Letter to the editor: Breckenridge has a blind spot on short-term rentals | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Breckenridge has a blind spot on short-term rentals

Brett Steinbar

We’re not going to policy or politic our way out of this housing conundrum. Tampering with the real estate market will potentially backfire bigger than expected. The market and the money always find a way!

In the emotional plea to create housing for local jobs, it’s been forgotten that those jobs are soon gone and not for a lack of housing. The world and the industries are changing increasingly quickly post-COVID-19. Those jobs are going away.

Nationwide, restaurants and the hospitality industry want to hire; however, people simply don’t want those jobs, and it’s obvious. The industries will retool using new business models, like pour-your-own beer bars (think the Pour House in Breckenridge) or place-your-order from the table restaurants via QR menu and ordering apps. Jobs for wait and host staff, rental equipment, lift ticket scanners, etc., are getting automated and streamlined. This is where the town has an opportunity.

The next blind spot: The work-from-home shift.

Lastly, if the town of Breckenridge starts to limit short-term rental permits, a couple things could happen:

One, the market tanks due to the diminished earning potential for a property. This is the town’s goal, making the market “affordable.”

Or the alternative, and more likely scenario: The market chugs on, fueled by the fact current owners with short-term rental permits (20%-plus of the Breckenridge market) don’t want to sell a property that now can demand even more in rent due to a diminishing rental pool. This will squeeze Breckenridge’s affordability, too, pushing it more toward the Vail status it disdains. Finally, the folks with money to invest and not rent their new (and potentially discounted) second home still outbid the local and don’t rent to anyone!

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