Building enough housing to address the needs of Big Sky’s workforce will take years, but an immediate solution is to convert existing vacation rentals into long-term rentals for locals.
You can earn reliable income and make a meaningful difference.
Building enough housing to address the needs of locals in our community will take years. However, an immediate solution is to convert some of the hundreds of existing vacation rentals on the market into long term rentals for locals. Join the RENT LOCAL program and bring immediate stability to the Big Sky community by providing local residents with a secure home.
WHY RENT LOCAL?
1. Help local employers and workers. Gallatin county is experiencing a worker shortage because there is nowhere for employees to live. By renting local, you bring economic stability to local business owners.
2. Reduce traffic and emissions as commuter travel from Bozeman is reduced. Currently, 78% of Big Sky’s workforce commutes.
3. Save time. Because of a lack of inventory, hundreds compete for a handful of properties. Let local professionals do the heavy lifting and screen the many applicants.
4. Enjoy alternative accommodations for Short Big Sky Visits. With flexible lease options and alternative accommodations made available by local lodging providers, you can still RENT LOCAL and visit the mountains you love.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How much do you charge for your RENT LOCAL services?
Basic RENT LOCAL SERVICES include listing your home across multiple real estate marketing sites, screening local tenant applications, showings, and walk-through inspections with your new tenant. The fee for basic services is $300.
What if I want to rent my unit furnished?
It’s not a problem! We can work with your preferences regarding furnishings.
What should I charge for rent?
The rate to rent a home in Big Sky is out of reach for many locals. We ask that you limit your rent to a maximum rate of $1,000 per bedroom.
What other property management services do you offer besides tenant screening?
Whether you need to save valuable time by letting RENT LOCAL screen hundreds of potential tenants or just need a professional on the ground to occasionally inspect your property, RENT LOCAL can create a service that fits your needs.
What if I still want to visit Big Sky?
You can still RENT LOCAL and visit the mountains you love thanks to the HOME SHARE program.
HOME SHARE rules:
- HOME SHARE is available to all second homeowners for three weeks per year.
- Second homeowners’ visit cannot be more than 2 consecutive weeks unless visits happen during the months of April, May, June, September, October, or November.
- The cost for HOME SHARE is $500/week for owners who wish to stay at an alternative location for a Big Sky visit. This cost covers the booking and cleaning expenses.
- Alternatively, owners may offer their tenants the option to HOME SHARE when signing the lease. The lease would contain a clause that the tenants agree to vacate the property for a max of three weeks per year. The tenant is not charged rent for the weeks the owner visits. Overall monthly rent for the year is discounted 5% each month to incentive tenants to accept this hardship. Tenants secure their own alternative accommodations in exchange for reduced monthly rent.
- Visits over major holidays require eight months notification and are not guaranteed.
- Owners who wish to visit during the ski season must give hard dates to BSCHT three months in advance.
Three Ways to Join the RENT LOCAL Program:
BSCHT saves second homeowners valuable time by screening hundreds of potential tenants due to Big Sky and Bozeman’s 0% long-term rental vacancy markets. Please email email@example.com to make the switch to hosting local essential workers in your Big Sky property.
Loan your vacation home for a few weeks to other owners renting full-time to Big Sky locals. Your HOME SHARE donation allows other owners to both rent their unit long-term and visit the mountains they love. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify BSCHT of your home’s availability.
FUND INCENTIVE PROGRAM
BSCHT needs rental inventory for the 200+ locals on our wait list and is seeking funds to offer additional incentives to owners who rent to locals, not vacationers. If you’d like to help fund incentives to increase rental inventory for locals, consider making a tax deductible donation.
“To keep employees in Big Sky, you need to build housing for your staff, but I don’t even own a house. I can’t afford a house.”
~Dr. Sydney Desmarais
Not Just a Ski Bum Problem: Big Sky’s Lack of Affordable Housing Inventory Hurts Local Small Businesses
In a town that’s home to almost as many dogs as people, veterinary services seem essential. But even essential businesses like Dr. Sydney Desmarais’ struggle to keep employees because there’s nowhere to live.
Since opening Lone Peak Veterinary Hospital in 2017, Desmarais has struggled to find support staff. In 2019, it took five months to replace an employee that moved to Helena for cheaper housing. To survive, Desmarais supplemented her staff with relief technicians from Bozeman and Butte, an expensive option because of travel costs. In 2020, three more technicians turned down her job offers after they could not find housing.
Desmarais’ story is not unique. “Right now it’s a scramble. Businesses are forced to fight for employees,” Alex Omania, owner of the restaurant Lotus Pad, said. “We had to close two days a week because I don’t have enough staff.”
Omania, who has owned Lotus Pad for 14 years, operated all summer of 2020 with a skeleton crew of six in her kitchen. She wanted to hire 12. Consequently, her online reviews tanked as patrons experienced long waits, and her business lost $45,000 a month because it could not remain open daily.
Like many business owners, Desmarais and Omania strive to create a community, but housing demands continue to plague their success.