By Shay Castle
POSTED: 12/28/2015 05:09:46 PM MSTADD A COMMENT|
Wedding guests gather at the “herb bar” provided by Boulder’s Bud and Breakfast for the Oct. 10 nuptials of Bud and Breakfast’s COO Shayan Bastani, at Bella Vista Estate in Steamboat Springs. (Letitia Smith, White Light Exposure / Courtesy photo)
When Sean Roby launched his cannabis-friendly short-term rental company Bud and Breakfast in April, it was to great demand: All 30 of the Denver venues sold out for the inaugural weekend, shrewdly timed with the pot smokers’ 4/20 holiday.
But the idea for his businesses was more than 13 years in the making.
Roby registered the domain name budandbreakfast.com in 2002, more than a decade before recreational marijuana would be legalized. Inspired by the rise of wine tourism in Napa Valley, Roby one day envisioned tokers traveling in droves to the states quick to capitalize on marijuana legalization.
A jar of marijuana is pictured Oct. 10 at a wedding in Steamboat Springs. (Letitia Smith, White Light Exposure / Courtesy photo)
“Everything was picking up momentum,” said Roby, the son of foodie-travel entrepreneurs. “I thought, ‘Gosh, this is going to be big in the travel industry.'”
Roby’s prescience is only now being proven: A report from the Colorado Tourism Office, released earlier this month, showed that nearly half of the state’s visitors in 2015 said marijuana influenced their travel decision, up from less than 20 percent the year before.
Now, the “Airbnb for pot smokers” is hoping to corner another potential emerging market: weed weddings.
The Boulder startup has teamed with Denver’s Love and Marij, a cannabis event planning site, to provide venues for couples that don’t want to leave their love of herb at home.
Bud and Breakfast boasts more than 300 accommodations worldwide, including exotic locales such as Costa Rica, Jamaica, New Zealand and the Philippines. And while not every location is right for a wedding, some of the pricier venues (up to $12,000 a night) are a perfect fit.
“Our accommodation owners, they’re into it,” Roby said.
Some provide all-inclusive services, like rides to and from the airport and fresh-baked, homemade goodies.
Of course, weddings are a lot more work than finding beds to sleep in and places to dance. That’s where the partnership with Love and Marij comes in.
“We’re looking at them to be the concierge service for our wedding services,” Roby said. “We can’t do it all, so we’re making alliances with other businesses.”
Roby’s crew also will be in attendance at the first-ever cannabis wedding expo on Jan. 17 at the Point Gallery in Denver.
Just shy of 30 companies will have a presence at the event, said Bec Koop, owner of Concierge Events, who, along with her colleague, Cultivating Spirits founder Philip Wolf, is hosting the expo. About half of the 200 available tickets have been sold.
Koop said there is great demand for her services. (She also runs a florist company, Buds and Blossoms.)
“Last summer, I had eight cannabis weddings,” she said, insisting that it isn’t a new fad. “At every wedding, there’s always somebody getting high in the car and coming back to the wedding. So what I’ve been saying is, ‘Change the trend to a tradition.’
“So many people enjoy smoking in their daily lives, why not incorporate it into their big day?”
Shay Castle: 303-473-1626, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/shayshinecastle