GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Legal recreational pot is attracting tourists to Colorado, many of whom will take advantage of our snow sports and other activities, but pot tourists may have to do some searching for a private place to smoke, because most lodging won't allow it.
Even cigarette smokers these days find it difficult to book a hotel room that still accommodates them. With tourism in Colorado expected to spike because of the legalization of recreational marijuana consumed privately, it's leaving lodging owners and managers with the decision of whether or not to allow their guests to smoke in their rooms.
"We want our guests to have the very best experience, and that doesn't include having a smoke filled room," said Greg Brunet, general manager of the SpringHill Suites Marriott in Grand Junction.
Brunet says that's always been their policy, and violators in the past would get hit with a big charge.
"For those guests that like to take the chance and smoke in the room, we do charge them $250 for violation of hotel policy."
That's consistent with most Grand Junction hotels.
We called several of them and nearly all are smoke-free, and for the few that do still offer smoking rooms, pot is not included.
There is one place, however, that allows both cigarettes and marijuana- just not inside.
The Historic Melrose Hotel maintains its indoor smoking ban, but has an outdoor patio just for that reason.
"We've had several law enforcement come by and have said it pretty much is at our own discretion whether we want to cater to that kind of guest clientele," said Henry Starks, general manager of the Melrose Hotel.
While pot in public is illegal, their back patio is considered an enclosed area of a public place. It's a rare amenity offered here in western Colorado, but the hotel manager says it's not being abused.
"It's far in between, I probably get maybe one or two guests that will even smoke cannabis within a month time period."