On Thursday afternoon, the City of Destin’s Mayor Gary Jarvis penned a letter to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis requesting a re-evaluation of the vacation rental ban. If you recall, Governor DeSantis extended the ban with no expiration date given at this point.
Below is the letter.
“I am writing to request that you re-evaluate the vacation rental ban initiated in Executive Order 20-111 and extended in Executive Order 20-112.”
“In Okaloosa County, approximately 11,000 of our 14,000 (78.5%) lodging units fall into the vacation rental category. We believe that vacation rental units are similarly positioned in other panhandle counties and are by far, the dominant visitor lodging establishment in the Florida panhandle. Unlike other regions in the state, we have very little hotel and motel inventory, so in order for the ancillary businesses that rely on tourism to get a boost in business, they need tourists and tourists need quality, clean rental properties to occupy.”
“There has been robust discussion in our entire business community, not just in the vacation rental business, that the decisions on who can have guests and who cannot seem arbitrary and unfair. This present list of winners and losers puts our economy revival in jeopardy and leaves us far behind in the revitalization of Florida.”
“As a final consideration, we would ask that you consider the uniques positioning of the Northwest Florida market. This area have very few vacation rental guests from within the State of Florida. Rather, many guests drive in from Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas and Houston. Further, there are essentially no international visitors in our area, unlike in Orlando and South Florida. As a result, a limitation to Florida residents, unlike other areas of the state, would be tantamount to a closure of Northwest Florida. Please re-evaluate current or future restrictions on out-of-town guests. We hope Northwest Florida’s unique situation will reconsidered as soon as possible.”