Derailing the gravy train |

Derailing the gravy train

Don Rogers

It’s Colorado Tourism Week, or some such. Of course, for a community whose catalyst is skiing, ideally with out of state visitors doing that skiing, this is vital stuff.Tourism is by the important measure – dollars spent – this state’s top industry. That also makes Coloradoans about the dumbest folks on Earth.Why? Well, who would cut off their gravy train by ending a tax devoted to tourism promotion but a bunch of morons? That’s what Colorado voters did back in 1993, and the state has suffered ever since. That promotion spending to tourist dollars spent equation has proven correct.And population growth came anyway. Whether stupidly turning away the Winter Olympics in 1976 or ending the tourism tax, the state lost tourism and still gained residents by the millions during the boom times.Colorado has lost 30 percent in market share and $2.4 billion in tourism spending since cutting off its nose in 1993, according to the Colorado Tourism Office.The state ranks 32nd now in public spending on tourism. Who is slacking?The New York Times last Sunday reported on a year-old report on second-home owners, same story the mountain papers did, well, a year ago. The Times quoted a couple of newcomers as dissing snowboarders as slackers. Now, that’s really getting old. The saviors of “skiing” include lots of hard workers. Like local newspaper editors, for instance. The only real slacker here is The Times. Vail, Colorado

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