Everyone is coming to Denver for 4/20, and by everyone we mean the entire country. Brace yourselves.
According to data from hotel booking website Hotels.com, online searches for Denver hotel rooms on 4/20 are soaring higher than you were after you made that bootleg bathtub weed oil and covered your life in it.
The website said searches for Denver bookings during April 17-20 are up 60 percent over the same period in 2014. Searches last April had soared 73 percent compared with the same period in 2013, before retail marijuana sales were legal. Oh, mama.
Well, we guess that answers the question about whether legal weed increases tourism in Colorado. It does! It really, really does, especially considering searchers for 4/20 hotel rooms in Colorado spiked last year as well.
In fact, Denver's lodging tax collections in 2014 were a record $19.6 million, up 21 percent from 2013. The increase in hotel bookings is said to be driven by increases in convention delegates, business travelers and ski tourists, but we both know that Colorado's hedonistic weed playground definitely has something to do with that.
In addition to its data on 4/20 hotel searches, Hotels.com reported that Denver's ranking as a travel destination is rising. Last year, Denver was the 14th most popular domestic vacation destination, up from 15th in 2013 and 19th in 2012. It's only a matter of time before we break into that esteemed circle of Top 10 cities, especially since Denver (and Boulder … and the rest of Colorado) are consistently ranked #1 hottest or smartest or fittest something-or-other.
In this day and age, it's hard to imagine that someone would spend their valuable time and money just for the opportunity to smoke weed without fear of being drug away by the DEA, but as Coloradans, we have to remember that not every state is as #blessed as we are when it comes to ripping bong.
Hopefully, savvy 4/20 tourists are using services like my420tours.com, which sets up travelers with weed-friendly hotels and dispensary tours so they can immerse themselves in the skunky, pervasive marijuana culture in our little state. And if they're not, well, they're welcome to crash on our couch with the interns we keep as pets.