- Wealthy people are buying out entire hotels as they flee major cities for more secluded suburban areas, CNN Travel reports.
- Renting out suites, hotels, and vacation homes in remote areas is the latest way wealthy people are trying to skirt the threat of the coronavirus.
- Billionaires are chartering superyachts to escape from the outbreak (though not without backlash), while private plane use has seen a spike even as commercial air travel tumbles.
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Some wealthy people have started renting hotel rooms, inn lodgings, and resort suits, as they flee major cities to less densely populated areas, CNN Travel reports. But the even more affluent are taking it a step further and reserving entire properties for themselves.
Blantyre Country Resort, a luxury country house hotel in the Berkshires that typically opens in May, is making itself available now to those seeking to reserve the entire property for a small group or a single family. The cost of a buyout? $US38,000 a day.
“Even though we are in the midst of our annual winter closure, we received several calls from many of our loyal guests asking if we would consider reopening for a buyout,” general manager Stephen Benson told CNN Travel. “There is a desire more than ever to want to be transported away from it all with family and loved ones, and reserving our gilded-age mansion is a way to do this.”
Cape Arundel Inn in Kennebunkport, Maine, is similarly up for rent. A weekly rate of $US19,500 will get you the entire 14-bedroom hotel, complete with ocean views, weekly housekeeping, and all meals, according to CNN Travel. To ensure the safety of staff, all check-ins are now virtual, and meals can be prepared before hand.
“This is a new offering we’re implementing for the month of April. We have seen so many of the seasonal summer homes in the area become a respite for folks who live in highly populated urban areas since the virus hit,” the hotel’s managing director, Justin Grimes, told CNN. “We wanted to help offer additional accommodation options for those trying to distance themselves from dense, multifamily urban settings.”
Renting out entire countryside and small town escapes is the latest way wealthy people are trying to escape the coronavirus
It’s a perfect display of the stark class divide in the nation – many people can’t even afford to leave their homes (or stop working), let alone flee the state and buy out an entire hotel.
Wealthy people leaving their homes and disregarding self-isolation measures have been deemed “super spreaders,” as they often come from coronavirus hotspots like New York and bring the virus to the smaller suburban areas they go to. Once arriving in these small areas, the newly-arrived part-time residents invariably disrupt local life. As a result, there have been reports of food shortages in towns across the nation.
Even worse, an influx of new inhabitants can overwhelm the resources a small town has available. The island of Nantucket, for instance, which saw a cluster of wealthy people come to their summer homes months sooner than expected, has told its part-time residents to “stay away” because the island only has one hospital and just 14 beds, Business Insider’s Katie Warren previously reported.
In the past few weeks, there have been reports of billionaires chartering superyachts to escape from the coronavirus outbreaks on land, and private plane use has spiked even as commercial air travel has fallen. In contrast, a staggering 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment in the single week ending March 21, as whole industries are collapsing while people stay inside.