We all know that Aspen is a resort community that thrives on hosting out-of-town visitors and seasonal residents. COVID-19 has made it very challenging for lodging businesses and short-term rental owners because of travel restrictions and other safety precautions, even as Pitkin County continues its multi-phased approach to reopening.
This week, we got some more positive developments as Pitkin County officials released some updated information and guidelines relating directly to lodging and short-term rentals. You can check out the full current Public Health Order here, but let’s take a look at some of the key points it covers.
Non-Resident Visitors and Guests
The first thing to note is that non-resident visitors and guests are allowed once again to visit Pitkin County. Those who have recently tested COVID-19 positive or have displayed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the past 10 days should not travel to the Aspen area. If symptoms are shown while here will be asked to get tested and self-isolate at their own expense. Obviously, the county is still being extra cautious as it opens its doors to out-of-towners. It is some progress, however, and it should be a benefit to our local economy as more visitors come during the summer months.
Lodging and Short-Term Rentals
As for lodging and short-term rentals (housing used for 30 days or less), they must adhere to the updated Pitkin County Lodging Guidance rules. Here are some of the details and limitations that must be followed by proprietors and landlords:
- Occupancy of 50% or less (based on total number of keyed units)
- Private rentals not operated by a licensed property manager are NOT permitted
- Certain common areas like pools, spas and gyms must remain closed
- Restaurants and can open at limited seating capacity with no self-service areas
- Bars will remain closed
- Must complete and publicly post the Business Safety Plan Checklist
- Follow the 5 Commitments of Containment
- Staff must follow specific safety guidelines (cleaning, face masks, staying home if sick, etc.)
As you can see, we’re a long way from business as usual when it comes to lodging and short-term rentals. The good news is we are slowly but surely working toward reopening more businesses and services to serve residents, guests and visitors. The fact that healthy non-residents are allowed and encouraged to visit Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley this summer is also great to hear. We still need to work together and do everything we can to minimize the spread of coronavirus. Nobody likes all these new rules and restrictions, but we have to make the best of a bad situation and the reopening process will likely continue to be very cautious.
Opening up short-term rentals should have a positive impact on Aspen’s real estate market as a whole. Activity has already picked up quite a bit these past few weeks as more restrictions are lifted, allowing me and my fellow real estate professionals to better serve our buyers, sellers, renters and landlords.
If you have questions about the current state of the Aspen real estate market or are ready to buy, sell or rent in Pitkin County this summer, give me a call at (970) 366-0891 or email me at [email protected]