Vacation rental data suggests Mountain West states are where people are choosing to flee COVID

JACKSON, Wyo. — Short-term vacation rental bookings are blowing up across the Mountain West even as COVID cases rise…or, perhaps, because of it.

According to data from AirDNA, vacation bookings are up, way up, in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana as summer travelers are likely looking to get away from coronavirus hotspots and to more open country where the perception is cases and risk are lower.

Data suggests towns near national parks in the West like Jackson, Wyoming and Moab, Utah are where people are flocking. Bookings there are up 80%.

Statewide, Wyoming leads the way in the Mountain West with a 92% jump in vacation rentals over 2019. Montana is up 59%, Utah 53%, and Idaho 45%.

In the Jackson Hole area, Teton Village bookings are up 153% over 2019. Wilson vacation rentals are running at 105% over last year, and Jackson is up 112%.

All trends point to travelers avoiding states where COVID cases were most prevalent. States like Illinois (-41%), New York (-32%), Massachusetts (-29%), and Washington (-16%) are all still struggling to reach last year’s levels.

State-level change in new bookings (2019-2020). Image: Courtesy AirDNA
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