To the editor:

Our family has been fortunate to own our home in Conway for the past three years, but have been lovers of the Mount Washington Valley for decades. We are writing today to express our support of short-term rentals.

We purchased our dream home in February, 2019. After years of visiting the MWV and dreaming of owning a home where we will eventually spend our retirement, we found the perfect property for us. Unfortunately, we are not able to own the property outright and we rent the house out whenever we are not able to use it. We still visit quite often and support the local economy by visiting and spending money at local restaurants, shops and attractions.

This is not a business for us. We are renting out our home so that it is cash-neutral until we can afford to stop renting and own the home outright. If we do not have the ability to rent out our property, we can’t afford it. Not allowing renters takes away from the area the revenue that they provide. The families that visit the valley go skiing, visit the local attractions, shop in the town and go to local restaurants. We also employ local property managers and house cleaners that will lose significant income if renters are no longer allowed.

We are responsible second homeowners. We check on incoming guests and look at their previous reviews, look them up on social media prior to renting and we have a property manager who checks on the home regularly. Our house has strict house rules, fines if the guests disobey house rules, etc. Our neighbors have our phone number if they need to get in touch with us about unruly guests. We also have protocols in place to remove renters if they are not abiding by our rules. It is unfortunate that some owners and renters are not considerate and have caused disturbances. However, the actions of a few shouldn’t ruin it for everyone else.

We are in support of regulation and in support of being good neighbors and citizens of the Conway area. Reasonable regulations including guidelines and laws with consequences could help prevent these incidents. I want to stress — we have had only one issue with a renter in the three years we have rented out our property.

The recent town articles and vote are very confusing. Is there a definition of a short-term rental? How can you ban something that isn’t defined? How can you regulate something that is not defined? Not to mention that the voters did not seed the fund to actually enforce any regulations. It is all very confusing and frankly is causing disruption to a wonderful community. It pains me to think about how many visitors may be looking at the drama and turmoil surrounding this issue and decide to steer clear of the area since they don’t feel welcome. What a shame that future generations could miss out on the beauty of the MWV area.

I implore you all to re-evaluate what the recent vote means for the area of Conway and North Conway and the people who love it.

Alex and Sean Sullivan

Conway

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(1) comment

DavefromConway

Totally agree with you. The locals will rue the day if STRs are gone. STRs are better than hotels in so many ways. Riff raff can afford a few nights hotel stay, not many can pay for a whole condo for a week or several nights. With damage deposits and ratings, there are very few problems with STRs. The locals cannot have a successful community and restrict tourists too harshly. The past few COVID years have ruined everything and taxed the locals patience but they will regret this legislation.

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