Mar 11, 2024 - News

Steamboat Springs' housing prices are pushing wealthy people out

Illustration of a house key shape extended and sloping upward like a trend line with the groove of the key bright red with an arrow point at the top.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A six-figure salary may get you far in some places, but not in Steamboat Springs.

The big picture: The pandemic flipped the ski town's real estate market upside down, nearly doubling average housing prices to $1.2 million as remote workers, second-home buyers and short-term rental investors moved in.

Why it matters: Steamboat Springs' predicament reflects Colorado's increasingly high housing prices that are keeping people from becoming homeowners and driving job force talent out of the state.

Zoom in: At least two candidates have turned down a $167,000-a-year-position leading Steamboat's human resources department because they can't find an affordable home, NBC News reports.

  • The issue is affecting other higher-paid positions too, including doctors at the local hospital who are being priced out with all-cash offers despite their willingness to pay more than $1 million to secure a place.

What they're saying: "Houses used to be for employees and hotels for guests. Now houses are for guests and hotels are for employee housing," Loryn Duke, spokesperson for Steamboat's ski resort, told NBC.

  • "We have a lot of great staff who are early in their careers or have young families, but they just aren't able to put down those roots."

What's next: The town's housing authority is weighing a proposal that would convert a 534-acre ranch into affordable housing, complete with more than 1,000 new units serving low-income households.

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