There’s a good chance that many employers and business owners shrug their shoulders in helplessness then they are told that offering housing can help retain and attract employees.

Helpless because as many people already know, affordable workforce housing in Grand County is extremely hard to find. Some would even say it’s impossible to find.

There are, however, some unlikely and unusual ways to address this housing crisis that is hurting the business climate in Grand County.

Some employers have resorted to using their own homes as places for employee housing. Is there a basement that isn’t used much? A spare bedroom in the attic? Using these spaces for employees just might be what it takes to get through a very busy crunch time.

Another source for housing can be in condominium complexes or hotels where there are many short term rentals or vacation rentals. It can pay for both property owners and management and cleaning companies to start suggesting that a few units be set aside each month for workers.

The alternative just might be dirty rooms and unhappy customers. It would be worth it to sacrifice a little bit of inventory for a lot of peace of mind.

Then there’s the tried and true tactic of begging. Yes, begging. Cleaning companies, restaurants and property management outfits should take the time to ask their clients to set aside space for workforce housing. Yes, it’s taking rentable inventory off the market, but it also helps ensure that the market with continue to thrive.

Grand Lake has declared an emergency around this issue. Steamboat Springs and other resort towns are pondering a moratorium on short terms rentals. Some companies are simply closing.

But in trying these innovative employee housing solutions, perhaps we can fend off a major collapse in the housing, rental and tourist economy the people in Grand County have come to depend upon.

About Author :

Patrick Brower is the Enterprise Facilitator for the Grand Enterprise Initiative. He offers free and confidential business management coaching to anyone who wants to start or expand a business in Grand County. He can be reached by calling 970-531-0632 or at