“We’ve got to be able to staff the hotel”
[ By Kendra Walker ]
In an effort to help open up more affordable housing options to the local workforce, the town of Mt. Crested Butte has agreed to allow the Elevation Hotel to provide long-term rentals for Gunnison Valley employees. The Elevation has currently been housing their employees on site, which is in violation of its condominium declaration that requires them to short-term rent their condominium units, and has asked the town to consider permanent amendments to their condominium declaration.
The council was very open to allowing permanent amendments to long-term rent to Elevation employees. “It seems you all have the right to take care of yourself and run your business and house your employees,” said council member Nicholas Kempin. “I would support whatever we can do to make that permanent for you to do that.”
However, the town was not comfortable opening it up permanently to anyone. The town’s waiver will be similar to what it has already granted the Grand Lodge, allowing the Elevation to rent out units to local Gunnison Valley employees for a two-year period. Then both parties will revisit the agreement and renew if there is still a demand in the housing market.
The Elevation has 262 units and currently houses 32 employees at the hotel. Elevation representatives noted that the Elevation’s average occupancy is around 30 percent.
“We have yet in the last three years to completely sell out the hotel on any day. There’s only been five nights in 2021 where we were over 90 percent occupancy,” said Mark Roberts, associate general counsel with Boxer Property, (owner) at the November 16 council meeting. “We have a lot of excess capacity that we can’t provide for long-term rentals. We feel like there’s demand out there for the long-term rentals. We’d like to provide that. We’ve got to be able to staff the hotel.” He noted that town manager Isa Reeb is currently staying at the hotel while the town finds a more permanent housing option for her.
The council gave staff direction to draft up a waiver for the Elevation to be able to permanently house its employees, as well as provide a temporary two-year waiver that allows the Elevation to provide long-term rentals to all local working employees. Staff will also work on details regarding caps on the number of units allowed and types of units, and bring a formal agreement before the town council for approval.