12 Jun 2020
Things are slowly getting back to normal here on the islands. Bars and restaurants are open again (currently at 50% indoor capacity, 100% outdoor capacity), the public beach accesses and parks have been reopened, and most shops are back in business as well. Best of all, we are renting again!
In late May, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Sanibel City Council approved the return of short-term (weekly) condo rentals (except for international travelers and those coming from “hot-spot” states…currently New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). And the phones have been ringing off the hook. Since May 19, Sanibel Holiday has taken almost 300 new bookings, most of which are for people traveling in June, July, and August! That’s a lot of people who have had enough of their own home and want to spend some time in Sanibel and Captiva, one of the world’s most popular destinations!
That said, there are over fourteen miles of Gulf beach and over 20 miles of bike trails. Plenty of room to distance ourselves socially.
However, there’s one thing we should probably mention for those driving from home or from the airport…
As most of you know, the Sanibel Causeway connects the mainland to the islands through a three-mile series of bridges and man-made islands and is regulated with a $6.00 toll on the Punta Rassa end to enter. As a precaution to toll workers, Lee County (like many toll operators across the country, we’d imagine) has suspended cash collections at the toll booths to prevent exposure to those working in the booths. As the tolls are cash-only, LeeWay has opted to use their cameras, which usually catch the license plates of violators to send a bill for the fine. Instead, all those without a LeeWay or SunPass transponder will have their license plates photographed and billed later for the $6.00 toll…no penalties or fines...no worries. LeeWay passes are only for residents, but a SunPass can be purchased either online (sunpass.com) or at any one of 3100 authorized retailers (including Publix supermarket, CVS Pharmacy, and Walgreens).
We wanted to especially advise those who will have a car rental for their stay. We would like to remind you to please check with your car rental agency to make certain they are aware of LeeWay’s current practice and have either prepared their vehicles with a SunPass or expected billing. Any billing or violation is reported and billed to the rental agency first through their license plate, and they might erroneously charge you a hefty penalty (as they have long before the pandemic) even though there was no one at the booth to take your money. It’s likely they have addressed this issue in the months since the toll booths were shut down, but better safe than sorry.
Hopefully, this will only be a one-time issue, as most people who stay on Sanibel have everything they need on the islands and have little reason to go back to mainland before it’s time to go home. For more information about the LeeWay tolls, please go to www.leewayinfo.com.
So feel free to come to SanibelHoliday.com and take advantage of our “Stress-Free Cancellation Policy” for vacations between now and November 20th. Be sure to Book Direct and Save (now more than ever)!
p.s. If you are a First Responder or a health care worker, one of our condos, Sand Pointe 132, is offering a 10% discount (proof of employment requested) for bookings between June 20 and September 26. Be sure to check it out and THANK YOU for all you’ve done for us!