Despite Boycott, Resorts in Colorado Booming : 'Anti-gay' law: Some celebrity regulars absent, but others ignore call and join throngs on slopes.

From Reuters

Some famous figures who like to spend Christmas in Colorado were absent this year, but most resorts reported business as usual despite a boycott called over a new state law that has been attacked as anti-gay.

Yuletide regulars such as members of the Kennedy family, Barbra Streisand and Whoopi Goldberg were absent, but George Hamilton, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, as well as singers John Denver and Jimmy Buffett, who have homes in Aspen, were out on the ski slopes, according to celebrity spotters.

They were joined by thousands of other skiers as most resorts and ski industry groups reported business as usual on Christmas.

Resort officials said the boycott in the wake of Colorado's controversial Amendment 2, approved by voters in November, was having little effect on the state's big ski industry, which takes in most of its money over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The amendment, which bars state and local authorities from enacting legislation to prohibit discrimination against homosexuals in housing and employment, has brought calls for a boycott of the state.

Eight cities, including Los Angeles and New York, have prohibited official government travel to Colorado. Los Angeles has also barred most city contracts with Colorado firms. The state's convention business has lost millions of dollars as at least six large organizations took their annual meetings elsewhere.

Cathy Kruzic, a spokeswoman for Colorado Ski Country USA, a trade group, said that while some people were canceling their ski holidays because of the amendment, others were being attracted to the state because of it.

"Some callers say they will vacation here because of the 'family values' that supporters of the amendment associate with it," she said. "The early indication is that our numbers look very strong," she added.

Bobbie Jacobs, a spokeswoman for Aspen Skiing Co., said business was "as well as, if not better than, last year."

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