PREVIOUS MESSAGE SENT 4/14/2020 AT 4:30 PM:
A MESSAGE FROM THE MAJESTIC BEACH RESORT COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT
Dear Majestic Beach Resort Owners:
The last time that I wrote to you using the Association’s group communication platform was almost 2 years ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. In retrospect, that problem was much easier to assess, quantify, and repair than is the current COVID 19 Pandemic. After the hurricane, the Majestic management team was well supported by insurance companies, contractors, and our excellent management and maintenance staff. As you know, we were up and running within a matter of days and much of the repair cost was covered by insurance. It was an expensive and nerve-wracking experience for all of us, but it was manageable and is now a distant memory.
This time it is different. There is currently no one out there who can simply drive onto our resort and immediately make things normal again. No matter how often we wipe down elevator buttons, clean door handles, etc., the fact remains that the next person to push a button or open a door could be a carrier of the disease; infecting those that follow.
As you know from previous communications from the Majestic Association, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an Executive Order banning all vacation rentals until at least April 3oth. There are certain exceptions to the ban, however there is no question that the ban applies directly to Majestic Beach Resort. Additionally, the City of Panama City Beach has closed the beaches until at least April 23rd. In response, your Board of Directors has instructed management to close all public areas of the resort, including pools, hot tubs, fitness center, movie theater, meeting rooms, and food service. These public areas will remain closed until the Florida Department of Health advertises that it is safe to reopen them. In short, there is nothing to do there.
No one can accurately predict how long Americans will be required to social distance, nor can anyone predict the ultimate toll on our economy. However, it is without question that the first order of business for all Americans is to slow the spread of the Coronavirus as much as possible and await a scientific breakthrough for treatment of those who are infected, and ultimately a vaccine to protect the rest of us.
I am requesting the assistance of all owners at Majestic Beach Resort to accomplish this most important of all tasks.PLEASE DO NOT RENT YOUR UNITS UNTIL THE GOVERNOR TERMINATES THE BAN ON VACATION RENTALS.
This morning, one of our security officers reported to Majestic management that a Majestic unit had recently been checked into by a family from a State that is experiencing a high rate of infections. The family was asked to quarantine themselves inside the unit for 14 days. When the family refused to comply, the police had to be summoned.
We simply don’t need any more incidents like this. There is no way to effectively control rental guests. This puts everyone who works and lives there at risk. The police are overwhelmed and it is unfair and unreasonable to ask Majestic staff or security to handle these matters. And if an infected person were to inhabit your unit, you could possibly spend thousands of dollars having it cleaned and certified rent ready. Plus, it also could potentially lead to lawsuits filed against individual unit owners and the Association by people who become infected. So, please help us out and stop booking your units until given the all clear.
I know that the economic pain from these actions will be significant; possibly worse than the fallout from the Great Recession. Most of us, myself included, rely on rental income to help offset the cost of ownership. And we are now heading into our main rental season, which is when we make most of the money that will carry us through the year. At a scheduled meeting three weeks ago (admittedly before things got really bad), your Board of Directors decided to continue with the Association operating budget that was adopted last November. Your Association’s budget contains almost no discretionary spending. Insurance on the buildings will have to be renewed in May, and our insurance agent has reported typical increases in premiums of 20% due to costs of hurricane repairs in recent years (impacting all coastal communities, not just Majestic). Replacement Reserve accounts are statutorily mandated, and we have an obligation to maintain the buildings. So, there are very few opportunities to trim the budget which might slightly reduce your quarterly assessments. However, please rest assured that your Board of Directors will continue to monitor the situation and make whatever adjustments are possible to the budget and consequently to your quarterly assessments if the shutdown extends through the summer.
As part of the disaster relief package that was recently enacted by Congress and signed by the President, it is my understanding that if you own and operate your unit(s) as a small business (LLC, Corporation, Trust, etc.), you may be entitled to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance of up to $10,000.00 that does not have to be repaid. And it apparently doesn’t require a minimum number of employees. You can apply as a sole proprietorship, but I have no information as to whether this relief is available if you own your unit personally.
I applied for such a loan this morning on behalf of my LLC as the owner of vacation rental properties. The website said that it would take approximately 2 hours to apply, but I did it in about 20 minutes, perhaps because I had all of the required info available on my computer. When I completed my application, the website indicated that it would be about a week before I received an indication of loan approval or denial.
Below is a link to the website. It also contains info on other Government relief programs, so if this particular program doesn’t suit your needs, maybe one of the others will.
Again, I would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation by not booking any rentals during the State imposed ban. Paul, Danny, Mary, Sib, Kat, our security officers, and the rest of the Majestic staff are all doing the best that they can under very difficult circumstances. We need to keep them safe and healthy in order to be able to pick up where we left off when this pandemic is finally under control.
Should you have any questions or comments, please email me directly at: N525JL@AOL.COM
I do not have a Facebook or Twitter account.
President, Majestic Beach Resort Community Association, Inc.