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Is the Lure of Legal Weed in Colorado Dead?

Although new data shows fewer tourists traveled to Colorado for the legal weed in the first half of 2016, those who did travel to the state, spent more.

Industry analysts wonder if the novelty of legal weed has worn off.

“Increased spending from a smaller group of travelers actually is great news for Coloradans who have concerns about sharing our state’s natural resources,” Colorado Tourism Office Director Cathy Ritter said in a statement. She noted The Centennial State now seems to be attracting an older, more affluent traveler, one more willing and able to spend.

These “‘higher-value’ travelers,” as Ritter describes them, are visiting for “scenic drives, hiking or backpacking, visiting a state or national park, wildlife watching and visiting an historic site,” according to Strategic Marketing & Research Insights (SMARI) surveys.

The Colorado Tourism Office’s latest research shows an apparent decrease in interest among those in search of legal weed, however, a shift that could be good for Coloradans who would enjoy fewer tourists clogging up their highways, yet spreading around more tourism dollars.

Data shows visitors in 2016 who consumed advertising luring them to the state fell over the year before from 2.1 million to 1.9 million. However, those visitors spent $2.72 billion in the spring and summer of that year ­– an increase of $120 million over the same period in the previous year.

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