Western vacation towns seek to limit short-term rentals

News in brief

Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was the headlines this summer for its crackdown on short-term rentals. Listing properties on sites such as Airbnb and VRBO has been banned in most of the city, and voters will decide in November whether to tax vacation property owners more.

Heather Sloop, a member of the city council and a resident of Steamboat for 20 years, told a recent meeting that she supported the measures because of the large number of residents struggling to find stable housing.

“I see people who have worked here as long as I have had to find other sources of housing or leave this valley because of the economic pressure on them,” Sloop said. “That’s where I see the problem.”

Nearly 30% of Steamboat homes are vacation rentals, according to analytics firm AirDNA and the US Census Bureau, as reported by the AP.

Other mountain towns struggling with limited housing supply and affordability include Jackson Hole, crested moundand Breckenridge, are also debating new vacation rental regulations. Some, including aspenhave even adopted new development moratoriums in recent years to slow growth.

A study sponsored by Airbnb this year found that short-term rentals support approximately 15% of jobs in several popular Mountain West communities and added $1.5 billion to the economy. He also argues that the growth in short-term rents has had little impact on local housing markets.

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 support from affiliate stations throughout the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the public broadcasting company.

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