Guest opinion: Vaudeville owner weighs in on the pot store debate
As I am sure you are aware, there is a heated debate going on in downtown Glenwood Springs about two new marijuana dispensaries that are trying to open. One is at 919 Grand Ave. and the other is at 404 10th St., Suite A. Though their applications were originally denied, the owners of the proposed dispensaries have submitted an appeal to the City Council and are putting in tremendous effort to win their case.
I am very concerned about both of these dispensaries for several reasons, but I want to be very clear, this is not about the legalization of marijuana or its potential benefits for those who need it, but is instead about the oversaturation of dispensaries in the downtown core and how that will affect tourism.
The city of Glenwood Springs has been working hard to develop a strong tourism business, based on being a fun family town, even winning the “Most Fun Town in America” award a few years back. Though Colorado has legalized recreational marijuana, most of the rest of the country has not. Therefore we are very troubled about what visitors to our town, many with young children and seniors, will think when they walk up and down our streets and see numerous dispensaries.
I am also quite concerned about having a marijuana dispensary and edibles bakery/shop directly next door to the Vaudeville. We pride ourselves on being a family establishment and are very worried about any odors that may permeate through our adjoining wall that would be objectionable to our patrons and their kids, as well as impacting the dozens of families who must walk past this dispensary to get to their cars parked on Grand Avenue and beyond. Many people are highly sensitive to the smell of tobacco and marijuana, thus smoking tobacco in bars and other public places was banned many years ago.
I would like to point out that the theater has regular posted office hours Wednesday through Sunday from noon until the end of the show that night, and we are frequently there on other days as well. Additionally, we are no longer completely closed for a month at a time. Throughout the year, we have fundraisers, comedy nights and host recitals for young kids as well as other events and rehearsals for our own shows. Therefore the argument that would not be affected by Mr. Radtke’s business because we do not have the same hours of business is not accurate.
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If we are going to preserve the family atmosphere of Glenwood Springs and save the businesses that help make Glenwood Springs “The Most Fun Town in America” we must act quickly.
Therefore, if you agree with me on this issue, and are willing to help, I am asking you to please write an email opposing the marijuana dispensaries at 919 Grand Ave. and 404 10th St., Suite A, and email it to each member of the City Council and the mayor ASAP. Additionally, if you know anyone who lives or owns a business within the city limits of Glenwood Springs, please reach out to them and ask if they would be willing to help as well. For your convenience, this list can be seen online at http://ww2.cogs.us/city-council/
There is a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 2, if you would like to attend.
Emails directly to the City Council are the best way to make an impact.
John Goss is the owner of the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue.
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