Living in Vail: Affordable Solutions for Ski Season and Year-Round Living

Vail, Colorado has grown around skiing and snowboarding. Winter sports are considered key to the economy. The location and makeup of Vail have made it so prohibitively expensive. This has led to the push of wanting to build more affordable housing near job centres. However, it is challenging to find ways to build in towns that sit in mountain valleys. They are ringed with federally owned land that often can’t be developed. Vail is testing new strategies that are meant to increase housing supply and keep workers from being priced out.

The housing stock in Vail is 80% owned by second homeowners. During ski season the houses are turned over to tourists and workers are left with few affordable places. Therefore workers opt to move and go live 30 miles west in Eagle, Colorado. The approximately 2300 houses in Eagle Colorado are occupied by 90% full-time residents. The house prices are fair enough and it has become a bedrock community for resort workers.

A program called Vail InDeed has plans to resolve the real estate problem through deed-restricted homes. The process wants to keep deeds of local properties with full-time residents and take them out of the second-home market. The program has been a success so far and it has a plan of absorbing 1000 homes by the year 2027.

The municipality has also approved an entire community of tiny homes. The community will consist of 200 homes that will cost approximately $750 to $1400 a month. It will be located 30 minutes from ski areas and the houses will range between 200 to 800 square feet. Aspen skiing company has also built a village of tiny homes to help with providing more space for workers.

Resorts have also come up with solutions to help their workers. They plan to increase investments in housing for workers. There is 148 room workforce housing development that is being built for the workers by Aspen skiing company.