Can I park a… rv, bus, trailer…?

We get it. You want to drive in luxury in an RV, then park it, and live in luxury in our homes! Or you have a big team and everyone is coming in on a bus. Or you like to bring a bunch of stuff in a trailer, because that’s how you roll! We dig it!

Can you? Sometimes.

So, at our Cottages at Romar, the answer is “no.”

SeaRae, Summertide, and Pearl (for it, in the across the street spillover lot), and most of the duplexes can handle a motor home or bus, including 1203, 1205, 1209, 1217, 1252, 1300, 1433, 1420, 2809 West Beach.

Note, none have hook ups and most areas preclude using an RV as living space while there. So if that’s your plan, probably best to rethink it!

When coming in, back straight into the driveway, and stay on the drive! As you get the rig into the drive, do NOT try to maneuver back and forth and around, you will sink it. In any event, parking a big rig (rv, bus, whatever) is solely at your own risk. Sink it, and call the tow company. 🙂


Places to eat in Fort Morgan, Alabama

Fort Morgan, Alabama, is a great place to vacation on the Gulf Coast area of Alabama. Beaches, Golf, Restaurants are all nearby.

Fort Morgan is a great choice for Alabama vacation trips for family or friends. Same great beach. Lots of activities and food options, often more cost-effective than staying right on the beach on West Beach Boulevard, AND the Gulf Shores beach chair, umbrella and alcohol rules often do not apply.

Beaches? You bet! It’s all one beach…

Same white sugary sands. The Fort Morgan beaches are in fact contiguous to the Gulf Shores beaches: It’s all one coastline. Rather than head out the more built up West Beach Blvd, you take a right at the Highway 59 x 180 intersection and head out 180. And we have several nice vacation Fort Morgan vacation homes available, including Fort Sun, Gulf & Golf at the Plantation, and the Beach Castle!

Golf Courses? Fort Morgan has 2 award-winning courses.

Some of the best golf courses in the area are on Fort Morgan, including the Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club, and the award-winning Kiva Dunes (home to our own Gulf & Golf at the Plantation, by the way).

And places to eat? Many choices. Great food!

Yes, absolutely, there are places to eat on Fort Morgan. If you haven’t been out Fort Morgan, you’ve missed several great area restaurants! Here are a few that the Plantation recommends:

BEHIND THE PINES RESTAURANT
8818 State Hwy. 180
251-948-3052
Behind the Pines Restaurant is a very casual restaurant serving burgers and American food, sandwiches, seafood (no oysters), and Southern food. Enjoy live entertainment on Sunday evenings and karaoke at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays. Open daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m. during the summer; off-season hours are more limited. American Express is not accepted.

COAST RESTAURANT AT THE BEACH CLUB
925 Beach Club Trail, 251-224-3600, 888-260-7263
Coast Restaurant at The Beach Club is upscale-casual, family-friendly dining with both indoor and outdoor balcony seating with a view of the gulf. Enjoy local gulf seafood, steaks, salads, pasta options and weekly specials from 5 p.m to 10 p.m. every day, plus breakfast 8-11 a.m. on weekends. Coast serves wine, spirits and cocktails. Reservations are recommended during the summer.

SASSY BASS AMAZIN’ GRILL
5160 Hwy. 180 W., 251-975-1010
Sassy Bass Amazin’ Grill is a laid-back beach restaurant that serves seafood, sandwiches, skillet meals, soups and salads. Open 8 a.m.-10 p.m. (breakfast served 8-11 a.m.). Takeout is usually available except when on a seating wait. Bring in your catch to have it cooked as you like it.

TACKY JACKS 2
1577 Hwy. 180 W., 251-981-4144
Tacky Jacks 2 serves sandwiches, salads, seafood and grilled food in a beach-casual atmosphere with inside and outside seating overlooking Mobile Bay; carry-out orders are available. Open daily 8 a.m.-9:30 p.m. (weekends 10:00 p.m.). Tacky Jacks 2 Down Under is a laid-back bar with a deck near the water. The bar often features live entertainment, pool and karaoke; see website for music schedule. Arrive by water or land.

