Opinion | Michael Cavanaugh: Housing and tourism must be addressed
Breckenridge Town Council candidate
- Occupation: Own the Historic Brown Hotel and Restaurant and Fox’s Den Foundation
- Years in Summit County: 48
- Family: Daughter, Cory Ann Cavanaugh
- Civic involvement: Town of Blue River trustee, 1983-1987; Northwest Colorado Council of Government I-70 Corridor co-chair, 1985-1987; town of Breckenridge finance authority Board of Directors, 2016-present.
I am interested in serving to help continue the progress that council has achieved since my last applications to serve as a Breckenridge Town Council member twice before. I wish to reinstate the faith of the residents of Breckenridge that council moves in a multifaceted growth pattern. The biggest challenges I see facing the town are acquisitions, which place the town of Breckenridge in an equal position to face the continuing growth and also how to control and utilize its experiences to become more efficient.
Address short-term rental issues
Short-term rentals in Breckenridge, specifically hotels, pay a high premium to operate in this locale. Airbnb’s have virtually no overhead except one’s mortgage or property taxes and a small management fee. As a consequence, the commercial end is getting short-sticked. This position is taken primarily in the Breckenridge commercial district. In the conservation and commercial district within the town of Breckenridge, owners of real property should get a significant break in their taxes for switching to long-term rentals. There is a definite housing and labor shortage, which is evident in the summit stage working force along with the ski industry and their shuttle systems.
Improve law enforcement
The town of Breckenridge, through lack of police and court action on overconsumption of substances, which in the past has resulted in deaths and is presently an “accident looking for a place to happen,” has stepped over the line. The police department needs to take on a proactive duty in this as they used to in past years. Due to the lack of competitive pay scale, we’re losing officers to the other side of the county. The town does not compensate the police force fairly for their immense work in this district.
Control tourism growth
Since working on the Interstate 70 corridor from 1985-1987, I find that nothing has really changed. The biggest problem on the corridor was Idaho Springs primarily due to the overgrowth of the state. A potential corrective measure is to control people having access to the mountains. The problem is still prevalent and has fallen by the wayside. Someone from Town Council needs to sit on an advisory board along with the Colorado Department of Transportation, the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments and Vail Resorts in order to liaison between all parties involved.
Michael Cavanaugh is one of nine candidates for four open seats on Breckenridge Town Council.
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