ORLANDO, Fla. – Dec. 9, 2021 – Vrbo® selects vacation home owner Mike Wilcox to perform the coin toss at the 2022 Vrbo Citrus Bowl game. The inspirational host offered his vacation rental to first responders at no cost to help protect their families and loved ones during the pandemic.
Before retiring as a fire lieutenant in Ohio, Wilcox and his wife Jennifer purchased a vacation rental on Anna Maria Island, Florida where they planned to spend their retirement. The onset of the pandemic hit months later, and Wilcox lost three months' worth of business as travel came to a halt. Despite the significant loss of rental income, Wilcox offered his vacation rental as free housing for first responders who needed to quarantine. Not long after, a first responder was on his doorstep in need of a place to stay. Local first responders from Southern Manatee Fire Rescue have expressed deep gratitude for his generosity and are considering vacation rentals as a housing resource in the future.
“Having served as a fire lieutenant, I know firsthand the challenges that first responders have when it comes to exposure to the virus while on the job,” said Wilcox. “I have friends on the frontlines and wanted to help in this tough situation, and I also knew I was in a position to provide a solution.”
“Vrbo hosts embody hospitality and kindness every day by giving guests a place to relax and recharge,” said Kevin Locraft, Vrbo’s vice president of partner success. “We wanted to recognize Mike for his generosity and resilience during the pandemic. It’s inspiring and humbling to see Vrbo hosts go above and beyond for their communities.”
The Vrbo Citrus Bowl game between the Kentucky Wildcats and Iowa Hawkeyes will take place at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando and will air nationally on ABC on New Year’s Day.
In 1995, Vrbo introduced a new way for people to travel together, pairing homeowners with families and friends looking for places to stay. We were grounded in one purpose: To give people the space they need to drop the distractions of everyday life and simply be together.
Since then, we've grown into a global community of homeowners and travelers, with unique properties around the world. Vrbo makes it easy and fun to book cabins, condos, beach houses and every kind of space in between.
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