THE VILLAGE HIDEAWAY AT THE BEACH CLUB
925 Beach Club Trail, 251-224-3660
The Village Hideaway offers a casual and entertainment-filled dining experience. Open daily 11 a.m.-11 p.m., the menu includes grilled seafood and meat dishes, salads, sandwiches, wings, pizzas, and craft beers. Enjoy pool tables, shuffleboard, video games, flat-screen TVs and (by reservation) a golf simulator by High Definition Golf featuring top courses.

VILLAGE CREAMERY AT THE BEACH CLUB
925 Beach Club Trail
Village Creamery serves gourmet coffee and espresso drinks, fresh-baked breakfast goods, 16 flavors of hand-dipped ice cream, specialty shakes and fruit smoothies. Select grocery items are also available. Hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

SASSY BASS PIZZA
5160 Hwy. 180 W.
251-980-1444
Sassy Bass Pizza is a carry-out-only pizza place. Summer hours are 4-10 p.m.

FORT MORGAN PIZZA
8188 Hwy. 180 W., 251-540-2622
Fort Morgan Pizza is a to-order place that also offers take-and-bake pizza. Open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Pick-up 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Delivery 5 p.m.-9 p.m., with $5 delivery fee. Cash only.

If you have a favorite restaurant on Fort Morgan, tell us about it and we’ll update the list.

Happy eating (golfing, swimming, more eating, beaching!)!


Do you offer trip insurance? No, but you can do it yourself!

Orange Beach travel insurance information

We do not offer travel or trip insurance with our Alabama vacation home rentals. However, many insurance agencies will quote you a custom policy.

Planning a trip can be a bit nerve wracking, and you may worry about what happens if you need to cancel. We totally get that. We do not offer trip insurance because there are too many options available and we feel this is a decision best left to the vacationers. But there are many options out there for you to roll your own policy, from insurance shopping sites, to the big insurers, to your individual agent.

Many available options for insuring your trip

Fortunately, there are a fair number of agencies that are more than happy to provide a quote.

We do not vouch for any of these agencies, and YMMV, but many are long-established, national, and sometimes international, insurance companies. Most have simple to use web-estimate tools as well. There’s even a “shop the policies” site called insuremytrip.com.

AAA – travel.aaa.com/travel-insurance.htm

AIG Travel Guard – https://www.travelguard.com/

Allianze Global Assistance – https://www.allianztravelinsurance.com/

CSA – https://www.csatravelprotection.com/

Red Sky Travel Insurance – https://redskyinsurance.com

TravelSafe – https://www.travelsafe.com

Many more. You could just give the insuremytrip.com a whirl, and it will toss up 20+ options from different companies and you can then look at each one directly. That’s what I did to validate this answer!

Your Own Agent?

Your home or auto agent may also be able to write a competitive policy. Its worth contacting them to see what they can do.

Things to Consider

How much coverage do you need? Do you want coverage for death/sickness cancellation?

Or do you want coverage “for any reason”? The latter costs more.

You’ll want to make sure the quoted amount covers the entire amount you want to get back. If its a $16,000 house rental and incidentals, make sure the cancellation clause doesn’t say the “non-refundable” part–which for a home is “all of it”–but go on to have a limit on how much that actually is (like say $2500).

You can often customize several different factors, and some companies seem to not only allow this customization but also have several tiers of policy before you tinker with add-ons. Again, we don’t have company or personal experience with any of these.

Some policies have a deductible of some sort and, of course, you never get back the cost of the policy itself, which can be $1K+, so of course you have to decide risk vs reward.

Most policies cannot be written close to the date of the trip (well after you’ve paid for everything) and, while it should go without saying, if you already know you think you want to cancel and then you get the policy specifically to cancel and be covered, well, that’s kinda sketchy at best.

We would love to hear from you if you have good (or bad) experiences, though, so we can help other vacationers!

Help! Gulf Shores vacation home travel insurance

Local Management Companies

What’s my local point of contact? Where do I check-in? Who do I call if there is a problem? Your local management company!

Elkins Management and Development is a family owned business and we personally own all of our vacation homes. However, for guest relations, we often use local vacation rental management companies to handle keys and guest relations when we lease to friends, those soon to be friends, and family. The local management companies help you get started and with any issues that arise along the way.

