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Destin Chamber of Commerce, Walton County Commissioners, write to Governor asking for vacation rental ban to be lifted

Short term vacation rentals are currently banned in Florida. (WJHG/WECP)
Short term vacation rentals are currently banned in Florida. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: May. 13, 2020 at 5:22 PM CDT
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Visitors are once again flocking to Florida’s beaches, and what the governor calls essential businesses are reopening.

But short term rentals are still banned.

Destin Chamber of Commerce president Shane Moody said thousands of people depend on tourists renting their properties during the peak season.

"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," said Moody.

One property owner said it's not fair to the owners because hotels and motels are allowed to open.

"I think it's concerning for owners and I think it's unfair... you know you can go to a hotel and sleep in the same room as someone who just checked out that morning, use the same lobby, the same elevator, the same buffet breakfast," said Jason Norton.

In Walton County, commissioners are also asking Governor DeSantis to get rid of the ban.

"Short term rentals are our lifeblood of Walton County and we need to help them right now, these small businesses are hanging on by the skin of their teeth so to speak, some of these small businesses won't be back if we lose them, so we have a lot of people unemployed and we need to get them back to work, it's time to get back to work here in Walton County," Trey Nick, Walton County Commissioner said.

Property owners said they are prepared for the ban to be lifted.

"There'll be several days that are in-between rentals, we're sanitizing everything and then we have a separate sanitizing crew that comes in after the cleaning crew," said Norton.

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