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Former Broncos quarterback becomes part-owner of a winery

Move over, John Elway. Another former Broncos quarterback is joining the world of wine.

Case Keenum is a member of a three-man group that purchased Haak Vineyards and Winery in Santa Fe, Texas, from owners Raymond and Gladys Haak, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“As seniors, Gladys and I are ready to retire and we’re looking forward to traveling as much as we can in the years we have left,” Raymond Haak, 81, told the Chronicle.

Keenum, 32, was the Broncos’ starter in 2018, his lone season in Denver. He threw for 3,890 yards with 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, leading the team to a 6-10 record.

Other former quarterbacks who own wineries include Elway (7cellars), Drew Bledsoe (Doubleback Cellars in Walla Walla, Wash.), and Dan Marino and Damon Huard, who jointly own Passing Time Winery in Woodinville, Wash.

Read more via The Denver Post.

Avalanche stuns Blues with last-second power-play goal

Sudden death was replaced by suddenly dead.

In Western Conference round-robin seeding Sunday at Rogers Place, Nazem Kadri scored a power-play goal with 0.1-second remaining in the third period to give the Avalanche a dramatic 2-1 victory over St. Louis in Edmonton.

Officials took nearly seven minutes looking at replays before ruling that Kadri had indeed scored. They were making sure the puck fully crossed the line before there was 0.0 on the clock. The center-ice faceoff was made at 0.1 seconds — the amount of time Colorado led in the game.

“I was aware — not quite to the decimal point but I knew there wasn’t much time left,” said Kadri, who slapped in a rebound after Gabe Landeskog shot off the post. “I knew (the puck) hit the back of the net before the buzzer went off but I wasn’t quite sure if the buzzer was late.”

If the goal didn’t count, both teams would have been awarded a point, with an extra point to the 3-on-3 overtime or shootout winner. But Colorado, which trailed conference-leading St. Louis by a point with a game in hand when the NHL paused its season March 12, took both points to climb into the conference lead.

“As a team, as a whole, I look at that as a big step forward from our exhibition game,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said. “We got some guys who still got to pick it up and fortunately we have a couple games that we can still do that in before we get into the (16-team) playoffs.”

Read more via The Denver Post.

Complete results: Vail Lost Lake Loop mountain bike race

The annual Lost Lake mountain biking race, hosted by the Vail Recreation District, attracted 175 riders to Vail on Wednesday. The total number of entrants was capped at 175 due to local pandemic restrictions.

The men’s pro field attracted a large showing again this week, with TorbjøRn RøEd of Asker, Norway, a member of the Colorado Mesa Cycling Team, edging out local pro Josiah Middaugh for the fastest time on the day. The women’s pro division also attracted top-tier competition with four-time national champion Erin Huck visiting from Boulder and topping second-place Clara Honsinger of Corvalis, Oregon.

Complete results:
Men’s Beginner
1 Andrew Lombardi 42:30
2 Josh Thies 44:57
3 Kevin Christian 47:48
4 Ivo Ivanov 51:54
5 Brady McBride 55:16
6 Garrett Lodewyck 1:00:50

Women’s Beginner
1 Kayla Carlson 1:22:05

Men’s Grandmaster 50+
1 Stephen Elzinga 1:16:12
2 Craig Chester 1:25:39
3 Sean Obrien 1:29:50
4 T Walters 1:30:36
5 Mark Hallenbeck 1:42:47

Men’s Super Grandmaster 60+
1 Robert Stanley 1:14:30
2 Russell Asleson 1:17:19
3 Philippe Courtois 1:31:23
4 Greg McKennis 1:40:28
5 Peter Clarke 1:41:57

Women’s Vet Sport 30+
1 Molly Gamble 1:26:27
2 Stephanie Lewis 1:27:53

Women’s Masters Sport 40+
1 Nancy Mires 1:41:28
2 Colleen Gaspard 1:42:40

Men’s Vet Sport 30+
1 Michael Morgan 1:11:05
2 Miles Henson 1:16:44
3 Paul Datsko 1:17:48

