By ANYSSA BOHANAN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Despite officials urging hotels and resorts to not book rooms to discourage tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, some have decided to remain open with precautions on place.
But allowing visitors is causing concern for some.
Rick Miller has lived in the Eagle Crest community near Redmond permanently for about six months after 16 years as a part-time resident and is concerned about the resort continuing to allow visitors.
“I have two units next to me that are in the rental pool and there were families renting on both sides, and I was told that they are continuing to accept Spring Break travelers,” Miller said.
Eagle Crest General Manager Geoff Roemelt says the resort has remained open, but reservations are far and few between, and benefit Eagle Crest residents.
“We’ve stayed open primarily to accommodate anyone that’s visiting family or local residents here at Eagle Crest,” Roemelt said. “We’re not promoting vacation travel or leisure travel.”
While the resort is taking precautions during the pandemic, including reducing staff and cleaning frequently, Miller says he’s still worried about Eagle Crest residents being exposed to visitors, and potentially, to the virus.
“People are coming into locations that are pretty close and they’re using our trails, they’re using our facilities and it’s just bringing more exposure in from the outside,” Miller said.
Roemelt encourages concerned Eagle Crest residents to continue practicing social distancing.
“The lodging component of the resort is pretty isolated as opposed to the homeowner,” Roemelt said. “Really we’re here to just help the community in terms of if they have relatives or friends that need to come and help take care of them, we’re able to accommodate those types of visitors.”
With much of Eagle Crest’s full-time population in an oder age range, Miller remains concerned.
“I’m all for rentals and rental income,” he said. “This would be the time to do the right thing and put the revenue part aside and ban anything less than a 30 day rental here.”