In several mountain towns in Colorado, Airbnb is on the ballot
Some of the West’s most popular ski resorts are voting on whether to regulate short-term vacation rentals on Tuesday.
In Colorado, Telluride voters are considering cap on the number of short-term rentals in town and double the license fees. In Crested Butte, there is a proposal to increase taxes on vacation rentals to help pay for affordable housing. The cities of Avon, Leadville and Ouray are also considering similar measures.
The poll questions reflect a top-down crackdown in the Rocky Mountains amid the growing popularity of home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO. Last year Taos, NM, voted to limit the number of short-term rentals there. And earlier this month, officials from a county in southwestern Utah also limited vacation rentals for some regions.
These rentals are ideal for tourists looking for alternative accommodation options, but they can also contribute to housing shortages and high property prices.
âOften the owners of these places are able to jack up the prices and pay a little more for these houses knowing that they can recoup some of that premium price by renting the house,â says Megan Lawson, economist. at Economy Headwaters nonprofit.
She says tighter vacation rental regulations can help solve the housing crisis in the West, but it’s not a silver bullet.
âThey’re not going to take care of everything,â Lawson says.
She says other factors, including a lack of housing for the workforce, owners of second homes and the increase in remote working are also fueling the affordable housing crisis.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana , KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with the support of affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Public broadcasting company.
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