The city of Big Bear Lake took action today to order motels, hotels and private home rentals to close their doors except for essential service personnel.

Clarification of Governor Gavin Newsom’s stay at home order issued March 19 was received March 22. All lodging facilities and vacation rental properties in Big Bear Lake must cease operations. Only facilities housing critical infrastructure workers or specifically designated by the state or county to house confirmed COVID-19 patients, may operate. There are no lodging facilities housing patients and likely won’t at this time or in the future, according to a press release issued by the city.

All current bookings for the next several weeks should be canceled and no new arrivals processed and no new reservations accepted until after the COVID-19 emergency has ended.

On March 19, Visit Big Bear, the agency tasked with marketing the Valley and building tourism, asked visitors to Big Bear Lake to stay home, postponing any visits to Big Bear until after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Despite the plea, many people from around the Southland ignored the stay at home order and ventured to the mountains and desert to escape the shelter in place order, as reported by several Los Angeles media outlets.

According to Michael Perry, who is taking over as the interim CEO of Visit Big Bear, vacation rental management companies are not accepting any reservations at this time through at least April 30.

A windshield tour of lodging facilities’ parking lots by Sheriff’s Deputies March 22 counted approximately 125 vehicles combined in all parking lots, and some of those may be employee or owner vehicles. Most lodging sites are already closed.

The closure of lodging facilities currently applies only to the city of Big Bear Lake. City officials are hopeful San Bernardino County will take similar action that will apply to the unincorporated areas of Big Bear Valley. The stay at home order applies statewide.

Guests at lodging facilities or vacation rental properties should be directed to return to their home community and continue to abide by the stay at home order.

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