Don’t over- regulate short-term rentals

To the editor:

My name is Peter Bolos, and regarding short-term rentals in Lake Placid, these are my thoughts.

My wife and I have been visiting Lake Placid for many, many years now. We can’t help but notice, over the last six or seven years, how many of the older homes in the Hillcrest area and surrounding areas that have been purchased and restored to their former glory and/or even better than when they were new. Main Street is alive more than it has been in many years, and all of Lake Placid seems to be much more alive year-round than it ever was before. We can demonize people who are renting their homes or their second homes or their vacation homes, but the fact is that many vacationers will never use a hotel or motel ever again. The Internet is a game changer in every field and in every industry.

As a matter of survival, businesses must change with the times. STRs are not going away. It is in my opinion that the town should embrace short-term rentals and work with short-term rental homeowners to improve things and make things better, not stifle them and choke them out. That will be a major mistake, a major financial mistake for the town. Common ground must be reached to satisfy all parties involved. By the way and just for the record, short-term rental owners are not making a massive profit as many have stated. Most of them have large mortgages, taxes and insurance, and hefty maintenance costs, not to mention management and cleaning fees, etc. When all is said and done, some are lucky to break even but have the benefit of being able to use their vacation home a week or two a year themselves as a bonus or perk.

Furthermore, people who have rented hotels and motels have also abused the heck out of hotel rooms or the grounds of the hotels and motels. Nothing is perfect, and there is definitely room for improvement and no doubt some cause for concern, but again, people who own STRs absolutely love Lake Placid and want to be a viable part of the community. They want to improve their properties as most of them are very proud of the upgrades and updates that they have performed. If you over-legislate them and make it very difficult for them to survive, you will find that many of these houses will fall into disrepair.

Let’s find some common ground and stop demonizing one another and make Lake Placid better than ever together.

Peter M. Bolos