Granby Ranch management to walk at end of month

Talks continue with potential new management

Granby Ranch's current management will be walking at the end of this month after it said negotiations failed with the management group that wants to take over. The metro district in charge of the agreement hopes to have a new contract in place as soon as possible.
Robert Mendoza / Sky Hi News

The current management of Granby Ranch ski and golf resort will be walking away at the end of this month.

A letter sent to the Headwaters Metropolitan District, which controls the agreements for ski and golf management at Granby Ranch, said Granby Ranch Amenities would continue operations until end of the day May 31.

Granby Ranch Amenities had initially submitted a 180 day termination notice as required by its operations contract, which would have ended its management Oct. 5 at the latest. Headwaters President Lance Badger said the district received the notice for an earlier termination on Tuesday and hopes to have a new management agreement in place as soon as possible.

Headwaters received a draft management agreement for consideration from Ridgeline Executive Group, the agent for the lender interested in taking on management operations. However, that letter had been received the day of the meeting and had not yet been reviewed.

Ridgeline declined to comment on affairs related to Granby Ranch over the phone Thursday.

Sky-Hi News obtained the letters from Granby Ranch Amenities manager Marise Cipriani to Headwaters and the Granby Ranch team about the termination.

“Despite our efforts to ensure a smooth and equitable transition, we have not been able to negotiate terms with the incoming operator as selected by the Headwaters Metro District,” Cipriani wrote.

She pointed to the loss of revenue from the economic downturn due to the COIVD-19 pandemic and the bills associated with the impending foreclosure as the main reason why Granby Ranch could no longer continue operations.

Real estate at Granby Ranch faces an impending foreclosure sale, scheduled for July. The resort laid off almost all employees after the COVID-19 outbreak forced the closure of all ski resorts in Colorado. Cipriani said in her letter that the lost spring break season would have accounted for 20% of annual revenue.

According to Cipriani, Granby Ranch Amenities offered $1.4 million in assets to the new management in exchange for taking on some of the resort’s liabilities, equal to $800,000. While Cipriani believed this was a fair deal, she claimed that Granby Ranch had not received a formal response to the offer.

By May 31, Granby Ranch Amenities said it will cancel all leases on equipment, and companies will be picking up things like golf carts, snowmobiles and other operating equipment.

The company said it will not be able to pay the balance owed for other items including snow sports rental items, snow guns, food and beverage items and retail inventory items. It offered Headwaters the option to pay the balance of $132,000 with the vendor, or else the vendor will remove those items.

Granby Ranch will be returning all deposits and canceling weddings and events for 2020 and 2021.

For pre-sale tickets sold March 15-29, which the company had been promising vouchers for, Granby Ranch Amenities will be offering neither refunds nor vouchers since it will not be the operator next season.

The golf course at Granby Ranch has not yet opened.

“It is important to note, (Granby Ranch’s) team is very interested in working with the new operator to maintain the golf course,” Cipriani added. “We would highly recommend the new operator find a way to hire the existing team as they are very knowledgeable about the systems and operations.”

The Headwaters board appointed two committees to handle this transition. One will work with Granby Ranch Amenities on the disposition of assets and a mutual termination agreement. The other committee will work with the receiver to finalize a contract with Ridgeline for summer operations, including funding requirements, to be presented to the lender.

“After which, the board will then review and consider the best options based on the availability of funding,” Badger concluded. “This board will move as quickly as possible, noting that the pace is subject to the response times of the receiver, the lender and Ridgeline.”

During the meeting, Headwaters also recognized the resignation of board member Dustin Lombard, chief financial officer of Granby Ranch. This leaves the board with only two voting members, Badger and Christopher Harff.

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