Highlands restaurants pay taxes, avoid auction
ASPEN Two Aspen Highlands restaurants have staved off a public auction by paying some $27,000 in back taxes.ZG Grill and Crust Restaurant, which were seized May 5 by the Colorado Department of Revenue for failing to pay some $20,000 in state taxes, made good on their debt Monday, said a state spokesman. The state had planned to put up both eateries inventory for sale in a public auction, which was scheduled for May 20. A co-owner of both restaurants, Graham Frandson, could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but officials at the revenue department confirmed that the taxes were paid in full on Monday. Signs reading seized had been removed from the doors of the two businesses by Tuesday afternoon.Typically when the state seizes a business for nonpayment of taxes, the business cannot reopen until it satisfies its debt. Frandson was also in arrears to the city of Aspen for an estimated $7,400 in city sales taxes and penalties.An official at the finance department, however, confirmed that Frandson also paid his debt to the city on Monday.In 2006, ZG Grill took over space formerly occupied by Iguanas Bar & Grille at the base of Aspen Highlands and is a popular aprs ski spot.Crust, which specializes in pizza, is around the corner on the Highlands Village.Landlord Jordan Sarick said he was relieved that Crust and ZG are in good graces with the state in city.The state has given us back our premises, Sarick said.He said he was concerned that a building he owned was off-limits to all but state revenue officials, but doubted he would have lost anything if state officials had liquidated Frandsons assets.The ZG Grill was empty and locked on Tuesday afternoon, and there was a sign on the door of Crust (just around the corner) reading: Crust will be closed for off-season. Thanks for a great ski firstname.lastname@example.org
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