Florida VRMA Recommends To Governor DeSantis Phase II Re-Opening Suggestions

Today we released to Governor DeSantis our recommendations for Phase II of his Re-Opening plan. We were deeply discouraged that Phase 1 was another full shutdown of our industry while hotels and other lodging sectors were afforded the opportunity to remain open and serve all guests. With planning already proposed for Phase 2, we wanted to get far ahead of any new Executive Orders and make recommendations that are fair and responsible options for vacation rental operators to begin the Re-Opening process with other industries statewide. 

Our outreach to the Governor must continue and we need your help. Use our letter as talking points, sign and share our petition with 19,000+ names on it already, contact your local elected officials and ask them to contact the Governor and support our industry. Talk to press partners and share your story and why we need to Re-Open vacation rentals and have the same opportunities as other lodging. 

Join in and support our outreach efforts. This is our latest letter to the Governor from our President. 


RE: Phase 2 Re-Opening

Dear Governor DeSantis,

For the past 38 days, vacation rentals throughout Florida have been completely shut down with no clear reason why they have been singled out. No fact-based explanations have been provided to justify this overall suspension, no science and no guidance from health officials. Prior to that, the industry faced a tremendous downturn with cancelations and booking refunds that destroyed the last 60 days of the industry's revenues. To have this shutdown continue with no apparent reason will result in irreparable harm to our $30 billion-dollar annual contribution to the Florida economy.

Our employees have been furloughed or released completely and at this time uncertainty is rampant through the lodging industry. The recent emergency orders have all been posted at the last minute and leave no lead time for advanced planning. The Phase 1 implemented order is just more of the same with no end in sight for relief to the thousands of Floridians employed by our industry and the thousands of small businesses that we support.

While we understand your concerns for public safety, we have to question the logic behind restricting the only lodging sector that offers the same refuge as any permanent residence in this "safer at home" era.

We know that your staff is planning for Phase 2 of the reopening efforts which must be already in discussion, so we respectfully ask you to consider the following:

* Phase 2 should allow more than just Floridians to utilize vacation rentals. Restaurants bars and pubs will be open, theme parks, fitness centers and other ancillary services but not vacation rentals? This phase of reopening should not be providing hotels and other lodging sources specific operating privileges that vacation rentals are not allowed as well. This is discriminatory and unjustified.
* Phase 2 should encourage ALL lodging to adopt the CDC related guidelines that are for businesses, schools and homes. These guidelines expand upon what the State DBPR already has in place for safety and sanitation for all lodging. This can be an extra safety measure for protection against the spread of Covid 19. Many of our owners and managers are already utilizing such measures and even more stringent protocols.
* Phase 2 should also abandon the Task Force recommended 72 hours suggested between stays because this blackout was intended to be a Phase 1 course of action and hotels and other lodging are not expected to adhere to this extra restriction.

The above-mentioned recommendations for Phase 2, are appropriate and fair based upon the other Phase 2 recommendations proposed for various connected industries. Our lodging sector is an economic driver for many parts of the service sector industries that are opening up in Phase 2 and each of us should be considered as connected industry partners since they work closely together. Further restrictions will not assist in the short-term rental industry's recovery. We thank you in advance for your understanding and consideration.

Sincerely,

Laura Puckett, President



SIGN OUR PETITION AND TELL GOVERNOR DESANTIS TO REOPEN VACATION RENTALS

We did it! Governor Desantis' voicemail is full and no longer accepting messages. We overwhelmed his phone lines now let's send another strong message. It's time to tell him how we feel by an industry led petition. Almost 20,000 people have already signed. 
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