ESTES PARK, Colo. — As tourists return to Colorado destinations like Estes Park, business owners want to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. But not everyone in the small vacation town is as enthused about the return of business-as-usual.
"GO THE HELL BACK TO WHEREVER YOUR OUT OF STATE LICENSE IS FROM," read several notes posted to cars in Estes Park.
The notes caused a stir on social media as police look for the culprit who posted the notes.
"Last weekend a very unkind, mass-produced note was placed on numerous vehicles with out-of-state plates in the Estes Valley," said the police statement suggesting the behavior is not welcome in the town. "We're looking for the individual(s) who did this, because we'd like to remind them that tampering with private property and littering could lead to charges in Municipal Court."
Business owners are also responding. The owners of Elkins Distilling Company say, if you received any of these notes, you can bring them in for a free drink from their bar.
"Our economy relies heavily on people coming to visit us and stay and spend money here in town," said McShan Walker, a co-owner of the distillery. "We saw the note and posted it online and said, if you had this experience if you got this thing, come see us and we will give you a free drink. To see if we can’t at least balance out that image."
He says that though he thinks the tone of the note is unnecessarily harsh, he understands the concern.
"I understand the fear that came with this piece. It was just not well presented," he said. "The main thing is for them to understand that it is not about us wanting to be unsafe or just bring people here. It is about us trying to sustain the economy for the whole."
If he could write the note, it might be a bit more welcoming.
"I would say ‘welcome to town.' We want this town to be open year-round to visit so please help us by being responsible," said Walker.