How Airbnb and VRBO are Affecting Mountain Towns

The typical end of day ritual after an afternoon on the beautiful slopes of Breckenridge is the common debate of whether the skis should be waxed in anticipation of a change in snow conditions or where the best spot to enjoy an apres ski beer would be.  Tough choices!

In reality there are more pressing problems than these associated with living in a ski town paradise like this one.  A great example of this is the introduction of Airbnb and VRBO.  These entities have had great impacts on long term housing for locals in the Summit County area and all over ski towns in Colorado. The high price of real estate in the area has forced homeowners to seek avenues that increase income for these properties. This creates a big problem for locals trying to obtain long term housing solutions, as well as local employers that need stable employees. Inventory has dwindled to a ridiculous low, and the rent (for what is even available) is very high.

Though tourists are what makes ski towns thrive, these same towns wouldn’t be able to function without locals willing to work.  This downward spiral keeps getting worse with the difficulty to obtain stable housing, and employers are having a hard time maintaining long term experienced staff and have a huge turnover of employees seemingly year round.

So far, locals as well as employers have always been good at overcoming the adversities of living in these ski getaways.  Some resorts offer employee housing, and locals have become used to working a few more hours and having a little less living space in order to have the Breckenridge Ski Resort be their backyard.  Despite these issues, the quest to “live where everyone vacations” is alive and well.  Consider yourself lucky to have a roof over your head, and enjoy your paradise!