Conservation Conversations: A Checklist for Short-Term Rentals

Now that the vacation and ski seasons are upon us, crowds of tourists will be flocking to the Grand County to take advantage of our beautiful winter weather (or lack thereof).

Some people like short term rentals, some don’t. However, the reality is that short-term rentals are a growing industry in Grand and Summit counties, and they’re probably not going away anytime soon.

A short-term rental (also called a vacation rental) is the overnight or weekly rental of accommodation, accommodation, mobile homes, rooms or accommodation, excluding hotels and motels, during less than 30 consecutive days, including, but not limited to, single persons. family dwellings, duplexes, multi-family dwellings, townhouses, condominiums, timeshares or similar units.

Many accommodation sites provide a service to clients who list their properties online for rent to a large online audience. Some examples include, but are not limited to VRBO, Airbnb, HomeAway, Trip Advisor, and many other vacation rental accommodation sites.

All landlords wishing to engage in the short-term rental of a residence in the unincorporated Grand County must apply for a short-term rental permit from the County (see link below). This permit must be obtained and renewed annually. Each city has its own regulations regarding STRs; thus, people living in cities should contact their city government office.

Since some STR tenants are new to the county and may not know the area like the locals, here are some suggested resources for guests to help provide them (and your neighbors) with the safest and most secure stay. as pleasant as possible.

• Install a reflective 911 address sign at the end of the driveway for clear identification of your property for guests and emergency responders. Keep in mind that customers may not arrive during daylight hours.

• Clearly display the correct address (911) inside the door in an emergency. This should include the county road number if you live on a county road.

• Have a list of important numbers and websites readily available, including

1) the owner of the STR or a responsible party (24 hour contacts)

2) Dial 911 for emergencies (keep in mind that international guests may not know 911 as their emergency number)

3) Local hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinics and emergency care

4) Police and Sheriff non-urgent numbers

5) Fire protection quarters

6) Offices of the Chamber of Commerce

7) Popular local tourist spots (including US Forest Service Office, Bureau of Land Management, and Rocky Mountain National Park)

8) If there is public transport available, information on public transport routes / timetables

9) 511 or for road conditions and closures

• Post an emergency exit plan and highlight the location of fire extinguishers

• Make sure all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and the batteries are good, and let customers know where extra batteries are, just in case the batteries die in the middle of the night and the alarm is triggered.

• Remind guests to check fire restrictions before lighting an outdoor fire and to include the fire department number or a link to the county fire restrictions page.

• Display the applicable street parking rules (in particular concerning winter snow removal operations)

• If a garbage can service is provided on site, indicate when and where to put the garbage cans. Make sure outdoor garbage cans are ‘bear proof’

• Display the maximum occupancy of the short-term rental

• Expectations for noise and disorderly conduct – no one should make, cause or permit the emission of unreasonable noise from the short-term rental that is audible in private premises beyond the limits set out in Title 25, Section 12 of the Colorado Revised Law. Statutes or constitutes disorderly conduct under CRS § 18-9-106

• Good neighbor guidelines are good guidelines that all tenants should follow. For a full list of guidelines, go to

STR Department of the Grand County:

Material for this article is taken from the Middle Park Conservation District High Country Rural Living & Land Management guide. This 64-page educational guide covers all kinds of conservation topics for living in Grand County. Discover the guide on

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