Aspen greeters

Two Aspen-Snowmass greeters make themselves available to the Opening Day crowd at the Gondola Plaza in Aspen Thursday. 

During Monday’s work session, Aspen City Council members made clear that they’d like to prioritize finding a fair way to fill the currently hundreds of empty bedrooms in Aspen-Pitkin County Housing Authority deed-restricted units. On Wednesday, Aspen Skiing Co. announced it may have a solution, at least temporarily during the winter season.

“Two weeks after launching Tenants for Turns, Aspen Skiing Company has confirmed that owners of deed-restricted [APCHA] units will be permitted to participate in the program,” a SkiCo press release informed.

The “Tenants for Turns” program is a reimagined offering — SkiCo has done a Tenants for Turns once before, but not to the extent of the 2021-22 iteration, spokesperson Jeff Hanle said — aimed at curtailing the housing crisis for employees. Basically, those willing to lease a room to an in-need SkiCo employee for the season can select from a small buffet of incentives: a full season’s pass, 10 single-day lift ticket vouchers or a $1,200 gift certificate valid for any Aspen-Snowmass product.

“This could include meals or rooms at the Aspen and Snowmass Limelights and The Little Nell, ski gear or rentals at Four Mountain Sports, ski and snowboard lessons, or any of Aspen Snowmass’ on-­mountain dining options,” the press release continues.

Not to mention, of course, the person participating will financially benefit from the rent earned from having a tenant.

In order to participate, a landlord or homeowner must be a first-time lessor to a SkiCo employee. Aspen-Snowmass Human Resources specialists will work to match those willing to rent a spare room with an employee, taking into account factors that will make a “good fit,” Hanle assured, such as lifestyle.

“We’re thrilled and grateful that APCHA is allowing their owners to make extra bedrooms available to employees looking for housing,” SkiCo Chief Human Resources Officer Jim Laing said. “It’s a way to make APCHA, already a great program, even better. The fact that the OK applies to all businesses — not just Aspen Skiing Co. — means it serves the whole community. Any new employee bed is a good bed from our perspective.”

APCHA owners have a limit on the maximum price they may charge for a room, but the $1,200 incentive package will not count against that limit.

“This is a great deal for the community,” APCHA Executive Director Matthew Gillen said in a statement. “Our recent HomeTrack report shows that there are empty bedrooms in our deed-restricted inventory. Tenants for Turns is an innovative program to maximize bedroom use by adding incentives for the homeowner. Any business can participate, and by requiring the incentive to be in the form of goods, services or gift certificates, we are encouraging economic interaction among community members.”

Interested APCHA homeowners should first contact the APCHA office at 970-920-5051 or maddie.feder@cityofaspen.com to determine the maximum rent they may charge, then connect with the SkiCo HR department at 970-300-7700, which will have a list of employees looking for a room and the terms of the program, according to the release.

“Lease terms will be up to the lessor and employee, but will need to contain certain basic parameters to trigger the incentive package upon verification of the lease by Aspen Skiing Company. More details can be found here: aspensnowmass.com/employment/tenants-for-turns,” the release instructs.