They are your first point of contact for all thing home related during your trip; however, if you ever have a problem, complaint, suggestion or compliment, we’d really appreciate hearing about it too!

Which Local Management Company Services my Vacation Home?

The assigned company may change from time to time. You local management company is listed in your vacation home rental agreement.

Keys, Check-in & Check-Out

You check-in at the local management company office, listed below.

Check-in time: Begins at 3pm.*
Check-out time: 10am.

*During busy times, with large houses, or due to circumstances beyond our or Meyer Real Estate’s control, check in and key pickup may not be available right at 3pm. Keys will be released to guests for occupancy after the property has been cleaned.

Kaiser Real EstateKaiser Real Estate Wyndham Vacation Rentals

800.225.4853 or 251.968.6868
https://www.wyndhamvacationrentals.com/kaiser-realty/

Location:
Kaiser Real Estate
1557 Gulf Shores Pkwy
Gulf Shores AL 36542
https://goo.gl/maps/wrxo2aoX3Ck

Meyer Real Estate

1-800-824-6331 or 251-968-7516
https://meyerre.com/

Location:
Meyer Real Estate
1585 Gulf Shores Parkway
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
https://goo.gl/maps/WYpF1

Mandoki Real EstateMandoki Hospitality, Inc. Gulf Shores Plantation

(Gulf Shores Plantation: Gulf and Golf A&B)
800-211-5053 or 251-540-6014
https://www.gulfshoresplantation.com/

Location:
Mandoki Hospitality, Inc.
805 Plantation Road
Gulf Shores AL 36542
https://goo.gl/maps/JwMC8HoB9gL2

Mountain2Beach

251-968-8896
https://www.mountain2beach.com/

Location:
Mountain2Beach
3645 Gulf Shores Parkway Suite 101
Gulf Shores AL 36542
https://goo.gl/maps/B6WsFAiRMhs

Young’s Suncoast Realty

https://www.youngssuncoast.com/
877-898-6755 or 251.968.7158

Location:
Suncoast Realty
3639 Gulf Shores Parkway, Suite 1
Gulf Shores AL 36542
https://goo.gl/maps/TEp7cmQ1kb32


How do deposits work? When will I receive my deposit back?

Security deposits on our vacation homes are charges paid by the guests and held by us to cover any damages or other issues related to occupancy of one of our homes.

Security deposits, when required, cover damage, and wear and tear or cleaning that are beyond the norm as solely determined by our local management companies in conjunction with our owners and management and is based on their years of experience turning over 100s of vacation homes on a weekly basis. When are security deposits due? How will they be handled? When do you get your deposit back? Here’s the security deposit scoop!

When is the security deposit due?

The security deposit is usually, but not always, simply added to the entire amount and paid according to the terms of your individual contract. Payment terms vary depending based on how far out you are from your visit so we can’t be specific. But in all cases they are due before you take occupancy, and usually at least 2 months beforehand.

How much is the security deposit?

If a security deposit is required, it is generally $3000 per unit rented. Typically security deposits are only required during spring break and other times when there is a higher risk of damage or excessive wear and tear to the property.

When will I receive my security deposit back?

As quickly as we can get it to you after check-out, inspection, correction, and billing, if any. But this takes time because it involves multiple steps and several of them are not under our control.

First, you check out. Then our local management company assesses the property for any wear and tear/cleaning that is above and beyond the normal cleaning, and they look for any damage to the premises and the furnishings. If there is no unusual cleaning or wear and tear/damage, then the entire amount is refunded to you as soon as we receive the move out report from the management company. This is usually 2-3 weeks, but can be faster (or slower) depending on how busy the season is and how busy the management company is. We do try to followup with them after our owner guest visits for which we hold deposits in order to push things along.

Note, generally we do not receive these reports until the end of the month of the stay at the earliest. Yes, we absolutely will sometimes reach out and try to expedite this but please understand that in most cases the requirement for a security deposit and the mechanisms for handling them are not part of our local management companies processes and procedures. In many cases, the mere necessity of our acquiring a security deposit is likely a result of some special request on your part, for example to allow a large group of unrelated adults under the age of 25, and to do so in homes with of high value.

