MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo - A ripple effect is going on about a vote that is less than 24 hours old in Manitou. It's over the passage of recreational marijuana and the two shops that will sell it in this tourist community.
Tourism is the lifeblood of Manitou Springs, so community leaders are already wondering how it's going to affect them in the future with out of state visitors. Marcy Morrison is a former Manitou Mayor. She is also the Board President of iManitou. It's an organization linked to the Manitou Chamber of Commerce.
Morrison would only speak to me as a private citizen and not in her official capacity with oManitou. She believes it's too early to tell if the recreational marijuana vote will hurt her community, "I think that we may know after a couple of tourist seasons have gone by and we hear comments. We have the opportunity to hear from people when they visit Manitou." Morrison also thinks that even with the recreational marijuana being approved, the mission of the tourism industry in her city will remain the same, "Our role is to make sure that when a person or family comes to Manitou, they have the very best experience that we can provide for them. We are not going to do anything different for them than we are doing right now. We are going to welcome them with a smile."
Another ripple effect of this vote is shining on the real estate industry in Manitou. Rachel Buller is a licensed realtor with Manitou Springs Real Estate. She told me she's already had the *talk* as a property manager with the landlords she represents to get them ready for recreational marijuana and how it will affect their properties, "I think everyone was kind of waiting to see what happens. I don't think any of our landlords have said definitively what they want with their tenants, except the ones who don't want smoking inside of anything in their properties."
The future of real estate in Manitou will probably include a provision in future contracts to make it clear for tenants if recreational marijuana can be smoked inside or outside properties.