PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The cities of Seaside and Cannon Beach have taken another big step towards reopening.
Hotels and AirBnb’s reopened Tuesday to guests in the coastal towns. The city councils in both beach communities voted for reopening all lodging after Memorial Day.
Hotels and other properties have sat vacant for nearly eight weeks since the order to close went into effect in late March.
According to city leaders — about one third of jobs in Seaside are related to hospitality and tourism.
The town sits in Clatsop County, which moved into phase one of Governor Brown’s reopening plan on May 15th. However, Seaside officials say both locals and tourists need to be extra aware of their surroundings and take necessary precautions.
City leaders said some visitors from other parts of Oregon, Washington and California spent the holiday weekend in Seaside and Cannon Beach but the situation didn’t result in large gatherings or crowds.
Brown’s stay-home order is still in effect, meaning people are urged to limit their travel to only essential services. But the travel ban has had a big effect on beach businesses that rely on walk-in traffic, especially this time of year.
Seaside Mayor Jay Barber told KOIN 6 News he saw visitors following state-issued requirements by socially distancing and wearing masks. He said reopening the community is a tricky line to walk.
“If our tourist economy doesn’t open June 1 and for them to get three solid months of good summer business, they are not going to survive the winter,” Barber said. “But we also want to protect the health and welfare of the people living here.”
Barber worries a potential spike in COVID-19 cases just a couple of weeks after reopening could force the town to shut down once more and cripple the local economy.
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