Snowmass finalizes lease for new Krabloonik owners |

Snowmass finalizes lease for new Krabloonik owners

A new era for Snowmass Village’s 41-year-old dog-sledding operation has begun.

The Snowmass Village Town Council on Monday voted unanimously in favor of a lease with the new owners of Krabloonik, Danny and Gina Phillips, who purchased the business from founder Dan MacEachen in December.

While much of the legwork on the lease was done in a work session last week, the council and the Phillipses agreed to change the terms of a purchase option for the land Krabloonik operates on during Monday’s meeting. Some council members were concerned that the Phillipses would purchase the land and then sell it, undermining the goal of preserving the amenity in Snowmass.

“We gave 200 dogs homes,” Danny Phillips said. “We don’t plan on going anywhere.”

However, attorney David Myler, representing the couple, said they would be comfortable with waiting longer for the purchase option as they likely wouldn’t be financially ready for that in 2021, the date agreed upon last week. In fact, they would like more options to maintain the lease, he said, suggesting options for three 10-year extensions rather than one five-year extension if they don’t opt to purchase the land.

Mayor Markey Butler said the town’s goal was to preserve Krabloonik and that she “would applaud” the three 10-year extensions. But Councilman Chris Jacobson said preservation of Krabloonik was not a focus for him and added that he didn’t think the council should bind future elected officials for whom that might not be as much of a priority.

The council members ultimately agreed to the three 10-year extensions, with the first being up to the leaseholders and the next two requiring mutual agreement both on the part of the tenants and the town.

The lease is conditioned on the completion of a criminal case against MacEachen, who is expected to stand trial in May.

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