Second, if there is damage or unusual wear and tear/cleaning beyond the norm, then things may get slowed down depending on the extent of the issues. Any maintenance/additional work is tasked, completed and then invoiced, and we deduct those costs from your deposit, and send a refund and accounting directly to the primary contact on the rental agreement. Except in highly unusual situations with extensive issues during high season, this usually takes no longer than 30 days.

We do understand that delays in returning them can be frustrating and we do our best to handle them as rapidly as possible but, again, we have to wait until we get a report on the home before we can do a final accounting and release and return the deposit.

What about Immediately Payable Charges?

There may be times when the local management company assigned to your vacation home, per their own policies and procedures, requires you to pay for damages immediately upon their noting or addressing the issue–they don’t have to fix it at the time, though they often will if its easily doable without interrupting your stay. 

These immediately payable charges must be paid directly to the management company at the time of notification. Failure to do so subjects you to the local management company’s immediate eviction policies. You may not use your deposit for this. However, these charges should not be included in your security deposit accounting. If there is a difference between the immediately payable charge and the actual cost of repair or replacement, this amount will be addressed when we account your deposit. That is, if you broke the funky flamingo lamp, and you paid for the lamp as an immediate charge, then we will not also include the broken flamingo lamp as a deduction in your accounting (unless you broke two of them!). It is possible that in the rush of a turnaround, the local management company will not pass along notification of these charges, so please let us know directly if you have to pay for any of these so we can keep an eye out for them.

This is all really quite rare, but it does happen every once in a while….


6 Thanksgiving Gulf Shores Things to Do

happy thanksgiving on the beach for house special deals mailing

Heading to Gulf Shores Alabama for Thanksgiving? We are too! Here are a few things you can do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Alabama (other than lounge on the beach and eat turkey, both of which are, of course, awesome too).

We love going down to spend Thanksgiving in Gulf Shores. The weather is usually nice (70s, sometimes the 80s). Hang out on the beach. Eat a lot of turkey. Spend time with family and friends. There’s a lot to like about just relaxing and doing very little, but there are times when you may want to break out and do something during the Thanksgiving week, whether you are there for the entire week or just for the long Thanksgiving weekend. So, what do we do when we head down?

Check out the Bodenhamer. Activities for Everyone.

From table tennis to basketball, racquetball to workout, indoor track, outdoor tennis, playground. You name it, the Bodenhamer has it. The perfect place for some physical activity, and if its rainy or cold, check out the large indoor pool with a play area, lap areas, and even a aqua ‘rock’ climbing zone. Very nice way to spend a half day or more!

And, there’s a double’s tournament and a Junior novice tournament during the first weekend and cardio tennis Saturday mornings.

If you happen to be in Orange Beach, staying at Diamond, Emerald, or Sapphire, our Jewels by the Sea, then Orange Beach has a recreation center close to you as well. We haven’t been there yet but since we will be staying at the Sapphire for the first few days of the week (making way for other vacationers come Wednesday!), we will be sure to check it out and report back what we think. Or at least that’s the plan… sometimes, well, you know… the beach.

Or hit both the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach rec centers up during the trip if you are really motivated!

Live Music (and a lot more) at Lulu’s

Lulu’s is a cool restaurant on the intracoastal waterway. They have a lot for kids to do, including beach volleyball, a sand play area, and a “Mountain of Youth” rope and ladder climbing activity (costs extra). Food is pretty good usually, sometimes great, but not really the main draw these days. We try to stop at Lulu’s least once per trip.

They also have live music. Check out the Gulf Shores location’s live music schedule.

One artist we like to try to catch is Brent Burns. This year he will be there Monday, Nov 23, 2015 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Good, family friendly, fun solo guy. My kids love him.

