Many support beach town’s decision to temporarily ban short-term rentals

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Business and property owners support decision to temporarily end short-term rentals (photo: Sydney Bouchelle/WWAY)

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Carolina Beach town officials announced all short term rentals will be discontinued until April 22 or until the order is rescinded.

Restaurants and bars have been empty for about a week and now, with this decision, they’ll be seeing even less traffic.

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Not only businesses, but property owners will experience a loss in income as well.

Tommy Byrnes listed an oceanfront property on VRBO in the winter months, hoping it would be booked come springtime.

“I was told by friends who own property on the beach that even though I listed it just this year, by springtime I’d be booked for the season,” he said.

With no rentals so far, he says believes it’s the fear of coronavirus keeping people away.

“I get it, people want to stay home,” Byrnes said.

While he’s surprised by the decision, he understands why it was made.

Another property owner Heather Frazier says if the ordinance were to last long term, she would have to end up selling her condo.

“If it’s not producing income, then it becomes a drain,” Frazier said.

She says she had to tell two guests who were staying in her condo they had to leave because of the ordinance.

“I have Airbnb reservations through the season. I could do a long term rental, but I can’t because I have these reservations,” Frazier said. “So not knowing how long this ordinance is going to be in affect is rough.”

She says she is concerned about her own personal business, but she understands why measures like this are being taken.

“We’re hearing anecdotal stories about other cities around the world that allowed large groups to come together and then dispersed the virus,” she said. “So I understand. It has to be done.”

Her main concern is small businesses.

“There’s a lot of people suffering and businesses that I love are like ‘how are we going to do this?’” Frazier said. “That’s what I’m most concerned about is the small businesses and individuals. Just how they’re going to make it.

Businesses like The Lazy Pirate. Co-Owner Jamie Aiken says the community’s been supportive, but it’s still slow for the season.

“It’s been different, of course, but it’s been nice. The community has been super supportive,” he said. “It’s not like it used to be, that’s for sure.”

He says businesses on the island are coping with the new normal.

“We’re in it, we understand why it’s happening,” Aiken said. “We support it, we absolutely support the closures. Business is not going to be what it normally was, but as long as we come through this safe and healthy then we can get back to normal.”

He says his business will take a hit from cancelling the rentals, but they will adjust just like they have been doing.

“We’ll obviously change things again, but it’s the responsible thing to do,” Aiken said. “It’s the right thing to do.”

The Lazy Pirate will remain open from 11AM-8PM for take out, delivery, and to make free meals for children in need.

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