BAR HARBOR – In the beginning of COVID-19, weekly rentals were looking pretty dull for the tourism industry in Maine but that has changed.
Governor Janet Mills ordered travelers from certain states to self-quarantine for 14 days when they get to Maine, with the exception of states like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Since then, more people started to get away from their hometowns to enjoy the rest of the summer season.
“When Governor Mills opened things up to those five states, it was like a wave of relief for those property owners and managers. It really changed the way things were going,” said Alf Anderson, Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
The real estate broker of Acadia Cornerstone said the company’s revenues were down 50 percent this season compared to last.
But people have still been looking for a socially distanced vacation.
“I feel like vacation rentals when you are in an individual home, it is a great way to vacation safely during these uncomfortable times,” said Morgan Eaton, owner of The Island Agency.
Eaton said her company is completely booked and still getting many calls from vacationers.
Ellie Oldach, a resident of Bar Harbor, said things were quieter in the beginning of the season, however it picked up within the last month.
July and August are usually their busiest times, said The Island Agency’s rental manager.
“I think we made, we rebounded better than what we ever expected we would have when we were looking at our calendars in May. And when we look at them now it’s pretty impressive and really amazing how it’s turned,” said rental manager Christina Carter.
Rental owners and managers have been using the safety protocols when renting out properties to vacationers.
Anderson said there have been no COVID-19 outbreaks in any of the Bar Harbor properties.
Rental owners and managers are looking forward to the fall season and believe it will be great for vacation rentals.