With restrictions on short term rentals and hotels being lifted last week in Ocean City, all eyes are now set on the kick off for the summer tourist season.
Hotels and rental agencies in Ocean City say that even though this is the slowest start to a summer season that they’ve seen yet, they’re happy to have people here and ready to go for the summer of 2020. “We’ve been waiting 2 months for this, and this is traditionally our kick off for the summer season and we think we can do it in a responsible manner, and really have a great summer and we’re all excited about it,” said Princess Royale Hotel general Manager Kyle Johnson.
With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, rental agencies and hotels say they’re ready to get people back on property while keeping them safe. “All the businesses here who rely on tourism dollars, it’s our lifeblood. So, we’re ready for summer and let’s get the show on the road,” said Resort Real Estate assistant manager and realtor Austin Purnell.
Both Purnell and Johnson say that a number of people are either canceling or pushing back their reservations for later in the summer. Purnell says people are mostly booking for Late June through September. Meanwhile, Johnson says that the hotel is working on new programs for kids that families can book in groups of ten or less. He also says that hotel staff are regularly cleaning common areas.
At the Princess Royale Hotel, Johnson says that the hotel is hosting less guests than in summers past. The hotel is still doing all they can to be cautious once people start coming into town to celebrate the beginning of summer. That includes asking guests to wear masks and limiting how many are in common areas like the pool at a time. “We’re limiting the number of people that are on the pool or in the pool at a time. We actually have sign up sheets where we’re plotting hour times for families that are coming in,” said Johnson.
Johnson also says that he’s making sure his employees are healthy before reporting to work and asking them to wear masks. “Our associates are having their temperatures taken before they report for work, wearing masks and appropriate PPE,” said Johnson.
Purnell tells 47ABC that his company is also being careful going into this weekend. Condos are being deep-cleaned and guests are being checked in and out with a hands-off approach. “We’re thinking about doing like a drive through type style where they don’t have to get out of their cars. We’ll just walk up, hand them their package,” said Purnell.
For both companies, they say the main goal of this coming weekend is to provide a fun and safe environment. “I think if people are smart and just follow common sense I think it’s going to be a safe and great summer for all of us,” said Johnson. The Princess Royale Hotel says that they expect to be operating at about 70% capacity this coming Memorial Day weekend.