Larimer County Commissioner, District 3
"I appreciate the thoughtful public process the Visit Estes Park Board developed and the formation of a community-based task force. This group has met over several weeks and engaged in honest, robust discussion. These discussions will help decision-makers better understand the opportunities and challenges facing the community in the Estes Valley."
This November, vote for Estes Park’s future
A lodging tax extension will benefit the town’s workforce — and residents
In my time serving as Larimer County Commissioner, it has been a pleasure to work closely with many municipalities in my district on projects that will better their community. From air quality to high-speed internet, we have accomplished a lot together. In Estes Park, I recently served as an advisory member of the lodging tax exploration task force and I appreciate the honest, robust conversation conducted by this community-based group regarding the challenges faced in the Estes Valley.
Housing and childcare have become more costly over the years, making towns like Estes Park difficult to call home for its workforce. This is not a problem unique to the town, but it is one that many communities face today. For six weeks, I participated in discussions with your town leaders to bring together our resources and knowledge to find the best solution for Estes Park’s future. We engaged in thorough discourse, brainstorming how to best serve the town. And in August, the task force recommended a lodging tax extension.
What is the lodging tax extension? It is a 3.5 percentage point increase to a lodging tax that is paid for by overnight guests to Estes Park. Visit Estes Park wants to use the funds generated by this tax to go toward affordable housing and childcare for the town’s workforce, whether it be someone working the front desk of a hotel, a healthcare worker at Estes Park Health, an educator, or the countless small business owners.
When I ran for Larimer County Commissioner, I promised to focus on pressing issues impacting Larimer County residents, and childcare and attainable housing were two of them. Through volunteer work with nonprofits, I’ve seen how great a need there is for affordable homes and having a safe place for your children to stay and thrive while you work. The lodging tax extension addresses these issues directly, but it will also allow us to focus our attention on another tenet: mindful growth.
It’s common in tourism-driven towns to have a seasonal workforce, but outside of the summer, this makes for staffing challenges for businesses. When the workforce sees the town as an attainable locale where they can work as well as raise their families, it’s setting us all up for a more sustainable future. Think year-round essential services and amenities for residents, not just visitors, as well as making Estes Park a place to live for a lifetime.
As November 8th draws close, I encourage you to talk to your friends, family and coworkers about how this lodging tax extension will benefit Estes Park. The Estes Park Trail Gazette has been covering this issue closely and Visit Estes Park launched taxyoudontpay.com with detailed information about the task force meetings as well as the benefits of the tax extension.
I consider it an honor to have served on the task force, and I look forward to being a part of the sustainable future for the Estes Valley. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Pledge to vote in the November 2022 election to demonstrate your commitment to the workforce in Estes Park.