Employees rattled over housing changes | SummitDaily.com

Employees rattled over housing changes

KEYSTONE – A property management company took over Vail Resorts’ employee housing at the beginning of this month, and this week, employees are learning just what those changes are.

Denver-based Corum Real Estate Group took over administration of the 3,000-plus employee beds at Keystone, Breckenridge, Vail and Beaver Creek on April 1. Both companies said the management change would improve efficiency – Vail is in business to run resorts, not be a landlord, in essence.

The initial announcement of the change alarmed some employees and housing residents. Resort housing employees had to re-apply for jobs with Corum, and housing residents worried that rent would increase. Resort housing provides affordable alternatives for many employees, with rents as low as $300, deducted from their paychecks automatically.

Tuesday, housing officials posted notices on employee units announcing coming changes. Rents are not going up. The announcement included instructions for moving out of housing, as well as notice that rent will no longer be deducted from Vail Resorts paychecks and a new fee will be imposed for getting locked out of units. The changes take effect when winter leases expire April 30.

The notice also said security deposits paid to Vail Resorts would be reimbursed, and a new deposit must be paid to Corum. The new deposit is equal to a month’s rent – a substantial increase for those who live in more expensive housing units. Employees formerly paid a $300 deposit, $250 of which was refundable. Depending on the unit and number of roommates, the deposit could increase by several hundred dollars. For some residents, however, such as Sagebrush unit renters, the deposit will actually decrease.

Several Keystone employees were alarmed by the announcement Tuesday and sent anonymous faxes to the Summit Daily News.

“It now seems they are trying to rid Keystone employees of the only affordable housing in Summit County,” one fax said. “Keystone employees live in housing for a reason, and they do not have this kind of money.”

Corum executive vice president Jamie Fitzpatrick could not be reached for comment.

Cicely Crampton, a former Keystone housing manager who joined Corum in the transition, acknowledged some residents were upset at the changes.

“With rent being due on the first of the month (instead of deducted from paychecks), it will be tough for some people,” Crampton said, adding that employees will be required to sign Colorado Apartment Association-approved leases. “We’re going from being completely lax to completely legal. It’s hard. A lot of people have lived here so many years.”

Corum will phase out the housing available in Dillon Valley, as well. Vail Resorts formerly leased units from Dillon Valley apartment owners. Many of the units are occupied by families.

Crampton said Corum has asked employees living in management housing to consolidate to open up units that families could occupy. Some are resistant to the idea, she said.

Crampton also said the lock-out policy was necessary because the housing management team has fewer employees to respond to maintenance requests. She said her office logged 24 lock-outs in the past two days.

Reid Williams can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237, or rwilliams@summitdaily.com.

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