Sun sets on daylight saving plan in Colorado
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN – Colorado will keep springing forward and falling back, thanks in large part to ski industry input from Aspen and elsewhere around the state.
A lawmaker’s proposal to put Colorado on year-round daylight saving time died Friday morning in a Senate committee.
“The sun just set on my bill,” said state Sen. Greg Brophy, R-Wray, who tweeted: “Democrats apparently don’t like change.”
Ski resorts didn’t like Brophy’s proposed change, and resorts along Interstate 70, faced with starting and finishing operations later in the day, worried about guests hitting the slopes later, but still leaving early to beat the interstate traffic.
“We’re already seeing people leaving the slopes earlier. If we switch our hours, those same people are still going to be leaving early to beat traffic. This law would cut an hour of operation from our day,” Craig Bannister, public policy manager for Colorado Ski Country USA, told the Summit Daily News.
Ski Country, a state trade association that counts Aspen-Snowmass among its members, fought the bill with the Aspen Skiing Co.’s blessing.
“We don’t support it for operational reasons, flight reasons and guest-inconvenience reasons,” said Jeff Hanle, company spokesman.
“There has been a lot of action in the last several weeks from the ski industry and other mountain communities, voicing opposition to this,” said Bill Tomcich, president of local reservations agency Stay Aspen Snowmass. He was among the first to sound the alarm about Brophy’s bill, which posed ramifications in Aspen that went beyond dark mornings. Sunrise would come as late as about 8:30 a.m. during the heart of winter, Tomcich noted.
Putting Colorado out of sync with most of the rest of the country for four months of the year would affect airline connections at Denver International Airport and prevent evening flights from making it into Aspen before its nighttime curfew, Tomcich predicted.
Aviation consultants Boyd Group International said in a blog post that the bill would “torpedo” Denver’s strength as a connecting airline hub.
Brophy said the bill would give Coloradans extra daylight in the afternoon and do away with the need to re-set clocks twice a year. He told the Summit Daily he didn’t put much stock in the arguments against the bill.
“I think (the ski resorts’) excuses are just made up,” Brophy told the newspaper. “It’s almost as if … they think I’m shortening the time in the day. I’m an all-powerful member of the Senate, but I can’t do that. I call BS.”
Nonetheless, the legislation was rejected 6-4 by the Senate Appropriations Committee, which said there is no money in the budget to pay for any expenses associated with the change, including re-setting the state’s clocks.
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