Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Marijuana tourism should bring Colorado a pot of cash, says travel guru Arthur Frommer

Travel guru Arthur Frommer predicts big 2013 tourism gains for six disparate destinations: Miami Beach, Dubai, India and Lima, Peru, plus Seattle and Denver. Why are the last two so hot?

Pot, of course.

Despite the hand-wringing by tourism boosters after Amendment 64 passed, Frommer sees real opportunity for Colorado.

Here's the rationale for the Seattle/Denver pick that he recently posted on Arthur's Blog:

Seattle and Denver

Though local tourist officials are openly critical of the recent statewide votes in Washington and Colorado that legalized the recreational use of small amounts of marijuana, I suggest they are actually overjoyed. Already, hotels in Seattle and Denver are reporting numerous requests for reservations by pot supporters planning visits to Washington and Colorado, and numerous articles have drawn comparisons to the way in which tourism to Amsterdam in The Netherlands has been increased by the easy availability of the well-known drug. Even before the recent vote on legalization, it was known to many that "medical marijuana" was easily obtained in dozens of outlets in both cities that issued the drug in response to a doctor's prescription. For that matter, major cities in other western or near-western states have quietly tolerated the same use of the drug for many years; in San Francisco, as one example, there are numerous "medical marijuana" shops with supplies exchanged for a prescription; and the prescription is fairly easily obtained from compliant doctors issuing the drug for all sorts of mild anxiety problems, and not simply for terminal illnesses. In any event, expect a torrent of new tourism to Seattle and Denver.

Which could soon be on a real Rocky Mountain high.

From our archives: ""Stoner, Colorado "mayor" Frank McDonald on post-Amendment 64 dream for two-person town."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun