DEPOE BAY — Motels and vacation rentals here are once again open to tourists and operating at a relative gallop after city officials rejected a 24-hour turnaround policy recommended by county officials.
Only WorldMark Resort, with 171 rooms the biggest and most popular visitor destination, remains closed as operators wrap up remodeling that occurred during the Covid-19 lockdown. In a June 4 letter to Depoe Bay city councilman Jerome Grant, however, resort manager Amie Marshall said the facility — known as “The Resort at Whale Point” — would reopen in late June.
The nearby Wyndham WorldMark Resort at Gleneden Beach in unincorporated Lincoln County will also reopen June 22, according to a company official. As a “timeshare” operation, Marshall said it would not fall under the county’s 24-hour rule, either.
Grant led the argument last month to disengage from a countywide consensus on Covid rules at a joint meeting with county commissioners and officials from five cities by clarifying the limits of county authority during questioning of Lincoln Co. Counsel Wayne Belmont.
The City’s decision to pull back from a rule requiring a full day between reservations came at a May 21 city council meeting.
“I just thought it was too onerous for hoteliers,” Grant said this week. “The viability of the virus on stainless steel surfaces may be 72 hours according to the scientific data but that doesn’t mean it’s transmittable, and the operators will be cleaning the rooms and doing the best they can.”
Depoe Bay’s city recorder said all licensed visitor accommodations in the city have successfully submitted reopening plans that include cleaning and social distancing protocols.