Letter: Regulating short-term rentals will save Steamboat’s identity
Recently, I understand our Steamboat Springs City Council has been subject to a full court press from certain realtors and investors, all demanding council remove the short-term rental moratorium and not impose any further restrictions. While this position is certainly in the financial interests of these realtors and investors, the real questions for council, as I see it, are these:
Are unrestrained short-term rentals in the best interest of the local residents who live and work here full time?
Are they in the best interest of the businesses that depend on long-term rental housing for their employees, who certainly cannot afford to buy any property in the valley?
Are they in the best interest of the culture and character of the community?
This last question, having nothing to do with economics, has everything to do with the fate of the identity of Steamboat Springs. Is this a faux town defined by tourism and wealthy absentee homeowners? For the past year or so, the town looks and feels more like a place designed and built for tourism and investment profits than it does a community made up of neighbors and friends.
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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Regulating and restricting short-term rentals is not only sensible but necessary to save the town and its identity. If these particular realtors and investors want to pick up their stakes and move along, that is certainly their right — perhaps then the town will start to look more like its old self. I miss it.
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On Tuesday, Peak Health Alliance, a nonprofit, locally-led insurance purchasing alliance, gave a presentation to the Routt County commissioners. We attended the meeting (remotely), and this is what we learned: