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Just off of North Scottsdale road, you’ll find a warehouse filled with “Scottsdale” neon signs, pool floaties in the shape of engagement rings, technicolored piñatas and hangover recovery bags with goodies like Advil, a hydration replenisher, a makeup remover wipe and a Ring Pop.
That’s where Casey Hohman starts his day as the CEO and creator of Scottsdale Bachelorette, putting together boxes for each party, blowing up balloon garlands and gathering all that he needs to decorate Airbnbs around Scottsdale for bachelorette parties.
It’s like clockwork — guests book a package, he preps their décor, sets up, tears down and repeats.
On a slow weekend Scottsdale Bachelorette may set up 13 parties, while during peak season they generally have closer to 30 bookings. That’s because Scottsdale is one of the top destinations for bachelorette parties in the country, second only to Nashville.
Scottsdale hosted more than 3,600 parties in 2021 and there are currently more than 11,600 planned throughout 2022.
“I want Scottsdale to be the number one destination in the US for bachelorette parties,” Hohman said. “I want that in the city, I want that for my business. I want that for the people that are coming here. I want to highlight the place Scottsdale is for bachelorette parties. It’s booming.”
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Stephanie Stokes, a maid of honor, flew into Scottsdale on a recent Thursday morning for her sister-in-law’s bachelorette party. She arrived to her Airbnb — which she booked for 10 women for a three-day weekend of festivities.
Bridesmaids ran around the house completing different tasks before the bride arrived. One set up a “glorified grazing board” filled with gourmet olives, dips and snacks for the evening. Another bridesmaid packaged bridal goodie bags for the weekend, complete with personalized drinking cups, Turkish rugs and homemade dog treats for the girls to take home to their pups.
“I was thinking we would just decorate ourselves, because that’s what we’d always done, but when I saw the package with everything included, I couldn’t believe it,” Stokes said of her decision to book Scottsdale Bachelorette on the BACH app. “Plus, they do all of the tear down. All the other bachelorette parties where we had to tear down the décor when you’re really hung over and cranky is not super fun. No one likes the cleanup.”
Just a couple hours into their arrival, and hours before the bride showed up, Scottsdale Bachelorette pulled up to the Airbnb and in just a half-hour, Hohman and his crew had turned the barren house into a “Desert Disco” with a neon Scottsdale sign, balloons in pastel colors, disco ball cups and floaties scattered in the pool outside.
“I’m going to advocate for this for every girl or bridesmaid or maid of honor,” Stokes said, as she watched the magic unfold. “I’ll let the professionals do their thing and make it pretty.”
Hohman offers five different themed packages: Final Fiesta, Final Flamingle, Desert Disco, Disco Cowgirl and Scottsdale Before the Veil. Disco Cowgirl is currently the company’s most popular offering. Hohman said he will be launching his newest theme inspired by a TikTok trend called “Dazed and Engaged” in the next few months.
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Companies like Scottsdale Bachelorette and Girl About Town — another bachelorette planning and decorating service — stock fridges, help book events through other vendors and decorate Airbnbs before groups arrive.
When booking with Scottsdale Bachelorette, guests choose a theme and for $550, Hohman and his team will set up a photo backdrop and a balloon garland with color coordinated motifs like cactus, technicolored suns or flamingos.
Ranging from $800 to $850, the all-inclusive packages include the photo backdrop, as well as table decor, bride’s room decor and miscellaneous items like a champagne blow-up balloon in a hallway or a “last hoedown” sign hung up in the kitchen and goodies like hangover recovery kits.
Add-ons to the all-inclusive package include customized welcome signs, a beer-pong table set up and a kitchen stocking service that includes picking up online grocery orders and making sure the kitchen is fully stocked for the weekend.
The biggest draw for either package seems to be the breakdown service. Hohman and his crew return to the Airbnbs on Sunday or Monday morning both to clean up and clear out all decorations in the house. Airbnb hosts love it too, Hohman said, who explained that his team knows how to put up and tear down decorations without damaging walls or furniture.
“Our goal is to make it so they can plan less, and party more,” Hohman said.
Beyond decorating services, Hohman calls himself a bachelorette concierge. Popular bachelorette weekend activities in Scottsdale include ATV or Jeep tours, hot air balloon rides, an afternoon or evening at Scottsdale’s Wine Girl and meals with in-home private chefs. Guests can book activities and services through the Scottsdale Bachelorette website, including Cabana Boys, a poolside entertainment service that provides male “party starters” who bartend and DJ.
“When you think bachelorettes and boys, everyone thought ‘stripper,’ and there is a market for that, but I think it’s a much smaller market than non-sexual fun,” explained Nelson Brooks, CEO of Cabana Boys. “Our guys are friendly and good looking, but they’re not going to dance on you, they’re not going to hit on you. It’s about providing a premium service and pampering the customer.”
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While planning their bachelorette weekend, Stokes and her girlfriends, who predominantly flew in from Minneapolis, debated between three cities — the Hamptons, Charleston and Scottsdale.
“It felt like a smaller scaled version of Vegas, at least the night scene,” Stokes said of their choice. “We wanted to go somewhere where we felt like we could relive our youth again.”
It also didn’t hurt that they found a great Airbnb, one of 6,100 active vacation rentals in Scottsdale, according to AirDNA.
