Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Rep. Gomberg responds to questions concerning hospitality industry

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Publisher’s note: Due to a high-volume of emails received, multiple stories and investigations underway and minimal staff, we missed this email from a member of the Oregon House of Representatives. Sorry about that David Gomberg.

Lincoln City Homepage sent an email to Oregon Rep. David Gomberg Friday asking what could be done about hotels and vacation rentals remaining open in Lincoln City.

The email was sent Friday at 6:13 p.m.

I have received so many emails concerning Lincoln City’s hotels and VRDs remaining open in contradiction to social distancing.

Where do you stand on this issue? Can you do anything about it?

Lincoln City hospitality industry remains open amid wave of closures

Gomberg responded an hour later with the following:

Thanks for your note, Justin. 

We are facing a serious situation and the state is taking serious steps to address it. Closing schools, closing restaurants and bars, prohibiting gatherings over 25 people are all measures that will affect our local economy and the people who live and work here. We have gone from zero to 20% unemployment overnight.

Fortunately, we have no confirmed positive cases here in Lincoln County. Yet. I believe we will. And when we do, our medical facilities and staff will be sorely strained.

There is no vaccination and no cure. We can only try to manage the problem and help people with the most serious infections if we slow the spread of this virus. That’s why “social distancing”, hand washing, and other precautions are so important.

I know businesses are hurting. I know people are hurting and worried about paying bills. But having more people here only increases the potential for even more harm very soon. I just don’t understand during this evolving crisis, why anyone would encourage and advertise for more visitors.

I am grateful to those who are taking constructive steps to protect their families, neighbors, or employers at significant personal cost. I will do all I can to help them recover through policies and payments. We will get through this. But we do so by helping each other.

Phone your neighbors who may need help getting groceries. Give blood. Buy a gift card to celebrate with later. Purchase only what you need. Because the next person in line needs toilet paper too!

I’ve spoken with the Governor’s office. All coastal representatives have. I believe that if people do not behave responsibly, that the State may be forced to take broad action. That could be worse for us here at the Coast.

Tom McCall once famously said, “Please visit Oregon but for heaven’s sake please don’t move here”. I’m saying, please visit Oregon but for heaven’s sake not right now. Stay home. Stay safe. Come and see us when this is over and we can celebrate together!

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Justin Werner
Justin Werner
Justin Werner is founder and publisher of Lincoln City Homepage and a journalist reporting news for the fine citizens of Lincoln City, Oregon and beyond. He's on a mission to seek out truth and isn't afraid to be the tip of the spear for freedom of the press. When he's not wearing his reporter hat, you can find him enjoying the Oregon Coast with his wife and three children.

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  1. The beach, parking lots and resorts in Neskowin were packed with visitors today while residents are sheltering in place. With the limited health capacity of Tillamook and Lincoln Counties, it seems irresponsible for visitors to inundate the public spaces and possibly bring the Coronavirus as they are certainly not utilizing physical distancing. 3/21/20

  2. Thank you Representative Gomberg,
    The beaches and parking lots for the beaches were filled to maximum today. Visitors are taking over our spaces, but also our grocery stores that are already struggling to feed our community and keep stocked. Our critical access hospital cannot take an inundation of patients, but when people ignore the recommendations to keep distance it makes are entire community at risk. We are a generally a community with a large retired population, the exact population that is at serious risk of death if infected with the virus. When does the safety and the health become the priority vs lining the pockets of the hotel and vacation home rental owners who don’t even reside in the community. If our community gets seriously ill there will be no one to operate the tourism industry anyway. It’s time to take things seriously, flatten the curve, end the party on the Coast, send people home, and protect our already vulnerable communities!

  3. My wife and I visit every year for the kite festival. I don’t understand why anyone would be traveling now, given the state of emergency. As beautiful places as Tillamook and Lincoln counties are, tourist trips/vacations can wait. Be responsible and hunker down until this bug burns itself out.