Why are Florida hotels open, but vacation rental homes still off-limits to renters? The logic in the ban on renters is lost on those who consider staying at a hotel to be much worse as far as social distancing is concerned. Staying in a hotel/motel only forces people to be closer, but renting a home on the beach would logically be a better way to stay away from other people.
The lockdown in Florida banning vacation rental is killing the big business of renting out vacation homes in places like Walton County, Florida, where most of the economy survives off of tourism via vacation rental homes in places like Rosemary Beach. There are mostly rental homes in the area with no big beachfront highrise condominium buildings. The panhandle of Florida will be devastated by this odd order from Republican Ron DeSantis.
Looking deeper into the lockdown policy reveals an overzealous sheriff paired with a desire by some locals to keep outsiders away for fear of spreading the coronavirus from hot spot states like New York State. The logic is skewed because hotels are still open in the area.
Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson urges locals to snitch on renters and provides a number to call to snitch on renters. He said they’ve received hundreds of calls in just the last few days, from locals complaining about possible violations of the short term rental ban. Sheriff Adkinson says they are “investigating offenders” who rented out homes in defiance of the executive order from Governor DeSantis:
Sheriff Adkinson bragged that he’d evicted renters from homes and called them “rude.” His overzealousness in trying to protect the locals is a black eye on Walton County. Will the renters who have canceled their plans from months or years ago to go to the Walton County beaches, ever come back? Many of the renters moved West to the beaches in Alabama. Gulf Shores and Orange Beach provide the same beautiful beaches with the same vibe. Restaurants are open at these beaches too.
Sheriff Adkinson: “Our local businesses are suffering right now, and they’re hurting, yet they’re doing the right thing and obeying the law, and then we have owners from all across the country who say, you know what, we don’t care, we’re going to make money.”
WJHG reports that the local County Commissioners are just now getting around to writing to the governor:
“80 percent of our vacation units in Destin are short term rentals, condos or homes, so that is 80 percent of our tourism economy, there are 33 thousand jobs, jobs tied to tourism and so it’s very important that we get back open.”
Perhaps the local sheriff should back off, or this economy will take years to recover