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Colorado Ski Industry Worried Anti-Immigrant Sentiment Will Hurt Business

First Posted: 02/09/11 04:45 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET


Colorado's ski industry says that the state legislature's efforts to crack down on illegal immigration could be bad for business.

A representative from Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade organization for the $2.6 billion industry, told Fox News Latino this week that resorts are worried that the increasing number of clients from Latin America may be turned off by anti-immigrant legislation introduced in the state legislature.

Two bills introduced by Republicans this year would mimic--if not replicate exactly--the controversial immigration measure passed by Arizona lawmakers last April.

House Bill 1170, introduced by Representative Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs, was killed by its sponsor this week over constitutional concerns. The bill would have directed local police to try to determine whether a person entered the country illegally, required immigrants to carry their alien-registration documents, and made it a crime for illegal immigrants to work or apply for a job in Colorado.

Another bill, introduced by Senator Kent Lambert of Colorado Springs, would allow, but not require local law enforcement officers to check on the immigration status of those deemed suspicious of being in the country illegally. The fate of that bill is expected to be determined next week.

"If you're in the business of putting out the welcome mat for foreign visitors, it doesn't help if you create an environment of suspicion," Melanie Mills told Fox while acknowledging that the bills were unlikely to become law.

Colorado Ski Country USA says that Mexico and Brazil have become two of the leading countries from which skiers come to the state.

The Washington Post reported shortly after Arizona passed it's controversial immigration legislation that the city of Phoenix stood to lose as much as $90 million as a result of boycotts.


Filed by Ethan Axelrod  |