Ute Mountaineer inks nordic deal with Aspen | AspenTimes.com

Ute Mountaineer inks nordic deal with Aspen

Carolyn Sackariason/The Aspen TimesStacy Evans tunes a ski at the nordic center at the Aspen Golf Course. Ute Mountaineer just signed a five-year lease with the city of Aspen to run the cross-country center.

ASPEN – The city of Aspen has inked a five-year deal with Ute Mountaineer to lease its facility at the golf course, which will generate $75,000 in revenue for the government.

The Aspen City Council earlier this month approved the lease with the retailer to operate the nordic shop during the winters. The lease was put out to bid in July and Ute Mountaineer Inc. submitted the only proposal for the operation, according to Steve Aitken, director of golf.

Ute Mountaineer has operated the nordic shop at the golf course for more than 20 years, providing cross-country equipment for rental or purchase, as well as tuning and repairs.

The lease agreement, which runs from November 2010 through 2015, stipulates that Ute Mountaineer will pay 6 percent of gross revenues, less returns or discounts to the city. The percentage paid is the same deal under the previous five-year lease.

The rent provides the city $15,000 in annual revenue for the 2,555-square-foot space.

Not as much revenue from leasing the space throughout the year will come into the city’s coffers in coming years because instead of renting out the golf pro shop, the local government’s golf department is taking the operations in house.

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The city used to lease the space in the summer to Colorado Ski and Golf, which is the parent company for Aspen Sports, to run the golf pro shop operations.

Aspen Sports had paid the city $100,000 a season to rent the 1,250-square-foot space. It also paid 16 percent of all gross sales revenues in excess of $625,000, according to the previous lease.

The start-up costs for the city next year are estimated to be $200,000. That money will be borrowed from the city’s parks fund and will be paid back over 10 years.

While the city will lose about $100,000 in revenue from Aspen Sports’ lease, officials say they can make it up in other operations that the private company made money from.

The city also receives $10,000 a year from the Red Mountain Grille, which operates a bar and restaurant during golf season.

csack@aspentimes.com