At the start of the 2013-2014 ski season, marijuana seemed like it might be a bigger story than moguls, what with some snowbirds threatening to stay away from Colorado if they were subjected to legal pot, a ski-area executive pledging to yank lift tickets from public tokers, a Forest Service rep saying pot enforcement at resorts on federal land was a priority and the destruction of a venerable smoke shack after it was featured on Inside Edition.
Dustin Schaefer/Loveland Ski Area
In the end, though, Colorado experienced a record ski season -- and one industry rep doubts that weed had anything to do with it.
"The effect of the new marijuana law on the ski industry was the PR event of the season and the operational non-event of the season," says Jennifer Rudolph, spokeswoman for Colorado Ski Country USA, which represents the majority of ski resorts in the state -- 21 at last count. "There was a lot of talk about it, but the ski areas didn't really see much in terms of action."
They were busy places otherwise. The organization estimates that 12.6 million skiers took to the slopes during the most recent season -- the best number ever recorded in Colorado. This number, which includes 7.1 million folks at CSCUSA resorts, represents a 10 percent boost over last season's total and an 8 percent increase when measured against the average during the past five years.
A map showing Colorado Ski Country USA resorts.