May 27, 2020
By: Polk County Sports and Marketing
AUBURNDALE – The local vacation rental home industry breathed a collective sigh of relief today as Tallahassee lifted the Polk County portion of the nearly two-month long suspension, part of the state’s shelter in place orders, in response to the worldwide Coronavirus epidemic.
The easing comes after a proposal was sent to Governor DeSantis as well as Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary, Halsey Beshears, from the Polk County Board of County Commissioners.
The proposal for reopening included a detailed safety plan focused on the cleaning and disinfection of all lodging, self-quarantine for visitors coming from state designated hotspots and limitations on the numbers of people allowed in the rental homes.
“The opening of the vacation rental homes segment of our hospitality market is just another indication that Polk County is ready to get back to work,” said Mark Jackson, the director of Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing, the county’s destination marketing organization. “This detailed plan takes into the best practices from the CDC and expands on them, indicating just how important we feel the safety of our guests and our hospitality workers should be to all of us.”
Vacation rental homes make up nearly 50 percent of the available rooms in Polk County. Centered along eastern Polk County’s U.S. 27 corridor, it is a vital part of Polk County’s $2.4 billion tourism-based economic engine.