Don't discriminate against short-term rentals in Door County.

Don't discriminate against short-term rentals in Door County.

July 2, 2020
Petition to
Door county and
Signatures: 1,829Next Goal: 2,500
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Why this petition matters

Currently, there is a proposal to restrict minimum stays at short-term rentals (STRs) to 7 days and limit rentals days to a maximum per year.  Restricting STRs while allowing their counterparts (hotels, motels, and inns) would be a bad idea for many reasons.

A bit of background:

STRs in Door County (also known as Tourist Rooming Houses) are typically privately-owned residences that use,, and other online listing platforms. STRs are licensed, pay income and room taxes, and help the county by supporting local cleaners, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, property managers, repair personnel, and others. Many STR owners are LLCs (businesses) who rely on the income from their rental as a major percentage of their family's income. STRs benefit the Door County tourism economy and bring millions of dollars to the region. 

However, regularly, county government leaders consider restrictions on STRs to limit their ability to do business in Door County. 

Here's why a 7-day minimum stay is a bad idea:

1. A 7-day minimum would prohibit weekend getaways at STRs. Only travelers who are interested in staying a week in Door County would be able to stay in a private home rental. Choices for where these folks can stay would be limited to traditional accommodations such as hotels and inns. 

2. A 7-day minimum would kill off-season business for STR hosts. Limiting STRs to only operating in the summer months (not many folks rent full weeks in the offseason) would essentially cut business for these hosts to a fraction of their potential. 

3. A 7-day minimum would greatly limit choices for travelers to Door County. Every visitor to Door County is different. Some want large lodges and others want to rent a small cottage. Regulating STRs will limit consumer choice in Door County and will ultimately decrease to tourism in the area. If small cottages are not available, visitors will look to other areas. Here are some examples of visitors who may not want traditional lodging:

  • Large groups who don’t want to be broken up into many rooms
  • Guests who desire privacy
  • Families who like to cook together
  • Groups who desire a specific location where traditional lodging is not available

Here's why we need STRs in Door County: 

4. Restricting choices of lodging may ultimately decrease the quality of the offerings. STRs help build a free and open marketplace that promotes all lodging hosts to “bring their A-game” and offer the best lodging possible. Competition keeps everyone on their toes.

5. STRs allow local homeowners who may not be directly involved in the tourism trade to benefit from the increased visitorship in the area and supplement their income. 

6. Without STRs, there will be more large hotel projects. Traditional lodging simply cannot accommodate all of the people that come to Door County on a yearly basis. Limiting STRs will encourage more traditional lodging projects. 

7. STRs are a sustainable “green” way to travel. A 2018 analysis using the Cleantech model finds that when guests stay on Airbnb, significantly less energy and water are used, fewer greenhouse gases are emitted, and waste is reduced.

8. STRs increase local economy spending. More often than not, hotels are based in the center of towns and cities where guests have shops and dining nearby. These tourists typically stay and socialize in these central areas and do not bring as much business to other less-visited areas of town. STRs, in contrast, bring visitors to other parts of town that could benefit from this tourist revenue. According to Airbnb, 74% of properties are situated outside of the main hotel district. 

9. STR's make travel more affordable to large families. STRs tend to offer better value for money compared with a hotel in the same location. Additionally, they can also offer a wider price range and cater to larger families more comfortably than hotels do.

Tell Door County leaders and decision-makers that we don't need unfair restrictions on STRs and we want a fair lodging marketplace in Door County. 



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Signatures: 1,829Next Goal: 2,500
Support now