Letter to the editor: Breckenridge employees are here because of vacationers | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Breckenridge employees are here because of vacationers

Gary Ihas
Breckenridge and Gainesville, Florida

The Breckenridge Town Council has a predicament. I first came to Breck as a graduate student in 1967. It was a different town then: one traffic light, a rope tow on the hill (Carter), the Gold Pan one of the few restaurants. There was no Village at Breckenridge, no Vail Resorts, no place to stay!

Later, we were able to buy a condo (with a huge mortgage). Without short-term rental, we could not have had our happy family history here. With homeowners association dues, taxes, insurance, mortgage, maintenance and rental-manager fees, we still lose money on the place. It’s a delicate balance, with us taking all the risk and the town getting the skiers and hikers that make it thrive.

People like us have been the economic engine for Breckenridge for 40 years now. We have taken the risks, and Breckenridge has enjoyed the recreation center, expanded skiing, parks, restaurants, museums, schools and buses. All done with the property and sales taxes we and our visitors have paid.

The employees are here because of us. We, through our HOA dues and management fees, and our guests, who go out to dinner and shop, pay the employee salaries and shop owners’ rents. A conservative estimate of the economic impact of just our one short-term rental on the area is $75,000 per year.

It is obvious that almost everything built on the west side of Park Avenue was intended for visitor lodging. The town certainly encouraged this development. Can Town Council, with the stroke of a pen, cure the low-income housing deficit? Well, yes it can. The employees will evaporate, along with their housing needs. Of course, everything else melts away, as well, leaving behind a Vail company town. Wow, what a utopia. No need for town government. Vail knows best.

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