Short-term Rentals

A short-term rental (STR) is the occupancy of a hotel, lodge, or residential unit offered as a vacation rental for a period of fewer than 30 days. The City of Aspen recognizes that there are benefits to allowing owners of residential units to rent their properties for periods of less than 30 days. STRs supplement Aspen’s lodging bed base, diversify lodging options, and provide economic benefit to property owners and the community.

There are also community impacts from STRs. Resident quality of life, parking, wildlife protection, affordable housing, transportation, and city services are all impacted by the operation of STRs. Due to the potential for adverse impacts, STRs are regulated by the City of Aspen to protect the health, safety, and welfare of owners, neighbors, and visitors and balance conflicting community needs and interests. 

Important Dates

Moratorium in Effect Until September 30, 2022

In December 2021, Aspen City Council approved Ordinance No. 26, Series 2021, a temporary moratorium on the issuance of new vacation rental permits (also known as short-term rental permits). Council’s decision to impose this moratorium was a direct response to community impacts from under-regulated land use. Ordinance No. 26, Series 2021 was a necessary tool to create space for engagement, analysis, policy development, and decision making. This temporary moratorium on the issuance of STR permits is currently in effect and is scheduled to extend until September 30, 2022. 

The City of Aspen will begin accepting applications for STR permits on October 1, 2022. 

Short-term Rental Ordinance Effective on July 29, 2022

Aspen City Council approved new STR regulations outlined in Ordinance No. 9, Series 2022, in their regular meeting on June 28, 2022. While the STR permit moratorium remains in place until September 30, 2022, the adopted STR code amendments will go into effect on July 29, 2022. 

Beginning July 29, 2022, valid 2021-2022 STR permits (issued on or prior to December 8, 2021) will be subject to the following regulations in Ordinance 9, Series 2022:

  • Occupancy Limits
  • Life Safety Requirements
  • Tax Filing
  • Complaints
  • Enforcement and Penalties
  • Revocation

Information for Valid 2021-2022 STR Permit Holders:

Valid 2021-2022 Vacation Rental Permits (now known as Short-term Rental Permits) must be renewed by December 31, 2022. If not renewed, they will be considered abandoned. Upon renewal of a valid 2021-2022 STR permit, the applicant will be required to choose from one of three new permit types and comply with all permitting requirements and regulations in Ordinance No. 9, Series 2022. Valid 2021-2022 permits which are renewed after December 31, 2022, may not be transferred to owners or properties other than that listed on the 2021-2022 STR permit. Applications are not yet available; check back soon for updates.

STR Tax Polling – July 2022

The City of Aspen is facilitating a poll to the Aspen community to gauge interest in adding a potential ballot question about a new STR tax in the upcoming November election. If interest is high, it could result in a ballot question to impose an additional tax on STRs in Aspen. This new tax would be added to the current 11.3% sales tax charged to lodging stays. The poll asks which rate is supported, with a range between 0-20% provided.

Currently, the property tax rate for commercial properties, such as hotels, is 29%, while residential property owners’ property tax is approximately 7%, resulting in a $4.4 million property tax revenue gap. If the STR tax question is included on the November ballot and is approved by voters, the new tax on STRs would be used to help fund affordable housing and capital projects that support the overall community. This could include replacing the infrastructure under the pedestrian malls and portions of our stormwater system and bridges. 

Additionally, the poll asks if this new tax should be applied across all lodging stays (hotels, lodges, and other non-STR designated properties used for lodging) with a smaller tax rate of 3%-13%, but levied across a larger revenue base. 

Polling began July 18, 2022, and will conclude by July 31, 2022. Invitations to participate in the poll were sent via text message to all cell phone numbers that are tied to registered voters in Aspen. Voters may also receive a telephone call from the polling organization, FrederickPolls.

2022-2023 STR Permit Types & Fees

Three STR Permit Types

Anyone who wishes to apply for a new STR permit may do so beginning October 1, 2022. When you apply, you will need to choose from three permit types. The permit types are differentiated based on the permittee’s residency, zone district, and usage of the unit, and each permit type has different regulatory and financial requirements. Applications are not yet available; check back soon for updates. An STR Guidelines Document will be adopted via Policy Resolution by Council prior to October 1, 2022, which will help STR owners and operators determine the appropriate type of permits and understand the regulations set forth by the permit type. Click here for a printable summary of the new STR program regulations.

  • Lodge-Exempt (STR-LE) Permit
    • Available to lodging and condo-hotel properties which meet the definition of “lodge” and/or “condo-hotel” per Ordinance No. 9, Series 2022.
    • No annual limit on the number of nights per year the STR may operate.
    • Not limited by number in any zone district where STR is a permitted use.
    • One permit may cover the entirety of the lodge and/or hotel.
    • Batch filing of taxes is allowed.
  • Owner-Occupied (STR-OO) Permit
    • Available to title property owners who reside in their City of Aspen residential property as their primary residence for a minimum of 6 months per year.
    • Limited to 120 STR rental nights per year.
    • Not limited by number in any zone district where STR is a permitted use.
    • Permittee must submit two pieces of documentation indicating that the STR address is the permittee’s primary residence.
  • Classic (STR-C) Permit
    • Available to non-owner occupied OR owner-occupied residential properties.
    • No annual limit on the number of nights per year the STR may operate.
    • Limited by number in certain residential zone districts; new applicants will be subject to a waitlist in zones with capped numbers of available STR-C permits.
    • Property owner name required on the application; LLCs without a verifiable name of a natural person will not be accepted.
    • Click here for help in determining which permit is right for you.

To learn about additional permitting requirements for each of the above permit types, see Ordinance No. 9, Series 2022.

STR Permit Fees – Beginning October 1, 2022

The new STR permit fee structure begins on October 1, 2022. Annual permit fees are $148/unit for STR-Lodge-Exempt Permits and $394 for STR-Classic and STR-Owner Occupied Permits. Permit fees are in addition to the cost of an annual business license ($150/year) and Sales and Lodging Taxes which must be filed directly with the City of Aspen Finance Department. 

STR Mapping Tool

Are you wondering which zone your residence falls into or if STRs are allowed at your address? Curious where STR-C permits are capped or if there are available STR-C permits in your zone? Do you want to know where the existing STRs are in your neighborhood? Click here to visit the Short-term Rental Eligibility Map

Subscribe to Updates

Staff are in the process of readying the STR program and will start accepting STR permit applications on October 1, 2022. Applications are not yet available; check back soon for updates.

Stay up to date about the STR program by subscribing to the biweekly Community Development Update e-newsletter

  1. Emmy Garrigus (she/her/hers)

    Lodging & Commercial Core Program Manager