Vail Daily letter: Housing solutions needed
The Vail Valley is a truly amazing place to live and work, except for one huge void: The lack of adequate employee housing.
I moved to the area in 2010 and have lived in six apartments in just as many years. Finding affordable housing in Eagle County is getting increasingly difficult. Not only does it affect my family’s living situation, but it affects my small business as well.
At Crazy Mountain Brewery, we pride ourselves on hiring the smartest, most qualified people to brew, package, market and sell our craft beer as well as run our craft brewery. We hire these employees from all over the country because we want the best talent that we can find. We search for people who have the skill sets required to successfully navigate our organization — and this often requires us to hire people outside of our area.
The problem starts when they accept the job and try to move to the Vail Valley, only to discover that there is no affordable nor available housing for them. Our employees are largely young 20 and 30-somethings who are looking to rent and not spend over $1,500 for a one-bedroom. Most of the time, no matter what season, our prospective employees cannot find an apartment that is in their price range or allows pets. They must decline our job offer and further their career elsewhere because they can’t find a place to sleep at night. This affects the growth and success of our business because we can’t recruit the talent that we need to grow as quickly as we’d like to without the skilled manpower to operate our company. Our community needs to come together to work on this lack of affordable employee housing or we won’t be able to attract skilled workers to our valley and our local businesses will continue to suffer.
Founder/CEO, Crazy Mountain Brewing Co.