What role do short term rentals play in Chelan County’s tourism industry?
Tourism in Chelan County is Booming. In 2017 over $500,000,000 was spent directly on travel and tourism in Chelan and Douglas Counties. Short-term rentals in rural Chelan County serve an estimated 1 million visitor-nights annually. Our guests have come to appreciate and rely upon the unique advantages of short term rentals when they visit. This lodging option allows better privacy for a family or group, and the ability to enjoy social activities just as if they were in their own home. Hotels, camping and other lodging options are important as well, but short term rentals fill a niche that thousands of mostly repeat visitors have come to count upon.
How do short term rentals contribute to our overall economy?
Based on tax revenue reports from 2018 $74,000,000 were spent on lodging in Chelan County last year of which we estimate that $14,800,000 were visits to STR homes. Those guests of course ate in restaurants, shopped for retail items and enjoyed many of the outdoor activities utilizing outfitters and vendors. An economic analysis by Michael Luis & Associates estimates that guests in Chelan County’s rural vacation rentals spend $38 million on food and beverage service, $16 million on entertainment and recreation, and $36 million on retail business annually. Through this activity, short-term rentals support more than 1400 jobs in the county, most of them outside the rental business itself. Without short term rentals, a significant portion of our tourism industry would simply collapse.
How do short term rentals operate, and who makes sure they are safe and neighborly?
Short term rentals are typically managed by the property owner or a professional property manager. Reservation systems rely on well established websites like AirBnB and VRBO. Owners and managers vigorously screen potential renters to make sure that the property suits their needs and group size, and that they agree contractually with all terms of rental, which include provisions related to existing code enforcement (noise, parking, garbage etc.). Our guests love visiting our communities, and enjoying all of the same things we do about NCW life. Neighborhood safety, serenity and sense of community matter as much to us and our guests as it does to our neighbors.
Where do I get more information and get involved?!
- Final Draft Code: https://www.co.chelan.wa.us/files/community-development/documents/STR/PC%20STR%20Recommend_2020_1208%20BOCC_DRAFT%20for%20posting_formcln.pdf
- Find your zoning: https://maps.co.chelan.wa.us/GIS/
- STRACC - News Blog
- STRACC Facebook Group - https://www.facebook.com/straccwa
- Independent STR Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/277038070273961
- Sign Up for Public Hearing: https://doodle.com/poll/9xzzdpyhqdgnrb6r
- Send Comments to Commissioners: CD.STRComment@co.chelan.wa.us