Dear Mr. Blevins,
Your "news" article is essentially a regurgitated news release from bureaucrats and a company paid by the state to promote tourism funding.
Why didn't you report:
a) Longwoods [the "research firm" cited in the story] is paid by the state to promote ("research") state tourism funding.
b) Longwoods has a history of exaggerating the impacts of state tourism funding.
c) This year [meaning the previous year] Colorado also had good snow and record population (drawing visits to friends and family).
No doubt state tourism funding has increased tourism to the state. But you're hardly reporting the whole story.
Here I add some additional points.
* As the Mercatus Center reviews, people are moving from less-free to more-free states, which also generates visits by people contemplating a move here.
* State funding for tourism crowds out private efforts to advertise tourism. Tourist attractions are perfectly free to pay for their own advertising, and to coordinate with others for broader campaigns.
* On the moral level, it is wrong to force people to finance corporate welfare for tourism against their wishes. It's the job of government to protect people's rights, not maximize tax revenues or tourism.