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Last of Oregon Coast Towns Set Reopen Date; Beaches Update

Published 05/23/2020 at 4:44 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Last of Oregon Coast Towns Set Reopen Date; Beaches Update

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(Astoria, Oregon) – The two latest openings on the north Oregon coast at Cannon Beach and Seaside will soon be joined by Astoria, Gearhart and Warrenton, as those areas have now set a date for lodgings to resume operations. June 5 is when hotels, campgrounds and vacation rentals can again start hosting guests in those three towns, which had been the last holdouts on the Oregon coast. Southern Oregon coast beach towns first gave the OK to lodgings earlier this month, followed recently by Tillamook County and then Lincoln County. (Above: Clementine's Guest House - Astoria)

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While Seaside and Cannon Beach gave the go ahead to their lodgings to start up at 100 percent capacity starting May 26, Clatsop County officials have imposed a 60 percent capacity cap on its lodgings from June 5 to June 25. After that point they can be at 100 percent of capacity.

The county Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hold a special meeting 2 p.m. Friday, May 29 to consider the plan.

A large point of confusion for many visitors is that state parks in Tillamook County and Clatsop County are still closed and apparently will remain that way when lodgings open back up in late May. While Cannon Beach and Seaside have opened their beaches to the public starting after this holiday weekend, other major attractions such as Fort Stevens, Cape Lookout, Cape Kiwanda, Manzanita Beach and others in those two counties stay cut off to the public.

Nan Devlin, executive director of Visit Tillamook Coast, said Oregon State Parks and Recreation (OPRD), local mayors and county commissioners have been working together on a plan, but many mayors and local officials have requested a delay in opening those areas right away as a means of crowd control. She said it is quite likely most such parks will be opening sometime in early June, however.

Devlin echoed what OPRD spokesman Chris Havel told Oregon Coast Beach Connection last month that not all facilities can be opened right away for logistics reasons and the lack of resources to properly do so. Many state park employees have already been laid off and the agency may wind up with financial issues and a lack of staff.

In a recent press release, Clatsop County commissioners said the county and the three northernmost towns chose June 5 as a reopening date “because that is the date that the state’s restriction on non-essential travel is anticipated to be eased.”

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