Second Home Supremacy: Impacts on Economy, Environment, and Town Character in Aspen
Throughout 2017, Joe Stein and Whitney Dodd worked with Aspen Skiing Company on a project measuring the size and impacts of the short-term rental market in the Roaring Fork Valley. Ski communities from across the globe are facing the same issues that Aspen is facing—housing crises, increasing cost of living, and the cultural and socioeconomic impacts of “mega-wealth.” These issues confound ski area communities, and perceptions vary on the extent of the short-term rental market’s affect on these issues. In order to contrast perceptions with reality, Stein and Dodd divided the project into two parts. 1) a comprehensive data analysis revealing trends, truths, and the actual size of the short-term rental market and 2) a deep-dive policy analysis analyzing what other towns have done in response to issues caused by the short-term rental market and recommending appropriate steps to effectively and feasibly regulate.