Silverthorne releases almost 150 pages of results from short-term rental survey

Silverthorne Town Hall is pictured Thursday, July 28, 2022. Town Council members expressed interest in gathering feedback from the community is one of the top priorities when going through any conversation about short-term rentals.
Eliza Noe/Summit Daily News

The town of Silverthorne has released the results of its short-term rental survey, detailing how respondents answered a variety of questions about short-term rentals in town.

The results take up almost 150 pages, and over 1,400 surveys were taken over the course of several weeks. Of the responses, 79.4% said that they own property in the town of Silverthorne while 20.6% said they did not. Just over 50% responded that their property in Silverthorne is their primary residence. 

“The original conversation was how many (rentals) and where,” Town Manager Ryan Hyland said. “(Council has) got some other data on other potential things, but (they’re) not trying to tackle all of that at once.”

In the survey, just under 6% — or 80 people — identified their occupation as being in real estate, and another 50 people said that they work in property management or other related fields such as housekeeping. According to the results, 90% responded that they work in neither field. Most respondents answered that a short-term rental cap would be appropriate and that different areas of town should have different caps on rentals. This means that areas like the downtown core may allow for higher percentages of rentals than traditional neighborhoods where full-time workforce lives. Any proposed cap would not affect or take away short-term units that already have a license and would only affect future licenses.

The town has discussed some potential overlay zones that would have different limits for short-term rentals. Preliminary discussions have focused on splitting the town into three areas. Area 1 consists of most of the town and its neighborhoods, and there would be a limit of 10% of units being short-term rentals. 

Area 2 contains most of the downtown area as well as parts of the Blue River area, and there would be 50% availability to short-term rent. Area 3 contains the town’s deed-restricted housing, such as Smith Ranch. Because of deed restrictions, no short-term rentals are allowed. Under this concept, another 400 units would be allowed to have short-term rental licenses in Silverthorne.

Town Council members expressed interest in gathering feedback from the community and said it is one of the top priorities when going through any conversation about short-term rentals. Short-term rentals do not currently have an affect on affordable housing in Silverthorne, and limits on units would be to preserve community character.

According to the survey, 821 people responded to a question that asked about the 10% cap in the traditional neighborhoods of Area 1. Of those who answered the question, 358 of them, or 43.61%, said that 10% is appropriate. Another 41.78% — 343 respondents — said that capping the number of rentals at 10% would be too high. Only 14.62% responded that a 10% cap would be too low. 

Council members agreed that further discussion was needed before any formal direction is given to town staff.

“The interest is pretty clear in which way to go,” Town Council member Erin Young said. “And so we’re going to have people ask, ‘All right, well, your community said this. What are you going to do right to address what you’ve heard?’”

The town is continuing to gather feedback on short-term rentals. Comments and questions can be sent to

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