The Bend Oregon city council voted earlier this week to issue a proclamation discouraging tourism to their city until at least September. In a narrow 4 to 3 vote the council decided to re-institute a travel advisory that strongly encourages visitors to stay away and specifically discourages hotel and short term rentals from booking further stays.
This is the second travel advisory issued by Bend who released a similar warning that was effective for parts of March, April, May and a few days into June. The order had expired as Deschutes County had entered the 2nd phase of the COVID-19 reopening plan.
However, given the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in both Oregon and the United States, the city has chosen to move back into more conservative measures by discouraging travel.
Bend is a popular tourist destination with wide open views, excellent fishing and a healthy amount of outdoor activities. Apparently Bend had been experiencing a bit of a tourism boon – so much that local residents expressed concern about the influx of out of state visitors.
The popular Visit Bend website now displays a message saying: “We thought we were ready, but we weren’t. New lodging restrictions are in effect.”
The order notes the following:
All stays in Bend at hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, RV parks, short term rentals, and all other temporary lodging facilities (collectively “temporary lodging facilities”) that have not commenced as of the effective date of this order are highly discouraged, unless for reasons of health, safety, or employment, or other permitted essential travel as further defined in the Governor’s Order.
As of the date of this Order, operators of temporary lodging facilities are strongly requested to refrain from booking any new reservations for tourist or vacation accommodation, and only book reservations needed for health, safety, or employment or other permitted essential travel.
Locking the city back down will undoubtedly have a negative financial impact on travel businesses that had started to kick back into gear.
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