Men’s Masters Sport 40+
1 Mike Earl 1:18:34
2 Randy Tuggle 1:18:59
3 Adam Kowalski 1:19:54
4 Hans Lutgring 1:20:27
5 Matt Marshall 1:31:04
6 Christoper Ponder 1:41:29

Men’s Sport
1 Beckett McVoy 1:07:28
2 Sterling Schrader 1:07:49
3 Reiner Schmidt 1:09:52
4 Porter Middaugh 1:10:44
5 Vlad Shambarger 1:12:45
6 James Kirschner 1:15:28
7 Ben Suttor 1:16:17
8 Matas Katieb 1:22:03
9 Hayden Krueger 1:27:19
10 Brody Cyr 1:29:52
11 Rodrigo Braun 1:47:01

Women’s Sport
1 Chloe Lutgring 1:26:26
2 Heidi Kloser 1:27:16
3 Isabel Glackin 1:34:46
4 Avery Forstl 1:39:43
5 Reece May 1:41:19
6 Eva Skiba 1:50:14

Men’s Single Speed
1 Mark Nesline 1:29:38
2 Marty Golembiewski 1:38:13

Men’s Clydesdale
1 Kevan Dee 1:30:13
2 Mitchell Plath 1:33:04
3 David Hawkins 1:54:50

Men’s Expert
1 Sullivan Middaugh 1:15:38
2 Magnus White 1:20:06
3 Ethan Fitzcharles 1:20:07
4 Landen Stovall 1:20:52
5 Cole Weathers 1:24:00
6 Kris Ochs 1:24:01
7 Garret Moehring 1:24:29
8 Aiden Swift 1:25:48
9 Ethan Elzinga 1:53:04

Women’s Expert
1 Lauren Aggeler 1:21:08
2 Zosia Skiba 1:28:22
3 Jennie Thorne 1:41:12
4 Raven Powers 1:46:33

Men’s Vet Expert 30+
1 Jeff Cheever 1:24:03
2 Scott McCorvey 1:24:38
3 Marshall Troutner 1:25:56
4 Michael Sherven 1:26:27
5 Maxwell Jordan 1:33:42
6 Ryan Simmons 1:38:21

Men’s Masters Expert 40+
1 Felipe Cantero 1:19:29
2 Matt Davies 1:19:32
3 Brandon Dyksterhouse 1:25:38
4 Jason Reynolds 1:27:10
5 Henry Reed 1:27:22
6 Brett Donelson 1:27:35
7 Kevin Roop 1:27:58
8 Samuel Bennett 1:28:07
9 Mike Glass 1:33:22
10 Chris Munro 1:34:35
11 Michael White 1:35:34
12 Battista Psenda 1:38:08

Women’s Masters Expert 40+
1 Pavan Krueger 1:29:07

Men’s Grandmaster Expert 50+
1 Peter Davis 1:29:05
2 Mike Trueblood 1:33:43
3 Brian Hludzinski 1:35:55
4 Charles Brown 1:42:19
5 Dan Millerbrown 1:54:45

Men’s Pro Elite
1 TorbjøRn RøEd 1:07:29
2 Josiah Middaugh 1:07:35
3 Lasse Konecny 1:09:35
4 Taylor Shelden 1:10:02
5 Aidan Duffy 1:11:48
6 Sam Brown 1:13:41
7 Oliver Boyd 1:14:19
8 Andrew Clemence 1:16:03
9 Wren Powers 1:20:25
10 Nicholas Konecny 1:20:25
11 David Sanders 1:22:09
12 Lance Abshire 1:22:42
13 Chad Kittles 1:24:45
14 Erik Novy 1:34:49
15 Emmet Culp 1:45:21

Women’s Pro Elite
1 Erin Huck 1:18:52
2 Clara Honsinger 1:19:05
3 Alexis Skarda 1:22:10
4 Madigan Munro 1:23:19
5 Gwendalyn Gibson 1:30:25
6 Michaela Thompson 1:30:33
7 Alexis Bobbitt 1:31:54
8 Chloe Fraser 1:34:45
9 Lauren Lackman 1:40:20
10 Isabella Sargent 1:40:22
11 Amanda Felder 1:44:30

Glenwood Springs resident to attempt record swim at Hot Springs Pool to benefit nurses

Joe Wainwright likes to move forward. 

