Letter: The wine industry in Paso Robles is not a ‘one-trick pony’
To the editor,
–Listening to Tuesday night’s public hearing as the city council revisited the short rental ruling I was very surprised to hear some Paso Robles citizens label our beloved wine industry as a monotone, one trick pony giving it a negative label. Why do some people in Paso still think that the wine industry is bad for them or for our economy and only creates jobs in hospitality or vineyards/farms?
Wineries are a tremendously positive and diverse economy boosters as they give regular work to people in marketing and advertising, sales, logistics and trucking, bookkeepers, accountants, lawyers, and so on. When building a new winery or maintaining an existing one they are also employing architects, general contractors, electricians, plumbers, concrete suppliers, glass companies, HVAC mechanics and people like me who supply the equipment to make wine and so on.
So what some Paso Robleans call a one trick pony is actually feeding everybody in town, not just those who work in the hospitality part of it. And of course vineyards employ a great deal of farm workers but also suppliers of tractors and mechanics who repair those. The are a great deal of talented skills professions involved in the whole wine industry so its absolutely not a one trick pony and those who just see it as a negative for the economy are complete ignorants and should open their eyes. People involved in the wine industry in one way or another make up for a great deal of all the citizens of Paso. Everybody benefits from the wine industry. Even a retired person has something to gain because you are living in a town with constantly improving quality restaurants and shops and better doctors and medical facilities! I came here 10 years ago and fell in love with this area and the community. We are a World Class Wine Region. I will eventually retire here and look forward to it.
All the tourists that come to Paso for whatever reason they come, are enabling all of us to have the incredible luck to live in this amazing place while having jobs to support our families and dreams. These tourists need to have options should they want to stay in a hotel, an RV park, or rent a home or just pass by for the day. So banning all short term rentals just doesn’t make any sense. However I totally empathize with those of you who are tired of living next to a short term rental property where every weekend you see rowdy noisy rude people who party hard and take up parking spaces. But those are just a few compared to the many stories of normal tourists who are quiet, well mannered people who clean after themselves and take time to meet neighbors and maybe dream of retiring here one day.
So in my opinion there simply should be better regulation of vacation rentals with more serious fines inflicted on those rowdy renters and to those property owners. There should be stricter rules on how many people can rent a property and how many cars they can bring. There should be a property manager immediately available to tackle these situations, and not only a hotline for a neighbor to call and complain with a city official but also an actual property manager to call and complain to and there should be a serious consequence if nothing is done to resolve disputes, such as loosing the rental license.
In the past 15 years I have traveled and rented multiple times a home on VRBO around the world for vacation and for business and always found various rules from each property manager and followed them strictly while fully enjoying my stay with family or co workers. Short term rentals are an amazing way to experience living in the town you visit.
Short term rentals should not be eliminated they should just be better managed.