Cabin Rental Firm Upgrades Neighborhood

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Birch Bay Cabin Rentals offers the traditional beach cabin experience plus some unexpected extras, like saving a rundown neighborhood.

Lylia Kelstrup and Randy Roose of Birch Bay Cabin Rentals didn’t set out to rescue an unsavory neighborhood, but that’s exactly what they did for Fern Street. The husband and wife team, which also owns Birch Bay Remodeling, just wanted to acquire some rental properties that would offer the traditional Birch Bay experience.

Fern Street was more than just a dead-end, it was home to burned out shacks, drug houses and a nasty reputation with local law enforcement authorities. Kelstrup and Roose bought their first property in the neighborhood in 2003. Now, they own and have renovated most of the houses along the cul-de-sac. It wasn’t always a comfortable process.

“My kids hung out with the children of drug dealers in the neighborhood,” Kelstrup said. “There were times I asked myself, ‘What on earth are you doing?’”

What they did was transform a neighborhood from sleazy to sleek, a place where people feel so safe that they rarely lock their doors anymore. And, of course, they have a thriving business providing the traditional Birch Bay experience to summer vacationers.

“Each of our cabins includes full housekeeping services, a washer and dryer, its own barbecue grill, access to a hot tub and the beach, and a fabulous view,” Kelstrup said.

Birch Bay Cabin Rentals offers some amenities that are uncommon in such facilities. Guests can order manicure and pedicure services from a licensed esthetician, massage services from a licensed therapist, and have DVDs delivered directly to the door from Lylia and Randy’s personal collection of more than 500 movies.

“Next season, the insurance company willing, we’re hoping to offer crabbing and clamming excursions,” Kelstrup said.

Crabbing, clamming and beachcombing are what made Birch Bay famous, along with its shallow waters that warm up quickly in the summer. Birch Bay Cabin Rentals offers seven different properties ranging from a studio to a family-sized house. All provide that summer vacation experience that has made Birch Bay a destination resort for many years.

Vacationers can also see how Birch Bay Cabin Rentals transformed an unsavory neighborhood into a safe and welcoming one. That’s urban renewal, Birch Bay Style.

About Birch Bay Cabin Rentals:

Birch Bay Cabin Rentals was formed in 2003 when Lylia Kelstrup and Randy Roose began purchasing and renovating cabins in the Fern Street neighborhood. The company now manages seven properties and offers amenities rarely seen in similar vacation rentals. For more information, see


Lylia Kelstrup

(360) 220-2916


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Lylia Kelstrup