Although five dollars a day wouldn’t do it these days, tourism legend Arthur Frommer is predicting Denver and Seattle will be tourism hot spots because the states have approved marijuana sales.
“…expect a torrent of new tourism to Seattle and Denver,” Frommer says on his blog, and he is not talking about file sharing.
Hundreds of thousands if not millions of American college students went to Europe carrying Frommer’s guide, which he wrote in 1957.
College kids, many who became long-haired hippies, were looking for European culture, perhaps a cheap place to stay in a hostel, after buying a low-cost ticket on Icelandair to Luxembourg, and if lucky, perhaps a chance at some free love.
Don’t expect to see television ads, not even on cable, promoting weed tourism to the Mile High City or Space Needle area.
But a task force appointed by former brewer, now Colorado state governor, has recommended that out-of-state tourists be allowed to buy small amounts of marijuana. It is kind of a surprise because Hickenlooper opposed Colorado’s Amendment 64, and took his time cutting the red tape to make it law.
The task force, whose recommendations go to the state Legislature, said only resident Coloradans could own pot stores, the Denver Post reported.
"You're going to see an instant spike in demand because of the sheer excitement of people," said Jason Katz, chief of operations at Local Product of Colorado, a medical-marijuana dispensary, told the Wall Street Journal.
"Colorado will inevitably become a tourist destination for anyone who wants to smoke marijuana without being potentially threatened or being a criminal."
Colorado state and Denver tourism officials are keeping their heads down. Too much boasting could attract the attention of the feds, who still regard marijuana as illegal, and hurt family tourism.
“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,” said Frommer.
For those who do not believe money talks, Eberhard van der Laan, Amsterdam's mayor, has refused to enforce a ban on marijuana tourism. It is estimated that up to a third of visitors visit cannabis cafes, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Marijuana has long been one of the elements attracting tourists, especially skiers, snowboarders and other mountain recreationists to Colorado, since the latesang “Rocky Mountain High.”
Colorado already is a major tourism destination both for skiing and summer visits to the mountains. In 2011, the last year figures were available, 58 million visited from outside the state.