Brent Burns was born in Seminole, Oklahoma, and moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1958. While attending high school and Community college sports were important, but music was in his blood. Brent soon strapped on an electric guitar and was fronting a rock-n-roll band.
Life soon changed when he volunteered for service in Vietnam. Several months after entering combat, Brent was wounded and received the Purple Heart. After a three year recuperation in and out of military hospitals, he returned to his love of music and hit the road performing all over the United States. Later on he felt compelled to take a year off from music and hit the college lecture circuit. Offering honest, insightful, and a humorous look at life as a combat soldier, Brent was able to help others troubled with the effect of the war on their day to day lives.
Brent Burns is no stranger to notoriety.  In response to the oil shortages of the 1980s, Burns wrote the hit song, “Cheaper Crude or No More Food,” which sold 200,000 copies the first day it was released.   Paul Harvey played the song three times; the first and only song ever played in the program’s 35-year history.  Burns’ fame has continued with guest appearances on all three major networks, interviews on the BBC, and featured articles in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune andBillboard Magazine.
Brent also has the distinction of being the first entertainer to sing for American troops overseas since the tragedy of September 11th, 2001.  Besides his busy performance schedule, he continues to perform at benefits around the world, including for the National Underwater Marine Agency (NUMA) of Australia, the Phoenix Suns Night Hoops Program, American Cancer Society, and Habitat for Humanity, where Brent is building a house with proceeds from his latest CD, “Margarita Smile.”

Eat out for Turkey Day

Yes, you can actually find some good food options for Thanksgiving day if you are in Gulf Shores or Orange Beach for the week. Of course, cooking up your own turkey (or turducken!) in one of our fully equipped vacation homes is also an excellent (if more labor intensive) way to go, plus, then, you can cook, and eat, while enjoying the beach! Blowing off the home cooked option, here are a couple alternatives that may satisfy your turkey needs without the prep and cleanup.

Thanksgiving Buffet at Perdido Beach Resort

27200 Perdido Beach Blvd.
Orange Beach, AL 36561-
251-981-9811 x 103
Nov 26, 2015  10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Email
Website

Join us for a Thanksgiving feast! Whether you are looking for a four course meal with a view of the Gulf or a quiet private family room for your traditional feast, we have exactly what you are looking for. Our chef has added some creative twists to some traditional Turkey Da…

Be Thankful at The Hangout

Nov 26, 2015 10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
The Hangout
101 E. Beach Blvd.
Gulf Shores, AL 36542

On Th. Nov. 26 join The Hangout for a delicious traditional Thanksgiving dinner. $24.99 for adults, $13.99 for children, under 6 eat free. Make your reservations today.

Flora-Bama Annual Thanksgiving Potluck

17401 Perdido Key Drive
Pensacola, FL 32507
(850) 492-0611
Nov 26, 2015  11:00 AM – 12:00 AM
The FloraBama

Bring a covered dish and get all the turkey and ham your belly can stand. The Flora-Bama helps take the stress out of your holiday cooking. Throw those pans out and get to the line for this wonderful feast.

Take a post turkey day run

2015 Kaiser Realty by Wyndham Vacation Rentals Coastal Half Marathon and 5K Run

Nov 28, 2015   12:00 AM – 12:00 AM
Orange Beach Sportsplex
4389 William Silvers Parkway
Orange Beach, AL, 36561

Shed your turkey with us at the beach on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Bring the whole family to enjoy the weekend on Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast. From a 1 mile fun run to a 5k run to a half-marathon run, there is a distance for everyone. Enjoy running on the peaceful, scenic paved trails in the Back Country Trail. You will enjoy scenery encompassing the Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Stick around for awards and the best post-race party around at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.

(615) 460-9927
https://www.team-magic.com

Check out the outlet mall! Because, black friday…

The Tanger Outlet mall. Have to stop here each trip, and why not do so for Thanksgiving because… Black Friday! They have shops for everyone, even the guys, and, hey, Starbucks!

Little Zoo that could…

Catch the Little Zoo that Could, the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo, before they move to their new location. Nice, friendly, zoo with great staff, intimate settings, right up close to the animals, a fabulous way to spend some chill time off the beach.

What do you like to do?

Let us know what you like to do in Gulf Shores Alabama for Thanksgiving week (or Orange Beach). We’ll be down there for the week and are always game to try some new things. Hey, need a place to stay? Give us a shout!


What are your vacation home rental policies?