A serious car crash at age 16 affected his ability to move to the left or right.

“I just started going long and straight. … Kind of turned a curse into a blessing,” Wainwright said.

Wainwright, 32, will attempt the longest continuous swim in the Glenwood Hot Springs on Thursday.

He said there is no official distance record on file at the pool, but his goal is somewhere around 10 miles.

Wainwright, 32, will attempt the longest continuous swim in the Glenwood Hot Springs on Thursday.

He said there is no official distance record on file at the pool, but his goal is somewhere around 10 mile

Blair, Middaugh win high school trail championship in what could be a new format for racing

In what may prove to be the new high school cross country format, Eagle Valley High School runner Joslin Blair set a new course record at The National High School Trail Championship on Saturday.

Battle Mountain runner Sullivan Middaugh also won the boys’ race in a moment which may come to define why the new, pandemic-inspired format adds a level of competition not seen in the standard trail running race.

The race was held in waves, where 10 or less kids would line up at the start, wearing masks, before taking off onto the trails, where they could remove their masks once they spaced out. Ten more kids would line up, and 30 seconds later, they would depart. Organizers used a chip timing system, so the person who crosses the finish line first was not necessarily the person who put down the fastest time on the course. This, of course, makes the person who is out in front push themselves just a little bit more, something that was always missing from a cross country race with a winner who gets out in front early.

“You might be in that first wave thinking you’re controlling the race, but there’s somebody with their sights locked on your pack, coming after you,” said race organizer Kenny Wilcox. “That was definitely an added challenge to putting on the race.”

Middaugh was in one of the later waves to depart, and won the race despite the fact he never caught some of the runners ahead of him.

“It was a proud dad moment,” said Sullivan’s father, 2015 Xterra World Champion Josiah Middaugh.

Wilcox said most parents and coaches seemed to be pleased with the seeding format.

“One of my co-coaches said you could even see a state meet where it’s even like March Madness, basketball style, where you take smaller groups of teams, and you take the top two and advance on to the next week, and eventually maybe you have a final state meet, where it’s six to eight teams,” Wilcox said. “That could be pretty fun, who knows?

“I think a lot of times we tend to fall into the same pattern,” Wilcox added. “Because this is always how we’ve done things, and then something like COVID comes along, and you say, ‘there’s a lot of different ways we can do this,’ and I think in some ways it could add some more elements and dynamics to our sport of endurance running.”

Social and mental health

The fact that the event took place at all was a relief for many of the families and athletes in attendance. Wilcox said he received an outpouring of thank-you letters following the event, “much more than in years past,” he said.

In addition to his duties as cross country coach at Salida High School, Wilcox is a social worker for Chaffee County.

He said over the years he has noticed similar effects experienced by those in his after-school youth mentoring program through Family Youth Initiatives Chaffee County and the kids who get together every day and run after school as part of the cross country team at Salida High School.

That understanding has been “certainly highlighted and accentuated this year,” Wilcox said.

“I think (Saturday’s event) gave kids an ability to connect with some kids that they haven’t connected with, probably, for months,” he said.

Participation doubled

Now in its fourth year, the event also enjoyed an explosion in popularity this year, with the girls race registering 75 competitors (it had never attracted more than 30 in years past), and the boys race seeing 104 athletes hit the trails, up from 54 last year.

Eagle Valley High School Cross Country Coach Melinda Brandt said she has enjoyed bringing her athletes to the event in previous years not only for the good competition the nearby venue in Salida attracts, but because The National High School Trail Championship, unlike a typical high school cross country meet, invites both incoming freshmen and outgoing seniors, being a summer event.

