Letter: Balancing the needs of all community members

For over 40 years, Steamboat Springs has been our home. We’ve been proud citizens of this community, and as we near retirement, we hope we can share our wonderful experience with others when they stay at our current home as a short-term rental. My home won’t just bring travelers to Steamboat Springs, it will also support us during retirement.

My wife, Janet, and I purchased our home in 1988 with the plan to rent it out to supplement our income during retirement, yet allow us the ability to return and enjoy our home as we saw fit. We did not anticipate that the city would regulate us out of that possibility.

Short-term rentals don’t dictate home prices; the housing market does. Banning short-term rentals in certain neighborhoods won’t decrease the cost of living in Steamboat Springs, it won’t get seasonal workers or long-term renters into homes, and it jeopardizes the ability of current homeowners to supplement their mortgage payments while still having the right to enjoy their own property.

Retirees will absolutely need some sort of supplemental income, and there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to rent our homes to responsible visitors who support our local economy.

It’s unfortunate that housing prices have risen beyond affordability for many of our citizens. But short-term rentals aren’t the cause. We simply have a lack of inventory.

We hope that Steamboat Springs City Council will concentrate on addressing the housing supply and not enacting harmful overlay zones that might have detrimental unintended consequences and rob many of us of the ability to maintain a home in Steamboat. We support the city requiring registration and enforcement of regulations for those few examples of bad behavior.

Should we lose the ability to short-term rent our home, we might be forced to sell, probably to a party that will only be here two to three weeks out of the year. We hope City Council can consider a solution that balances the needs of all members of our community.

Ulrich Salzgeber

Steamboat Springs

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