A different Holiday Inn location (Karl Gehring, The Denver Post)

How one Colorado ski town shut down its local Holiday Inn’s reefer madness

In Frisco, Colo. — a small mountain town that services a number of nearby ski resorts — a controversy has been brewing over a marijuana shop’s proposed move.

Medical Marijuana of the Rockies is considering an expansion to include recreational pot sales and a move to a new physical address, but a Holiday Inn nextdoor to the proposed new site protested the move to the Frisco Town Council this week, according to a Summit Daily report.

The Holiday Inn’s complaint: Most of its customers are families who would be turned off by the hotel’s proximity to a marijuana shop.

“We get complaints all the time,” the hotel’s director of sales Andy Bradford told the council, according to Summit Daily, “you know, like, ‘Mom and Daddy, what’s that smell in the hallway?’ We’re already having problems with people just not appreciating that dank smell that’s all over the place.”

Bradford then said, “When you have young children you just don’t really want to have to explain that,” before telling the council that his two children were outside the meeting room and that he would bring them into the meeting so Frisco Mayor Gary Wilkinson could tell them about marijuana.

That’s when the pot shop’s owner Jerry Olson spoke up, according to Summit Daily.

“People who come here understand that this is a marijuana state,” said Olson. “To avoid conversation because something is uncomfortable to talk about isn’t the answer or the solution for dealing with the problem.”

From Summit Daily’s report:

A pot shop is not across the parking lot from the hotel now, Councilwoman Kim Cancelosi said, and yet Holiday Inn is complaining about issues with minors and marijuana, issues that the town can’t prevent.

“That is something that no regulation from this town council is going to be able to do. That’s parenting and kids’ choice,” she said.

Marijuana draws some visitors and repels others, said Councilwoman Kathleen Bartz. She owned a 12-room hotel in Frisco for 14 years up until last April, she said, and she saw no negative impacts from pot.

Neither has the town of Frisco in its sales or lodging tax revenues, she said. “In fact the exact opposite, we’ve seen it rise.”

Frisco Mayor Wilkinson agreed with the council and shop owner Olson: There’s no problem with the pot store’s possible move nextdoor to the Holiday Inn.

“Believe me,” Wilkinson said, “I coached ski racing for a long time, and if you can find a ski racer that doesn’t smoke pot, I’ll give you $100.”