“They include five years of runners — so we had an incoming freshman and Joslin, who just graduated,” Brandt said.

In a Facebook post, local running club coach Charlie Janssen remarked on the level of talent at the event this year.

“Although a year ago the (Eagle Valley Track Club) girls were the National High School Trail team champions, this year was much deeper with many teams and individuals especially in Colorado seizing the opportunity to knock off the rust since March. To be able to snag a girls 3rd place finish behind the likes of Valor Christian (debatably the best team in 5A) and Niwot (the best team in 4A), was impressive considering the caliber of competition.

“Five girls this year broke Joslin Blair’s course record from last year which stood for 363 days at 38:53.36 which included her sister, Samantha Blair, who also destroyed her personal best on this course by 1:17.39, securing a 4th place finish. In a nail biter, nearly photo finish, Joslin downshifted to a last second kick to uphold her title as the NHSTC’s queen of the mountain by 0.1 second and lowering her course record by 1:24.06. What an amazing official capstone to such a storied high school career!”

Colorado Classic pulls the plug on 2020 cycling race

Race organizers for the Colorado Classic, a women’s-only professional cycling race which was hopeful for an August event this year, have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event.

“We had great confidence in the COVID-19 mitigation plan we had developed for the race, and we were well on our way to becoming the first professional women’s bike race to be held in the U.S. since the onset of the COVID pandemic,” said Lucy Diaz, CEO of RPM Events Group LLC. “However, as the pandemic appears to be spiking again across the U.S., and after discussion with our various stakeholders, we feel it is the most prudent decision to cancel the race for 2020.”

Stakeholder confidence

The Colorado Classic had targeted Avon again this year for a stage as the venue proved to be an exciting choice in 2019, organizers said.

The Avon stage was to be spread out across town, taking riders from Post Boulevard on the east end of town to Lake Street in the center of town before heading up the mountain toward Beaver Creek and Bachelor Gulch.

In June, Colorado Classic organizers had announced that they were hopeful for an August event, saying while most cycling events had already canceled for the summer, they were holding off.

Diaz said in not canceling immediately, “we believe that the state and the community and the industry, we need something to look forward to.”

On Friday, however, Diaz said they did not have the full confidence from all of their stakeholders.

“We would only hold the race if we thought it was a safe, healthy environment for the athletes and that all stakeholders felt fully comfortable to move forward,” Diaz said. “We will pivot our energy and efforts to continue to support the women’s peloton through our other initiatives.”

Prize money

Avon resident Chris Anthony was disappointed, saying he was excited to try to raise money for the athletes again this year. Last year, Anthony brought a “preme” to the race last year, raising an extra $10,000 for athletes to try to win during the race.

Avon Mayor Sarah Smith Hymes said the town was looking forward to the event.

“We’re deeply disappointed that we had to cancel, but I feel like it’s the right thing to do,” Hymes said. “We look forward to a bigger, better event next year.”

Not everyone in town was disappointed to hear the news. EagleVail resident Tom Simon said he thought he was speaking for many people when he said the road closures – which were immense and included a large stretch of a major thoroughfare in Highway 6 – were an inconvenience that was simply not worth it.

“It’s too much,” Simon said of the event.

The Colorado Classic followed the cancellation notice with a plea to fans to get involved in the #WeRide for Women fundraiser and virtual ride.

“This campaign is intended to financially support the teams who would have attended the Colorado Classic, many of whom rely on competition and prize money to support their livelihoods,” Classic organizers wrote in a release issued Friday. “For the next two weeks, fans, industry, and sponsors will have the opportunity to donate to the #WeRide Team Development fund — which will be directly distributed to women’s race teams — and join the teams on a Zwift ride on July 29th.”

Ravelo taking on Everesting Challenge

This year, professional cyclist Cristhian Ravelo has had some time to think. 

