Virus hits Cannon Beach lodging sector

Claudia Toutain-Dorbec’s Cannon Beach Hotel Lodgings is seeing cancellations, but she said she and her staff are determined to weather the coronavirus economic downturn.

The COVID-19 situation is having its effect on the hotel industry in Cannon Beach. And Greg Swedenborg, owner of The Waves Cannon Beach, said Tuesday that tourism is basically the only industry in Cannon Beach.

“We are getting cancellations over a 100% more than average,” Swedenborg said. “I have already had 30 today – mostly for March and April. On a normal day, we might see six cancellations.”

He said visitors are citing the new travel rules as the reason for the cancellations, as well as the restaurant closings.

About a week ago, the picture looked different, he said. “People wanted to leave the city” and come to Cannon Beach. At that time, cancellations and reservations were about evening out.

Then, “Last Wednesday, when the governor issued the state of emergency declaration, then the cancellation floodgates opened,” he said.

“Yesterday, when the restaurant announcement came, (cancellations) spiked since then.” Swedenborg said all of his rentals have kitchens, although that is not the case for all of the hotels in Cannon Beach.

“The annual budget for the City of Cannon Beach - cops, roads, everything - is $7 million,” he said. “The lodging tax on hotels and vacation rentals is 70% of the annual budget of Cannon Beach. “If this goes on for three months, the City of Cannon Beach is going to lose a lot of revenue.”

Claudia Toutain-Dorbec, owner of Cannon Beach Hotel Lodgings, said on Monday, “The coronavirus is a serious but temporary setback.

“For the first time in 30 years of hospitality experience, I am witnessing many cancellations. With my terrific team, we are handling them with compassion.

“However, as in Europe, we still have many guests who wish to get away from the crowds. They want to visit the beach for more space, to create safe social distancing and to breathe the fresh air.

“We retrained our staff on a long list of topics,” said Toutain-Dorbec, “everything from how to properly wash their hands (we issued a poster) to creating and implementing new protocols for guest safety.

“We are still in the first days of understanding the virus, but I feel positive that we can pull together to combat this challenge, with good old American fortitude and ingenuity.”

The Gazette contacted several other vacation rental businesses in Cannon Beach, but only these two responded to our requests for comment.


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