Letter: Short-term rentals tear at what makes our community great | SkyHiNews.com

Letter: Short-term rentals tear at what makes our community great

Letter to the editor

Hello fellow community members and friends. Thank you for taking time to read this letter. I am in no way a professional writer so I hope this reads the way it sounds in my mind.

I’d like to start by saying what an amazing place we live in Grand County. When people talk about God’s Country, this is what they mean — RMNP, skiing and mountain biking, hot springs, camping, rafting and hunting — just about everything a nature-lover could ask for. It makes sense we get 4 million visitors every year. The community up here is even more amazing. Locals really take care of each other. We have adults sports leagues and all kinds of social events. It’s great.

Let’s talk about housing, though. It’s just crazy. Huge portions of the homes in our county belong to people that don’t live here. Many new homes being sold today — about $25 million a week in sales — are going to people who want to short-term rent them. Working three jobs, we still can’t compete with cash buyers and corporations looking to turn our communities into investment properties.

They tell us we need the allow the explosion of short-term rentals for our county to survive. To them, I say take a look at pictures of Grand County from the 1950s. It was surviving and booming just fine.

I’m not sure having commissioners, board and council members in the STR community helps much either. Banning STRs of course is not the answer. It would just be nice to have some neighborhoods again — blocks full of nurses, teachers and first-responders over blocks that sit empty until its party time.

What is happening now was foreseeable and preventable. I think it would be a good idea for our local workforce to form a citizens coalition. STRs have their groups and lobbyists. They are not interested in balance. We have to show them some.

— Bob Wright, Winter Park

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