Short-term Rentals – Where do things stand today?

Debbie Nelson


In the continually changing world of Short-term rental (STR) regulations combined with different regulations in each town and in unincorporated Summit County, it is getting very difficult to keep up with what’s what!!  Let’s take a look at where things stand as of today.

First of all, it is important to know where your property is located.  For example, people in Peak 7 by Breckenridge have a Breckenridge address, but they are not actually within the town limits of Breckenridge, so they are governed by Summit County (unincorporated) regulations.  People in Three Peaks are within Silverthorne town limits, but Hamilton Creek (also a Silverthorne address) are not within the Silverthorne town limits, so are governed by Summit County regulations.  If you have any questions as to which entity governs a particular property, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

So, let’s dive in!

This conversation will only discuss limitations to licenses and will not cover the cost of the license and taxes on the STR or regulations regarding number of occupants, etc.  I’ve listed a website for each area where you can dig deeper to find out those costs and rules. 

Summit County (Unincorporated)

Properties in unincorporated Summit County (except for Keystone & Copper Mountain) are currently under a moratorium on the acceptance and issuance of approvals for short-term rental licenses.  Keystone & Copper Mountain are not included in this moratorium, as they are considered “resort” areas specifically designed for short-term rentals while other unincorporated areas of Summit County are considered “Neighborhood Overlay Zones”. This moratorium went into effect at 3:35 pm on May 24, 2022 and is planned to stay in effect until February 2023.  

According to the County’s website, the purpose of the moratorium is to “…allow staff time to propose new regulations to address the increase in STRs in the Neighborhood Overlay Zone and their impact on local workforce housing, as well as to address inconsistencies and conflicts within the Land Use and Development Code regarding commercial lodging operation and short-term vacation rentals.”

At the October 18th work session, the commissioners and the planning department agreed that caps on the number of STR’s per basin is the way to go.  However, they feel it is too early to decide about the number in which caps should be limited.  This chart shows STR Caps by Basin to give you an idea of the direction they are moving.  

At this point, because of the unknowns, if your desire is to purchase a property where you can short-term rent, we highly recommend that you stay away from unincorporated areas of Summit County, unless you focus on properties in Keystone and Copper Mountain where STR’s are currently still allowed to get licenses and where the BOCC currently has no intention of limiting the number of licenses.

To read more about Summit County’s regulations and to see presentations from work sessions, you can visit this website

Town of Breckenridge

The Town Council in Breckenridge has finalized their STR regulations and zoning.  They have divided the Town into 4 total zones.  They are:
Resort – Resort Properties
Zone 1 – Tourism Zone
Zone 2 – Downtown Core
Zone 3 – Single family residential areas

View the zones map here. 

The percentage of Allowed Short-term Rentals in each zone looks like this:

If you would like to own in Breckenridge and need/want to short-term rent, you can purchase in the Resort Zone or Zone 1 and be able to obtain a STR license at this point (Resort Zone will always be able to short-term rent).  If a property is in Zones 2 or 3, you will not be able to short-term rent until the number of STR licenses drop below the Allowed STR licenses.  Given the numbers above, we anticipate that will take several years to achieve.  Property owners in those areas can join the Waitlist so that they are in line to get a STR license when they become available.

To read more about Breckenridge’s STR regulations, visit their website.

Town of Blue River:

The Town of Blue River is located south of Breckenridge before you start going over Hoosier Pass.  At this point in time, the Board of Trustees has not set a “cap” or limit on the number of short-term rentals in the Town of Blue River.  This is being evaluated by the Board of Trustees to determine the best balance for the community.

Determine if a property is in unincorporated Summit County or in the Town of Blue River here

To read more about Blue River’s STR regulations, visit their website.

Town of Frisco:

In October of this year, the Frisco Town Council adopted an ordinance limiting the maximum allowable number of STR licenses that may be issued within Town boundaries to 25% of the residential housing stock. There are 3,600 residential housing units in Frisco, therefore a maximum of 900 STR licenses may be issued.  This ordinance went into effect October 17, 2022.  As of November 7, 2022, Frisco has issued a total of 840 STR licenses. Once the total number of active STR licenses has reached 900, the Town will update their website with a link to the STR license waitlist registration form.

You can view more information about Frisco’s STR regulations on their website.

Town of Dillon:

Dillon town limits do NOT include the subdivisions of Dillon Valley, Keystone, Summerwood or Summit Cove. Each of those areas are governed by the Summit County STR regulations.  If a property is within the town limits of Dillon, there are no caps on the number of STR licenses they will issue.  They, like all the other entities, do have other regulations that must be met.  To view Dillon’s regulations, visit their website.

Town of Silverthorne:

The Town of Silverthorne has started conversations regarding the limiting of STR’s within town limits.  At this point in time, they have neither implemented a moratorium nor have set any caps, however, the wheels are turning.

The Town has discussed some potential overlay zones that would have different limits for short-term rentals.  Preliminary discussions have focused on splitting the Town into 3 areas. Area 1 consists of most of the Town and its neighborhoods, and there would be a limit of 10% of units being short-term rentals.  

Area 2 contains most of the downtown area as well as parts of the Blue River area, and there would be 50% availability to short-term rent.  Area 3 contains the town’s deed-restricted housing (such as Smith Ranch) where no short-term rentals would be allowed.  Under this concept, another 400 units would be allowed to have short-term rental licenses.  

Again, these are only discussions at this point, and nothing has been implemented.  To read about current Silverthorne STR regulations, you can visit this website.

So, as of today, Breckenridge and Frisco have finalized the number of licenses they will allow.  Stay tuned for unincorporated Summit County and Silverthorne’s decisions.  We will also keep you up-to-date if Blue River and Dillon decide to do anything.


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