Our mountainous state inspires awe in its visitors—and a bevy of inquiries. When is X? What is Y? Where can we smoke Z? That’s why, on June 30, the Colorado Tourism Office will debut Colorado Concierge. The online platform will teach the basics of Centennial State hospitality, and it’s free for businesses whose employees might benefit. But what about the rest of us? After all, out-of-towners tend to direct their questions to the closest local in sight, making the Common Coloradan their unofficial tour guide. So we came up with a quick, albeit less official, quiz to test your general knowledge and ensure you’re not endangering tourists’ lives—or the more than $20 billion they spend here annually.
1. You overhear a family planning to start a Hanging Lake hike at noon. You:
A. Tell them not to go, as they could be trampled by the beloved trail’s enormous crowds.
B. Laugh ruefully to yourself but say nothing to them.
C. Inform them that, starting this year, reservations are required to hike the popular trail.
2. Tourists ask about marijuana. You should:
A. Tap into your D.A.R.E. training and lecture them about the dangers of drugs.
B. Remind them to buy extra gummies for the flight home.
C. Point them to a dispensary but note that smoking in public might incur a $100 fine.
3. A couple wants to ride scooters around LoDo. You tell them:
A. About how a guy once got slapped in the face after riding on the sidewalk.
B. That cruising down the middle of the street is super fun.
C. To ride in the bike lanes and stay off the 16th Street Mall.
4. To prepare backpackers for possible mountain lion encounters, you:
A. Warn them that unless they can strangle a cougar like that guy did in February, the trek probably isn’t safe for them.
B. Suggest running.
C. Instruct them to stay calm, stand up tall, and back slowly away. If the cat is aggressive, they should open their jackets and spread their arms to look larger, then throw sticks or stones in the animal’s direction.
5. An hour after landing in Denver, a man from Florida says he’s having trouble breathing and feeling dizzy and light-headed—signs of mild altitude sickness. You tell him to:
A. Go home before his entire body explodes.
B. Hike up the nearest mountain—the more altitude, the more quickly he’ll adjust.
C. Drink plenty of water, rest, and avoid going any higher for the next 24 to 48 hours.
6. A pair of honeymooners asks you for dining recommendations. You:
A. Advise playing it safe; an Olive Garden is an Olive Garden (and it always has free breadsticks).
B. Direct them to Coors Field, the Pepsi Center, or Broncos Stadium at Mile High. You don’t mention that all three received poor rankings from ESPN for food safety violations.
C. Brag about the eight James Beard Award semifinalist nominations Colorado restaurants nabbed this year. Three are in Denver: Wolf’s Tailor, Q House, and, for a drink, the Leopold Bros. distillery.
7. Visitors are worried about mountain thunderstorms. Your advice:
A. Prepare a will—106 people have died from lightning in Colorado since 1980.
B. If a storm kicks up, get above treeline ASAP for the best views of lightning bolts.
C. Summer storms usually appear in the afternoon, so morning hikes are safest. If you notice cumulus clouds before noon or feel sudden gusts of wind, head back to your car.
If You Answered
Mostly A’s: Your advice errs too far on the side of caution. Take the Colorado Concierge course immediately and quit scaring our visitors out of a good vacation.
Mostly B’s: At best, you don’t care. At worst, you are actively trying to harm people. Please stop talking to tourists until you’ve taken the Colorado Concierge class.
Mostly C’s: Congratulations, you’re giving guests great advice! Now get back out there and earn this state some more tax revenue.