Krabloonik cuts off ex-GM Guy Courtney from purchase talks
Dan MacEachen, owner of Krabloonik, has withdrawn from negotiations to sell the dogsledding and restaurant business to former general manager Guy Courtney, Courtney said Tuesday.
In addition, eight veteran mushers have signed letters saying that they won’t return to Krabloonik for the 2013-14 winter season if Courtney is not successful in purchasing Krabloonik.
Courtney, who had been general manager since 2009 before resigning on Oct. 29, was seeking to purchase the business with a group of investors. MacEachen, however, still wants to continue talks with those investors, Courtney said.
MacEachen could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The mushers signed copies of a form letter stating they would return only if Courtney purchased Krabloonik.
“If Guy is successful in purchasing Krabloonik I will fully support him as a musher at the organization,” states the letter, a copy of which was provided to the Snowmass Sun. “If he is not successful I will not be returning to Krabloonik.
“The dogs are the heart of the business operation and fully deserve exceptional treatment. I have been concerned about their well-being and dogs secretly disappearing.”
Former mushers and Courtney have alleged that MacEachen beats and neglects dogs at Krabloonik, accusations that MacEachen denies. Last month an inspector from the state Veterinarian’s Office reported that 20 to 40 dogs were thin and that two needed veterinary care.
Some of the equipment, including gang lines and doghouses, are falling into disrepair, which can be dangerous for the dogs, Courtney said.
“The common element … is a money issue,” Courtney said. “(MacEachen) doesn’t have the money to do it.”
Courtney hired 10 new mushers earlier this fall before resigning. Two of those new hires have contacted him and asked him to meet with the group, but so far he hasn’t done that or sought to contact them, he said.
MacEachen could operate Krabloonik without the experienced mushers, but it wouldn’t be safe, Courtney said. Rookie mushers usually don’t start driving sleds on their own until February. MacEachen could drive the sleds himself, but running three a day, seven days a week, would be physically demanding.
“It’s hard to see how that would work,” Courtney said.
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