by Gary Rollins
LA VETA- The news release forwarded by Jay and Denny Patterson on December 1 was brief:
“It is with deep regret that we must announce closing of Two Peak Fitness on December 31, 2010. We want to thank everyone that has supported the fitness center since the January 2003 opening. The legal difficulties we have encountered with the reacquisition of the property have precipitated this move and we are saddened that the business has to end this way.”
The release was provided with the understanding that the news was to be withheld until the week of December 6, a request the Huerfano World Journal honored. The Signature failed to honor that request.
Yogi Berra once said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” And that’s the motto we shall follow from this point forward.
It was Jay and Denny Patterson who guaranteed that the full year memberships would be honored if last January’s reorganization plan failed. At that time, John Liese stepped in as manager of Two Peak Fitness. The community hoped his credentials and operations plan would allow Two Peak Fitness to continue.
Unfortunately, there were more problems than anticipated. According to Liese, the cost of liability insurance and utility expenses, both tied to the maintenance of the heated pool, doomed the enterprise. The coffee shop didn’t generate sufficient income to offset those monthly expenses.
Liese says that, although he has worked virtually non-stop since the first of the year with no personal income, he had to seek other options if Two Peak Fitness extends into 2011.
But, that’s a problem. Berra’s observation, “It ain’t over…” comes into play here.
According to Jay Patterson, their efforts to re-acquire the assets of Two Peak Fitness are moving forward, and bankruptcy issues are being managed by law firms in California and Colorado. It may be many months into 2011 before the courts rule on the various legal issues. In the interim, the building and the equipment are “off limits” and relocating the weight lifting and exercise equipment to another site in La Veta is not feasible at this time.
Both Jerry and Liz Henson, who quarterbacked the “one more year” support rally were positive about the prospects for re-opening the facility in the future. Henson said, “We look forward to finding a new owner/operator in the coming year.”
Recently, reports have surfaced that there are financial obligations outstanding for Two Peak Fitness, but Liese has reported he plans to be personally responsible for any present indebtedness.
Earlier this week, Diane and Vince Koutnik who operate Cuchara Valley Physical Therapy, announced plans to vacate Two Peak Fitness before the end of the year and move into new facilities at 137 Ryus, immediately across the street from the SPACe Gallery. “We have enjoyed eight years in our current location, but as our business has grown, so has the opportunity to move on up to an even better environment.”
Many families in La Veta are asking “What’s next?” Presently, neither the Pattersons nor Liese have a response.
This would be a good time to fall back upon another quote, ‘’Tis a time to trust your hopes and not your fears.”