Dear Valued Visitors to our Beautiful Bowen Island.
I hope this message finds you well and filled with fond memories of your stays on beautiful Bowen Island. We are reaching out to you today with important news about the potential changes to short-term vacation rentals (STVR) on the island and seeking your support to preserve the unique charm that makes Bowen special.
Are you aware of the new British Columbia Short-Term Rental ban that may affect Bowen Island stand-alone vacation homes? The good news is that currently, this law doesn't apply to Bowen Island due to its population being under 10,000 people. However, there's a possibility that the Bowen Island Municipality could opt into the Provincial-wide law, potentially ending short-term rentals of our vacation homes.
As someone who has experienced the beauty of Bowen Island firsthand, (or have future plans to visit our special island) we'd like to know how you feel about the prospect of no longer being able to enjoy short-term stays on our picturesque island.
Here are a few reasons why preserving the current short-term vacation rental law on Bowen Island is crucial for the community:
Hotel-like Accommodations: With no hotels or motels on Bowen, stand-alone properties play a crucial role in providing hotel-like accommodations for various purposes, including hosting newcomers during property searches, wedding guests, off-island workers, government employees, event participants and get-away-from-it-all vacationers like yourselves.
Economic Contribution: Our stand-alone STVRs significantly contribute to the local economy by supporting Bowen businesses and providing accommodations for various guests. These guests contribute to the local economy by shopping in gift shops, galleries, and restaurants. Over the last decade, our STVRs have directly contributed over $350,000 to the Bowen economy.
Legal Compliance: Our vacation rental properties operate within the bounds of the law, contributing license fees to the municipality, showcasing our commitment to responsible tourism.
While the BC government introduced this law to encourage the return of long-term rentals to the market, our properties have always served as cherished family vacation homes passed down through generations. The short-term rental model allows our families to maintain these homes for personal vacations while providing quality vacation rentals for other families seeking the beauty of Bowen.
If Bowen Island opts into the new BC STVR law, it could eliminate your future Bowen vacation and have adverse effects on the community:
NOT affordable long-term rentals: Converting our properties into long-term rentals would make them unaffordable for many, with potential monthly rents exceeding $3000 - $5000 plus utilities, undermining the intention to create affordable housing.
No Long-term rental gains: Forced into the long-term rental market, these unique homes would likely be sold at today's real estate values, potentially changing the landscape of our beloved community.
We kindly ask for your support by expressing your feelings about eliminating our short-term vacation rentals on Bowen Island. Your voice matters, and together, we can work towards a collaborative and constructive resolution.
Thank you for choosing Bowen Island as your vacation destination and being an integral part of our Bowen Island community. We appreciate your support in preserving the magic of short-term vacation rentals on our island.