WMRA Study Explores the Impact of Short-Term Rentals in Popular Mountain Destinations

The Economic & Workforce Housing Impact studies of Pitkin, Summit, and Teton counties by the Western Mountain Resort Alliance (WMRA) offer a comprehensive view of the impact short-term rentals (STRs) have within these counties, particularly in the context of the broader national housing crisis and the local economic dynamics of resort communities.

The reports underscore the significant role that STRs play in each county’s economy, substantially contributing to economic output, GDP, wages, and job creation. They highlight how STRs represent a sizeable portion of the county’s lodging inventory and overall revenues, with their completive performance against traditional lodging.

However, the reports also begin reflecting on the impact of current policies and regulations aimed at addressing affordable housing challenges. Each report points out that while there is a perception that STRs reduce the availability of affordable housing for local workers, nearly all homes within each county are intended as primary residences or are for seasonal or recreational use rather than long-term rentals. The reports suggest that limitations or restrictions on STRs may not significantly increase the housing options for local workers and could reduce economic benefits and taxable revenues for the county.

Moreover, it acknowledges that the long-term impacts of the various regulatory measures implemented by these counties, such as licensing requirements, increased taxes, caps on the number of STRs, and restrictions on rental durations, remain uncertain and it highlights concerns from property owners about their ability to afford their homes and potential decreases in property values.

One notable aspect to consider is the influence NIMBYism (Not in My Backyard) can have on shaping local policymaking and public opinion regarding STRs. The report emphasizes the importance of further research and communication strategies to educate stakeholders about the benefits of STRs while addressing concerns raised by local constituents. In conclusion, the members of the Western Mountain Resort Alliance call for caution and a nuanced approach to policymaking that considers both the economic contributions of STRs and the need to address housing affordability issues effectively. The reports underscore the complex interplay between the economic

Click the links below to delve into the research.

Read the Summit County Executive Summary
Read the Summit County Final Report
Read the Pitkin County Executive Summary
Read the Pitkin County Final Report
Read the Teton County Executive Summary
Read the Teton County report
Read the Combined Report