Hurricane Odile hit me hard, up here in San Jose, CA.
Earthquakes have never cost me a dime. No flood has ever touched me. As a Navy officer, we skirted typhoons in the western Pacific and south China seas. I loved getting as close as possible.
Green water over the bow is a sight to see.
But, I had no money at stake then, was young and dumb…and I understood that my Captain had his career on the line, and the ethic was always: keep the ship shipshape and ready. Entertain the troops, don’t take unnecessary risks. Discipline happens at many levels. So does observation and understanding.
…I have two stellar, 5-Star vacation rentals in Cabo San Lucas at The Grand Solmar, built by the same guys who built Dallas Stadium (here and here). It was a substantial investment that’s forward looking 10 years. I make the biggest bang in years 7-10 on the two contracts I negotiated.
I’m very good at this shit. Check out the 60 5-star reviews on another vacation rental property I own and just stayed at for 17 days in solitude myself, to figure out a back-pain problem (subject of another post very soon).
…Nonetheless, I was eating raw oysters at a local fish market when the news came in a couple of months ago. The hurricane wreaked havoc on many levels. Even though the resort itself sustained only minor damage, not so for Cabo in general and in particular, all the employees who live in less than ideal circumstances (Solmar Foundation stepped up, but another story for another day). They had to shut down for a month.
I had 3 weeks worth of reservations in that period—two 1 BR Suites and 1 Studio (still, 740 sq ft). Refunded roughly $7,500 out of pocket, no questions asked. And, Solmar didn’t refund me, so the loss was absolute.
I’m so glad I didn’t have to go to some partner, a “capitalist,” or any manner of other hurricane debris looking to screw with my life or otherwise control me. Since I began this business nearly 2 years ago, I had always set money aside and stayed as lean as possible.
In the interim, about 2 months now, I’ve also eschewed all the inquiries I got via my listings for near-term bookings in November and December. All of them ask about the hurricane, damage, how is everything going, etc. I rent a top experience; do your own research; take your own chances. I rent to those who do, and pay the $2,500 for seven nights: on their own authority.
I’m not interested in whiners, and I filter for that.
Just today, I finally re-booked one of those cancelled units. So, $5,000 more to make up.
Glad it didn’t sink me and I was able to weather the storm. I fear that very many are not. The ethic of my Depression Era grandfather exists no more. Everyone seeks loans and ways to sell equity.
Do it yourself.