S.W. Michigan vacation rentals push Gov. Whitmer to let them open on May 29th

Published: May. 22, 2020 at 4:45 PM EDT
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The vacation rental industry in Southwest Michigan won't be able to kick-off their summer this Memorial Day Weekend because of the coronavirus pandemic.

16 News Now learned what they're doing in hopes of opening this time next week.

There's no guarantee short-term vacation rentals will be able to open when Governor Whitmer's executive order expires.

That's why members of the Harbor Country Vacation Rental Association are working together to show the governor they're ready to open safely.

"We really want people to know once safe opening is an option for us, we've gone through the protocols that will make it a safe opening,' said Beachtown Vacation Rentals owner John Natsis.

The earliest these short-term rentals could open would by May 29th.

In a letter to the governor the H.C.V.R.A. says these short term rentals provide natural social distancing.

There is also much less contact between guests and staff then other options.

Also, fewer common areas and shared spaces among numerous guests.

"We want the governor to see that not only are we ready to go, but we're ready to go an a way that's going to be safe for everyone. So, when she does think it's safe for us to bring travelers here, that it's going to be done the right way," said Bluefish Vacation Rentals owner Jason Milovich.

Pushing back the opening for vacation rentals could have a greater economic toll if it impacts the tourism industry.

"Without tourists, shopping at the local shops, dining at the local restaurants, the tee-shirt shops--that really has impacted the local economy," Natsis said.

While missing out on Memorial Day weekend isn't great news for these businesses, both Milovich and Natsis say their optimistic about their chances of reopening next week.