The Vacation Rental Impact (news analysis and commentary) on page 19 of the September 23 edition of The Chaffee County Times alleges that, despite extensive documentation indicating short-term rentals negatively affect the availability of affordable workforce housing in recreation-based communities, our town government still can’t see the connection between the two, because “the (local) data simply isn’t there.”       

That said, I compiled my own local data by counting two full pages of “Help Wanted” ads” in that very same edition of The Times. 

Looking under “Real Estate For Rent,”  I counted only two available listings to house this influx of workforce population.   

If that example isn’t a major shortage of affordable workforce housing, I don’t know a shortage when I see one.

Given the number of  labor shortage apologies taped to the front doors of many local businesses and given that an unprecedented number of local restaurants are now closed on Wednesdays, this major shortage of affordable workforce housing is negatively affecting our Buena Vista economy.  Or am I just missing something?        

What the STR issue comes down to is that our town government, evidently blinded by its record sales tax revenues, can’t see the forest for the money. 

Looking at the long-ignored trees, this false sense of prosperity has, among other things, left our town without a stable workforce.  

We’ve already passed the tipping point  because STRs have left average workforce families standing in the cold.   

As The Times’ commentary so aptly concludes, this apparent housing shortage “will someday lead to bust.”

Gary Goms

Buena Vista

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