Perry-Mansfield decides to lease cabins out to local businesses looking for employee housing
The Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp is offering local businesses struggling to find places for their employees a unique opportunity to house workers this winter at Perry Mansfield‘s historic campus in Strawberry Park.
“Our goal was to be a better community partner, and employee-employer housing is a better partnership opportunity for Perry-Mansfield and the community, rather than offering short-term rentals, from our perspective,” Executive Director Joe Haines said. “There’s plenty of short-term rentals, but there’s not enough employee housing, and so that’s why we made this change.
“For us, it still meets our goal of generating revenue that will support our programs; it’s just in a different way. But it’s still accomplishing our goals, and it’s better meeting the community’s needs.”
The Perry-Mansfield campus includes six cabins that are used to house teachers and students during the program’s summer camps each year. The cabins are also used for special events such as weddings, and in the past, they have been used as short-term rentals to help the performing arts camp cover its costs and meet its financial goals.
For the first time, Haines is hoping to work with local businesses to use the space to house employees from now through April 30.
He said Perry-Mansfield wants to rent the cabins to an employer partner that would be responsible for renting the cabins to its employees for the winter seasons.
Cabins like the Spruce that have a queen and two twin beds and one bathroom go for $3,000 a month. Other options include the Willow, Woodshack and Pine, which have two bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, for $3,000. The three-bedroom, two-bath Columbine is priced at $4,500 a month, and the five-bedroom, two-bath Sagebrush is set at $7,500 a month.
The cost of the fully furnished cabins includes utilities and internet, shared common space and kitchens with full-sized stoves and refrigerators. The units have baseboard heat and wood burning stoves, and Perry Mansfield will be responsible for plowing. The cabins do not have televisions, and there is no smoking of any kind on the campus.
Haines said the school decided that filling a community need was more important than the money the school made over the winter with the rentals.
“The nightly rentals or short-term is a lot more money than a monthly rental, but when you add in all of those cleaning fees, management fees and stuff like that, it’s all about the same,” Haines said. “In this arrangement, we will be serving the community and meeting a need for employee housing. It would be great if we can get people in there for the next four or five months, versus short-term rentals that are coming and going all the time and the costs and challenges associated with that.”
His hope is that local businesses will step up and lease the cabins with the idea that those businesses can then offer housing to their employees through the winter. He said the school doesn’t have the resources or desire to be full-time landlords but is hoping that this arrangement will work for the school and those that want to form a partnership.
“In terms of our short-term rentals, it’s just something they’ve done, and when I came on as the executive director, we decided we wanted to take care to focus a little bit to be more engaged in the community,” Haines said. “One of the ways we could immediately do that was by switching from short-term rentals to a employer-employee housing.”
John F. Russell is the business reporter at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach him, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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