Waiver will allow Grand Lodge to check interest from homeowners
By Kendra Walker
In an effort to open up some units to employees in need of long-term housing, the Mt. Crested Butte town council has waived the Grand Lodge’s requirement that all its condominium units be short-term rented.
During the August 3 Mt. Crested Butte town council meeting, Bill MacFarlane, senior director of lodging for Crested Butte Mountain Resort, requested that the town council temporarily waive the town-mandated restriction in the Grand Lodge and Condominium Association’s declaration that requires them to short-term rent their condominium units.
The waiver is intended to aid in providing workforce housing and relieve some of the strain on the community while the town evaluates long-term solutions.
Community development director Carlos Velado explained that back when the Grand Lodge was condominiumized from its previous hotel status, it was required that all units be short-term rented to keep the bed base intact for the ski area.
“The purpose of the request is to open some of their units for the purpose of long-term renting to CBMR employees as they have been unable to hire workers due to lack of housing. This temporary waiver would allow the Grand Lodge to long-term rent their units to their employees until lifted,” wrote Velado in a memo to the town council. During the meeting, it was noted that the waiver would be open to all local employees in the Gunnison Valley, not just CBMR.
MacFarlane said that as the property manager, his staff would oversee the day-to-day operations, work with businesses that want to house their employees and would be making sure renters are qualified.
MacFarlane explained that the next step is to have a meeting with all of the owners to see if there is interest in pursuing the idea. There are 226 condo units in the Grand Lodge. “We wanted to make sure it was waived before we move forward,” he said. When asked the number of units that might apply, MacFarlane wasn’t sure until he meets with the owners but knows of some who have expressed interest.
“If we take 100 units out of the Grand Lodge off the market for short-term, does that take it to the other line?” asked council member Michael Bacani.
“The Grand lodge is usually the last to fill up,” said town manager Isa Reeb. “The short-term rentals in other areas fill up first before the base areas do.”
“I’d like to see this kind of program in place until we’re able to build some housing,” said mayor Janet Farmer.
“It would be beneficial if it was open-ended,” said council member Dwayne Lehnertz.
The council plans to set stipulations with a formalized resolution, but will most likely allow the waiver to be in place “until rescinded by council” to allow for flexibility.
The council agreed to grant the Grand Lodge a temporary waiver, which will be formalized with a resolution at their next regular council meeting and then will be effective immediately.