After being in full-on cycling training every spring of his adult life, the EagleVail resident’s coaches are having him take some time off this year. There were very few events on the docket, and those that were getting scheduled were uncertain, to say the least. 

Ravelo got out to some areas of Eagle County he had not visited in years. He hiked and climbed mountains on his skis. He thought a bit about his situation as a professional cyclist.

And then George Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed by police in Minneapolis, sparking outrage across the nation. Ravelo’s thoughts shifted to his own status as a minority in the United States, out hiking on public lands, accessing America in a way few will have the ability to enjoy. 

“I’m Hispanic, I’m from Colombia, but I’ve realized I never had to deal with issues of inequality,” Ravelo said. “And the reason for that is because I had a lot of opportunities come from sports. My parents weren’t wealthy, but I got a lot of scholarships, and a lot of people have helped me out.”

Race and racing

A few days before Floyd’s death, Ravelo visited the Buck Creek Road area of Avon to cheer on Josiah Middaugh as Middaugh attempted to complete 80 laps, or 29,029 feet of climbing, in a single session. The effort is known as “Everesting.”

Ravelo was thinking he would like to try something like that, but the idea of doing it for charity wasn’t at the forefront of his thoughts. 

In the days that followed, Ravelo had the same feelings many other people had after seeing Floyd murdered. He wanted to do something, anything. He began to look into local organizations which help minority children find some of the opportunities he had, and came across Chris Anthony’s Youth Initiative Project. 

In January, Anthony brought 29 students from Aurora Elementary School to Loveland to learn to ski. 

“It’s not just getting kids to the mountains, he also makes use of the indoor ski area in Centennial, which gets kids more fundamentally ready to come to the hill, so once they come to the hill it’s more beneficial of a trip,” Ravelo said. 

Ravelo decided to take on the Everesting Challenge to benefit Anthony’s Youth Initiative Project. He has picked July 27 or 28, depending on the weather.

Competitive spirit

While Ravelo doesn’t expect to reach the impressive fundraising totals of Middaugh and Mike Brumbaugh, who completed the Everesting Challenge on May 23, he does think he can beat Middaugh’s time. 

“It’s a tricky thing, because it is timed by the total effort,” Ravelo said. “When Josiah did it, he was only on the bike for 8 hours, but his total effort with occasional stopping was over 12 hours.”

Ravelo is hoping to put in a total effort of 9 hours or less. 

When Ravelo saw Middaugh taking on the Everlasting challenge in May, he said it did get his competitive spirit going again, even if the event isn’t a true competition. At the moment, however, it’s pretty much all Ravelo has planned for his summer in terms of competitive race efforts. The local Ski & Snowboard Club Vail graduate and CS Velo team member was planning on racing in the USA Crits series starting later this summer, but within a few weeks of the series announcing its August 22 kickoff in El Paso, Texas, the COVID-19 case count in the Lonestar State began to climb, and the series was canceled. 

“First and foremost on our minds was the safety of our athletes and the fans,” said Scott Morris, USA Crits Director of Development. “Beyond that, we had to address the impact to our local and national partners. Health care is a major local supporter of our sport. In addition, the level of permitted activities continue to change on almost a daily basis at the local and state levels making it impossible to plan for all aspects of the event day.”

Girls take on Mini Mile race in Minturn

Day 2 of the Vail Recreation District’s Mini Mile kids mountain biking race took place in Minturn on Wednesday. Following an evening of boys’ competition on Tuesday, the girls took to the track on Wednesday.

The Mini Mile is a lone kids-only race in a larger series which will open to competitors of all ages beginning Tuesday in Eagle Ranch.

The first mountain bike race to take place in the county following the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mini Mile attracted a variety of competitors including the students of The Cycle Effect, which seeks to empower young women through mountain biking to achieve brighter futures and build stronger communities.

