Short-term rental businesses ousted from Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Monterey short term rental business kicked out of County Convention and Visitors Bureau

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - Short-term rental businesses are no longer a part of the Monterey County Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

One of those businesses is still upset about that decision, calling it a shocking one.   

Sanctuary Vacation Rentals says it only found out last month the visitor's bureau had voted them out. It's a position they never expected to be in and they're hoping it won't be permanent.

"We want to work together to bring people to Monterey and now it feels like we're being excluded," said Annee Martin, Founder and President of Sanctuary Vacation Rentals.

That's after the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau voted to cut ties with businesses like Sanctuary Vacation Rentals.

"My heart and soul is to bring visitors here, and to put them in restaurants, to put them in the wineries," Martin said, "All of the sudden to be told that we're not welcome anymore in the hospitality association and the Visitor's Bureau, it does not make sense to me."

KION reached out to the Visitor's Bureau who issued, in part this statement:

"The primary goal for the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau (MCCVB) is to drive business growth by increasing overnight visitation at lodging properties that collect and remit taxes that benefit our community.  Specifically, hotels and other properties that positively impact both transient occupancy tax (TOT) and the tourism improvement district (TID).  Regarding short-term rental businesses, the Board voted to adjust our organization's bylaws to be in line with the laws of several of our municipalities as well as consistent with the position of Monterey County Hospitality Association (MCHA).  Owners, operators, and promoters of vacation rentals, condos, single family homes, individual apartment units, or any lodging facility or activity not authorized by local ordinance or state statute are not be eligible for regular non-voting membership with the MCCVB."

Short-term rentals do pay the Transient Occupancy Tax, just not the extra one dollar a night Tourism Improvement District fee.

"We were just told that 'Well because, you don't charge the dollar, then you don't fit in with us'," Martin said, "They didn't even offer us another category to come into."

Martin says businesses like hers have come under fire because of a bad reputation some AirBnB rentals and clients have left on the Central Coast.

"All of the sudden that became the reality here that people thought that's what vacation rentals were about and they were afraid of that for their neighborhood," Martin said.

Martin says she keeps a close eye on her properties and makes sure her clients are respectful. It's a service she hopes to continue here, preferably backed by the Visitor's Bureau.

"I plan to go to the board and make my plea and ask them to please reconsider," Martin said.

The Visitor's Bureau told KION they've been in touch with any former member impacted by this change and are refunding any membership dues that were already paid.


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