Local Motel Owners Frustrated As Nearby Rentals Ignore State Compliance Orders

Local Motel Owners Frustrated As Nearby Rentals Ignore State Compliance Orders

Nico Payne

Local motel owners are showing frustration as stay at home orders continue. Compliance orders have been put in place, but some say not everyone is playing by the rules.

Under the regional stay at home order, no hotel or lodging can accept out of state reservations for non-essential travel, but in parts of Palm Springs reservations are continuing.

“We’re doing what we can to stop the spread of the virus, now the epicenter of this is in Los Angeles County and these are all people from LA, Orange, San Diego County coming out for a vacation,” said Chris Miller, Co-owner of Coyote Inn.

According to Riverside County Public Health, hotels may offer lodging for essential functions and covid-19 mitigation and containment measures. But Miller simply says that is not the case.

“This is not for covid mitigation, these are one, two, and three-night stays and they are all coming from the beach communities thinking they are safe out here. they are not quarantined when they are here, they check-in, they get on a bicycle and they go downtown,” explained Miller.

Other nearby hotels agree with Miller but did not want to speak on camera. They say they have dealt with code compliance, with no luck, as an honor system is in place to determine if a guest is in compliance.

“Code compliance has come out to these properties many times, and they are working on the honor system. and that’s little spooky that people can come in and just say, yes i here to mitigate the covid spread,” said Miller

Miller says he would rent out his property first responder, but he doesn’t see a demand for that.

“I have received not one phone call as a first responder or medical worker, someone who meets the criteria of a guest that’s allowed now, we have not seen that at all,” said Miller

Palm Springs City Attorney Jeff Ballinger did respond to our request for comment saying,

“A hotel owner or vacation rental owner/operator can ask the person whether the stay is for a permissible purpose under the state’s order. while not expressly stated in the states order, the city believes this is legally permissible.”

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