Snowmass car race fuels lawsuit from Conoco
The owners of the sole gas station in Snowmass Village are suing the town government on allegations that a classic automobile race put the brakes on their business for two days.
The lawsuit from Snowmass Resort Conoco, through its ownership entity Snowmass J&M Corp., claims the town shut down road access to the station and convenience store and used its lot as a staging area for support vehicles in association with the Aspen Snowmass Vintage Car Race held Sept. 16 and 17.
Conoco is located off Brush Creek Road, just before the roundabout that connects to both Base Village and the upper mall.
Conoco was not notified of the town’s cutting off access to the service station and setting up a staging area, said Jeff Head, who co-owns the business with Jeff Jandegian.
“The roads were all barricaded and nobody could get to the station,” Head said Tuesday.
The station didn’t close for those two days, he said, but revenue plunged.
“It was a major burden on the business,” he said. “(The town) did not talk to us prior to the event happening at all, to come see if maybe we could work something out together.”
Snowmass Town Attorney John Dresser declined comment Tuesday, only saying that he is familiar with the allegations and that the town was served with the complaint Friday.
Conoco’s attorney who filed the complaint, Lance Cote of the Aspen law firm Klein Cote Edwards Citron LLN, declined to say how much revenue the station allegedly lost over those two days. But he noted that the event forced Conoco to turn away customers who had appointments for mechanical work.
The race also was held in 2017, but it didn’t pose any problems for Conoco’s business, Head said.
The suit makes four claims, including the town’s allegedly violating Conoco’s right to exclusive use of the property it leases.
“By wrongfully prohibiting all automobile traffic from accessing the property, and by using the property for its own use without due process or compensation, (the town of Snowmass) violated (Conoco’s) right to exclusive use and other lawful uses of its real property,” the lawsuit says.
The complaint also accuses the town of a wrongful taking of the property, trespass and interference with prospective business relationship. The suit was filed in Pitkin County District Court.
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