Short-term rentals come with long-term benefits
As a landlord in the Roaring Fork Valley for 22 years, I have had the opportunity to rent my home short term to families from different parts of the world. Most of these customers would not have been able to afford such vacations if there had not been short-term rental accommodations.
Without exception, these families enjoyed our valley. I have received many lovely notes from these guests expressing their admiration for the surrounding environment and their gratitude for the hospitality the community has extended to them. For example, one family from Tennessee wrote, “What a wonderful week we had on our first family trip to Colorado. We loved being able to enjoy Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale from your home. What a beautiful piece of paradise. Thank you for sharing your home. We look forward to returning for a future ski season.”
Although these people are not millionaires, they have supported our restaurants, outdoor businesses, tour guides and a host of other businesses. They will return to their communities and let people know how wonderful the Roaring Fork Valley is. We must not underestimate its importance.
Many of us who own homes here won’t be able to keep our properties if we can’t supplement our income with short-term rentals. Future buyers will likely demolish our homes, build larger homes, and occasionally occupy these properties. It is not in the best interest of our community.
Employee housing is an urgent problem but its solution does not involve the abolition of short-term rentals. I am in favor of a bed/hotel tax on short-term rentals, the income from which is allocated to employee housing. This would be a responsible action for our county to take.