Clear Creek County adventure park files for bankruptcy for second time

Lawson Adventure Park opened in August 2016 between Idaho Springs and Georgetown. (BusinessDen file)

For the second time in four years, an adventure park in Clear Creek County has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

This time, the Denver company that owns Lawson Adventure Park — a resort featuring cabins, ziplining and whitewater rafting, among other wilderness adventure-themed activities — is claiming in court it’s because its bank reneged on an agreement to pursue CARES Act relief on the company’s behalf.

Denver Select Property LLC, the holding company that does business as the Dumont park and resort Lawson Adventure Park, filed for Chapter 11 Monday, claiming a debt between $1 million and $10 million. It reports its assets in the same range.

Greg Books, listed in filings as the manager of Denver Select and described in 2017 reporting as co-owner of Lawson Adventure Park, did not respond to a message left Tuesday requesting comment.

In court filings, Denver Select says it owes Midwest Regional Bank roughly $1.7 million, but claims that’s a debt due because of bad-faith action by the lender. Denver Select has sued the bank as part of the bankruptcy proceeding.

According to court documents, as the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the park’s business, the bank said that Denver Select’s March, April and May 2020 loan payments could be deferred.

Denver Select followed through with its June 2020 payment, the company claims, before an agreement was reached. That agreement stated that if July and August payments were received on time, the bank would report the loan to the U.S. Small Business Administration as in regular service. This would qualify Denver Select for payment coverage under the CARES Act through the SBA.

The filing states that Denver Select held up its end of the agreement, and that the bank confirmed as much, promising to seek payments for September 2020 through February 2021 from the SBA. But in December, after at least three months of non-payment from Denver Select based upon confidence in the agreement, the company claims the bank reneged.

Denver Select refinanced another property in an attempt to generate cash to make the payments, but it came too late for the bank’s liking, the company claims. The bank proceeded to declare the loan in default and demanded it be paid back in full.

Midwest Regional Bank didn’t respond to an email requesting comment.

Denver Select listed other creditors in its bankruptcy filing, but said none is owed more than $40,033.

David Eason of Denver firm Eason Law is representing Denver Select in its lawsuit against the bank. Jeffrey Weinman of Denver firm Weinman & Associates is representing the company in the bankruptcy proceedings.

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