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Short-term vacation rentals resume in Charlotte County

Rental agencies have been preparing for this moment since the shutdown, and it’s just in time for Memorial Day weekend, one of the busiest of the year.

The state has approved Charlotte County’s plan for short-term vacation rentals to resume.

Hotels and motels were allowed to stay open during the pandemic, unless a local jurisdiction decided otherwise.

The ringing hasn’t stopped at Manasota Key Realty’s office, and the condos are quickly filling up at Castaway Condominiums.

“I’ve actually made a couple reservations today for people to come in today or tomorrow,” said Joan Dunham-Card, the property manager at Castaway Condominiums.

The sudden spike came within hours of approval to resume short-term rentals in Charlotte County.

The state approved the county’s safety plan late Wednesday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

“I don’t know if we will be full because it’s kind of late; the announcement came out late,” Dunham-Card said. “But we are ready willing and able to take reservations.”

Owners and property managers can’t rent to visitors from South Florida hot spots for at least 45 days.

Travelers from hot-spot states (700 cases per 100,000 residents) and outside of the United States can’t rent here until further notice.

Those rules are part of a long list of state mandated guidelines.

“We are going to be keeping very strict control of how many people are in the units,” said David Lipstein, the president of Manasoata Key Realty.

“We’re allowing about six hours between each guest,” Dunham-Card said.

It’s another step to get local businesses back on their feet.

“We’re just going to be glad to welcome our customers back once again,” Dunham-Card said.

Charlotte County’s visitor’s bureau is hosting a webinar 10 a.m. Friday to make sure all rental property managers and owners are up to speed.

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Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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