When will vacation rental properties in Florida reopen?

Local leaders, property owners mull future

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Quite a few people who own vacation rental properties throughout Central Florida are hoping the governor will allow them to get back to business.

Right now, hotels are welcoming guests looking to get away, while vacation rental properties remain closed.

John Newstreet is the president and CEO of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce and currently serves as a board member on Orange County’s Economic Recovery Task Force.

"Vacation rentals are still at zero because they’re not allowed to open," he said.

Newstreet, along with several other Osceola County leaders, sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis asking him to allow vacation rentals to reopen.

"I’d like to see him open up the industry even if it's done geographically or regionally," Newstreet said. "Vacation rentals in some communities can cause some pain, but here in Central Florida they are our lifeblood."

This comes as lawsuits continue to make their way through the courts, with property owners demanding the governor rescind the ban on vacation rentals during the pandemic.

Ronald Gordy doesn’t see the same rush to reopen his Orlando AirBnB. News 6 showcased the Orlando outlet known as Camp Copeland back in 2018 when it was named by AirBnB as the #1 wished-for listing in Orange County.

"We were booked solid through July 15," Gordy said. "For me, we’re going to wait and see when he numbers stabilize and that’s when we’re going to reopen, probably July or August."

When Gordy does reopen the rental, it won’t bring in the same income because of new safety measures he’s putting in.

“Not so many (guests) during the course of a month,” he said. “Usually, we were booked 28-30 days, but now we’re going to put three days between stays, that’ll probably cut (our revenue) by 40%.”

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