Living the dream has never been easy in the West’s most beloved adventure hamlets, where homes are a fortune and good jobs are few. But the rise of online short-term rentals may be the tipping point that causes idyllic outposts like Crested Butte, Colorado, to lose their middle class altogether—and with it, their soul.
This is a big problem for major cities like San Francisco also. It’s having a real impact on the long term rental market, which is already problematic. This is a good example of how the Internet brings efficiency to markets, but that doesn’t necessarily make things better and often can make things worse.