Vail Daily letter: A long way to go
Affordable housing has been a much debated topic for as long as I can remember. Given the current environment and the pressures it brings to bear on our businesses as well as many/most businesses in Vail, I felt that it was appropriate for me to add my two cents.
We are privileged to operate two successful restaurants in the Vail Village; however, conducting business in our valley can be extremely challenging. I won’t go into the other costs that continue to escalate (food inflation, health care costs, overall operating expenses, etc.) but am writing this letter to emphasize the pressures that the lack of affordable housing adds to this equation. We are fortunate to have many terrific employees, a great number who have been in the valley for years. I have heard more accounts in the past six months of even these tenured individuals losing their leases due to no fault of their own (sale of property, landlord choosing to put the residence up for Airbnb among others). When trying to find a new place, the story is frequently the same — few properties available to rent, dozens of prospective renters in queue for the ones that are on the market. And this does not even take into account any of the people who are new to town, desirous of making Vail their home. We have been able to secure a few properties for employee housing to help our own cause, but unfortunately this barely scratches the surface of the issue. It should be self-evident that without a quality workforce, continuing to provide a world-class experience with world-class products and service will be unsustainable for many businesses. I applaud the efforts the town of Vail has made and continues to make. I also believe that business owners need to do what we can individually to help find solutions. The bottom line, however, is that we have a long way to go.
Owner, Sweet Basil and Mountain Standard restaurants