Legal Notices, Rules and Regulations Specific to Gulf Shores Properties

We hope you have a fabulous vacation with us. We have some policies and procedures of which you should be aware. These policies and procedures may vary slightly depending on the home you are staying in and the local management company that is providing support. We own all our homes and also provide on-the-ground service through these third-parties. When terms of use, policies, or other information may appear to be in conflict, the stricter/more restrictive policy shall prevail.

In the end, be smart, have fun. Call us if there is a problem. Enjoy the beach!

Here’s a link to our full vacation rental policies and procedures.


Is there a cash discount? Rates and offers always already reflect a cash discount.

Yes. Our rates, offers, and other fees always reflect a Cash Discount. Payments with credit cards will include an adjustment to the payment amount to reflect removal of the cash discount.

Your rental amount and any fees generally already include a discount for payment in cash (check, ACH, money order, cashier’s check, and equivalent, cash itself is not accepted because you seriously shouldn’t be mailing cash, seems like a bad move IMHO).

If you would like to pay with a credit card, or other non-cash equivalent, then you acknowledge and agree that a charge will be added to your account balance to reflect removal of the cash discount for that portion of your overall balance that you are paying for with the credit card.

Non-cash pricing is generally 3.5-5% higher than cash pricing. If you need to make an alternative payment, such as with a credit card, please inquire for the non-cash pricing. Happy to help you with that too!


Can I make a payment with a credit card? Yes!

Credit card payments are accepted via electronic invoice, in-person, or over the phone for any balances due on your account. Your account and the payment will reflect an adjustment to account for non-cash pricing.

We’d be happy to take your credit card as an alternative form of payment. However, because all our rates, payments, and fees represent cash-discounted pricing, there will be an increase to your account to reflect the non-cash status of your payment. This increase will only be applied to your payment amount and not to the entire balance. This increase will only be applied to your payment amount and not to the entire balance. The increase is approximately 4-5% and will appear as a separate charge on your ledger, called a Cash Discount Recovery Charge, to clearly identify the amount of the charge that is attributable to your choosing to not take advantage of the cash discount pricing for a particular transaction. There may also be a minimum transaction amount.

Through Secure Web Form

You may use our credit card payment page to easily make your payment. The form is secure, processes through Paypal, and we never see or retain any of your credit card information.

In-Person Credit Card Payments

Come in any time. Bring your card. Swipe it. Get your receipt emailed to you (or grab a hard copy if you must). No problem.

Over-the-Phone

Call any time during normal business hours and we will process the payment for you, and send you an electronic receipt.

Emailed Invoicing

You can also request that we send an electronic email invoice (via PayPal) directly to your email account. You can then pay the invoice using your own PayPal account. Note, if you will be paying this invoice with a cash-equivalent, like a checking account, we normally maintain the cash discount, so be sure to tell us!

Note. Please never ever (ever!) provide your credit card information in an email. That’s just a terrible idea!


Internet Access

All of our vacation rentals have internet access.

Each house has internet service through Mediacom, with a provided internet router with WIFI. You can the internet through the wifi. If you have trouble with the wifi, you can plug an ethernet cable directly into the router–though you have to bring your own ethernet cable if you are going to do this.

Internet access is good but not guaranteed–sand and salt are terrible on wires!

So, the reality is that most of the time, the internet is up and running, ready to help you rock and roll, or do a little studying or get a little work done.

However, it is not uncommon for the houses on the beach to have issues with the internet. Although sometimes it is related to the equipment inside the house, more often it is the external connections. The salt and sand play havoc with the connections.

One of us happens to work in technology, was a school tech coordinator, a network technician at a major university (Go Hoosiers!), and now develops web-based support tools and training for federal agencies and universities. He needs a stable connection, but, unfortunatle,y sometimes even he has to run to other locations when we have an outage at our own house down there.

So, if the connectivity goes down, please report it to both the local rental agency handling your reservation and to us. We will all do our best to get you up and running but can’t guarantee it, especially if its an external wiring issue since we do not control Mediacom and their personnel.

What can you try?

Basic troubleshooting for internet access in our vacation rentals includes checking the power to the modem/router, checking the connection from the wall to the router (the cable tv type cable), and cycling the power on the devices.

