Everything You Need to Know About Short-Term Rentals in Summit County

Everything You Need to Know About Short-Term Rentals in Summit County

  • Maureen Lathrop
  • 03/30/22

If the mountains are calling, there’s no better getaway than Summit County, CO. Encompassing the areas of Breckenridge, Blue River, Frisco, Keystone, Dillon, Silverthorne, and Copper Mountain, Summit County is a fantastic place to call home, even if it’s just for a short while.

Those looking for a home away from home or a quick rental space may be surprised at some of the region’s legislation surrounding short-term rentals. If you’re looking for your next investment opportunity in Breckenridge condos or the Keystone resort area, read on for need-to-know information on the area’s short-term rental market.


While Summit County encompasses a variety of Colorado towns that offer short-term rentals, it does not govern every town’s rentals, so it’s best to research which licenses are required for the area in which you’ll be renting. Enlist the help of Maureen Lathrop and Joe Alvine to help you find Breckenridge condos and condos in the Keystone resort area that suit your tastes and requirements. The short-term rental market can be complex, and there are new licensing requirements in the works, so it will be helpful to have a local professional by your side.

First, read the list of regulations for the area in which you’re interested. Short-term rentals—STRs—are regulated within the unincorporated part of the county. Until recently, there were no limits to the number of STR licenses that can operate in unincorporated areas.
Take some time to learn about the various towns within Summit County and their current stances on short-term rentals. As of spring 2022, the towns of Silverthorne, Frisco, and Dillon currently have no restrictions; similarly, Keystone and Copper Mountain are both designated resort areas by Summit County, so they also include no restrictions on short-term rental licenses. If you’re in Breckenridge, short-term rental licenses are currently capped and you will find yourself on a waitlist. Of course, this information can always be subject to change, so reach out to Maureen Lathrop or Joe Alvine to review these short-term rental restrictions if you are unsure. You can also learn more about the different types of short-term rental licenses in Summit County here.

Summit County offers a helpful guide of shortcuts to ordinances and building codes and requirements. There, you can find a good neighbor guide, regulations for lofts, and information about short-term permits, among other things. All the information you need to know about running your STR in your chosen area can be found on their website.

You should investigate the area with Maureen Lathrop or Joe Alvine and find a responsible agent for your newfound property. A responsible agent is an emergency contact who will be at the property within 60 minutes if there is an emergency. If you’re looking at Breckenridge condos or the Keystone resort area for your STR properties, you will need to reside nearby or appoint a trusted agent. Depending on the size of your property and its resort status, you may choose to have live-in help year-round.

Types of licensing for properties in Unincorporated Summit County

Depending on the type of STR you want to offer, you will need to learn about the licensing requirements that are relevant to properties within unincorporated Summit County. Each type of property requires a different license depending on square footage and the purpose of the space for renters. In other words, renting one room while you occupy the space requires a different license than renting an unoccupied resort to a multi-family party.

If you are the primary resident, you can rent a single room with a Type 1 license. If you are not present, you may rent the space for up to 60 days. Think of this as your home away from home license. If you plan to spend the season or most of the year in the Keystone resort area or Breckenridge, this license should cover you. Think of it as having a paying guest for no more than a month when you’re out of town. If this sounds like you, then check into license Type 1.

With a Type 2 license, you can rent the space for up to 135 days within a calendar year. In other words, if you plan to use the property for about half the year and are willing to rent it maybe twice the rest of the year, check into Type 2 licenses.

A Type 3 license requires a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a single-family or multi-family property. This type of license is required for larger properties and for stays of longer than 135 days in a calendar year. This is most likely the license you will need if you’re planning to rent the property for most of the year. Keep in mind you will need a responsible agent for the property if you don’t live nearby.

To get a Type 3 license, you will need to submit your Summit County property’s information for inspection and get a Conditional Use Permit. Maureen Lathrop can help you obtain the necessary paperwork, or you can find the forms online. The Keystone resort area falls into the resort license category as well.

Resort Zoning

Keep in mind that the Keystone resort area and select areas of Breckenridge as well as other parts of Summit County will be operating under Resort Licenses per a 2021 moratorium that is expected to move forward, splitting properties into neighborhood and resort space. Summit County has put together a helpful FAQ for those looking into real estate in the Keystone resort area or Breckenridge.

Some believe the STR market has been detrimental to the housing market in Breckenridge and the Keystone resort area, so the area will be split between resort and neighborhood housing. However, no one wants to cap the market on such a wonderful tourist destination. If you’re looking for real estate opportunities, Breckenridge condos and houses in the Keystone resort area will be available for both year-round living and as short-term resort real estate. You may need to investigate each area more fully before deciding where you want to own the property.

In either case, Breckenridge condos and homes in the Keystone resort area are gems on the market. You will find a beautiful home away from home just off the lifts, or you can turn your resort property into another form of income.

Whether you decide to make the area your permanent or part-time destination, looking into the neighborhood may be more to your liking. If you’re looking to rent the space, you will need to research the resort license rules more thoroughly.

Ready to take the plunge and invest in a rental property? Reach out to experienced Colorado brokers Maureen Lathrop and Joe Alvine for expert guidance throughout the entire process.

*Header credit: Avalara

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