July 1, 2015
Mayor Michael Gamba
Glenwood Springs City Hall
101 W. 8th Street
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
The Board of Directors of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association has asked me to write to you re: your consideration of repealing the denial of licensing for two more retail marijuana stores in downtown Glenwood Springs. We would appreciate your support of the denial handed down by the licensing officer.
This is a complicated subject involving the will of voters to legalize recreational marijuana; marketplace fairness and free enterprise; the unexpected consequences of marijuana legalization; and the public and social perception of Glenwood Springs as a tourist town because of the proliferation of retail marijuana outlets in our downtown core.
We appreciate the moratorium and emphasize that this is clearly the time for City Council to reevaluate the marijuana sales policy and figure out what is working and what isn’t. We already have numerous retail marijuana outlets downtown – they are so obvious that we do not get inquiries in our visitor center about where and how to purchase marijuana.
There has been a lot invested in the downtown by individual property and business owners, the City, the Downtown Development Authority, Colorado Mountain College, the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and Garfield County – investments that include time, money and planning to make our community a desirable place to live, work, play and do business. As we consider these investments we need to realize the negative effect the addition of more marijuana retail stores has on the visual image of the family-friendly community that we have worked so hard to create.
The board appreciates your thoughtful deliberations and respects City Council in its leadership role of having to decide and enforce zoning and design standards that are critical to careful community planning. We trust you as our elected representatives to do the job of fairly monitoring and taxing this industry. Likewise, the chamber board applauds Council’s recent decision to look at development standards and incentives that are industry-wide instead of on a case-by-case basis.
Marianne Virgili, IOM, CCE
President & CEO
Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association was named 2013 Chamber of the Year by ACCE!