Short-term rentals come with long-term benefits |

Short-term rentals come with long-term benefits

As a homeowner in the Roaring Fork Valley for the past 22 years, I have had the opportunity to rent my home on a short-term basis to families from different parts of the world. Most of these guests would not have been able to afford such a vacation if short-term rental housing was not available.

Without exception, these families have enjoyed our valley. I have received many beautiful notes from these guests expressing their awe of the surrounding environment and their gratitude for the hospitality that the community has extended to them. For example, one family from Tennessee wrote: “What a wonderful week we’ve had during our first family trip to Colorado. We loved being able to enjoy Aspen, Basalt, and Carbondale from your home base. What a beautiful slice of heaven. Thank you for sharing your home. We look forward to returning for a future ski season.”

While these folks are not millionaires, they have supported our restaurants, outdoor businesses, tour guides and a host of other businesses. They will return to their communities and spread the word about how wonderful the Roaring Fork Valley is. We should not underestimate the importance of this.

Many of us who own homes here will not be able to retain our properties if we cannot supplement our income with short-term rentals. Future buyers will likely tear down our houses, build bigger homes, and occasionally occupy these properties. This is not in the best interest of our community.

Employee housing is an urgent problem but its solution is not found by eliminating short-term rentals. I favor a bed/hotel tax on short-term rentals, where the revenues are allocated to providing employee housing. That would be a responsible step for our county to take.

Tina Staley


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