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Summer rental business heats up on Cape Cod



(NECN: Scot Yount, Sandwich, Mass.) - "Getting away from the madness that the world sometimes presents," said Jeff Talmadge of his beloved Cape Cod.

The bridges are ready...the welcome mats for the Cape and the Islands, ready for the millions who will spend some one billion dollars here during the precious and all let's face it, all too short summer, on the cape.

This Memorial Day weekend, business leaders are energized. Pre-booking for rentals, whether houses or hotels are healthy.

"Members are telling us that advance bookings are up at least double digits and that's very good news," said Wendy Northcross, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO.

It is a good indicator that the economy is turning around even with high gas prices. The boats are in the water and the beaches are already seeing visitors to an area that while clearly not recession proof is always in demand.

"It's a very popular destination despite anything that happens in the economy," said Joan Talmadge, a travel industry expert.

Joan Talmadge and her husband Jeff have been booking rentals on the cape now 14 years with their business: WeNeedAVacation.com.

They both are happy to report modest gains and say that even though we have some ground to gain, the cape by and large is doing very well compared to some other destinations.

"Just different people come. I mean people that would have flown to europe, now can drive to the Cape, so the people who don't come are replaced by the people that can," said Jeff Talmadge.

And there is plenty to choose from with more inventory and some people opting to move out for the summer to rent their homes to make extra cash.

"The number of second family homes have grown considerably, the number of people who want to rent has grown considerably," said Talmadge.

And, here is another interesting fact, according to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, 33 million people live within one day's driving distance of all of this.

How to keep track of it all? The chamber launched an iPhone and iPad app last year and for 2011 has introduced a similar app for Android phones. They help you keep tabs on all the hot spots and specials.

"The rooms are dusted the pool is clean the barbie is out," said Northcross who believes the best year of business on Cape Cod is just around the corner.