Construction & Design / Earn More

Adding a games room to your rental property in the Alps

It’s more important than ever to make your rental property stand out against its competition. But with so much choice out there – how can you ensure you secure those all-important year-round bookings?

Ultimately, many factors affect your booking success including pricing, the quality of your property/photography, successful marketing and much more. But, in this series, we’re focusing on chalet equipment and the associated considerations, costs and benefits that come with investing in additional features.

This post delves into games rooms and the costs, considerations, pros and cons of adding one to your property.

A suspended fireplace with pool table and armchairs in background.
This sumptuous games room at Chalet Colombine, Villards-sur-Thônes appeals to kids and adults alike.

What to consider before investing in a games room

How big does it need to be?

There’s no set rule for this. But you need to consider the capacity of your property and how many people are likely to want to use the room at once. Children and teenagers especially will want to spend a good deal of time there, so make sure it’s large enough to be a social space.

Another consideration is how many pieces of equipment you want in there. The more, the better, but remember not to overcrowd the space.

A football table, table with jigsaw and sofa in a lounge with a TV.
The games/TV room at Chalet Pativerdan, Samoëns.

Games room vs extra bedroom

You may be wondering what’s more beneficial – converting your spare space into a games room or creating an extra bedroom.

Games rooms add a sense of luxury and will appeal to young families, however, an extra bedroom allows you to increase your capacity. Ultimately, both options will help you generate more revenue, but there are certain circumstances where it’s best to opt for one over the other.

According to our revenue managers, this decision should be based on the existing capacity of the property and the other chalet equipment available.

Although subjective, a two-bedroom property, for example, would benefit more from having a third bedroom rather than a games room.

For larger properties (four bedrooms or more) it’s usually a better option to use extra space for additional chalet equipment or facilities, as opposed to building another bedroom.

You need to consider what your guests are looking for and how you can make your property as attractive as possible.

A large ping pong table with sofas and TV in background.
The games room at Chalet Les Houlottes, Manigod is set away from the main living room and bedrooms, so kids can enjoy their own space.

Games room vs playroom

At OVO Network, we tend to refer to a games room as a space that offers equipment such as a pool table, table football, darts board, etc. Playrooms are designed with young children/infants in mind and provide equipment such as building blocks, drawing pads and pens, play mats, etc.

Games rooms are more likely to appeal to a wider range of guests as both adults and children alike can make good use of them. But if you have space for both, then even better!

Legal restrictions

As with any building work, there are certain restrictions to abide by. If you’re planning on extending in order to build your games room, you will need to get planning permission. In France, you can contact your local Mairie (Town Hall) for more information.

The costs

As far as chalet equipment and facilities go, games rooms are fairly self-sufficient. Compared to a swimming pool or hot tub, for example, games rooms require little ongoing maintenance apart from cleaning.

If you opt for an Xbox, Playstation or arcade machine, you will notice a slight increase in electricity bills, however, this shouldn’t have a significant impact on your costs.

Here are some ideas of gaming equipment and their average costs (please note prices will vary depending on make and model):

Games equipmentCost
Pool table750 – 1700 €
Table football150 – 300 €
Air hockey tableFrom around 640 €
Arcade game machine1300 to 2000 €
Darts board20 – 100 €
Xbox (games not included)229 – 499 €
PlayStation (games not included)500 – 600 €
VR headsetFrom 200 €
Board games15 – 30 €
TVFrom around 400 €
Red pool table, sofas and TV screen with a bedroom in the background.
This grown-up games room at Chalet Kalyssia, Saint Jorioz is a great space for adults to unwind and enjoy a drink.

The advantages of adding a games room to your property

1. They’re popular with families

Games rooms are a fantastic source of entertainment for families with kids and teens. They’ll have their own space to hang out and play games together whilst the parents relax in the living area.

2. They help to boost occupancy rates

Games rooms can be used all year round, but they’re particularly good for improving occupancy rates in the off-season when it’s a little harder to secure bookings.

Overall, novelty chalet equipment that people may not have at home will make your property stand out and make people want to visit!

3. You can earn more

If you invest in impressive chalet equipment or facilities such as a games room, you can justify increasing your prices, as people will be willing to pay more.

At first, you will, of course, be paying back the cost of installation, but once you have covered this as well as your bills, you can reap the rewards of the additional profit.

A pool table sat on a Persian style rug with an arcade machine in the background.
A pool table and arcade machine guarantee hours of fun at Manoir de Leschaux, Le Petit Bornand.

4. They boost guest satisfaction

Guest satisfaction is vital when it comes to running a successful rental business. On the whole, it is easier to retain loyal guests who spread the word about your property, than to try and acquire new ones due to guests not wanting to return.

Positive reviews are a great way of grabbing the attention of future guests and increasing the level of trust in your property – and extra chalet equipment is often mentioned in glowing reviews.

Here are some reviews of OVO Network partner properties which showcase the popularity of games rooms…

The jacuzzi on the terrace and the games room in the basement are perfect in gloomy weather or during the evening to share convivial moments.

Pauline D – November 2021 – Chalet Julena, Thônes

Après-ski activities were superb and we made good use of the wood-burning stove to re-warm those frosty feet, whilst the children monopolised the games room.

Stuart G – December 2017 – Chalet Le Mousqueton, La Clusaz

We loved the games room and especially the pool table, which kept the ‘boys’ entertained. 

Paul M – February 2017 – Chalet Colombine, Villards-sur-Thônes
A bright blue pool table with large sofa in the background and TV screen.
The spacious games room at Chalet Le Mousqueton, La Clusaz.

The disadvantages of adding a games room to your property

  • Depending on which makes and models you choose, games equipment can be quite expensive,
  • Games rooms may not help to boost bookings as much as a swimming pool or hot tub.

Our top tips

  • Take high-quality, well-staged photographs of your games room and list them clearly on your website,
  • Consider the decor – the lighting, artwork and general ambience should create a novel experience,
  • Offer a variety of gaming equipment:
    • Board games are fairly low cost and can be stacked easily on shelving – so buy a good range for all ages and check them monthly to ensure no pieces have gone missing,
    • If you provide a console, then provide access to games,
    • If you have the space, try and offer more than one attraction (eg a pool table and table football).
A table football and pool table in an Alpine themed room with skis on the wall and cow print deco.
The games room at Chalet Keramis, Morillon has plenty on offer to its guests.

For more ideas on how to maximise your bookings and increase your revenue, head to our ‘Earn more’ archives. Or, contact our revenue management experts to learn how much more you can earn per year by installing a games room.

Looking for a complete solution for your Alpine property? OVO Network can help you run a successful rental business while hardly lifting a finger. Discover more about our offering by clicking the link below:

And if you’re keen to discover more about the chalet rental industry, as well as gain expert insights into running a rental business, make sure to sign up for our Alpine Property Newsletter today.

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