And even then, an air hockey or ping pong would be a bigger selling point to most families.

    But if you got some old games that you need to store somewhere, sure toss them in an AirBNB. Don't expect them to drastically increase the value or desirability of the rental though.

    2 weeks later
    #11 1 year ago

    Traveling through Gatlinburg today. Wife, daughter in-law wanted to shop up and down both sides of the street. My son and grandson stumbled upon Red Rocket Retro Arcade. They had a Guardians of Galaxy, Star Wars, Batman, Beatles, Ghostbusters, all in great shape and games I haven’t played before. Have to say I really liked all those games. Enough that now I would not mind owning anyone of them. Plus DI, Woz, TH and ST. Games were .50 per play and many games people walked away with credits left. What a great way to spend time while they all shopped. You can tell that Retro takes great care of their games.

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