Letter: Measure 2A is really asking if Steamboat wants to become a resort or stay a real community | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Measure 2A is really asking if Steamboat wants to become a resort or stay a real community

The choice couldn’t be clearer on Steamboat Springs measure 2A, the proposed tax on short-term rentals. It is a choice between does Steamboat want to remain a community that also happens to be a resort or become primarily a resort?

Voting yes on 2A will help us fund the desperately needed affordable housing to accommodate the full-time residents needed to function as a real community. We all see and experience the struggle by local companies to find and keep staff to properly run their businesses. This same affordable housing is needed to give rise to new businesses and the needed economic development that will create new jobs, and once these business grow, retain those companies versus seeing them leave to places where the cost of living is more appealing to their current and future employees.

This isn’t about doubling the size of Steamboat — that’s just a made-up scare tactic. Voting no on Measure 2A puts Steamboat in the control of out-of-town STR owners and lodging companies, and prioritizes their interests over all others. It places Steamboat on an irreversible path to being a resort-focused town with full-time residency attainable only by the wealthy and a small percentage of others who somehow manage to get by.

Ten years from now when asked what happened to the old Steamboat, the one that was a regular town that also happened to be a world-class resort, people will say, “In 2022, we had our best chance at making big progress on having affordable housing to keep this a regular town along with a resort, but it was blocked by the special interest STR and lodging companies who wanted to make Steamboat STR Town USA and that is what we are now today instead.”

Also, I’m sorry that due to staff shortages, your wait for a table is 60 minutes and I hope you don’t get hurt while in town as we have very few EMTs.

Mike Koponen

Steamboat Springs

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