Summit County and Short-term Rentals

Short-term rental regulations are once again in the forefront of Summit County real estate news.  In May, Summit’s 3 County Commissioners voted to impose a 9 month moratorium on issuing short-term rental licenses in unincorporated Summit County.  Their reasoning is to accomplish the following goals:

  1. Local Workforce Housing: Maintain the housing stock that exists for locals, develop regulations that prioritize and preserve long-term rentals and locally owned housing units.
  2. Neighborhood Character: Create long-lasting STR regulations that preserve the historic, long-term residential character of Summit County’s neighborhoods and recognize the differing nature of the resort areas.
  3. Reduce Conflicts: Identify areas where STRs conflict with the primary residential uses established in the traditional neighborhoods and adopt regulations that reduce impacts and mitigate changes due to STRs.
  4. Balance: Summit County has always been a resort community; regain the balance between local residents, non-STR second-homes, and STRs.
  5. Clear Regulations: Adopt regulations that are straight-forward, easy to understand and easily enforceable.

This moratorium does not apply to Keystone & Copper Mountain which are located in the unincorporated areas of the County, but they do apply to places like Wildernest, Dillon Valley, Summit Cove, Peak 7, etc.

While we respect people’s opinions on this volatile topic, it is Nelson Walley Real Estate’s belief that these types of regulations are not in the best interest of homeowners.  As history has shown, removing the ability to short-term rent does not result in keeping down the price of properties.  Prime examples are the HOA’s of Hideaway Townhomes, Ranch at Eagles Nest & Angler Mountain Ranch.  While these properties are within the Town of Silverthorne, they are HOA’s that have imposed restrictions on Short-term rentals to varying degrees.  Yet, these properties continue to increase in value at the same rate as other properties that allow short-term rentals.  In these 3 examples, ALL homeowners were allowed to vote on these restrictions.  In the case of Summit County’s regulations, we are not allowed to vote for these regulations, but rather vote for the 3 people setting policy.  Moreover, not all homeowners are able to vote for these 3 individuals because their Summit County property is not their primary home.  

Most short-term rentals in Summit County Colorado are not the product of rich investors.  Most short-term rentals are simply people who want a mountain retreat and want to use STR’s to help defray the cost of mountain HOA dues, taxes, and mortgage payments.  Areas such as Wildernest were built with this type of owner in mind.  Many of the condos in Wildernest include amenities such as pools, common hot tubs, fitness centers, etc. - all of which add to higher HOA dues but appeal to short-term renters.

While we feel strongly about this topic, we realize that each individual, whether you are a current Summit County homeowner or would like to be someday, has their own opinion.  Fortunately, the County is allowing you to share your opinion.  We encourage you to share your feedback on STR regulations with the County at:

Our commissioners have promised us that they will look at this topic with an open mind and listen to all stakeholders.  So - your voice matters, even if you can’t vote in Summit County.


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