A Stepwise Internet Access Checklist

Is there a router/modem on the kitchen table?

Sadly, troubleshooting step one is: did someone walk away with the router, or the cords to the router? It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. And while housekeeping and or quality control should catch that the router has gone awol, they might not. So, if you aren’t seeing a wifi network on your devices, AND there is no router in the kitchen, well, then, that could be the problem.

Does the router have any lights on or blinking?

If no, then check that it is plugged into wall power (and that the outlet is working).

What lights are on?

There are a LOT of different routers, but most of them have similar sets of lights as those in the image attached. There will be lights for Cable Activity, Cable Link, PC Link, and Internet.

Is the cable activity and/or cable link light on?

If not, you need to check the tv type cable, which should connect from the wall to the modem. If it is in place and secure, then it is quite likely that the cable connection to the house is down or degraded.

How can you tell if the incoming signal is down or degraded? Well,

If you are unable to watch cable tv, then the cable (and therefore internet) connection is down coming to the house.

If you are able to watch cable tv, but the picture breaks up, or you aren’t getting some channels, then the signal is degraded, probably to the point that the router cannot establish a clear connection.

In both these cases, Mediacom will have to come out, and that may take time (again, we can push, but we simply don’t control the cable company…. oh that we did!). You’ll need to report the problem!

What if the link light is on but I still can’t get connected?

Try directly connecting to the router with an ethernet cable. You can snag one at Target or any other major retailer. This removes the wifi from the situation. If that works, then there’s something a miss with the wifi.

If that does NOT work, then there is something wrong with your machines set up OR with the router.

Let’s assume the router is messed up. Let’s just restart it.

Unplug it. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Plug it back in. Try connecting again. 5 minutes usually isn’t required, but if it doesn’t work by just pulling the plug and putting it back, give it a little longer because it can flush some connectivity settings by waiting.

So, the direct connection works but wifi doesn’t….

Do you see the wifi network? (OR if you see it but when you try to connect, it asks for a password?)

Let’s just reset the router and wifi.

Somewhere on the device is a small pinhole. Find a pen, or a pin! Stick the pen in the hole and depress the button. KEEP IT DOWN! Unplug the router (keep the button pressed). Plug the power back in (still holding it down, right). Wait. The unit should blink or do something. If you waited 30 seconds, it should be fine. Remove the pen. Look for the wifi. Try to connect.

If that all fails, we are really sorry!

Please report the problem and we’ll try to get it fixed asap. In the meantime:

Some great places to borrow wifi in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach!


How do I get to my Gulf Shores vacation home?

Quickly!

Seriously though, if you go to the property page for the home at which you will be staying, you can use the map on that page to get directions from wherever you are coming from to wherever you are going!

If you are driving, please be mindful of the speed limits. This can be especially important if you are coming across Alabama from I-65…. You will pass through many small towns, several of which lower the speed limit as you enter the jurisdiction and enforce speed limits, um, zealously.

If you are flying, Mobile, Pensacola, and Gulfport are the 3 closest airports offering commercial service. Gulf Shores itself has a small airport for private planes.


What are your policies regarding weather, hurricanes, and other unforeseen circumstances?

Our cancellation policy generally follows that of our third-party local management companies and does not provide refunds for unforeseen developments such as illnesses, mandatory hurricane evacuations and similar events that can affect your trip. We strongly suggest that you purchase travel insurance.

NO REFUNDS are issued for cancellations or early departure due to inclement weather or personal circumstances.

Travel Protection Insurance (“Trip Insurance”) may be a good option

Most third-party trip insurance agencies will allow you to add trip insurance to a trip up to your last payment, though those policies are up to the individual agencies. They cover a wide range of issues, so be sure that whatever you main concern is that it is in fact covered. Most will not allow cancellation for any ol’ reason, and you will need to meet their criteria for death, injury, weather, but they can protect you against loss if they are a god fit for your group.

We do not, at this time, directly offer trip insurance. However, we did do a bit of the legwork for you!

 

 

 


How do I get something fixed?

