Save Lincoln County Jobs

Tracey Taylor, Business Owner of Point Break Fitness

Voters will decide on November 2 whether to ban short-term vacation rental (STR) units in unincorporated Lincoln County or allow the County Commission to continue their work to develop reasonable restrictions on these properties that will protect renters and homeowners alike.

If approved, Measure 21-203 will impose harsh new restrictions on family vacation rental units, and phase out more than 500 existing units located outside the tourist zone. As these vacation rentals disappear, so will the local jobs they provide, the tourists they attract, and the dollars that would have been generated for the local economy.

Local business owner Tracey Taylor fears what will happen to his business if Measure 21-203 passes and family vacation rentals are shut down. Taylor runs Point Break Fitness, a gym located in Lincoln City that serves area residents and visitors alike. He estimates that 25 to 40 percent of his business comes from tourists and visitors who stay at family vacation rentals, hotels, and motels.

Taylor says these same tourists dine at local restaurants, shop at local stores, search for nick-nacks and treasures at local antique shops, and participate in outdoor adventures. Wherever tourists spend money, another job is created that helps support a Lincoln County family.

Without a large manufacturing base or other major employers, Lincoln County depends upon small local businesses, including family vacation rentals, as a major source of jobs and income. The taxes and fees generated by these family-own businesses vacation support libraries, public works projects and government services.

Taylor describes a local economy as an endless cycle of monetary exchange among customers, employees, business owners, vendors and service providers, a process that benefits all who participate. Tourism is especially important because it brings outside dollars into the local economy, with minimal cost to the community.

Visitors spend their money and then they go home. And if they enjoyed their visit and the place they stayed, they will be back year after year, generation after generation, all the while sharing their experiences and memories with others.

A vacation rental provides what corporate accommodations cannot: a cozy, homestyle place to stay that is as unique as the owner who invested a lifetime of savings to create it. The furniture, linens, dishes, appliances, rugs and décor were very likely sourced from other local businesses and craftpersons. The garden, landscaping and patio environments were created from local plants and materials by local artisans and builders.

What was enjoyed this week by one family will be enjoyed the following week by another. And the economic cycle, as Taylor describes it, continues. Take away family vacation rentals and you take away the reason many families come to visit Lincoln County.

Maybe that’s the result some proponents of Measure 21-203 seek.

By eliminating family vacation rentals, Taylor explained, the homes that had been adapted for visitors and tourists would revert to private homes that some current owners could no longer afford. As their retirement income dries up, these owners would be forced to sell to wealthy outsiders who would be able to keep the best vacation spots for themselves.

Unlike a private gated community reserved for the wealthy, Lincoln County welcomes all to enjoy its miles of spectacular coastline, the surrounding mountains and rivers, and the abundance of natural beauty and wildlife.

Measure 21-203 proponents claim that family vacation rentals cause the shortage of affordable housing. Taylor doesn’t buy it. Such arguments, he said, “may look good on paper but won't fix the problem.” Measure 21-203 proponents, he said, “shoot themselves in the foot” with ideas that will “pull more money out of town.”

An expensive 15-unit single-family home development will not solve the affordability crisis, Taylor said. On top of the high cost of land, labor and materials, “there is too much red tape and costs to build new housing.”

Taylor added that “prices are so high it is getting ridiculous. A single mother cannot afford a $250,000 home.”

Taylor emphasized that “construction of apartments will do more for affordable housing than Measure 21-203 will ever do.” The challenge, he said, is to “get these projects through the red tape.”

Fortunately, progress is being made without Measure 21-203. “Apartments are being built as we speak,” he said, behind Safeway, near Mojo’s and by the corner of Highway 101 and 36th Street.

It is simply not fair that Measure 21-203 can take away someone’s livelihood and property rights in a misguided effort that will not even solve the problem it claims to address.

Vacation rentals are essential to the culture and economic vitality of Lincoln County. These short-term rentals are owned and operated by responsible individuals who carefully maintain their properties, and proudly offer their homes for others to enjoy.

As business owner Tracey Taylor knows, “to succeed in Lincoln County, you have to take care of the locals and provide services for tourists.” Measure 21-203 doesn’t even take care of the locals.

