Vail Resorts Demolish Pot Shacks

Despite the legalization of private use of marijuana in Colorado, public use of pot remains illegal. And so, over the past several weeks, Vail Resorts (VR) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have destroyed a number of structures associated with prohibited marijuana use. The structures had been constructed illegally on USFS lands within the permitted boundaries of the company’s four Colorado resorts—Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone.

VR works closely with the USFS each year to eliminate these illegal structures, commonly referred to as “smoke shacks.”

“The safety of our guests and our employees is our highest priority, and we therefore take a zero tolerance approach to skiing or riding under the influence,” said Blaise Carrig, president of VR’s mountain division. “We do not permit the consumption of marijuana in or on any of our lifts, facilities or premises that we control.”

The legalization of private marijuana use in Colorado has made education about the limits of this use a part of the VR campaign. “In addition to destroying illegal structures where this kind of illegal activity may be taking place, we are communicating the legalities around marijuana use with our guests and the community through signage, our websites, social media, and handing out informational cards to our guests in the base areas,” said Carrig.

In spite of the passage of Amendment 64 last fall, public consumption of marijuana continues to be illegal under Colorado law. In addition, possession and consumption of marijuana continues to be illegal under federal law. Vail Resorts’ four Colorado ski resorts are all located on U.S. Forest Service land, where possession and consumption of marijuana is illegal.

In addition, using any ski lift or ski slope or trail while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is prohibited under the Colorado Ski Safety Act.

“We want the public to know that the consequences of being caught smoking marijuana on our mountains are removal from the mountain and the suspension of skiing and riding privileges,” Carrig added.