Created: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:10:00 MST
Updated: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:36:48 MST
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Marijuana smoking is banned in the majority of accommodation establishments on the Western Slope, but one Grand Junction hotel stands alone in welcoming pot into their hotel.
The Melrose Hotel is trying to stake their claim in Colorado’s green rush by opening up their patio to pot smokers.
Management said they made the decision shortly after the enactment of Amendment 64 in January and already report a 10 to 15 percent boost in revenue.
“We decided for a number of reasons,” said hotel general manager Henry Starks. “One, because the history of the hotel. We've been around for 106 years, been around for prohibition of alcohol, been around for world wars, been around a lot of things that were hit or miss, and now with this coming around, we though why not? It doesn't hurt anybody.”
Now instead of calling law enforcement, The Melrose Hotel said travelers are welcome to bring their marijuana into the building, but smoking is still banned inside the house. Management treats it like tobacco, and users must light up outside.
The general manager said he’s never had an issue with pot smokers causing problems, but some long-term tenants said alcohol is a different story.
“I've seen people get pretty fractured on alcohol, and they're the worst ones here,” said tenant for nearly a year Angela Hares. “People who get stoned, they just kick it, have conversations… intelligent one's actually, or go back to their room [and] kick it. You know it's really mellow.”
Management reported getting daily calls since the change asking about their marijuana policy. They said it has the potential of bringing in a lot of money, but the fact the closest retail store is an hour and a half a way in Carbondale is holding back business.
“We are pushing for [retail marijuana] to become a part of [Grand] Junction,” said Starks. “We could use the tourism, we could use the increase in taxes.”