copopr white logo


A new study commissioned by the Western Mountain Resort Alliance (WMRA), with financial support from the National Association of REALTORS®, and conducted by RRC Associates and Inntopia, makes an unbiased review of the economic activities surrounding short-term rentals (STRs) and reveals the significant economic and social contributions STRs have in Colorado’s mountain communities. Examining the impacts in Summit County, the study highlights the positive role STRs play in supporting local businesses, creating jobs, and providing diverse accommodation options for visitors.

Key Findings:

  • Economic Engine: STRs generated $1.7 billion in visitor spending in Summit County in 2022, supporting nearly 7,693 jobs and $103.2 million in local and state tax revenue.
  • Small Business Boon: STR guests inject significant funds into local businesses, spending an average of $607 per stay on lodging,  restaurants, shops, and activities.
  • Diverse Traveler Preferences: STRs offer a variety of accommodation options, catering to different budgets, group sizes, and travel styles, attracting visitors who might not otherwise visit the region.
  • Responsible Management: The study emphasizes the importance of responsible property management practices in ensuring STRs contribute positively to communities.
  • Housing Market: The study found that STRs were unlikely to be a major cause of increased housing prices in 2018-2022. Additionally, STRs generate more economic activity – and more funding for affordable housing – than second homes that are not used as STRs.

Policy Recommendations:

The study acknowledges concerns about potential negative impacts of STRs, such as noise disturbances and impacts on affordable housing availability. However, it recommends balanced regulations that recognize the benefits of STRs while addressing community concerns. This includes:

  • Collaborative stakeholder engagement between property owners, residents, and visitors to develop responsible regulations.
  • Data-driven policymaking based on comprehensive research and analysis.
  • Fair and transparent permitting processes that are easy to navigate for property owners.
  • Focus on responsible management practices such as noise control, parking regulations, and guest vetting.

“This study confirms that short-term rentals play a valuable role in sustaining our mountain communities,” says Scott Blackwood, President of WMRA. “We remain committed to working with stakeholders to ensure responsible growth and a vibrant tourism industry that benefits everyone.”

The WMRA encourages policymakers and the public to engage in constructive dialogue about short-term rentals, based on data and the specific needs of each community. By working together, we can ensure that STRs remain a valuable contributor to Colorado’s economy and communities, while respecting the quality of life for residents and preserving the unique character of our mountain towns.

Read the Summit County Executive Summary 

Read the Summit County Final Report

or donate with