‘Bud and breakfast’ south of Parshall offers 420 friendly accommodations in Grand County
Legal regulations spark business idea
May 6, 2018
When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012 it sparked a business boom and a — pun intended — budding tourism industry centered around the state's unique legal regime. But as many out-of-state guests have found over the past few years, marijuana may be legal to buy but there are few places it is actually legal to smoke.
It was exactly that conundrum that inspired Tim Robertson and his wife, Wendy, to start their new business in Grand County, an inn catering to marijuana users that they happily refer to as a "bud and breakfast."
The Robertsons, who are both military brats hailing from the south, opened The Robertson House last June on County Road 3, often referred to as Ute Pass Road, south of Parshall. The Robertson House is technically an inn, not a bed and breakfast, though guests are free to dine on the breakfast the Robertsons prepare each morning at no additional charge.
The inn provides accommodations for up to eight individuals in four rooms in a beautiful mountain ranch style home along the banks of the Williams Fork, roughly halfway between Parshall and the Henderson Mill. The three-story home offers rustic yet refined luxury accommodations in a relaxing mountain environment but it is not the plush beds, soft linens or commercial quality kitchen that attracts most of its guests; it's the freedom to smoke your own marijuana.
"When we would come on vacation after cannabis was legalized, there was almost no place you could smoke," Tim Robertson said. "If you go to a hotel, you can't smoke there. You can't smoke in your car. There is a deficit in the industry of where to use the product. We are just trying to provide that niche that isn't easily found."
The Robertsons first visited Grand County in 2003 while on a snowmobiling trip, coincidentally snowmobiling at the property of their future neighbors, the Aspen Canyon Ranch. After Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, Tim Robertson began looking for a location to establish a cannabis school, specializing in training patrons how to grow marijuana within the state's legal parameters. After checking out the property, though, Robertson's plans shifted towards running a "bud and breakfast."
"We had stayed at bud and breakfasts before and loved the whole concept," he said. "The Realtor we were talking to offered this house for sale and I immediately had this vision."
According to Robertson, the legal operation of the business is based on the fact that The Robertson House is private property, not open to the general public. The property is strictly restricted to patrons 21 and over. Additionally, the inn does not sell or otherwise provide marijuana for its guests. Guests who bring their own marijuana are allowed to smoke to their heart's content, though only in the inn's lounge area. Smoking is not allowed in any of the rooms. The Robertsons also provide glass smoking devices for guests, which are cleaned daily.
"You bring the cannabis," Robertson said. "I just provide the atmosphere; the opportunity, the paraphernalia and the knowledge of how to use it."