Steamboat’s short-term rental hotline could be ready this month, licenses aren’t far behind

Hotline won't have all features right away, but will still allow city to track complaints

The short-term rental hotline, which will allow Steamboat Springs to track complaints against short-term rentals, could go live later this month. License applications are likely not far behind.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Steamboat Springs’ short-term rental hotline should be ready later this month, though it won’t have all the capabilities it is expected to when properties are licensed later this year.

City Planning Director Rebecca Bessey said Granicus, the company Steamboat has been working with on short-term rental enforcement since September 2021, is working to reconfigure the hotline and start rolling it out in the coming weeks.

“I’m hoping still for early this month,” Bessey said. “I’m hoping they can come through for us because (City Council) did want us to get that up and running as soon as possible.”

The hotline has always been of the plan to better regulate short-term rentals, but as the city has delayed deadlines for short-term rental licensing requirements until April 30, the hotline won’t roll out with all the features it will eventually have. While the hotline may lack some aspects to start, City Council instructed staff to roll it out as soon as possible anyway.

Eventually, the hotline will be able to report complaints directly to short-term rental operators so they can deal with them in real time. But without information that will be gathered through the licensing process, Bessey said that feature wont be functional right away.

Part of the delay with the hotline rollout is because Granicus needed to recode the system to bypass that question.

“The standard way that the hotline is configured to work is that when a complaint comes in, one of the options that the caller hears is do you want us to contact the property manager,” Bessey said. “We can’t ask that question right now because if people say yes, we don’t have the means to do that.”

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Bessey said that when it becomes operable later this month, the hotline will still offer people calling to complain about a short-term rental the option to refer their complaint to law enforcement. The planning department can also log complaints, the addresses they stem from and follow up after the fact, she said.

“If there was in fact a violation and if we have enough proof to demonstrate that a violation exists, we may still be able to take enforcement action after the fact,” Bessey said. “The piece that will be missing will be that immediate half hour or one hour response time. For example, if there’s a noise complaint in the middle of the night, we won’t have the means to contact the property manager and say, ‘You have 30 minutes to get over there.‘”

Bessey said that when the licensing is in place, she doesn’t think adjusting the hotline again will be a big issue.

Licensing applications are not yet available, but Bessey anticipates they will be ready soon as well.

“There is just a few final things to button up, and then we’ll get that live on our system,” Bessey said.

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