Krabloonik, Snowmass dispute grinds through courts |

Krabloonik, Snowmass dispute grinds through courts

Krabloonik as seen on Aug. 23, in Snowmass Village.
File photo

Details of the landlord-tenant relationship between the town of Snowmass Village and the Krabloonik dog-sledding business are playing out in court filings in the lead-up to a key hearing this spring.

A three-day possession hearing to determine whether the town can proceed in its attempt to evict Krabloonik is scheduled to begin May 15 in Pitkin County District Court, which is where the town and Krabloonik are arguing out their differences after failing to reach an agreement out of court.

The town is trying to kick Krabloonik out from the nearly 2 acres of land where there’s a dog-sled operation and wild-game restaurant. The operation is located at 4250 Divide Road and near the Campground section of Snowmass Ski Area. 

According to the town’s position, Krabloonik hasn’t adhered to the best-practices plan, which is referred to in the lease agreement, by not paying proper attention toward record-keeping, spaying and neutering, public education, dog tethering, and other shortcomings. 

Krabloonik lawyers have countered that the best-practices plan is “vague and ambiguous.” They are asking the court to determine, through what’s called a declaratory judgment, that the town violated Krabloonik’s due process through its eviction attempt because the best-practices plan is not contractually binding. Krabloonik attorneys have suggested in written pleadings that the best-practices plan is “aspirational” but not enforceable. 

Krabloonik also has argued that the town did not raise any issues about the best-practices plan until August, and that the town has been pressured by outsiders to break the lease with Krabloonik, so its owners, Danny and Gina Phillips, cannot exercise their option to buy the property after their 10-year lease expires Sept. 26, 2026. A condition of the purchase would require the Phillips to continue to run the dogsledding operation from the property.  

Krabloonik’s declaratory judgment complaint filed Dec. 2 preceded an eviction action the town started 10 days later in court. Both cases have been consolidated, with the eviction portion going to the May hearing and the declaratory judgment complaint still in play. 

“Krabloonik failed to follow the lease requirements for care of the animals it has on the Town’s property, creating a default under the lease between the parties,” wrote town lawyers in a Jan. 23 pleading. “The Town then properly followed the procedures in the lease regarding written notice of default and providing Krabloonik an opportunity to cure, or alternatively provide a plan to cure within a reasonable time within which to effect a cure, so long as Krabloonik, diligently, continuously and in good faith executed such plan to cure the default at the earliest possible time. Krabloonik did not comply.”

Krabloonik has operated under different ownership in Snowmass since 1976.