Announcement Regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

To Our Valued Rentcottage.com Guests

We hope that you and your family are staying healthy and safe as we all navigate our way through this unfortunate Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic situation.

I am writing to you now, to give you a quick update regarding our plan to reopen our Rentcottage.com cottage rental business, in accordance with the Ontario Government’s published provincewide business reopening plan entitled “A Framework for Reopening our Province – Stage 2”. I have attached a copy of the Ontario Government’s “A Framework for Reopening our Province – Stage 2” reopening plan for your easy reference.

As you know, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on January 30, 2020 and then later officially classified the outbreak as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. In response to the looming pandemic threat, we closed down the Rentcottage.com Headquarters in Lion’s Head on March 19, 2020 and on March 20, 2020 we cancelled all of our existing cottage bookings/guest reservations having occupancy periods between March 20, 2020 and May 31, 2020 and ceased accepting new cottage bookings/guest reservations having occupancy periods between March 20, 2020 and May 31, 2020.

Since March 20, 2020, we have done our best to continue to accept new cottage bookings/guest reservations having occupancy periods after May 31, 2020 (i.e. to accept cottage bookings/guest reservations for summer 2020 and fall 2020 occupancy periods). Not surprisingly, business was very slow during the last half of March 2020 and during most of April 2020. However, business (summer 2020 and fall 2020 rentals) has picked up significantly during May 2020.

The Ontario Government has announced that it plans to reopen the Ontario economy based on the following approach:

ONTARIO’S ACTION PLAN IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19
A FRAMEWORK FOR REOPENING OUR PROVINCE

PHASE 1 – PROTECT AND SUPPORT
$17 Billion in Targeted Support
Support and Relief

PHASE 2 – RESTART
A Gradual Staged Approach
STAGE 1/STAGE 2/STAGE 3

PHASE 3 – RECOVER
Long-Term Growth
Long-Term Recovery 

It is my understanding that the Ontario Government will allow our Rentcottage.com cottage rental business to reopen when they implement PHASE 2 – RESTART – STAGE 2. The Ontario Government implemented PHASE 2 – RESTART – STAGE 1 back on May 14, 2020. However, the number of new reported COVID-19 cases in Ontario have unexpectedly increased during the last week or so (likely due to the increased COVID-19 testing that has recently taken place), so the implementation of PHASE 2 – RESTART – STAGE 2 will likely be somewhat delayed; and it is even possible that PHASE 2 – RESTART – STAGE 1 may be retracted if this negative trend continues (hopefully that won’t happen).  

We were hoping that the Ontario Government would implement PHASE 2 – RESTART – STAGE 2 sometime during May 2020, such that we could resume normal cottage rental operations again by June 1, 2020 and avoid having to cancel any June 2020 cottage bookings/guest reservations. Unfortunately, however, the Ontario Government has not yet implemented PHASE 2 – RESTART – STAGE 2 and short-term cottage rentals are still banned as of today, and as a result, we have no choice but to begin cancelling June 2020 cottage bookings/guest reservations.

However, in an effort to minimize the number of lost cottage rentals/guest reservations, we will begin the process of cancelling June 2020 cottage bookings/guest reservations, one week at a time, starting with the first week of June 2020, and we will make every effort to preserve as many cottage bookings/guest reservations as possible, by suggesting to guests that they maintain their cottage booking/guest reservation and simply choose a different week later in the 2020 rental season.

Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic related guest cancellation refunds that we unfortunately must make due to the continuing short-term cottage rental ban, it is our understanding that we are legally obligated to return 100% of the funds paid by the guest to Rentcottage.com for their cottage booking/guest reservation (i.e. initial deposit funds paid and final payments), including the funds that would otherwise be payable to our cottage owners and Rentcottage.com (and the associated HST etc.). In addition, we are not charging our customary $150.00 cancellation fee, for such Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic related guest cancellation refunds. 

We will be watching the national and regional news, and social media outlets carefully over the coming weeks, to find out when the Ontario Government makes the decision to implement PHASE 2 – RESTART – STAGE 2 and removes the current ban on short-term cottage rentals, so that we can cease processing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic related guest cancellations for those guests having cottage rentals/guest reservations with occupancy periods during the month of June 2020.  Obviously, the sooner this happens, the better, for everyone involved.

The Ontario Government announced today that they have extended the state of emergency (PHASE 2 – RESTART – STAGE 1) until June 9, 2020. Therefore, we have begun the process of cancelling cottage bookings/guest reservations and issuing guest cancellation refunds to guests with vacation occupancy periods up to and including June 9, 2020.

When the short-term cottage rental ban finally gets lifted and our guests begin travelling to cottage country again to enjoy their vacations, we will be providing them with the Ontario Government’s requirements for staying healthy and safe, along with the customary Information Kit and Household Rules. In addition, we have purchased a large supply of Lysol cleaning liquid and spray bottles, which our cottage owners and guests can pick up from us (free of charge) at the Rentcottage.com Headquarters in Lion’s Head.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for your loyalty and patience through this difficult period.

Please know that the health and safety of our employees, the people residing in the local cottage country communities, our cottage property owners (and their maintenance and cleaning staff) and our guests who would normally be visiting cottage country from other areas/renting cottages listed in our on-line cottage inventory, is our top priority. Please be safe everyone!

Sincerely,

Dave Craig, President,
Rentcottage.com

Contact

Rentcottage.com
2832 Highway #6
P.O. Box 70, Lions Head, N0H 1W0
Toll Free: 888.447.9590
Intl: 519.793.3108
Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am to 4:30pm EDT

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