Houstonian Joe Mattingly likes the finer things in life. Namely, he enjoys expensive ski trips to Vail, Beaver Creek, Utah and Lake Tahoe. And now he's thinking about visiting Steamboat Springs. The only problem? Colorado legalized marijuana and this Texan doesn't want it interfering with his vacation.
In fact, he might choose another destination if he and the youngsters with him are subjected to to the sight or scent of pot, or the sound of people talking about it.
"While Colorado politics is certainly none of my business, I thought that my thoughts might potentially be of interest to some people in Steamboat," he wrote Steamboat Today this week.
Translation: "I clearly think Colorado politics is my business and I'm going to tell you why right now."
Mattingly goes on to talk about how he'll be dragging a dozen beginner skiers onto the hill for lessons along with their families and spending a grand total of about $35,000 between the five clans traveling together. (Texans travel in packs, you know).
In all, he spends about 400 words talking about how important he feels he is and how Steamboat needs to not only cater to his perceived demographic, but that he and people like him spend a lot of money wherever they go.
Lest you didn't get the point, though, Mattingly drives it home, writing, "I am around many young affluent people in Houston, and we often discuss the best ski destinations. Next year, the general conversation will almost assuredly include any noticeable changes in the pot situation."
We'd put money on the fact that at least one of the adults in Mattingly's group actually smokes herb on the sly and is really looking forward to this trip, so he doesn't have to pay a local for an underweight $30 gram of pot on a chairlift anymore.
"For me, the presence of marijuana in public areas will be a major factor [on if the family returns]," Mattingly goes on. "Steamboat has a very strong reputation as a place to take kids amongst many here in Houston. An increase in the presence of marijuana in public places will impact that view. Just thought some in Steamboat might be interested in my perspective."
We're pretty sure they aren't. Granted, we live in Denver and don't want to speak for the Town of Steamboat. Still, we feel pretty confident in saying that nobody in Steamboat cares about one more Houstonian's opinion of how the town can be more like Houston.
Steamboat Today columnist Rob Douglas points out in his (brilliant and extremely kind) rebuttal to Mattingly that there's a lot of other reasons why marijuana isn't going anywhere in Steamboat or Colorado anytime soon, and snubbing an entire town based on one industry or the legal actions of other adults is silly as a result. The social gains far outweigh losing a few snooty tourists anyway, and the only change in the town is going to be for the better.
"I'm proud that the Steamboat Springs City Council listened to the voters and placed Steamboat in the vanguard of communities across Colorado that are trying a different approach when it comes to at least one drug -- marijuana," Douglas points out, adding, "If the result is a few more folks with the whiff of pot about them, or a group of folks discussing where to legally buy marijuana, Steamboat will still be the same wonderful town it's always been."
If New York tourist Christine Arakelian's letter to Vail ripping the town for people daring to talk about or ::gasp:: smell like cannabis over Christmas week is any indication of what is to come on Mattingly's trip, the pair of them should look into booking a vacation in Utah together next year.