Other Vegas-like features in Old Town include day clubs and pool parties, Hohman said, adding that nightlife and pool time, combined with sunshine, desert aesthetic and a vibrant restaurant scene have made Scottsdale a desirable destination for bachelorette parties.
“People used to come when they retired. Because of all that money, people started bringing their grandkids and then it became somewhere people visited and then young people started visiting as well,” Hohman said. “It became this playground for the wealthy, that has tripled and expanded to not just wealthy, but now everyone is coming and having a great time.”
In 2020, Scottsdale hosted an estimated 3.4 million domestic overnight visitors, nearly a million international overnight visitors and 3.9 million day trip visitors. More than $2 billion dollars was generated for the city through local spending, according to the the City of Scottsdale. And prenuptial parties are increasingly adding to those numbers.
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Bachelorette parties are becoming big business. According to the Bach App, more than 50% of women surveyed expected to spend more than $250 on their bachelorette weekend accommodations and more than 50% allotted more than $250 to experience expenses like transportation, entertainment and dining. On average, women are spending a total of $5,500 to $7,000 on their bachelorette parties.
Hohman, 36, started Scottsdale Bachelorette in 2018 as a side hustle while he worked his day job at HomeLight as a sales director, after working at other big corporations like Yelp and Uber, also in sales.
He launched his business on Instagram in December 2018, championing popular hashtags like #Scottsdalebeforetheveil and #Scottsdalebachelorette with other people’s bachelorette photos and set up his first party in spring 2019.
“I thought, ‘you’re out of town, what can I do,’” Hohman said.
At first, brides would mail Hohman their purchased bachelorette decorations for him to set up. He averaged two parties a week and charged $100 per party, which also included an initial consultation with the bride or maid of honor.
In 2019, Hohman decorated 30 houses. By 2020, he had decorated 300 houses, which Hohman believes was in part due to the proliferation of house parties during COVID-19 and the lighter restrictions in Arizona.
A year into the business, Hohman began to see the potential in the market for his services. He was getting nearly fifteen requests per week and noticed that women would order similar bachelorette party themes, but with only slight variations in décor.
“People were sending me different things all the time,” Hohman said. “The amount of time it took to set things up varied tremendously. I thought to myself, ‘why am I charging $100 and working for 2 hours and doing all this communication and marketing?”
Hohman created all-inclusive packages that helped streamline the setup process. Then he quit his day job to pursue Scottsdale Bachelorette full-time.
“I started to have this pull on me where all these people were inquiring, I found it fulfilling and I thought I enjoyed it,” he said. “People say, ‘chase your dream.’ It was scary, of course to leave a full-time job and start your own business. But I did it.”
This year alone, brides have booked more than 700 parties with Hohman, who now staffs seven employees. His plans are to grow the business even bigger, extending Scottsdale Bachelorette beyond decorating services to a full tourism website where he can curate experiences for Scottsdale visitors.
It’s not just Hohman whose business has boomed along with the Scottsdale bachelorette party scene. Brooks began offering his Cabana Boy services in 2020, with just six parties his first year. By the end of 2021, he had hosted 600 parties and now employs over 30 men. The company expanded beyond Arizona to offer Cocktail Cowboy services in Austin, Texas. He plans to expand to Nashville, Palm Springs and Savannah by the end of the year.
Bachelorettes and other visitors from across the world are pouring into Scottsdale to rent out the more than 6,000 short term rentals, as well as hotels and resorts.
According to STR, a hotel research company, hotels and resorts in Scottsdale are up to 67% occupancy as of July 2022, down from 77% in July 2019 — but getting very close to pre-pandemic levels, said Stephanie Pressler, director of community & government affairs for Experience Scottsdale, an organization contracted by Paradise Valley and the City of Scottsdale to promote Scottsdale’s tourism industry.
“With bachelorette groups, we are excited to have them staying at our hotels and resorts, because tourism is one of our largest economic generators,” Pressler said, adding that these parties may contribute to returning hotels back to their pre-pandemic occupancy rates.
Experience Scottsdale plans to release free 14-page bachelorette and bachelor party guides on their website the last week of July, Pressler said.
“We are hearing that this is a need and that people are looking for this information,” Pressler said. “We’d love to welcome visitors from all over the world to bachelorettes and weddings and we are thrilled that Scottsdale is getting this attention and recognition.”
Though the economic impact is sizeable, not everyone benefits from the wave of tourism.
According to a recent investigation by The Republic, Scottsdale is experiencing a housing shortage that is causing housing and rental costs to skyrocket. Low income workers have been unable to find affordable housing in Scottsdale. And for high-income residents, the housing shortage may result in higher taxes.
Senior economist Danny Court at Elliot D. Pollack and Company, a local economic and consulting firm, told The Republic that there are as few as 2,200 new rental units projected to be coming online, which is 80% less than the 11,200 units that a city planning document projects are needed.
Rental prices have risen more than 12% over the last two years — the largest jump in any U.S. metro area. Short term rentals contribute to the housing crisis. Beyond that, permanent residents may not enjoy living next door to a revolving door of parties. But, love them or hate them, destination bachelorette parties don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.
“You have sun every day, which you don’t get in Nashville, you don’t get in Austin, you don’t get in Miami, and on top of that, you have day clubs and pool parties just like Vegas,” Hohman said. “Right now, Scottsdale is vibing off all these new things. The country is discovering that for the first time and people keep coming.”
Reach the reporter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Instagram @sofia.krusmark.