"Let’s give back to our healthcare workers
A proposed lodging tax extension will ensure a healthier future for Estes Park
As the chief information and operating officer of Estes Park Health, I feel that I have oversight for the health of the organization and for our Estes community – residents and visitors. In the latter parts of a long career, 17 years here at EPH, I find it very fulfilling to provide support and IT services to the organization, knowing that it will benefit our patients and their families, and help move folks toward better health and wellness in so many cases.
The services provided by EPH employees are numerous and often critical. From the Emergency Department, Ambulance (Emergency Medical Services), Trauma Services, and other emergent care – to the supporting clinical services of radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, rehabilitative services – to the inpatient and surgical care – to the home health and hospice care – all of these important services would be impossible to implement without our incredible healthcare workers. These professionals work tirelessly to heal our community, something we recognize in recent times more than ever, with the tremendous pressures on staff costs and availability through the pandemic and other crises.
And those healthcare workers deserve and need your support and help. Healthcare workers in the Estes Valley are being priced out of affordable housing and are struggling to find childcare while they work.
During the upcoming November 8 election, Estes Park residents will be asked whether the town should implement a lodging tax extension for overnight guests. It is a 3.5 percentage point increase in lodging taxes that would only be paid by visitors to Estes Park. When they stay in local hotels, bed and breakfasts, or vacation rentals, this tax is added to the bill. Then, the funds generated by the tax will go toward creation of more workforce housing and expansion of childcare services. It is not a tax that residents will pay, but one they will certainly benefit from.
The benefits of the tax are wide-reaching, going beyond providing affordable housing and added childcare options. By having these vital resources available, we can ensure staffing for essential services all year round. Estes Park has plenty of seasonal workers but showing the workforce that it is a place they can work and live will lead to a more sustainable future for the town.
This tax extension is the result of years of studies and research in our town. Most recently, a task force of leaders throughout the housing, childcare, lodging, and business sectors spent many weeks exploring the benefits of a tax extension. At the end of the study, the task force voted in favor of the tax extension. Thirteen other municipalities in Colorado have implemented a similar tax percentage in their own communities and are beginning to see the benefits even now.
And now it is our community’s turn to take action to support our workforce.
Estes Park residents can voice their support by voting in favor of the lodging tax extension on Nov. 8. If you’re not yet registered to vote, or you’d like to change your voting information, you can visit the Larimer County elections website. There, you can also look up your voting precinct or request a mail-in ballot if you’re unable to vote on Election Day. Please support the lodging tax extension during the election – for Estes Park’s sustainable future and for the healthcare workers who are a critical part of Estes’ present and future."
Pledge to vote in the November 2022 election to demonstrate your commitment to the workforce in Estes Park.