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Colorado license plates may no longer be green with envy
This prototype has been submitted to the Colorado Department of Revenue, which has the final say on the design of a ski-themed license plate.
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Colorado license plates may no longer be green with envy

CSCUSA launches drive for ski-themed license plates
By David O. Williams

January 25, 2008 —  For years I’ve had a bit of skier envy when it comes to the state of Utah. Our neighbors to the west tend to get more snow than we do (storms usually hit there first), and their mountains are so close and conveniently located to their major metropolitan area: Salt Lake City.

Of course, anyone in their right mind would rather live in Denver than Salt Lake, and – other than Park City – Utah’s ski towns largely lack anything remotely resembling charm. So, better snow and shorter drives never conspired to make me want to actually move to the Beehive State.

One thing has always bugged me, though: I always liked their license plates. Not necessarily the reddish orange ones with a picture of Arches National Park (although those are pretty cool), but the white ones with blue lettering and picture of a skier that read “Greatest snow on earth.”

Truth in advertising there, although I would argue Colorado comes in a close second, but the point is that a state with less than a third of the skier days of Colorado (a little under 4 million compared to a little under 12 million) has usurped our status as the nation’s number one ski state, at least on the open road.

Finally, though, someone is doing something about it. Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA), the state’s ski industry lobbying group, is spearheading an effort to offer a ski-themed plate in the Centennial State.

“Ever since I can remember, folks have been asking for a ski license plate for Colorado,” Rob Perlman, president and CEO of CSCUSA, said in a release. “We seemed to be the logical group to help work with the state to be able to offer one.”

CSCUSA must submit a prototype of the plate (see picture) and an application with 3,000 names of state residents interested in a ski license plate to the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR), which has the final say on the design of the plate.

Not to be mean to the good folks at CSCUSA, but I’m hoping the DOR does a little better with the final design (provided they get enough signatures and move forward), because the prototype lacks inspiration.

I know we’re trying to be P.C., but do we have to have a snowboarder? It looks to me like the skier and the snowboarder are about to collide, and does anyone need a reminder of slope rage while they’re trying to control their road rage? How about separate skier and snowboarder plates? I know MLK Day just came and went, but in some things segregation may make sense.

Anyway, I love our standard plates with the green mountains and the white sky (the ones that have earned us the nickname “Greenies” in Wyoming), but sign me up for the new skier plates. The ski industry is second only to agriculture in terms of revenues generated in our state, and with beetle kill quickly turning our mountains from green to rust-red, an alternative to the old standard plates makes sense.

If you agree, put you name on the list by going to www.coloradoskiplate.comand including your full name, address, county and how many sets of plates you’d be willing to buy. Signing up is not a commitment to buy. When the plate is available, possibly as early as 2009, the extra cost is a one-time charge (right now $50 for special plates) on top of the normal vehicle registration fee.

That way when I take my next road trip out to the Wasatch, I’ll be sporting my new Colorado skier plates and therefore able to give our fun-challenged western neighbors one more thing to be jealous about.



Comment on article  2 Comments on "Colorado license plates may no longer be green with envy"


Nick — February 24, 2009


Enjoyed reading your article. Living in Utah, it's always fun to read about the rivalry between our two states and the ski industry.

I do hope the DOR comes up with a different design. The one I saw in your post was dreadful. Any updates on the plates? I saw this artile is from a year ago.

Quick question for you: saw a CO license plate on the road yesterday with the traditional green design on it, except no green - everything was in red! Any idea what the significance is of the red?


Dan — May 4, 2009


I believe the red plates are designed for fleets of rental cars, etc. I don't think it has any significance other than for distinguishing the fleet cars from the private ones.



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