Snowmass History: A picnic lunch and an Olympic bid

Colorado turned down Olympic Games after voters rejected tax initiative

Aspen Historical Society
Skiers eat lunch at the wine cabin on Snowmass, photographed by Margaret Durrance circa 1969-1970. Merbie Robinson (in a blue jacket and white hat) hosted the picnic luncheon for Governor John Love (seated at the table in a blue jacket), who was visiting the area.
Aspen Historical Society Durrance Collection/Courtesy photo

Merbie Robinson hosted a picnic luncheon at the wine cabin at Snowmass Ski Area for Colorado Gov. John Love and other skiers, circa 1969-70. Love was visiting the area as a precursor to the Winter Olympics bid; he served as governor from 1963 to 1973 and formed the Colorado Olympic Committee in the 1960s to build a case for the state to host the 1976 Winter Olympics.

In 1970, the International Olympic Committee awarded Colorado the 1976 Winter Olympic Games, but Colorado voters rejected a tax initiative in 1972 to fund the Olympics. The state became the only chosen state to ever turn down the games. Aspen-Snowmass was proposed as the alpine ski racing venue, and while many Coloradans rejoiced, others feared the growth and environmental issues that came with hosting the Olympics.

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