PALM SPRINGS — Hotels and vacation rentals in this international tourist destination are still prohibited from being used for leisure and vacation purposes.

The City Council voted this week to align its short-term rental rules with those of the state of California. The state still prohibits use of hotels and vacation rentals for leisure/vacation purposes.

The city’s order applies to all temporary lodging, including hotels and vacation rentals like Airbnb, unless those rentals are being used for “migration and containment measures related to the spread” of COVID-19, according to the city.

Violators can be fined $5,000 for a first offense, which increases to $10,000 and $25,000 for second and third offenses, respectively, according to the order.

The Council kept in place the requirement that lodging owners be responsible for cancellations necessitated by
the state’s emergency order and the protection for lodging for victims of domestic violence.

In addition, essential workers may still visit Palm Springs to assist with the pandemic response.

City staff recommend extending the order for another month, unless Gov. Gavin Newsom moves California into stage 3 of California’s Resilience Roadmap sooner. The state’s four-stage re-opening plan concludes with stage 4, representing the lifting of Newsom’s stay-at-home order — which has been in place since March 19 — and the re-opening of higher risk businesses such as sports arenas and concert halls.

California is currently in the beginning of stage 2, with stage 3 including the reopening of “hospitality” services, “which would appear to include hotels and other short-term lodging,” according to the report.

“However, the state is not yet at Stage 3, and the Governor has given no clear date at which he believes the State will be there. Therefore, it would seem prudent to extend the City’s short term lodging prohibition through the end of June. Should the State move to Stage 3 sooner, the City could rescind or modify this order,” according to the report.

In addition, the City has now opened trailhead parking and the Palm Springs Dog Park will re-open on Saturday, May 23. Users will be required to practice social distancing, at least six feet apart, and wear face coverings.

Image Sources

  • Short-term Vacation Rental: NBC San Diego