If by chance you have a maintenance issue while on your stay, please contact the respective management office where you picked up your keys. This will be either Meyer Real Estate, 800.213.9544, or 800.225.4853. If something is amiss and these agencies do not handle the problem to your satisfaction, please let us know about it.


What if my air conditioner isn’t working?

First: turn it off, and leave it off.

Air conditioners tend to freeze up in hot weather when people are moving in and out of a dwelling. Wait an hour or two and turn it back on. If that doesn’t work, contact the management office where you picked up your keys and they will straighten it out.

If you know you will be opening and closing the doors a lot, or leaving a door open for a long time, you might consider turning off the AC portion as a preventative measure.


How do I send a compliment, say something nice about my stay?

There is a new comment section on our web site that allows you to leave feedback regarding your stay. Also be sure to check out the comment sections for places to go, things to do, and where to eat!


How do I access the internet at the house? What if the internet isn’t working?

Each house has a specific router to which you will need to connect to access the Wifi network. If the internet isn’t working try going through the recommended troubleshooting steps on the router and modem. If you still have problems please contact your respective management office.


Do you offer internet and cable tv in your units?

All of our beach homes offer basic cable and internet packages that you will be able to use when you’re not out at the beach, dining out, and enjoying all of the things to do in Gulf Shores!


What should I do if a hurricane is forecasted/occurs?

Dont panic!

Just because a hurricane or tropical storm is forecasted doesn’t mean you need to take any action. There is no need for any of your plans to change unless there is a mandatory evacuation of the area.


What is your cancellation policy?

Elkins Development does not have a cancellation policy. When you sign your contract for your vacation home you are obligated to pay the amount due for your stay! We do understand things can happen, so if you believe you will not be able to visit, you should let us know as soon as possible. We may be able to re-let your vacation home.


Are linens provided?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Linens are included in the final price of your rental agreement and will be fresh for you upon your arrival!


How can I make my payments?

You may make your payments for your vacation home by mailing us a check, initiating an epayment, or via credit card.

Checks or Money Orders

You can make payments by check or money order mailed to our primary office address at

Elkins Apartments
940 N. Walnut St
Bloomington, IN 47404

ACH ePayments

ACH ePayments may be made using our property management portal. In order to make the payments, you must have an account in our system. You will have one once the contract is completed. However, this creates a bit of a catch-22 if you desire to use ePayment for your first payment. If you intend to do this, you will need to let us know so we can setup your account. Our third-party processor charges a small ($2.00 at the time of writing this) fee for conducting the electronic transfer.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are accepted. However, all pricing represents a discount for cash and there is a 4% cash-discount recovery charge added to all credit card transactions.

Be sure to check your contract to see your payment dates!


When is my payment due?

Your payment dates are outlined on your contract and typically vary by when you book and how soon you will be staying with us. All balances absolutely must be paid prior to starting your vacation.


What airports are nearby?

There are two airports located within an hour of Gulf Shores:

Pensacola (PNS) is served by Delta, United, American, US Airways, and AirTran.

Pensacola Regional Airport (PNS)
2430 Airport Blvd. Suite 225
Pensacola, FL 32504
Phone: 850-436-5000

Mobile (MOB) is served by Delta, United, America, and US Airways.

Mobile Regional Airport (MOB)
8400 Airport Boulevard
Mobile, AL 36608-9603
(251) 639-4684

Another option is Gulfport, MS (GPT), which sometimes has lower fairs but is a little further away.

Gulfport-Boluxi International Airport (GPT)
14035-L Airport Road
Gulfport, MS 39503
Phone: 228.863.5951

And there are two private airports in the area:

Jack Edwards Airport (no commercial flights)
3190 Airport Dr
Gulf Shores, AL 36542-2818
(251) 968-6380

Gulf Shores City Airport (no commercial flights)
3150 Airport Dr
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
(251) 967-3968
gulfshoresal.gov


What should I bring with me?

Bring everything you will need for a good time at the beach! Beach towels, coolers, and everything else that you can think of! But if you do forget something, no worries, mon! Walmart, Target, and many many great local shops are all close by.

Sunscreen! You gotta have sunscreen! Otherwise, the one you absolutely won’t leave Gulf Shores without is a very wicked sun burn. Just say no to peeling skin!