The local pros were also there scoping out the scene. Former U.S. Mountain Bike Marathon champion Gretchen Reeves was there pedaling for fun, and cyclocross Masters champion Jake Wells also showed up to support his daughter, Tatum, who competes in the Sport Girls 11-14 division.

Even though she has big shoes to fill with her father being such a well known champion, “I still had fun,” Tatum said. She won the division in a close contest with Ana Paula Raynal, who trailed Tatum by about 20 seconds to take second in the Sport Girls 11-14 division.

Complete results from Wednesday, June 24

Beginner Girls 8-10
1 Genevieve Stauffer 20:31
2 Charlotte Stauffer 25:19
3 Briana Loya 45:22

Sport Girls 8-10
1 Hudson Huggins 37:03
2 Katie Lombardi 39:08
3 Hayden McGuire 41:25

Beginner Girls 11-14
1 Oliva Ingoldsby 36:11
2 Eva Isaacs 39:06
3 Norah Cummins 40:28
4 Zahra Stone 41:44
5 Fernanda Aguero 43:43
6 Sofia Martinez 45:18
7 Maria Herrera 47:21
8 Jetzibe Salazar 48:12
9 Belen Hahn 48:30
10 Natasha Gonzalez 49:00
11 Julieta Vela 50:22
12 Rosa Vela 53:40
13 Samantha Jimenez 53:45
14 Angelie Ponce 57:56
15 Valeria Chavez 57:57
16 Hanna Ponce 57:57
17 Mariana Montes 59:40
18 Kelly Garay 59:42
19 Elizabeth Surz 59:43

Sport Girls 11-14
1 Tatum Wells 40:36
2 Ana Paula Raynal 40:57
3 Daira Garcia 41:18
4 Carla Hahn 42:02
5 Daniela Sandoval 43:06
6 Elizabeth Medina 45:40
7 Alexa McGuire 45:42
8 Sydney Cross 47:21
9 Reese Davis 47:34
10 Vaspera Steiner 49:23
11 Kasandra Cortes 51:46
12 Kiana Garcia 52:01

Beginner Girls 15-17
1 Harley Blevins 41:07
2 Karen Sandoval 43:44
3 Reece May 46:39
4 Lilo Andrade 48:02
5 Anamaria Montes 48:04
6 Luisa Raynal 49:31
7 Iara Melgarejo 52:20
8 Lily Carullo 58:15
9 Tailea Jones 1:17:49

Nikola Jokic, Charlie Blackmon test positive for coronavirus

All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies has become the first Major League Baseball player known to have tested positive for the coronavirus.

A person familiar with Blackmon’s situation confirmed the test result to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement.

The Denver Post first reported Blackmon’s condition, saying Tuesday that three Rockies players had tested positive.

Blackmon is a four-time All-Star slugger who hit .314 with 32 home runs and 86 RBIs last season. He turns 34 on July 1, the day players are set to begin reporting for the resumption of spring training.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred imposed a 60-game season Tuesday night after failed financial negotiations between owners and players. The season that’s been delayed by the pandemic will begin either July 23 or 24.

The Philadelphia Phillies have said seven players have tested positive for the virus without identifying any of them. Several other teams have said they also have players who have tested positive.

The Post reported Blackmon tested positive last week after workouts at Coors Field in Denver. The newspaper said the Rockies then closed the ballpark, following MLB protocol.

Many players around the majors have been working in recent weeks at either their home ballparks or their team’s complexes in Florida or Arizona. MLB closed all spring camp sites last Friday because of virus concerns.

Blackmon has been an All-Star the last three seasons. He is a career .304 hitter in nine years.


All-Star forward Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets has also tested positive for the coronavirus and is quarantining in his native Serbia, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Jokic is expected to return to Denver long before the team leaves for the Disney complex for the restart of the NBA season next month, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because neither the player nor the team acknowledged the positive test publicly.

ESPN and The Denver Post previously reported Jokic’s positive test, which came on the same day that another top Serbian athlete — Novak Djokovic, the world’s top-ranked men’s tennis player — revealed that he and his wife had tested positive for the virus.

