Gearing up for an abnormal tourist season

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) Usually around this time of the year, people are getting ready for summer and vacation. However, because of the COVID-19 Pandemic many vacation home rental owners are bracing for a slow tourist season, especially those with properties around Lake Tahoe.

"There's been a huge drop in the travel industry overall and bookings for short term rentals are down anywhere from thirty to seventy percent," Pam Knudsen, Director of Compliance at Avalara MyLodgeTax, said.

Despite the slow pace, Knudsen said there are still things people can do to attract guests to their VHR's.

"The more that the short term rental owner can do to help the guest feel secure, the better," she said. "So really documenting and providing details on what their disinfecting protocols and their disinfecting protocols are to the guests is going to go a long way."

She also suggests switching to longer term rentals temporarilty.

"Healthcare workers coming into an area that need a place to stay while they are there," she said. "There are lots of different options."

Knudsen said it's also important to explain to guests that there are different regulations in Nevada and California because of the coronavirus.

"You know it's not a common thing to have that happen so helping them to really understand that this is a bit of a unique geographical situation," she said.

In El Dorado County, the non-essential travel ban will remain in effect until further notice. VHR owners there can only visit their homes to check on it or make repairs.

In Douglas County, owners can still rent out their homes because rentals are considered essential businesses.

"We are asking those homeowners to follow the governors directives and to adhere to the travel advisory that is in place," Melissa Blosser, a spokesperson for Douglas County, said.

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