The City of New Buffalo sent out the following letter, signed by City Manager David Richards and Police Chief Rich Killips, on April 3:
Dear Manager or Owner of New Buffalo lodging and short-term rental properties: We have begun fielding complaints from residents concerned over non-residents and out-of-state visitors coming to New Buffalo to vacation, which is a clear violation of Governor Whitmer's Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order except as "necessary to sustain or protect life." Lodging operators who provide "food, shelter and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency and people who have disabilities" are allowed to remain open under the governor's executive order.
The law is clear when it comes to what is, and what is not, acceptable when it comes to lodging. Vacation lodging or short-term vacation rentals do not qualify as essential businesses and should not accept vacation guests until after the Stay Home order is lifted. This is not a suggestion; it is the law.
To date, police officers have broken up parties and large gatherings, written reports and provided warnings. This is to officially notify you that the New Buffalo Police Department is empowered to take additional steps against those breaking the law, including fines or arrests. These will be imposed on property owners or managers responsible for accepting reservations and allowing vacationers to visit. If the situation warrants, the City of New Buffalo may consider additional steps to enforce the Governor's Order.
We recognize the short-term financial difficulty this is causing for you - and for so many others in our community. We are asking you to follow the law and do the right thing for New Buffalo. By doing so, we can get through this crisis as quickly as possible and welcome guests once again
to visit our beautiful community.