Former Aspen Club employees bounce back with new physical-therapy practice
The remaining physical therapists at the financially strapped Aspen Club didn’t see their eviction coming last month, but they quickly regrouped to hang up their own shingle a block away from their old practice on Main Street.
On March 12, employees at Aspen Club Sports Medicine Institute were told their time was up at 430 W. Main St. because their parent company, The Aspen Club, was behind $56,585 on rent and the landlord was evicting them.
They had been using the space on a temporary basis, since February 2016, during the redevelopment project of The Aspen Club campus, at 1450 Ute Ave. Financial setbacks have put the project on hold since August 2017.
Not only were the employees left in a lurch; their stable of patients, as many as 300, also had no place to go.
“We were scrambling,” said Dr. Pete Scher, a chiropractor who had worked under The Aspen Club for nine years. “We had staff members calling patients who were scheduled for the next day to let them know.”
Scher, as well as physical therapists Chris Peshek — a 28-year employee of the club — and Sarah Miller realized they had to act fast or risk the goodwill they’d built up over the years.
They did home visits for patients and also treated them at different facilities.
“Our biggest concerns weren’t us; it was our patients’ well-being,” Peshek said. “It was a total injustice to our patients. Our biggest focus was landing on our feet so that our patients landed on their feet.”
Eleven days after Aspen Club Sports Medicine Institute closed, the trio opened their own facility mere footsteps from their former location — at 400 W. Main St.
“We wanted to completely cut ties and just move on and start a clean slate,” Peshek said.
With no business or marketing plan, no front-desk help and nobody to schedule appointments, the three took it upon themselves to own, operate and manage the new business, which spans about 1,300 square feet.
They are relying on word of mouth, some social media marketing efforts, phone calls and their reputations.
“We’re doing this all backwards,” Scher said.
Aspen Club owner and president Michael Fox also allowed them to transfer the Aspen Club Sports Medicine Institute’s phone number (970-925-8940) to the new practice.
“We’re taking care of everything now from start to finish,” Peshek said. “Where we used to have front-desk help and they would have taken care of everything, now when a patient walks in the door, we’re doing all of the front-office stuff, and the treatment stuff.”
He added, “For 28 years, I intentionally tried to stay away from the front desk. It’s been a fast education in the last couple of weeks.”
Miller, who worked three years at Aspen Club Sports Medicine Institute, said there are some growing pains that go with the new business. They’re in the process of getting their insurance contract re-credentialed so they can accept patients with insurance. That can take 45 to 60 days.
For now, their business has no name — it is simply identified by the three individuals now in charge.
“It’s been humbling,” Scher said. “Our patients were worried about us, and we’re so concerned about their well-being.”
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