GUEST COMMENTARY

Our local lodging businesses face more challenges than ever with the rising costs of doing business, stagnant occupancy levels and direct competition with short-term rentals (STR) which do not have to comply by the same regulations or pay the same property tax rate.

Last week the Gunnison Lodging Group invited County Commissioner John Messner to address the group’s questions and concerns surrounding STR regulations as well as spending of the Local Marketing District (LMD) — or the 4 percent lodging tax.

Commissioner Messner empathizes with the group on these issues, but states that the county is bound by state regulations on STRs, since it is a statutory county. He is working at the state level to explore ways of “leveling the playing field” for hotels to compete with STRs. However, our local municipalities, which are “home rule” may enact their own regulations regarding short-term rentals.

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