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Southern Illinois Vacation Rentals Blog

Greetings from Southern Illinois Vacation Rentals

Michael & Allison Hasler, Owners

How buying a 50ft. motor yacht lead us to SIVR

We moved to southern Illinois in 2005 from a few hours north from a little farming community of Newton, IL.  This move was on the cusp of my (Allison’s) return from military deployment to Iraq.  We had a rough year with 5 casualties and 30+ severe injuries in our unit of 128 soldiers, mostly made of college students from nearby farming communities, like myself. We’ll save that story for another time, but you can read more about that story here

In 2008, with our first child on the way, Michael quit his job and started “American Shoreline” a barge company for residential shoreline improvements.  Fast forward to 2015 and much success later, we sold the business and lakefront home.  

Call it fate, boredom, a work sabbatical… whatever you call our next step, it was anything but traditional.  We took our first installment from the business and purchased a 50 ft. Silverton motor yacht on Kentucky Lake as our next business venture: Kentucky Lake Boat Charters- the first and only privately owned pleasure boat chartering company on Kentucky Lake or Lake Barkley.  

As you can imagine… it was a fun and exhausting season of our life.  We learned 2 things from that venture: 1) We love the hospitality industry.  We love sharing the best of our own experiences.  2) We can offer the same high end hospitality standards A LOT closer to home.  

So, we decided to sell the yacht and focus on our cabin venture.  As I researched, I learned most neighboring VRBO’s fall into 1 of 2 categories- “cabin/lodge/dark/cozy/dark” or Victorian bed and breakfast- old/historical.  Neither of which I was interested in copying.  

After deciding on “tiny house” style cabins, I pledged I will only build a business I would be willing to spend my own money staying in- chic, modern, comfortable. Thus, Dam Near Lake of Egypt Cabins, LLC was born. A cheeky name for a surprisingly delightful experience.  

Fast forward again with much learning and growing pains, we branched out to help other property owners with their own short-term rentals.  Thus, Southern Illinois Vacation Rentals was born.