Snowmass Village council to look over apps for Krabloonik review group

Best Practices Review Committee was down to one remaining member after resignations

Krabloonik Dog Sledding dogs wait in the yard in Snowmass on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

The Krabloonik Best Practices Review Committee was down to one remaining member this February after several resignations from the group, which was formed in 2015 to review and inspect Krabloonik Dog Sledding and report on whether the facility’s operators are following the best practices it committed to in its lease with the town.

The town of Snowmass Village owns the land that Krabloonik sits on and leases it to Krabloonik owners Danny and Gina Phillips for $10 per year through 2026.

That lease stipulates that the Best Practices Review Committee will have six members — three selected by Krabloonik and three selected by the town. All members must be Snowmass Village residents or “residents of the Roaring Fork Valley who are knowledgeable and experienced in the care and treatment of dogs,” the lease states.

But there were only ever five members of that committee, former member Bland Nesbit said. She and one other member resigned in early 2022, and two others resigned in late 2021, according to an email from the only remaining member, Seth Sachson, who was selected by the town.

Snowmass Village Town Council is slated to review five applications for the two remaining town-selected positions on the Best Practices Review Committee at a regular council meeting Tuesday evening. The five applicants are Ghislaine Boreel, Ted H. Bristol, Karen Bristol, Bill Fabrocini and Karyn E. Spiropoulos, according to this week’s council packet.

Krabloonik is expected to appoint Ed Foran, Blake Greiner and Stacy Rothenberg for its three slots, according to a list of selections included in the packet.

Nesbit resigned earlier this year “due to the controversy surrounding Krabloonik” and because she “has determined that it is too difficult to find peace with her concern for the dogs and the minimum requirements allowed by law,” according to a Feb. 8 report Sachson submitted to town staff.

Nesbit said in a phone call that was an accurate assessment of why she left; the other members left due to “personal reasons, health reasons and moving out of state,” she said.

The committee is tasked with quarterly inspection and review of the operations at Krabloonik “to determine the extent to which (the) Tenant is complying with the Best Practices” that are included in the lease. Those best practices include general policies for the care of the Krabloonik dogs, a plan to reduce the number of dogs at the kennel by adopting out some dogs and a feeding, housing, medical care and exercise plan.

The committee also is tasked with preparing a report on compliance addressed to the town manager and distributed to the Town Council. That report can also “include suggestions for modifications or clarifications to the Best Practices,” the lease states.

The committee can also “submit reports to the Town Manager describing any circumstances or events which the BPRC believes violate the Best Practices or jeopardize the health, safety or well-being of the Krabloonik sled dogs,” the lease states.

The Best Practices Review Committee is a citizen reviewing and reporting body. Any enforcement of the best practices falls on the town of Snowmass Village — including the town manager, Town Council and town attorney — because the town is the landlord on the lease, according to town manager Clint Kinney.

As landlord and tenant, Krabloonik and the town can also “periodically evaluate, in good faith, the need to modify or clarify the best practices for the purpose of implementing reasonable measures to improve the quality of life of the Krabloonik sled dogs” based on those reports, the lease states.

Krabloonik is also subject to the licensing requirements, rules and regulations of Colorado’s Pet Animal Care Facilities Act.

Editor’s note: This story is the first in a series of articles about Krabloonik; the next will appear in the Snowmass Sun on Wednesday. This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Stacy Rothenberg’s name, which was misspelled in town documents referenced for reporting.