Looking to rent a room for under $700 a month in Steamboat? Good luck. | SteamboatToday.com

Looking to rent a room for under $700 a month in Steamboat? Good luck.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Workers moving to Steamboat Springs for the upcoming ski season again face high rents and even tighter living quarters.

And that's if they can even find a place they can afford in the city's tight rental market.

The average price of a room for rent in homes with multiple bedrooms in the city limits came out to be $893 a month in Tuesday's Steamboat Today classified section.

And there were only a handful of homes available to rent.

And not counting one listing without a price tag from someone seeking a female roommate, there was only a single one-bedroom property currently listed for rent in the city for $1,200 a month at Walton Creek Village.

The cheapest room rate for a group that could rent an entire home advertised in the paper was $775.

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Craigslist offers more one-bedroom listings around the city, but prospective tenants won't find anything cheaper than $1,200 a month if they want to live on their own.

The most recent single-bedroom properties listed on that site range from a low of $1,200 a month to a high of $1,500.

The cheapest multi-room unit currently listed on Craigslist was $2,800 for a four-bedroom, four-bathroom townhome between downtown and the mountain.

And individual rooms in already-occupied homes ranged from $695 to $900 online, with just two listings at $700 or less.

Renters with vehicles can live somewhat more affordably outside of the city limits. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom townhome in Stagecoach was listed in the classifieds for $1,300 a month.

The high rents around the city and the scarcity of listings are concerning to leaders of the local business community.

"The rental price points definitely seem on the higher end, which is going to pose a challenge for employers to bring people to town or keep people in town," Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association CEO Kara Stoller said Tuesday. "From the front-of-line employees all the way up to the executive level, there's a challenge at every income."

Stoller said housing availability and pricing were more of an issue for Steamboat residents with lower-paying jobs.

Local businesses are again taking new steps to try to secure more places for their workers to live amid the tight rental market.

Steamboat Ski Area is responding to the scarcity of low-income, seasonal housing this ski season by adding another 40 beds to its existing employee housing complex at the Ponds.

But the added beds will make the living quarters more cramped for several workers.

Six-person apartment units at the Ponds will include a bunk bed and a regular bed in each bedroom.

The Ponds will be able to house 482 people, about one quarter of the ski area's winter workforce.

Ski area spokeswoman Nicole Miller also said the resort is discussing details for a possible housing subsidy program that would help employees find housing outside of the Ponds.

But she said the resort wouldn't have details on the program until the Ponds hits a waitlist.

Last year, the ski area offered local landlords a $200 incentive if they could house ski area employees for less than $500 a month.

Other companies continue to rent out former hotel buildings to house their workers.

Seasonal workers employed by property management company Resort Group will again live at the former Alpiner Lodge in downtown Steamboat Springs.

It will be the fourth winter the former hotel will be used as workforce housing.

"I don't know what we would have done without it," Resort Group President Mark Walker said.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.

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