Homes, not people, are populating resort towns in Colorado.
The Northwest Council of Governments
says that the house vacancy rate in Vail - the emptiest town in
Colorado - jumped from 59 percent in 1990 to 72 percent in 1994,
reports the Vail/Beaver Creek Times. While vacancy rates in towns
such as Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge and Snowmass dropped
slightly last year, in Aspen almost one of every three homeowners
lived somewhere else - and Aspen is the most occupied resort town.
The vacancy rate is calculated by the percentage of second homes
used for "seasonal, recreational and occasional use."
Other than taxes, second-home owners and
affluent retirees don't put anything back into the community, says
Vail mayor Peggy Osterfoss. At the other end of the spectrum, the
vacancy rate for the coal mining town of Hayden, Colo., was 8
percent and for the ranching community of Kremmling, 16 percent.