Djokovic and Jokic were together at an event earlier this month, though it cannot be concluded it played in a role in the positive test of either athlete.

Jokic is averaging 20.2 points and 10.2 rebounds this season for Denver. Only four other players — Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Atlanta’s John Collins and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo — are averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season.

When the season resumes July 30 at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, the Nuggets will start with a 43-22 record, placing them 1 1/2 games behind the second-place Los Angeles Clippers and 1 1/2 games ahead of fourth-place Utah in the Western Conference playoff race.

Photos of Jokic during the NBA’s shutdown clearly suggest that he’s slimmed down during his time off, and Nuggets President Tim Connelly raved about the new physique earlier this month to Altitude Sports Radio.

“He’s got abs,” Connelly said in that interview. “I’ve never seen him have abs before.”

Last week, Nuggets coach Michael Malone revealed he tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and added that he believes he had the virus in March.

Aspen Skiing Co., Liftopia have business fallout over Mountain Collective

Aspen Skiing Co. has cut business ties with an online broker of lift tickets over an alleged outstanding debt of $2.4 million in sales from the Mountain Collective pass.

Skico and a group of ski area operators also are attempting to force Liftopia, a San Francisco-based seller of discount ski passes, into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to court filings.

Alterra Mountain Co., which sells the Ikon Pass and operates Winter Park resort, as well as Cypress Bowl Recreations (British Columbia) and Dundee Resort Development (Arapahoe Basin) joined Skico in filing an involuntary Chapter 11 petition against Litftopia on June 2 in California bankruptcy court. In the filing, the companies say Liftopia owes them a combined $3 million, with Skico holding the largest tab.

All of the debts stem from Liftopia’s “failure to pay contractual fees,” according to the petition, which names Joshua Morse as counsel for the petitioners. Morse, of the San Francisco law branch of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, could not be reached. Liftopia also did not respond to inquiries seeking comment.

Skico is participating in the bankruptcy process as the managing member of Mountain Collective, a pass that has been sold through Liftopia since 2012. For the pending 2020-21 season, the Mountain Collective will entitle holders access to 23 resorts. The pass provides access to two days on the slopes of each destination; Aspen-Snowmass counts as one destination.

Liftopia and Skico have worked together since 2012, but “Mountain Collective has terminated its contractual relationship with Liftopia,” said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle in an email to The Aspen Times.

“We have had a long and generally positive relationship with Liftopia in connection with our management of the Mountain Collective,” Hanle said. “This relationship started in 2012 and has been extended several times.”

Liftopia’s debt to Skico relates to the sale of “Mountain Collective Pass sales and reflect amounts owed to all Mountain Collective member resorts together, which ASC manages as managing member,” Hanle said.

Liftopia has yet to file enter a response to the petition. A status conference on the matter is scheduled Aug. 6, according to court records.

“We have been seeking resolution of this situation for many months and, unfortunately, it has not appeared that Liftopia has appreciated the severity of the concerns of its creditors,” Hanle said. “Without assurances that its debts were generally being paid currently, could be paid in the future, and in the absence of any concrete plan for ensuring that the business could ultimately satisfy its debts and function as an ongoing concern outside of Chapter 11, we felt we had no choice but to take the steps we did to protect the interests of all of Liftopia’s creditors, most directly, those of the Mountain Collective member resorts.”

On Thursday and recent days also, Liftopia’s website said, “Due to COVID-19, Liftopia has temporarily furloughed a number of employees. As a result, our responses may be delayed. Thank you for your patience.”

Liftopia has the option to object going bankrupt under Chapter 11, a process that allows companies to remain in business while working on a way to satisfy their creditors. It also has 21 days from the June 2 filing date by Skico and others to respond before any bankruptcy proceeding can move forward.

“Involuntary bankruptcies are primarily filed against businesses, where creditors believe the business can pay its outstanding debts but refuses to do so for some reason,” according to Investopedia.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com