The Colorado Tourism Office has introduced a new slogan for marketing to wintertime visitors: Snow’s Perfect State. CTO Director Cathy Ritter said, “What makes our winter so magical is…the special nature of the place it falls upon. While winter and snow may be a cause for dread elsewhere, Colorado’s winter season is a time for celebration.”
Putting aside for a moment how potentially insulting that statement is to those full-of-dread states where snow is…well, non-magical, we suppose — it’s also a statement that calls into question some issues Colorado has both with the season, and also with its own identity. We thought we’d offer up some alternatives, just in case this newest stab at a slogan goes the way of affordable lift tickets and functional government.
1. Colorado: Effin’ High
Get it, tourist America? Because elevation, but also the pot. Let’s face it, Colorado is a hell of a lot more widely known for the available weed than for its skiing at this point. And too many other states are sniffing around our pot (money) stash, thinking that it seems like a good idea for both revenue and to attract visitors and new residents. Bonus: Smoking pot is a lot less expensive than a ski habit. Of course, there are some locals that disagree, but, hey, they'll smoke a bowl and feel a whole lot better about it.
2. Colorado: Charming Neighborhoods You Can’t Afford
Look, we want you to come visit. We want you to check out some of our fine hotels or book an Airbnb or head up into the parks and pitch a tent or park an RV. And by all means, while you’re here, enjoy the old bungalows and the Denver squares and all the brick houses that line our tree-canopied streets. But then, if you would, please leave and don’t think about moving here, because the cost of living is already pretty expensive, and we don’t need your out-of-state pockets driving up prices even more. Thanks.
3. Colorado: Sunny and Snowy…ALL OF THE TIME
We have over 300 days of sun, and that's our story and we're sticking to it. In addition, and with no sense of shame or irony, we’re also a winter-freaking-wonderland that makes Santa want to jealously kick Olaf the Snowman in his carrot nose. Please don’t think about how the two assertions are mutually exclusive; thinking tends to negatively affect our marketing plan.
4. Colorado: Sure, Ghosts!
Ever wondered why the Travel Channel is essentially nothing but paranormal “reality” shows anymore? It’s because the dead are big business, especially for folks who hit the road looking for it. And Colorado is full of spirits, from the legendary Stanley Hotel (still chugging steadily off a Stephen King novel from 1977) to Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel and Lumber Baron Inn to small places off the beaten path (the Old Glendale Stagecoach Station in Penrose, to name only one of several). Grab your EMF meters and try to catch some EVPs on your smartphone: If you listen to the background noise very, very closely, you might just hear something unsettling…like the quiet whimpers of a Broncos or a Rockies fan enduring what seems like endless suffering.
5. Colorado: Purplish
Please don’t lump us in with Kansas, Wyoming or Utah. We’re a nice bluish blend here. We agree with everyone, or try to. Super-conservative? Colorado Springs is waiting to give you a chaste hug and judge you. Radically left? Boulder wants to have you over for farm-sourced granola and this fabulous new elderberry wine it made itself in the compost barn out back. And just look at our governor, who’s ostensibly a Democrat, but even that’s open to friendly debate.
6. Colorado: Just Like South Park
Consider the state a giant theme park devoted to the canon of work by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. In a century or so, people will think South Park was a documentary, anyway.
7. Colorado: For the Love of God, Stay Off I-70
We here in Colorful Colorado want you to come out, but if you do, please fly. And if you need to go into the mountains, please take the train. Or don’t go into the mountains — we like going up there, too, and we live here, and honestly, I-70 is a mess already. You might think you know how to drive in the snow, Midwesterner, but do you know how to drive in the snow on mountain roads that were carved out of the landscape during the Eisenhower administration? No, no you don’t. And we’d prefer it if you didn’t prove that in steering-wheel-clutching fashion on your way up to not know how to ski.
8. Colorado: Native!
That’s native in the Subaru bumper sticker sense, not the indigenous people of the region sort of way, just to be clear. Which is to say: native from a certain point of view. Which, yes, renders the terms sort of meaningless, and also self-aggrandizing. On second thought, make this slogan read: Colorado: Pay No Attention to Our Bumper Stickers.
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9. Colorado: We Fucking Own Nature
Colorado has it all. You know it. That’s why you want to visit. We’ve got the elk and the moose and the bighorn sheep. We’ve got alpine forests and aspen groves and carpets of multicolored leafy goodness, and they cover mountains that musicians write songs about. We have squirrels obeying our every command. We have birds that put on shows at 11, 1, 3 and 5, with an evening performance at 6:30 on weekends. We have bears that will knock on your front door, ask for some peanut butter and pretzels, play a little something on the piano, and sign a few autographs before loping back out into the wild. This whole state is like a natural amusement park, and you’re lucky we’re not charging Disney-level prices for this, hombres.
10. Colorado: Because It’s There
If it works for mountains, it’s gotta work for Colorado.