DEAR EDITOR:

Telluride has once again reached a crossroads, and we are struggling with long-term housing. This is not unique to Telluride and many communities across the country find themselves in a similar situation. The need for affordable options is very real to keep our town functioning, and we empathize with all who have been impacted by the situation. The community needs multiple solutions to fix this complex issue.

There are two measures related to long-term housing that will appear on voter ballots, starting Friday.

SBG Productions (Telluride Blues & Brews Festival and Telluride Jazz Festival), Planet Bluegrass (Telluride Bluegrass Festival) and Telluride Horror Show will be supporting Question 2D, which is a plan to double the license fees and maintain the number of short-term rental (STR) licenses at a cap for the next two years, over Question 300, which is a citizen initiative to reduce lodging capacity close to 40 percent by shrinking the amount of STR licenses to 400.

If you enjoy our festivals and special events, we ask that you join us in supporting 2D.

We support 2D, not because it is a complete answer to our problems, but because it provides us with the initial funding and tools to come up with a viable solution to our housing crisis in an educated and well planned manner that can be applied over the course of time given varied economic conditions. As event promoters, we have endured both booms and busts and know the current level of tourism is not in perpetuity.

Question 300 not only fails to address our long-term housing issues in a practical manner, but has long-lasting negative impacts on our economy and would be detrimental to the ability to provide affordable event programming with cultural benefits that contribute to the diversity, inclusivity and unique fabric of our community.

We appreciate the citizens’ effort to find a fix for affordable housing, but 300 is an attempt to grab the low-hanging fruit of STRs without thoughtful consideration, and study of the potential long-term impact on the community, festivals, events and arts programs. Let’s work together to find a solution that works for all and doesn’t damage our cultural heritage that is revered by locals and visitors alike.

Not only has Telluride been a festival epicenter and treasured destination for decades, the festivals have provided countless memories, work for locals, partnerships for business, donations for local nonprofits and so much more.

Keep in mind:

• 400-700 affordable/employee housing units are either scheduled to come online over the next five years or are in the design process.

• Indications point that many STR unit owners will not place their units into the long-term market because they use their units at various times throughout the year.

• Current mortgages on many units can be in the thousands of dollars. These mortgages will not convert to “affordable” rent.

Protect festivals, events and art by voting for 2D, not 300.

Steve Gumble, President and Founder of SBG Productions

Craig Ferguson, President of Planet Bluegrass

Ted & Anna Wilson, Telluride Horror Show