Snowmass officials have short-term rentals in mind

Skiers and snowboarders approach the Village Express chairlift on Saturday January 16, 2021, at the foot of the Snowmass ski area. Most of the short term rentals in the village are piste side condos similar to the ones pictured in the background here.
Austin Colbert / The Snowmass Sun

Snowmass Village elected officials have been thinking about short-term rentals recently, in part because of talks and voting actions in other mountain communities about the glut of the ski resort vacation rental market and the accompanying shortage. affordable housing.

“People were able to rent venues in a reasonable way, a group of people shared – the whole ski bum story – and what we’re hearing is you can’t do that anymore,” the city councilor said. Tom Fridstein in a discussion on the topic at a November conference. 15 Meeting of the municipal council. “I’m not necessarily talking here, but (of) what we hear among the organizations we are part of.”

The consensus elsewhere is that homeowners are realizing that they could make a lot of money in the market in the short term rather than renting it out to a long term tenant like they might have done in the past.

“It appears that the short-term rental situation is having an impact on the ability of local employees to find accommodation,” said Councilor Bob Sirkus. “It sure won’t be the only reason, but it’s just another reason.”

Communities like Steamboat Springs and Summit County have placed moratoriums on short-term rental permits this year. But are short-term rentals really becoming an issue in Snowmass, where most short-term rentals have almost always been that way? It’s hard to say.

“I don’t have any data, it’s more anecdotal,” said housing manager Betsy Crum. “I would say that since I’ve been here I’ve seen a significant increase, especially in the last 18 months, of people coming forward to say that the rented unit is no longer available, but that’s largely anecdotal … (and) nobody comes into my office anymore saying, you know, “I’m renting with four guys in Woodrun and I want to have my own place.” It just doesn’t exist.

Neither city staff nor council members really have enough figures to draw a conclusion at this point; several officials said they would like to collect and analyze more statistics.

The city knows, based on 2018 data, that there were nearly 1,700 short-term rentals in the city and that the “vast majority” of units that pop up on sites like AirBnB or VRBO are resorts in the city. edge of the tracks on either side of Fanny Hill, according to a summary of the discussion agenda. But more recent statistics that would reflect changes over the past three years are not yet available.

“It’s tough when you’re more of a traditional town like Durango and with traditional neighborhoods… it’s a very different approach than a place like Snowmass Village that’s right on the slopes,” said General Manager Clint. Kinney.

The Timberline at Snowmass Village is one of the slopeside condo complexes where the units serve as short-term rentals, pictured here on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner / The Snowmass Sun)

“And so, finding the right balance is something that we expect you to say, ‘Okay, what’s the balance that we are looking for? “, Added Kinney,” Because every skier who stays at Seasons Four is someone in a restaurant, and these are things that we are actively seeking to achieve here, but how do we find that balance between creating a community and tourism? “

Officials have come up with a few different ideas on how the city might collect more data: Statistics on sales taxes and permits might show how the market is doing in the short term, and the appeal to homeowners associations might highlight the inventory and short-term policies in different neighborhoods. . The municipality must also carry out a “transitional inventory study” in 2022; this usually happens every few years, said tourism director Rose Abello.

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About Michael B. Billingsley

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