DEAR EDITOR:

This November, voters will be presented with two ballot questions that will impact short-term rentals (STRs) in the Town of Telluride. Please vote yes on Question 2D no on Article 300. 

Question 2D will pause STR license applications for two years, and double business license fees, with all additional revenue going straight to the affordable housing fund. 2D also supports the existing funding for affordable housing by maintaining the current streams of sales & lodging tax. 

Article 300 seeks to reduce business licenses to 400 (a 40 percent reduction) with licenses being drawn “lottery style” on an annual basis. The best-case scenario for my small business is 50 percent reduction, although a 60-70 percent reduction is most likely. In addition to these significant reductions, the lottery aspect of 300 means that I would not be able to plan financially from one year to the next, and I would not be able to offer my employees any job security from one year to the next. 

Would we subject our local workforce to an annual lottery to see if they could continue living in their deed restricted housing from one year to the next? If this seems unfair, I think it is equally unfair to subject local businesses to the same uncertainty. 

One of my primary focuses has been to provide meaningful employment to local working mothers. A decent hourly rate for Telluride living costs, flexible working schedules and an enjoyable work environment. Article 300 would be devastating for my employees who depend on my local business for their financial wellbeing. I have heard people say things like, “there are plenty of jobs in the paper, your employees could just go and get one of those.” This is not a respectful or progressive attitude to have with our local workforce. Are we creating a community that offers careers, or should our local workforce only aspire to whatever jobs are currently advertised in the paper? Come on Telluride, we can do better than that. 

If you support affordable housing funding, support local jobs, and support our local tourist economy, please vote yes on Question 2D no on Article 300. Let’s come together & create a more inclusive community, a thriving local workforce, and more affordable housing opportunities for our local residents. 

Many thanks, 

Georgina Bishop

Owner, Lodging In Telluride