Krabloonik closing restaurant after nearly 40 years, lease with town of Snowmass may be contingent on restaurant
To the surprise of their landlords, the owners of Krabloonik announced Wednesday they are closing their full-service restaurant to focus on the dogsledding operations, bringing into question whether the business is complying with its 20-year-lease.
The town of Snowmass, which owns and leases the property to Krabloonik for $10 per year, “was not made aware of this,” Town Manager Clint Kinney said Wednesday.
“They’re leasing the entire property; if they’re not upholding their lease, then we take that operation back,” Kinney said. “I mean, it’s our property.”
Without knowing the owners’ plans, Kinney said he does not know at this time if they are violating the terms of their lease.
The lease between the town and Krabloonik owners Gina and Danny Phillips, who could not be reached despite numerous calls over the past week, states: “Consistent with past operations, the Krabloonik Restaurant shall be open for dinner business at least 100 days during each ski season.”
If the town finds that Krabloonik is in compliance with their lease, Kinney continued, it will be business as usual.
“It comes back to that same question (of), is the lease intact or not,” Kinney said.
The brief statement from Krabloonik, which now can be read in full on the company’s website, reads: “After nearly 40 years of fine and delicious dining here at Krabloonik, we have decided that our full dedication needs to be with our exuberant and loving dogs, therefore we will no longer have a full-service restaurant.
The statement, which Krabloonik released Wednesday afternoon, adds shortly after: “Krabloonik has so much potential to grow with a variety of dog-related activities and tours. Our famous mushroom soup and other snacks will be available during your visit.”
Krabloonik makes no other mention of the food or dining operations, noting only that the restaurant will close on Sunday.
The town of Snowmass “will be looking into this and making sure that the conditions of the lease that we’ve been entered into (are) being upheld,” Kinney said.
Krabloonik founder Dan MacEachen started the dogsledding business in 1974, and his sister Janet opened the restaurant a few years later, according to his Aspen Times obituary.
The Phillips bought the business in December 2014 from MacEachen, who died in February 2016.
Krabloonik’s lease, which was amended in 2015 with the change in ownership, spans Sept. 25, 2006 to Sept. 25, 2026.
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A flash flood watch is in effect until 9 p.m. for the Grizzly Creek burn scar, the National Weather Service states.