In the midst of labor shortage, Colorado mountain town says no to visitors

Published on : Wednesday, July 14, 2021

As businesses are struggling high to accommodate crowds, Crested Butte has pulled up its summer ads. A Telluride councilwoman is interested to redirect tourism funding toward housing. The Colorado Tourism Office is without a leader. Chaffee County commissioners rejected a 20,000-person annual music festival.


Anxiety over tourism rising as mountain communities emerges from crowd-restricting pandemic closures. Wave of visitors and new residents are intensifying huge labor shortage problem and housing crunch. With this seasonal pain comes a growing call to shut the statewide promotion up of Colorado as a vacation wonderland.


“It’s a carrying capacity issue,” said Geneva Shaunette, a Telluride town council member who wants to redirect $2 million a year to workforce housing from tourism-campaign spending. “With the drastic situation we are experiencing with housing and a lack of employees we simply cannot handle that many people. We need to ease off the gas of marketing. Telluride already is on the map. The whole ‘Come to Telluride because how great it is,’ we physically can’t handle that anymore. And we have many better and more important things to spend our money on.”

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