VAIL, Colo. (CBS4)– Mountain communities in Colorado are looking at potential restrictions on short-term rentals as the workforce continues to dwindle.
“They’re leaving and I don’t really see a clear path of getting them back, so we need to do everything we can to keep the people that are still here,” said Brianne Snow, the Executive Director of the Family and Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC). “They are leaving every day, they come through the food pantry, and they tell us it’s the last time that they’re going to see us.”READ MORE: Larimer County Crews To Search For Diana Brown Missing Since Deadly Flash Flooding
The organization, which helps families find stability from across the high country, has lost employees itself.
“We’re short-staffed here at FIRC, trying to help people that are short-staffed and so it’s incredibly difficult,” she said.
According to a recent article from the Summit Daily, Steamboat Springs voted to extend a moratorium on short-term rentals, and other towns, while not quite prepared to go that far, are considering options.
The towns of Breckenridge and Vail say right now there’s no option off the table, but a firm decision would take more consideration.READ MORE: Mountain Weather Turns Stormy Sunday, Some Could Get First Snow Early Next Week
“There’s a fair assumption that this has taken away from our long-term rental pool, you know? That’s why we’re going to do the study that we’re doing at the Town of Vail. We want to get more information and see exactly what the impacts are,” said David Chapin, Mayor of Vail.
Chapin said he believes in keeping his foot on the gas but with so many unknowns about the short-term rental market, the town felt like 90 days was a fair amount of time to gather more data.
“You know, some people said don’t take a knee-jerk reaction. Well, I don’t think were necessarily taking a knee-jerk reaction, but this will give us hopefully, within 90 days, a period to study this, look at it and really decide just to make a better-educated decision if we decide to do anything related to higher fees, a suspension of licenses, a lot of things that other communities have done,” he said.
In Frisco, the county is getting ready to open a hotel, the Alpine Inn to workforce housing. There will be 37 units available through a lottery beginning in August.MORE NEWS: Suzanne Morphew Murder: Judge Decides To Move Forward With Barry Morphew Trial
“I think that any housing inventory that we can open now, especially before winter is helpful. I don’t care if it’s 5 units or 500 units. We have to keep going though,” Snow continued, “it is incredibly helpful that we have this hotel, but I don’t know if it’s a long-term solution that’s really going to work for our community when we need thousands of places to rent.”