flatlander:’Local’s’ discount afffects many | VailDaily.com

flatlander:’Local’s’ discount afffects many

Austin Richardson
Austin Richardson is the 'flatlander'

Just as spring brings flowers and rain to the mountains of Colorado, so does warm weather bring tourists.More and more the Colorado economy, as a whole, depends on outside dollars for support. The taxman takes just a slice, but when that slice adds up, theres some real money there.Much of the High Country economy is based on tourism. From skiing the slopes to buying gasoline at the off-interstate service station, everyone in the mountains is affected by tourists.Law enforcement has to deal with drunken visitors, street crews have to patch holes in the roads (more cars, more holes), cashiers have to ring up endless postcards, restaurants have to find kitchen help again, tour services have to gear up for the onslaught of gapers … the list goes on and on.Resent tourists? Sometimes. Living in vacationland can be tough. Visitors to the Vail Valley having a good time drinking until 1 a.m., driving their rental cars too fast and generally being on vacation producing a variety of subtle, yet tangible feelings. Angry at tourists? Only when they decide to either stop in the middle of a city street or U.S. Highway 6 & 24 during rush hour to look at … well … trees? … mountains? Its never really clear what people have in their minds when they decide to stop on the shoulder to take pictures. Just trust they will do so at the most inappropriate time and place, or so it seems.Take advantage of tourists? Sometimes. Kudos to merchants who offer locals discounts, but while it may not be overt, by offering such discounts merchants are doing two things. They are giving locals a break because we pay sales tax all year long 10 percent certainly helps relieve the tax burden, even though it does cut into profit margins yet the fly fisherman who comes to the mountains year after year after year, stays at the same cabin, buys tackle at the same shop, drinks coffee at the same counter each morning while on vacation and hires the same guide doesnt get the same discount.So remember the next time you decide to call yourself a “local” just remember what that might mean.Vail Colorado

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