Tofino is home to one of Canada’s top ranked vacation rentals.
VRBO announced its first-ever Vacation Homes of the Year list last month, showcasing the 10 top getaway bases across Canada and Adam Buskard’s Tofino Retreat earned a spot among the best of the best.
“This waterfront luxury retreat is a surfer’s oasis, located in between two of Tofino’s best surf breaks and steps away from Chesterman Beach and Cox Bay,” touts VRBO’s announcement.
Buskard’s paradisiacal space catapulted up the leaderboard with 110 five-star ratings at www.vrbo.com.
“It’s a very special curated space,” Buskard told the Westerly News, adding the vacation home offers a “massive selection of vinyl records” and features works from a variety of local artists, including Mark Hobson and Claire Watson, as well as photographer Jeremy Koreski.
“People really appreciate getting to stay in a home that’s a very finely curated space. It’s not set up like your typical vacation rental.”
Buskard’s pride in the space is well supported by those who have experienced it.
“Fabulous stay,” wrote another happy traveller. “I can’t say enough about this beautiful home and all the amenities plus some. Adam is the perfect host and we couldn’t have asked for more. Thanks so much.”
“We had a fantastic Family Day long weekend,” beamed another. “So relaxing and great atmosphere. Loved the assortment of vinyl records to play on (the) stereo system. Thanks Adam. We will be back!!”
Buskard said he has lived in Tofino for 30 years and began building homes in the Chesterman Beach area in the early 90s before building his own home “from the ground up”
six years ago, adding the vacation rental to bring in revenue.
“The harsh reality of property on the West Coast is the valuations and the tax bills are so high that you kind of need to produce revenue out of them in order to be able to live on your own land,” he said.
He said business has been booming, though the COVID-19 pandemic brought multiple stops and starts.
“Through the year of openings and closings and openings and closings, whenever Tofino opened back up again it was always from 0 to 100 per cent,” he said. “It’s on now. Everyone’s booked up. It’s going to be a busy season.”
Buskard, who also owns The Tofitian Cafe and Tofino Time Magazine, said he enjoys providing positive experiences to travellers.
“I absolutely love it…I feel pretty lucky to have been able to have this adventure,” he said.
“Out of all my businesses, it’s the one I enjoy the most because I get to help create memories. I get three generations of a family sitting out around the campfire roasting marshmallows and that’s the kind of stuff that memories are made of.”
He acknowledged tourism has brought challenges to the community, particularly impacting the local housing supply, but suggested it’s a solid resource to rely on.
“I moved to Tofino 30 years ago when it was a fishing village of 700 people. I’ve been here through the ebbs and flows of the different economies and though tourism has its challenges, out of all the economies that I’ve seen Tofino supported by, tourism is one that seems to be the most sustainable at this point,” he said. “I hope that we get through these challenges with affordable housing and we find ways to get creative.”
VRBO launched in 1995 and the global community of homeowners and travellers is part of Expedia Group.
“The 2022 Vacation Homes of the Year are all located in popular vacation destinations and met required selection criteria, including excellent star ratings, guest reviews, number of bookings, and family-friendly amenities available,” the announcement reads.
VRBO spokesperson Mary Zajac said the list showcases rentals with proven track records of success through their ratings on VRBO’s website, adding the hosts who manage the top rentals “are dedicated to going above and beyond for their guests.”
“We also know every family has different tastes and vacation preferences, so this list represents a variety of price points, destinations, types of properties and design,” she said.