STR license applications now open in Steamboat Springs

The short-term rental application to obtain a license to operate within Steamboat Springs is available as of Monday, March 6.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

People may apply for a license to operate a short-term rental within Steamboat Springs as of Monday, March 6, according to the city.

Every short-term rental must obtain a license, which is valid for one year and renewed annually. The deadline to obtain a license is April 30 and the fee is $250. Applications and an application guide are available at

“A lot of effort in a short amount of time by several organizations has gone into bringing the licensing process live,” Planning and Community Development Director Rebecca Bessey said in a news release. “Every STR needs to obtain a license and we’ve diligently worked to make the process easy and convenient for applicants.” 

License types include the standard short-term rental license, as well as hosted and temporary short-term rental licenses. Hosted and temporary licenses are available in all zones.

In Overlay Zone C, or the red zone, only properties that previously had a valid vacation home rental permit or with legal nonconforming status are eligible to apply.

In Zone B, or the yellow zone, the city is only accepting applications for properties with pending or approved nonconforming registration or that previously had a valid vacation home rental permit. Applications will not be accepted for a wait list at this time.

In Zone A, or the green zone, exemptions may be granted for properties that have a 24-hour staffed front desk, 24-hour phone system monitored by a person and 24-hour staff capable of responding to complaints. The exemption application is also available at and supporting documents can be emailed to the Planning Department.

The final draft of the short-term rental overlay zone map was approved by Steamboat Springs City Council on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
City of Steamboat Springs/Courtesy image

The city’s short-term rental page includes a step-by-step guide covering the application, the overlay zone map and more details on the recently established ordinances.

In June, Steamboat Springs City Council approved the overlay zones that limited or banned short-term rentals in certain areas and established the need for licensing. In enacting the new measures, the city included some exemptions, such as legal nonconforming status and “quasi-hotels” that have the already ability to respond to complaints.

The city is working with Granicus to manage the nearly 3,000 short-term rentals identified in the city and has developed a hotline through which people can complain or report issues. However, the hotline has not been rolled out yet, though it is expected to be available soon.

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