Summit County sheds over 300 short-term rental licenses during 2022 renewal period |

Summit County sheds over 300 short-term rental licenses during 2022 renewal period

Short-term rental properties in the Copper Mountain Resort village are pictured on Aug. 13, 2021. By the end of the 2022 short-term rental license renewal period, over 300 short term rental licenses were not renewed.
Ashley Low/For Summit Daily News

For the past two years, short-term rental regulations have been a frequently debated topic within the Summit County community and government. 

Recent results from a short-term rental questionnaire, which was presented in August, showed that a majority of respondents believed short-term rentals negatively affect the community at large

Also in August, the renewal period for short-term rental licenses opened. Until Sept. 30, short-term rental owners had the opportunity to renew their license for another year. 

More than 300 licenses were not renewed for the upcoming year, according to officials who spoke at a Summit Board of County Commissioners work session on Tuesday, Oct. 4. 

Before the renewal period, there were approximately 4,700 short-term rental licenses within the county. Now, there are about 4,400 left. 

To put those numbers into context, Jessica Potter, the senior planner for Summit County government, said the county lost about 6% of licenses. 

“It’s not that big of a number,” Potter said. In comparison to retention and turnover rate for a typical year of real estate, Potter explained that this number aligns closely with the norm. 

She added that while some may have purposely chosen to not renew their license, it’s also common for homeowners with a license to sell their property to someone who no longer desires a short-term rental.

Brandi Timm, the short-term rental planning technician for Summit County government, added that some licenses from this renewal period were not eligible for renewal until 2023. So some short-term rental owners are unable to shed their license until next year.

A total of 1,800 short-term rental licenses exist in neighborhood overlay zones, and about 3,000 are in resort overlay zones, according to Potter. Of the 300 non-renewals, 130 licenses were in the neighborhood overlay zone, and 170 licenses were in the resort overlay zone. 

While these numbers aren’t concerning to the planning department, Potter speculated that some may have not renewed because of the price increase on short-term rental licenses. 

Last year, the price to attain a short-term rental was about $150 for the application and $75 for the official renewal. This year, the renewal for a neighborhood short term rental license was $535, almost triple the cost compared to a year ago. 

In Breckenridge, the cost to renew a short-term rental license in 2022 was $400 per bedroom.

At the Dillon short-term rental open house hosted at the end of July, the escalated price of owning a short-term rental was a frustration echoed by existing license holders. 

This may be a result of how expensive the short-term regulation program panned out to be, said Jim Curnutte of the Summit County planning department.

“Us, as well as everyone else, severely underestimated the cost of running this program,” Curnutte said. He emphasized that the department cannot charge more fees than it costs to run the program. 

Curnutte said the program requires Timm and her colleague Jen Uhler, the second short-term rental planning technician, to be full-time employees.

In addition, Curnutte said there are two code enforcement officers and one person who strictly oversees the program finance, as well as a software provider and “a contract with host compliance” that costs between $250,000 to $500,000. 

“So the cost of the program is pretty significant,” Curnutte said. 

The next short-term rental regulation discussion with Summit County commissioners will be held Oct. 18 during a Summit Board of County Commissioners work session. 

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.