It is safe to say that two of the most popular past times in Colorado are pot and skiing. But Colorado ski industry leaders say they would rather not see the two industries combine, at least not in terms of marketing.
Hidden smoke shack in Colorado.
In fact, they worry that the pro-pot push in Colorado means that families will be teaching their kids to pizza and French-fry in other states where pot remains illegal, taking their much-loved $3 billion in annual tourist dollars with them.
Jennifer Rudolph, spokeswoman for Colorado Ski Country USA tells Kristen Wyatt with the AP that pot isn't part of the planned PR push.
"We're getting the word out that we have a lot of things to offer guests, but smoking marijuana is not one of them," she said. "We have so much to offer our guests that outweigh the legality of possession of marijuana."
You know, things like bars that serve liquor. Or overpriced fine dining restaurants that serve expensive wine. Or après ski patios that serve cheap pitchers of beer. The reality is that pot alone isn't likely going to draw many people to Colorado to ski any more than it did in previous years, it's just going to be easier to get. Many ski towns approving recreational marijuana sales including Telluride, Aspen, Breckenridge have already been known as pot-friendly places to shred some gnar for years.
Older skiers used to dipping into the woods or sneaking a one-hitter on a slow chairlift probably aren't the problem here. We're still too paranoid from years of prohibition to be much more obvious. It's the younger crowds and tourists that ski industry reps seem to be concerned with. Rudolph says ski areas in Colorado are being proactive about the new pot laws. Unfortunately, it might not be working so well.
We were out this past weekend at Copper Mountain in Colorado and rode past three different groups of people stopped on the side of relatively busy runs smoking a bowl. Mind you, it's not even Thanksgiving and there's only about 6 runs total open right now. Needless to say, it was pretty packed.
And despite being puffers ourselves, we couldn't help but be aggravated at their stupidity. For starters, smoking in public isn't legal in Colorado. Second, Copper Mountain is located on federal land. Third, why can't they learn to tuck it up under their jackets on a chair lift or dip off into the trees like the rest of us?
It's not so much that we're concerned for the people smoking. Not that we want them to get busted, but if they are going to be idiots then so be it. It's more for the rest of us powder-day puffers who have to suffer the fallout of increased patrol scrutiny once morons start getting popped left and right lighting up joints in the middle of a slow green run and claiming that "it's legal".
We just hear the Texas-accented complaints from guests now.