Hoteliers caught in a dilemma make hard, responsible choice to turn away visitors in order to protect their community
LONG BEACH PENINSULA, Wash. – March 22, 2020 – In a move contrary to their hospitality instincts, the owners of 21 hotels and lodging establishments on Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula agreed to temporarily close to visitors. They did this in order to help mitigate the exposure of Covid-19 to local residents and dissuade potential visitors from traveling at this time.
The decision was reached during a conference call with lodging owners and operators earlier today. The call was initiated by the Pacific County Tourism Bureau (aka Visit Long Beach Peninsula). The closures are unprecedented for this rural, tourism-dependent destination.
“Our visitors are very important to us but this is not the right time to be encouraging people to travel outside their own homes nor to invite them into our community,” said Andi Day, executive director, Pacific County Tourism Bureau. “If we can all act responsibly right now, this will be behind us in time to enjoy weeks at the beach in the near future.”
The 21 hotels make up nearly one third of the total lodging available on the Long Beach Peninsula.
Even though Pacific County Health and Human Services closed razor clam digging on March 19, an influx of visitors was observed over the weekend at this rural and popular coastal destination. Part-time residents of beach cottages and cabins in particular began arriving in number on Thursday and Friday last week. Others arrived over the weekend.
“We’ve all been doing our best to stay at home as have most of our regular guests,” said Jeff Homer, Shakti Cove Cottages, in Ocean Park.
Many of the hotel owners are local residents.
“We are asking people to look after our community and theirs,” said Tiffany Turner, CEO Adrift Hospitality. “Asking people not to stay with us for a short duration, while it will further impact our business, is the right thing to do.”
One Long Beach property, The Mermaid Inn & RV Park, is voluntarily transitioning to a possible auxiliary medical treatment facility.
“We know the capacity of our hospital would be tested once the virus hit,” said Karla Jensen, co-owner of the Mermaid Inn and RV Park, “We decided to do all we could in the face of an impending local crisis.”
Properties voluntarily choosing to close to visitors at this time include the following: Adrift Hotel; Anchorage Cottages; Boardwalk Cottages; Boreas Bed & Breakfast Inn; China Beach Retreat; Coastal Inn & Suites; Col-Pacific Motel; Enchanted by the Sea Cottages; Inn at Discovery Coast; Inn at Harbour Village; Inn at the Sea; Intrepid House; Klipsan Beach Cottages; Lakeside Cottage; Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort; Mermaid Inn; Naytura Haus; Salt Hotel; Shakti Cove Cottages; Shelburne Hotel; Sou’wester Historic Lodge and Vintage Travel Trailer Park; and Your Cabin at the Beach.
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