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Residents plea for patience, caution as short-term rentals reopen on the Oregon Coast

People living in Cannon Beach said they absolutely expect tourists. They just hope people do their best to avoid being part of a huge crowd.

CANNON BEACH, Ore. — Short-term rentals, like hotels and Airbnbs, are slated to reopen and start accepting guests in cities up and down Oregon’s coast Tuesday.

That’s despite the fact that Gov. Kate Brown’s stay-at-home order still advises people not to travel between counties in an effort to avoid spreading the virus and simplify contact tracing.

People living in one community loosening restrictions, Cannon Beach, said in an interview Monday they absolutely expect tourists. They just hope people do their best to avoid being part of a huge crowd.

“For people who have a favorite place to shop, try calling your favorite places to go, just like you would call your restaurant if you wanted to make a reservation and see if they will accommodate you,” said Eeva Lantela, owner of DragonFire Gallery.

“If it's an 80-degree day in Portland, that's the day that everybody wants to come and especially if it's on the weekend,” said retired veteran David Kroll. “But if they can think about when they might be able to come, when it's likely to be less busy here... their experience might be less stressful.”

Every county along Oregon’s coast has entered Phase 1 of the state’s reopening plan. Still, Gov. Brown is urging people to avoid traveling over the coming weeks.

Via email, her staff wrote, “The Governor is asking Oregonians to make smart choices as they begin to venture out of their homes; to stay close to home whenever possible, travel the minimum distance necessary for food and consumer needs, and minimize recreational trips to counties outside where they live.”

The statement added, “In our conversations with local elected officials, our office determined that decisions about short-term rentals should be made at the local level… Many of Oregon’s coastal communities instituted no-transient lodging policies except under certain circumstances, and decisions to lift those policies are now also being made at the local level. (Hotels were not closed under Oregon’s stay home order.)”

Deb Atiyeh, who moved to Cannon Beach a year and a half ago after visiting all her life, shared a letter to Facebook and other platforms. It reads:

Cannon Beach is a Sacred Place; a rare place of serene beauty. Eagles soar here. Puffins and endangered birds perch on Haystack Rock. Low tides expose starfish and other sea creatures that fill you with a sense of wonder, Herds of elk roam the beach, the grassy meadows, and graze on the side of the road unafraid of humans as they are safe here.

It is a community of artists, photographers, musicians, writers, quaint shop owners, and peaceful retired folks who love and value nature.  Many are lifelong Oregonians.

This town has resisted what some would call growth and progress to remain simple and protected, preserving nature at it's best.  It is the mission of Cannon Beach to remain this way forever..

So as you come to Cannon Beach to visit please visualize keeping this town a sacred place.  A special place that you can always come to and feel good.  A place that you will always love.  A place close to your heart for you and your children.

Please pick up your garbage, your own and others.

Please do not bring fireworks that scare our endangered birds and wildlife. We want them to stay here and so do you.

Please be mindful of where you park as people live here and kindly share this town with you.

Please honor the Covid restrictions as many who live here are older and vulnerable and health care is limited. We have no desire to die before our time. This virus has awakened all of us to what is truly important, what matters, and what we want to keep forever sacred.

Walk gently and respectively.  Be sensitive to how special this place is and help us keep it a place that is forever sacred.

As you return please love and protect our Cannon Beach.

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