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Is now a good time to get into the short-term rental game in Colorado?

Local experts say the short-term rental business is making a steady comeback
Posted at 6:47 AM, Oct 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-04 10:59:33-04

DENVER, Colo. — Renting out a primary residence can be pretty lucrative. But the pandemic changed a lot of things in this world. The question now: Is it smart to join in on the short-term rental game?

Dana Lubner, with the group Mile High Hosts, said things are looking up and then some. More people are feeling comfortable traveling, but are still wanting to keep their distance from others.

"Short-term rentals are becoming quite the lodging preference for travelers," Lubner said. "They're looking for places to spread out.”

It's so popular right now that supply and demand is becoming a concern. Some of that has to do with a significant drop in people applying for short-term rental licenses since the pandemic, according to the Denver Department of Excise & Licenses.

Lubner said short-term rental occupancy in Denver is at 88% right now. It was even harder to find a Vrbo or Airbnb in the city of Denver over the summer. That opens the door for others who may decide they want to make their home a short-term rental destination.

"There is going to be a really big opportunity for places that are able to provide that supply to travelers," Lubner said.

Eric Escudero, with the Department of Excise & Licenses, said people getting a license to make their home a short-term rental is slowly rebounding. Numbers are up 9% after the initial pandemic drop, according to the city.

"That’s not a dramatic increase, but when you think about how the pandemic has negatively impacted the tourism industry, it’s really encouraging to see more people are traveling and booking," Escudero said.

That means, even in a pandemic, the short-term rental game could definitely help bring in some extra cash for homeowners.

"More first-time travelers are choosing to book a Vrbo or book an Airbnb and now they don’t want to book anything else other than that kind of accommodation," Lubner said.