Mary Vellutini manages the Sand and Sea Condominiums overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the town and offering about 35 rentals for about 60 vacation homeowners. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and reservations can be made by calling 800-628-2371 or by visiting www.sandandseaoregon.com
What do you do?
I basically run the rental side. Weve got 35 units. We do rent them out daily. Theyre all vacation homes, so theyre individually owned condos. Its not like a hotel. Some of the owners I dont see for a couple of years or so. I have one in Alaska, some that are in Arkansas, a lot of people from either Salem or Portland. And theyll come down for maybe a week. It varies. The rates start at, for an oceanfront two-bedroom, around $295 a night. And then my side units, theyll go down to $200 to $95 a night. On Fourth of July, of course, they go for $380, and Im usually booked a year in advance same with Hood to Coast or some of the main holidays. Our season is basically June, July and August.
How did you and Sand and Sea get started?
I believe this got started in 74. It was one of the first high-rises, if you consider six floors a high-rise on the coast. I was just going to work on weekends, when the kids were small, and Ive been here for 25 years. I was working front desk, just part time for some money, and then it just kind of built. Ive been managing the rental side since 2004.
What is the volume?
Right now I am practically full for August, and I just heard were booked for the rest of July. Right now, Im up almost 20 percent, compared to other years. This is the best year Ive had since Ive been here. Its 20 percent ahead of that 2008 figure. Most of my customers come from the Seattle area, especially in the wintertime. I started and we had a pegboard system, and we did everything with a book. And then we had some software that could keep track of it. Now, I bet you 80 percent of my people are looking at our website, and theyre booking through that. Its amazing what has happened in the last four years. Facebook is important, just having a website. I came back from a convention in Vegas, and the new thing you have to do is get the mobile, because people are driving around Seaside, checking right there.
How does the economy and weather affect your business?
Like last year and the year before, people will settle for a side unit because its cheaper. Before, it would have been the oceanfronts were being booked first, and somebody would say, Well, if you dont have an oceanfront, I might as well go home. And its changing slowly, where people can afford the oceanfront. It used to be August. People were staying for pretty much a week at a time, or even longer. Now this last couple of years theyre staying maybe five days. Theyre back to five days; before that they were staying maybe only three days. The people from Portland, they come and thats a weekend.