April Fool’s: Vail looks to get kids drunk | VailDaily.com

April Fool’s: Vail looks to get kids drunk

Malibu Grand Prix
Vail, CO Colorado
Federico Fellini/Vail Daily photo padawanThe town of Vail believes allowing kids as young as 12 to drink at the resort will not only raise revenues but make the kids more likely to come back to visit when they become adults.

VAIL, Colorado –The town of Vail is lowering its drinking age to 12 years old in an effort to attract more families to town and to raise more revenue.

Councilwoman Melody Riggers had suggested at previous council meetings to implement a “sin tax,” on cigarettes and alcohol, to raise more sales tax revenues in town, but the rest of the council agreed the town would raise even more money if they simply lowered the drinking age.

The council voted unanimously Tuesday on the new law.

“We can’t let Beaver Creek keep beating us out in the Ski Magazine rankings for best family resort,” Councilman Melvin Toley said. “This way, we’ll be able to capitalize on an entire new age group. Hopefully they’ll get drunk in town, stay longer and spend more money.”

The plan is also a great way to bring in more destination guests, which are the town’s bread and butter. Since children in South American and European countries tend to drink with their parents at much earlier ages, this will be a great way to get those families to choose Vail as the most desired American ski resort.

“We need more destination guests, plain and simple,” Councilwoman Lucy Jessup said. “If we have to dangle a bottle of red wine over their heads and get their children drunk, then so be it.”

Families are the best kind of destination guest, because they put more heads in beds – something the Vail Local Marketing District has set as its top priority.

The Marketing District’s Advisory Board chairwoman, Tess Lyfer, said she likes the idea of kids in Vail drinking.

“It will help the town keep those children coming to Vail as repeat guests,” Lyfer said. “And when they’re old enough to drink in the rest of the country, we can still get their business with our new health and wellness offerings – God knows, they’ll need it.”

Lyfer cited an Oxford University study that shows children who start drinking as young as 12 years old are more likely to develop a need for health and wellness activities later in life.

“I can’t think of a better law to fulfill the town’s missions of raising revenue, getting heads in beds, and attracting destination and repeat destination guests,” Lyfer said. “I applaud the Vail Town Council for their forward-thinking and their ability to adapt in order to bring this town some money. In the end, it’s really all about the money.”

The new law goes into effect immediately, and the town is also trying to encourage local bars to offer happy hour deals to any family who lets their children drink under the new law.

“This is a win-win for everyone,” Mayor Dick Sandusky said.

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