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(2) comments

cobra man

Very well stated.

cobra man

People will lose jobs. Think about it. 525 STRs will disappear. The people that worked at those will lose their jobs. Can they find other work that pays more? Maybe? But wait. If so, why haven't they pursued that avenue? Some I am sure have found other jobs. Especially when the STRs all had to shut down last year for quite awhile. Not all maintenance and house keepers work for management companies. Many own their own companies. When shut down last year they didn't find it very simple to get unemployment and many got nothing. So what did they do find another job or occupation? So with voting yes 525 STRs will no longer be available for tourist's to stay. Let's say the average STR sleeps 6 guests. I am being very low on my estimate. If each STR are booked every night that means 6 individual guests x 365 nights is 2190 individual guests that stay in each STR in a calendar year. Now is each one booked every night? No. So let's say they are booked 1/3 of the year. There again I'm being low on my estimate. That means each home has 730 individual people stay at the STR in a year. So 730 individual guests per STR X 525 STRs equals 383,250 individual guest will not have a place to stay. Can they find other places? Maybe? Not many hotel rooms sleep 6 people. Here again I'm going to be low on my estimate. Not including the transit room tax the City and County collects from each STR. How are they going to replace this loss? Are they just going to take the loss? I don't think so? They are going to make it up some way. Let's say during the time that each individual guest stays in those STRs they spend $20.00 per day at local gas stations, restaurants, grocery shops and etc. Now $20.00 these days doesn't go very far. $20.00 x 383,250 individual guests that stay at these STRs equals $7,665,00.00. Do you think local business's will potentially miss this money? I would think so. Are they going to hire more people with the lost revenue? I would think not. Will some need to reduce staff? I would think so. Now those estimate of average of 6 guests per STR, booking only a 1/3 of the nights and each individual guest only spending $20.00 per day local is very very low. Enter the #'s you think it is. I don't need statistics to figure this out. Moot point? I don't think so? Not all STR owners are bad. Not all full time time citizens are good. Not all long term renter are good. Many STR owners strive to be good neighbors. All of them? No. Just as well as you can't tell me all full time citizens or long term renters are good neighbors. In your opinion what is a good or bad neighbor? So is an owner that rents their place as a STR just bad? What if they rented long term to local workers? Does that make them good? So only full time citizens volunteer or donate to local charities? I have to disagree. Do you think only full time citizens buy Girl Scout cookies when they are out selling them at a local business? How about the school sports, cheerleaders, band fundraisers only full time citizens donate? How about the fill the boot the Fire Department does only full time citizens donate? How about the toy drives around town only full time citizens donate? I think these fundraisers are not picking and choosing who they will accept a donation from. The Elks use to have a fashion show for charity. I donated raffle items and bought raffle tickets. The Eagles, Elks and Fire Department are involved in the meals and gifts at Christmas time. I donated and was involved in delivery and wrapping gifts. I also had my young daughter spend a few days donating time and wrapping gifts. One day she wrapped 8 large garbage bags full of gifts. The Christmas tree raffles at the Casino. I have bought raffle tickets. The Boy Scout Christmas trees in town during the holidays. I have bought a few Christmas trees from them. The various raffles done by local shops. I have bought raffles. Gallucci's had their trivia night for local charity. I have bought many items to raffle and purchased many raffle tickets. Have I won a few raffles? Yes. Did I win some stuff that I didn't need? Yes. Did I resonate or give away to local kids in my neighborhood? Yes. People down on their luck. I have bought them a meal. Locals that I have become friends with that are selling items for their kids fundraiser. Yep bought stuff from them too. You guessed it I'm a STR owner. This STR owner and many other STR owners strives to be a good neighbors to the local community that they own a house in. Not all STR owners need to rent their home to afford it. If they can't and need to rent to a long term local renter. Hopefully they get someone good that is a good neighbor. If not, the neighbor could get someone they don't get along with for while and not just a few days. Should we have the neighbor's do the qualification so they get someone they can get along with? Let's see how that goes. Some owners will choose to just let their house sit empty when not using. That doesn't help get more local housing. That doesn't help local business as it is less people in town to spend money. No TRT to the City and County. Some may choose to sell. With less people in town people are making less money. They can't afford the home and even if they could the neighbors better like them because they're in for the long haul. I don't see many STR owners that are now needing to sell their home bring over potential new owners to all of the neighbor to make sure they will fit in with them. If you don't like the STR get the neighbors together and offer to buy all the STRs in your neighborhood then you can control what to do with the property. Hopefully you rent really cheap to long term renter so they can have affordable housing as they will be making less money from the tourists. Hopefully the City and County doesn't raise property taxes to make up from the short fall of not receiving the TRT. All business slows down in the off season. Workers hours get cut. Less tips for restaurant workers. Is the off season getting shorter? Maybe? Last year was different as family's we're able to do remote learning and working enabling them to spend time at the beach. I have to believe that with the kids back in school and if places didn't have to restrictions on occupancy you wouldn't have a 1-2 hour wait to get into the many famous restaurants in Lincoln County. I can promise you restaurants and local business doesn't survive by only full time citizens. Think about it. Just trying to breakdown the basics. Vote how you like but think about the consequence this may have on our tourist driven town. Vote NO. Save our jobs.

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