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An Update on the Summit County Short-Term Rental Regulations


Those of you who have been actively watching the Summit County real estate market know that over the course of the last year or so, Summit County has been in the process of putting short term rental restrictions in place. The county and the towns within it have all come up with their own rules and regulations. Whether you’re looking to buy or looking to sell, these restrictions should be kept in mind.


The Different Short-Term Rental Regulations in Summit County

While the entire county decided to jump on board with regulating short-term rentals, there is still a difference in the regulations in each town and the county as a whole. Some of which are more severe than others.


The Town of Breckenridge

The Town of Breckenridge is really how this ball got rolling in the first place. Breckenridge has always been a desirable destination, but in recent years the town has really seen an influx in the amount of tourists that visit here. The town council has decided to break Breckenridge up into multiple rental zones, each allowed a specific amount of rental licenses.


Resort Zone

Within the Resort Zone you will find properties such as The Village at Breckenridge, One Ski Hill Place, Crystal Peak Lodge, Beaver Run, and so on. The town deemed these the “Resort Zone” because they live and feel like hotels. They all have a 24-hour front desk, on-site management, and all of the amenities you can think of. These properties are also all within very close proximity to the ski area. 100% of the total properties located within the Resort Zone are able to obtain a short-term rental license. In other words, these properties are exempt from the regulations.


Zone 1

Properties in Zone 1 include Pine Ridge, Park Place, Tyra, One Breck Place, and many more. These projects didn’t quite make the cut to be included in the Resort Zone. The town has deemed Zone 1 the “Tourism Zone”. 92% of the total units in Zone 1 are able to have rental licenses. At the time of this blog, there are currently rental licenses available in Zone 1.


Zone 2

Zone 2 has been deemed the “Downtown Core”. Properties in this zone include Gold Creek, Placer Ridge, and Tannhauser to name a few. All of these properties are east of Main Street and a total of 51% of the units in this zone are able to hold a short-term rental license. Currently, we are well above that 51% meaning they are not issuing new licenses at this time. They are going to get down to that number through attrition. So when a property with a license sells, that license goes away.


Zone 3

The final zone in Breckenridge is made up of primarily single family neighborhoods. A total of 10% of properties located in Zone 3 are allowed short-term rental licenses. Currently, the number of active licenses in that area is well above the cap. Similar to Zone 2, the town will get down to the 10% through attrition.


It is important to note that if you have a current active short-term rental license in Zones 2 or 3, it is business as usual and you are able to rent your property as you have in the past. Licenses are only forfeited through property sales or by non-renewal. If you purchase a property within Zones 2 or 3 you are able to apply to be added to the waitlist for a license, however, there is no guarantee as to when they will dip below the cap and be able to give out additional licenses.

The Town of Blue River

Just south of Breckenridge lies the Town of Blue River. Properties located within this area have no restrictions and are allowed unlimited short-term rental licenses.


The Town of Dillon

Similar to the Town of Blue River, properties located within the Town of Dillon have no restrictions and are allowed unlimited licenses.


The Town of Frisco

The Town of Frisco is allowing a maximum of 900 total short-term rental licenses. You can currently apply to be put on the waitlist. At the time of this blog, there are currently 12 people on the waitlist.



It was recently voted upon to make Keystone its own town. At this point in time, rental licenses are unlimited in Keystone. It is unclear what will happen when they are officially their own town.


The Town of Silverthorne

Similar to Breckenridge, the Town of Silverthorne has decided to break itself up into 3 separate areas. You can view the map of the different areas here.


Area 1

This is made up of the majority of the neighborhoods in Silverthorne. Short-term rental licenses within this area are capped at 10% of the total number of units. 


Area 2

Area 2 is made up of what is considered the Town Core and Riverfront areas. 50% of the total units in this area are allowed rental licenses.


Area 3

Area 3 is made up of the deed restricted neighborhoods. No short-term rental licenses will be granted within Area 3.



Unincorporated Summit County

Unincorporated Summit County is made up of the remainder of the county that doesn’t fall into any of the above categories. The county has broken itself up into what they consider the Resort Overlay Zone (ROZ) and the Neighborhood Residential Overlay Zone (NOZ).


Resort Overlay Zone

The Resort Overlay Zone is made up of areas such as Copper Mountain, Tiger Run, and 4 O’Clock and Sawmill Subs in Breckenridge. There are no caps on short-term rental licenses for properties located within the ROZ.


Neighborhood Residential Overlay Zone

The Neighborhood Residential Overlay Zone is everything else that doesn’t apply to the Resort Overlay Zone. Properties have been split up into four separate basins. Within the NOZ, there are two separate types of rental licenses; Type I licenses for locals and Type II licenses for short-term rentals. Currently, there are licenses available for Type I licenses. There are no available Type II licenses and there is no waitlist at this time.


Let Paffrath & Thomas be a Resource for You

We understand that these rules will affect people on a case by case situation. The Summit County Short-Term Rental regulations are subject to change and we’re here to help you understand how these rules will apply to you. Contact Paffrath & Thomas today with any questions regarding the new ordinances.


Having a real, local agent available to you means you don’t have to worry about knowing what the city, county, and state legislatures have changed. That’s our job! You can reach out to us with any questions, and look at all our current listings. Ask us about the STR potential for them.


Together we’ll make sure you get the right property at the right time. Living in Summit County is loving life here, and we’re determined to help every one of our clients do just that. We are the longest local and family-owned real estate company in town and have maintained a reputation for being one of the most successful and well respected brokerages in our community. Not only do we offer a perspective on the market that few others can match, but we offer an invitation to share the lifestyle that we love. Explore with us, make memories with us, live your purpose with us. Allow our family to guide your family home.


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