Did you know that there are 15 million people who live close enough to drive to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach in a day? That’s a lot of folks who can enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches and warm temperatures for pretty much the entire year.
With Labor Day signaling the end of the high season, Fall is still my favorite time to enjoy the beach. My football buddies are taking advantage of an away Bama game to spend this weekend at Perdido Key. As the saying goes, “What happens in Perdido Key, stays in Perdido Key.” We are lucky these days if no one goes to the hospital. It’s happened before…
I sat down with Randy Hall, founder and owner of Liquid Life Vacation Rentals to learn what it’s like to have thousands of new vacationers descend on the Gulf Coast beach scene each week. It makes my head spin to think about managing such a task Randy and his team have a wealth of experience doing just that.
Randy grew up 30 minutes from Baton Rouge in Zachary, Louisiana. His grandfather was a dairy farmer before he sold to Borden’s Milk Company. Randy grew up near the dairy farm and earned his degree from LSU. After LSU, he entered Southwestern Seminary School in Fort Worth, Texas, and spent 14 years as a youth pastor in Baptist churches.
In 1994, he started Student Life, a Christian organization that served teenagers through camps and retreats. In the first year, it attracted 2000 students. In the next ten years, Student Life grew to over 30,000 participants representing over 1100 churches and hosted youth camps in 18 states.
“In 2003, we heard youth pastors say they wanted a more engaging Bible Study curriculum. This was a big step,” he says. Student Life created a Sunday Morning bible study program serving many denominations, available via the Internet at studentlifebiblestudy.com. Over 5,000 churches use the curriculum today.
In 2009, Randy opened The Event Center at The Wharf to host Student Life events at the beach. Student Life designed the building as it is today, and signed a 10-year lease. They hosted 12,000 teenagers from 20 states in the first year. Worship services were held at the Wharf and the plan was to rent condos on the beach for youth groups. “That’s how I got into the condo rental business.”
After the difficult economy and the BP oil spill, Randy decided to sell Student Life. He sold to Lifeway Christian Resources in 2012. That same year, Randy opened Liquid Life Vacation Rentals in Orange Beach, with zero properties under management. He purchased the Four Seasons condo management company from Tommy Marr, Sr. and Chris Marr and began the 2013 season with 83 properties. Then he kicked his marketing expertise into gear.
“There are 16,000 condos on the Alabama Gulf Coast, and we wanted to market and manage the nicest Gulf-front condos.”
He says, “This is a problem-solving business, so I set out to build a problem-solving team. We want to get people excited about visiting the beach for vacation.” Their philosophy is that any job is a good job, and any task is a good task. “We have a standard of excellence that includes marketing that excites people to vacation at the best properties available, and follow that up with service and cleanliness second-to-none.”
Liquid Life has a dedicated in-house cleaning team, Clean Condo. “We deal with issues that arise. That’s our job. We want to fix things as quickly and pleasantly as possible.”
Liquid Life works with 80 condo towers, with 430 condos on the Gulf beach between The Hangout and Flora-Bama. These include units at Turquoise Place, Caribe Resort, and Lighthouse Condominiums. “We want to own the whole process when working with condo owners,” says Randy. “We are all team players. We understand the business and have been doing it for ten years.”
One of the things Randy has modified is the laundry service, especially since COVID-19. Before the pandemic, they washed only sheets and towels for each new arrival. In response to COVID-19, they added white bed covers and increased the laundry size. The CLEAN BED PROMISE assures guests that they are enjoying an immaculate condo.
Over 18,000 families check in each year into 430 luxury condos managed by Liquid Life along the Gulf coastline. What makes this area different, I ask. “This is not 30-A,” he says. “It’s easier to get here and our beaches are bigger, and the area continues to grow. Every one of the condos has a view of the beach.”
Why Liquid Life? “We live here and work here. It’s all about delivering on a promise and managing people’s expectations. If 2020 tells us anything, it’s that people’s vacation patterns have changed. We are seeing a robust condo rental market continue to thrive year to year. We want to be the top choice for finding the perfect condo to suit your family’s needs, and then make it a positive memory of a lifetime for you and your family.”
Well said, Randy. Thanks!