Snowmass dogsledding kennel, ranch to educational event in May |

Snowmass dogsledding kennel, ranch to educational event in May

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

Krabloonik Fine Dining and Dogsledding is partnering with a well-known local on an event the owners hope will help the public see the business in a more positive light.

Scheduled for May 16, the Other Side of Krabloonik will offer dog-cart demos and rides, a show by the formal Crystal Palace players, dinner, a concert and a presentation by Dallas Seavey, a three-time Iditarod champion who will be the event’s keynote speaker.

The event will be at The Other Side Ranch in Old Snowmass, now owned by lifelong local Kate McBride. The event’s name is a play on the ranch’s name as well as the transformation Krabloonik is undergoing by having new owners for the first time in its history.

McBride has been talking to the new owners, Danny and Gina Phillips, about an event for some time. It was originally planned to be a day of sled racing, but that had to be canceled due to a lack of snow, she said.

A benefit for the Aspen Historical Society, the Crystal Palace players will perform skits about local history, likely incorporating tales about Stuart Mace, who founded the legendary Toklat dogsledding kennel at Ashcroft, McBride said. McBride also plans to display historic dogsledding artifacts including sleds, parachutes used for plane rescues and possibly hats made by the Mace family from their dogs’ hair as it shed.

There also will be dog-friendly vendors on site. The Snowmass Cottages, just a few minutes away from the ranch, will be open for lodging, and transportation will be provided to and from Aspen as well as downvalley.

McBride hopes to create a “complete experience for locals and visitors, adults and kids alike,” she said. She and the Phillipses hope the inaugural event will be successful enough to warrant a summer series and perhaps even more collaborations into the future.

In light of a history of bad press about the kennel, whose founder and former owner pleaded guilty to animal cruelty earlier this month, the organizers hope the public will view Krabloonik in a different light after this event.

“Our biggest thing is that we want to educate the public on dogsledding,” Danny Phillips said. “I think by having a fun summer event and family-friendly, we’re going to be able to accomplish a lot.”

McBride, a veterinary tech and avid animal lover, had nothing but good things to say about the Phillipses, who have made some operational changes at Krabloonik.

“I think the world of them,” McBride said. “They are definitely dog-first all the way around.”

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