DEPOE BAY — During its regular meeting Tuesday evening, the Depoe Bay City Council voted to allow lodging establishments to begin booking tourist stays May 21, a day earlier than Waldport and two days before Newport.
The city council put off a vote during a joint meeting last week with other cities and the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, in which Lincoln City, Yachats and unincorporated Lincoln County elected to allow leisure rentals beginning June 1. Waldport voted for May 22, and Newport chose a May 23 reopening date.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Councilor Debbie Callender said she’d spoken with Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce Director Laura Ferguson, who told her area lodging establishments were ready to open as soon as possible. Callender said she had originally been of the mind that June 1 would be the right date to resume lodging, until she learned of the planned May 21 reopening of Chinook Winds Casino Resort.
“Once they are open, that is such a huge draw from the valley that I think our core businesses need to be able to open for Memorial Day weekend,” Callender said. She moved to allow lodging to reopen Thursday, May 21, and the council unanimously assented. They also approved a set of regulations for rentals already adopted by the county and other municipalities, with the exception of the 24-hour hold between occupancy and cleaning. To reopen, establishments must submit an application and plan, which can be found at the top of the city website’s homepage at cityofdepoebay.org.
In conjunction with the resumption of lodging, Mayor Robert Gambino suggested the city open most public restrooms except for the two by the boat ramp, where he suggested a more easily cleanable portable restroom should be used. Councilor Kathy Short said she thought all restrooms should be open, and Councilor Loren Goddard, participating by phone, said he did not believe portable facilities would be sufficient. Councilors ultimately voted to open all the city’s restrooms.
Earlier in the meeting, the council extended the city’s declared emergency for another week.