What’s going on:
America’s leading ski towns are facing a significant housing challenge, particularly in workforce housing for those employed in essential services and the tourism industry, according to a report by Forbes.
Forbes reports that Park City, Utah, exemplifies this trend, with only 15% of its workforce residing within the city due to high housing costs. To address this issue, various workforce initiatives are underway across some ski towns. For instance, Aspen, Colorado is set to introduce the Aspen Lumberyard Affordable Housing project, offering 277 affordable housing units. In Breckenridge, Colorado, the town council’s “Housing Helps” initiative encourages property deed restrictions to keep housing affordable for locals. In Park City’s case, it’s reported that the local firm Crandall Capital is launching the “Studio Crossing” project. This sustainable development will offer affordable and market-rate housing, retail and dining spaces, and various eco-conscious features.
Why it matters:
The housing challenges in these high-cost localities represent the broader affordability issues for workers in areas of economic growth and tourism. As costs rise, essential workers in these locations find it challenging to live nearby. This mismatch can hinder economic growth, decrease diversity, and compromise essential services if not properly addressed.
How it’ll impact the future:
If successful, these initiatives can serve as a model for other cities and industries grappling with similar job vacancies and employee housing challenges. More workers would no longer have to compromise on commute times, quality of living, or job opportunities. As a result, businesses with these challenges could reduce turnover, improve employee morale, and boost the quality of their services or products.