VTrips announced the recent acquisition of four vacation rental management companies, expanding its portfolio throughout the United States to 7,000 properties and 1,000 employees.
VTrips acquired Carolina Retreats in Topsail, North Carolina, with 435 properties; Silver Sands Vacation Rentals in Port Aransas, Texas, with 320 properties; Tybee Vacation Rentals near Savannah, Georgia, with 300 properties; and Miss Kitty’s Fishing Getaways in Rockport, Texas, with 150 properties.
Mike Harrington, founder of Carolina Retreats and former president of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA), offered the following statement to the company’s property owners: “As of June 1, Carolina Retreats has partnered with VTrips Holdings, a Florida-based vacation rental management company led by my good friend, Steve Milo. Steve, Stuart (Pack, vice president and COO for Carolina Retreats), and I go back over a decade when Steve was an early mentor of mine as I was getting started in the vacation rental management industry. We served on the board of the Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) together, where Steve was instrumental in helping me bring back innovative ideas to help improve our homeowners’ revenue and property care and delight our guests.”
Harrington will maintain full ownership of his hospitality investment businesses.
According to VTrips founder and CEO Steve Milo, VTrips offered positions at the same or better pay and benefits to all employees of Carolina Retreats, Tybee Vacation Rentals, Silver Sands and Miss Kitty’s Fishing Getaways.
“VTrips believes that employees are the lifeblood of these companies, and we are doing everything possible to create a positive environment for them. As certain large national buyers operate more like ‘strip miners’ in our industry, we are encountering more and more sellers who want a buyer that will hire all their staff, take care of their brand and legacy, and allow them to live proudly in their community,” Milo said.
According to Milo, the recent acquisitions were made from the company’s operating profits and commercial bank debt. “Profitability matters, and VTrips continues to be the #1 leader of national vacation rental companies for EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortization), compounded EBITDA growth year over year, and EBITDA margin to revenue.”
Ben Edwards of Weatherby Consulting advised Carolina Retreats, Tybee Vacation Rentals and Silver Sands on the sale of the companies. “Having Ben and the team at Weatherby Consulting involved ensures a professional process and that a deal can be moved at lightning speed,” Milo said. “We also know Ben and his team have personally vetted the companies, making them more attractive.”
Jacobie Olin, RSPS, president of C2G Advisors represented Miss Kitty’s Fishing Getaways during the acquisition. “It was a pleasure representing Dawn Huff at Miss Kitty’s Fishing Getaways through the acquisition. She has built a strong brand in Rockport, and we’re happy to see VTrips lead the company into the future. It was a seamless and professional process working with the VTrips team throughout the transaction,” Olin said.
“We tell sellers that certain large national buyers are an option if they intend to move to another state or country and change their cell phone. Some sellers think this is funny. I always have a lot of good stories to share when I meet sellers in person,” Milo added. “Most sellers dedicated their lives to building a legacy and making great memories for their guests and employees, and they want a buyer who shares their same values.”
Milo said that VTrips is well positioned to compete for the industry lead in the resort vacation rental market in North America.
“As a company headquartered in business-friendly Florida, with a founder and owner still in charge and who supports the industry in advocacy and volunteer work, VTrips is positioned to rapidly expand while other large companies deal with leadership and stock turmoil,” he said. Milo also serves as chairperson of the Florida Professional Vacation Rental Coalition, which raised more than $250,000 over the past two years. He is also a member of the VRMA Advocacy Committee, which has so far raised more than $470,000 in 2022.
“Some companies and CEOs care passionately about the future of the industry, and some are just industry outsiders concerned about getting a quick exit from this industry before their operational issues implode on them,” Milo said, adding that the once sleepy vacation rental industry is rapidly transforming. “With these changes, some vacation rental owners are deciding to take chips off the table, and the company they choose to sell to may be the #1 factor.”
These additions to the VTrips portfolio are the latest in a string of recent acquisitions, including Southern Vacation Rentals in Destin, Florida, and Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations in Deep Creek, Maryland.