Letter to the editor: Town Council has not demonstrated leadership on housing
Colorado Springs and Breckenridge
Short-term rental owners are being cast as perpetrators of a crime against the town. They have rented their units — generating over $140 million in revenue, yielding $8 million in taxes annually — and now they have undermined the soul Breckenridge.
The town wants to protect the “quality of life and the fabric of our community.” Does it mean more long-term rentals, increased workforce, fewer tourists, reasonable housing prices, disrupted neighborhoods, trash, noise, vacant homes or just too many short-term rentals?
At the Aug. 24 Breckenridge Town Council meeting, not a single council member provided any quantitative analysis that the proposed cap would have the desired effect. No professional economical/tourist-based study has been conducted. The town made no effort to contact short-term rental owners or seek input on this very important issue, giving the appearance they didn’t want to act in an open and transparent manner.
The number of short-term rental licenses issued has gone up 3% from 2018, whereas revenue/visitor nights are up over 42%. This lack of correlation between the sharp rise in visitors isn’t supported by a relatively flat increase in short-term rental licenses. Combine this with the inverse relationship in short-term rental complaints from 2020-21, dropping by 48%.
Why are there 1,469 exemptions? Does having a front desk/phone qualify a property for exemption? The large exempt hotels/timeshares have 91% occupancy and a much higher volume of tourists. Condo units along 4 O’Clock Road have about a 50% utilization rate so a lower impact.
The Town Council has not demonstrated leadership on this subject. Allowing construction of timeshares, hotels and building a $48 million parking structure bring in more tourists. Couldn’t this money have been used to build a housing complex for workforce? Why not partner with short-term rental owners for a comprehensive solution?
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 about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.