Estes Park Economic Development Corporation
"The Estes Park EDC has been intricately involved in developing solutions related to workforce housing issues since 2015, most recently in an advisory role to the Visit Estes Park Lodging Tax Exploration Task Force. With combined challenges like Covid, the great resignation, the great migration and the continued loss of our 25 to 45 year old workforce combined with a lack of housing inventory, rising property values and lack of childcare options, our workforce is being squeezed out. This puts the quality of life and the economic sustainability of the Estes Valley at risk. Visit Estes Park's possible ability to collect additional lodging taxes for workforce housing and childcare through the passage of HB 22-1117, offers yet another opportunity to help mitigate our current workforce housing challenges and the Estes Park EDC is proud to be a part of this process."
"Residents are being priced out of our town — but there’s a solution
The proposed lodging tax extension would directly benefit the town’s workforce
Since moving to Estes Park, I have been intimately involved with supporting the economic sustainability of the town. It’s something that is important to me. Currently I serve as the President and CEO of the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation, and it’s our goal to foster the economic development of the Estes Valley, assist local businesses in reaching their potential and attract new ones. As part of our service to the community, the EDC has been studying the town’s housing issues since 2015 (including supporting a housing needs assessment in 2016), and recent times have truly shown us the kinks in the community’s armor. We’ve witnessed the challenges of the Great Migration, the Great Resignation, and the loss of our 25- to 45-year-old workforce. This population is struggling with rising property values and a lack of childcare options, forcing them to other towns.
Because of this, the EDC was eager to be a part of the Lodging Tax Exploration Task Force; and I served as an advisory member. The task force worked with other leaders in the community to discuss and debate the needs of the workforce and how we could support them. After six meetings, the group voted for a 3.5 percentage point extension of our current lodging tax that would be implemented on overnight visitors to Estes Park; residents will not pay the tax. The monies generated from this tax would go toward providing affordable housing and childcare for the workforce, making Estes Park not only a great place to work and own a business but also a feasible place to live.
This tax extension was not possible before 2022 — with the passage of HB22-1117, portions of lodging taxes can now be allocated for workforce housing and childcare. Thirteen Colorado municipalities have already implemented a similar tax percentage, and others like Estes Park are working to do the same.
The lodging tax extension will not come to fruition without it being passed by voters on Nov. 8. We hope that you’ll pledge to vote in favor of it when you cast your ballot, and share the opportunities it will provide with your family, friends and neighbors. You can also share your story of how this tax extension would help you and your family remain in Estes Park to help educate the public of how important this is. And finally, if you’re not registered to vote, you can do so here.
There’s still time to make a difference in your community, and it takes barely any time at all. On behalf of the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation, we thank you for stepping up for our workforce that makes Estes Park the special town that we know and love."
Pledge to vote in the November 2022 election to demonstrate your commitment to the workforce in Estes Park.