Illegal Whistler vacation rentals anger business operators
Vacation rental websites make illegal rentals easy, say operators
Some Whistler property owners are demanding the resort municipality shut down rental units that they say the owners are illegally renting out online as nightly or weekly vacation accommodation.
They want the municipality to require the owners of the unauthorized vacation rentals to go through the proper channels and have their properties rezoned for short term vacation rentals or to cease and desist operations.
Ann Spence, who has been running the Golden Dreams bed and breakfast in Whistler for more than 25 years, says online room booking sites are making it easier for illegal suites to thrive.
"The increasing number of illegal properties is affecting, not only the bottom line of small bed and breakfasts like ourselves, but also larger properties as well," she says.
Spence and other owners have signed a petition saying the municipality has been dragging its feet on the issue. They estimate there are at least 48 unauthorized suites sprinkled around the resort.
"If these properties are operating all year round, then it is affecting our bottom line all year round."
A spokesperson for the municipal council said the mayor was not available for comment.