Letter to the editor: Residents and short-term rental owners need to work together | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Residents and short-term rental owners need to work together

Samuel G. Lundgren
Littleton and Breckenridge

Local residents advocating for capping short-term rentals reminds me of the discussion by fellow second-home owners to have one spouse register to vote in Breckenridge so we can exert some real influence.

It sometimes feels like locals want problems fixed by others using town government instead of looking for mutually acceptable solutions. Let’s start with what we have in common:

  • First, locals live here, second-home owners spend their leisure time here and tourists visit here because we all love Breckenridge.
  • Second, the pandemic has been and remains an issue affecting our town. We have seen a spike in home and condo values, with demand for short-term rentals reflecting the desire to take a vacation somewhere and a shortage of workers, all mixed with pandemic restrictions and uncertainty of what’s next.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have paid people to not work or pay their own rent. I am not saying this is wrong; folks needed help. I’m just saying it is unusual. Those programs are coming to an end, so our focus should be on where we need to go now.

For some affordable housing relief, Vail Resorts, working with the town, could sponsor a developer to build and operate housing for resort workers as an employment benefit. Town leadership has been successfully implementing good solutions with public transportation and parking. After the unusual programs go away, businesses will be paying what it takes to attract and keep employees, which gets passed along.

The message here is simple: Locals and second-home owners need to work together with the town to develop solutions that don’t disadvantage anyone and provide sustainable solutions while taking care of our tourists. We all have a part to play in maintaining Breckenridge as our little piece of heaven.

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