A Colorado brewery is at risk of being evicted for the second time this year.
Crazy Mountain Brewing Co. opened a taproom in 2,000 square feet at the base of the Winter Park Resort in February, closing it as the season ended. Last week, the resort started eviction proceedings, saying in court documents that Crazy Mountain owes more than $31,000 in rent and related charges.
Earlier this year, the brewery was evicted from a production facility in Edwards because of reportedly unpaid rent.
Crazy Mountain founder Kevin Selvy said the brewery is pulling out of Winter Park after deciding foot traffic wasn’t enough to justify the cost of additional needed building improvements.
Selvy said he thought the landlord would pay more of the improvements than it ultimately did.
“When we were faced with the option of putting more money or walking away from it, we chose the second,” he said.
Selvy said he expects to reach some sort of settlement with his landlord.
According to the latest lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Grand County District Court, Crazy Mountain signed a lease for the Winter Park property — 120 Parry Peak Way, Building 19, Unit 20 — in June 2017. Rent is $4,400 a month.
Property owner IW/WP Village Core Development Co. says in the lawsuit that it served Crazy Mountain with a “Demand for Payment of Rent or Possession of the Premises” notice on April 5, and the brewery still hasn’t paid the $31,000 it owes.
Court documents state the brewery hasn’t paid four months of rent. The bulk of the remaining charges — more than $30,000 — are classified as “Utilities/CAM.” Winter Park credited the brewery $17,655 in “tenant improvement/loan credit.”
Selvy said Monday that, in the middle of lease negotiations, a deal was reached to sell Winter Park operator Intrawest to the company that is now Alterra. Selvy said that stalled negotiations for several months.
“When we came back to the table, everybody was kind of in a big rush,” he said.
Selvy said that, because of the rush, he signed the lease under the impression that his landlord would pay for some of the improvements to the space, which he referred to as “a miscommunication.”
“Once the picture became clear, we tried to come back to the negotiating table to strike a deal,” he said, saying this happened before the taproom opened in February.
Selvy said Crazy Mountain “put six figures into the space.” At the time the taproom opened, the space still needed more work, he said, but Crazy Mountain decided the expense wouldn’t be worth it.
“The economics just didn’t make sense,” he said.
A hearing is scheduled for May 9. Crazy Mountain is represented by Robert J. Hopp of Littleton-based Denali Law. The Winter Park entity is represented by Kory Cook of the Denver office of Tschetter Hamrick Sulzer. Cook did not respond to a request for comment.
Crazy Mountain Brewery does the bulk of its brewing in a facility at 471 Kalamath St. in Denver; the taproom at that facility remains open.