Grand Mesa Nordic Council grooms cross country ski trails on the Grand Mesa, to help the public enjoy them. (Photo: GMNC website)
A storm is brewing over the governance of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council (GMNC), as longtime members set off alarm bells about the way the group has been operating recently.
GMNC is a nonprofit group made up of local cross country skiers. It was founded in 1990 to groom and maintain popular ski trails on the Grand Mesa and work with the National Forest Service to develop new trails. Over its 40+ years of existence, it has been remarkably successful.
Originally, GMNC was made up of volunteers and operated on a shoestring budget of donations from skiers and businesses that support the sport. Their pursuit of their mission was driven by members’ love and passion for the sport. But after growing steadily over the years, donations increased to the point where the GMNC now pulls in about quarter million dollars a year, and for the first time, the group was forced to hire paid staff to manage its affairs.
SAD SACK: The deflated Tennis Bubble by Sam’s Club
If you’ve entered Sam’s Club’s parking lot using the driveway off 25 1/2 Road lately, you’ve probably noticed a sad sight.
The longstanding “Tennis Bubble,” an inflatable structure otherwise known as the Junction Indoor Tennis Center at 535 25 1/2 Road. which houses four tennis courts inside an inflatable vinyl bubble that protects players from the weather, has deflated.
So what happened to The Bubble?
Did somebody stab it? Did the owners forget to pay their electric bill? Are the tennis courts being converted into pickleball courts?
Sign promising the arrival of a Great Greek Mediterranean Grill at 2566 Patterson Rd.
Ever since the sign went up last spring at 2566 Patterson Road next to the new Coffee Trader announcing “The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill” would be “Coming Soon,” foodies have been watching with great anticipation, thrilled at the prospect of having delicious new Greek/Mediterranean cuisine in town.
Employees at the Coffee Trader said the place expected to open in September, but we’re going to have to wait for our lamb, chicken, beef or shrimp souvlaki, spanakopita, avgolemono soup, gyros, falafel plates, tzatziki, lemon potatoes and more.
By comparison, non-Red Rock new car dealerships in G.J., like Western Slope Auto, Bozarth Chevrolet, Grand Junction Subaru & Volkswagen, and Grand Junction Chrysler Jeep Dodge logged no customer complaints within the same time frame. This begs the question of why is there such a big difference between how Red Rock has operated, and how these other dealerships operate?
Alexis Bauer owns Octopus Coffee on Horizon Drive. Last week she emailed me to talk about the proposed community recreation center on the upcoming April ballot. (We differed on what we think about it. I am for it). As we got into a longer conversation, Alexis sent a follow-up email in which she offered a variety of insights from her standpoint as a western slope resident and local business owner. She talked not only about the Rec Center, but also other issues facing Grand Junction, like the housing shortage, the cost of doing business, her experience with the local workforce, City Council’s recent approval of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and what it portends for the City, the buzz she hears from customers, and more.
I found Alexis’s insights interesting and felt they deserved a wider forum, so with her permission I am sharing her email to me below, edited slightly for clarity, in hopes others find it enlightening as well.
Former Red Rock dealership employees have told AnneLandmanBlog that the dealerships coerce both employees and customers to leave positive reviews online, and a customer said the Red Rock dealership she patronized several years ago had paid her $2,500 to take a bad review of them off her Facebook page.
These manipulations of online reviews were discovered around the same time Red Rock introduced a new “Forever Promise” on their websites, in which the company promises to “earn your trust” and “be transparent.”
A reader supplied AnneLandmanBlog with screenshots of a 2019 Facebook Messenger conversation in which she told another person that Red Rock had paid her $2,500 to remove a Facebook post describing a bad experience with a Red Rock dealership:
As of today, Brantley Reade, Platform Manager for Red Rock Nissan, is no longer with the Red Rock Auto Group. He was formerly the designated person to call if you had been victimized by a deal at Red Rock’s Nissan or Kia dealerships.
So now, if you were a victim of a deal at a Red Rock dealership in which your digital signature was added to a contract without your being able to first see and expressly approve or reject any charges added to it (like extended warranties, maintenance agreements, protective coatings, key fob insurance, GAP insurance or other items), or if you found your signatures have been forged on any documents from your deal, or if your gross income, monthly housing payment, description of your vehicle or any other information was misrepresented to your lender on your loan application and Red Rock got you into a loan too big for you to handle, contact Red Rock owner Bryan Knight at (801) 792-3711 or email him at email@example.com to make an appointment to discuss your situation and give him a chance to make it right.
KREX-TV last night ran a 5 minute news segment about Red Rock dealerships, which are currently under investigation by the state for problems including forgeries of customers’ signatures on legal/financial documents like contracts, Powers of Attorney, title and loan documents, and the addition of thousands of dollars worth of extras to customers’ contracts without their knowing, like extended warranties and special coatings.
Below is the full statement of a former title clerk who worked at Red Rock. This person asked to remain anonymous. This statement was included in the KREX news segment, but it merits fuller attention because of its gravity. This person’s employment at the dealership has been verified, and they had experience with the Mesa County Department of Motor Vehicles before going to work for Red Rock:
A common theme running through customer complaints about Red Rock dealerships is that they discovered thousands of dollars in extended warranties added to their contracts without the dealership telling them about it, and they spotted these extra charges only after their signatures had been affixed to their contracts electronically. Customers repeatedly say they did not want these warranties and never agreed to them, only to find they had been added to their contracts anyway when they finally saw their paperwork. Once saddled with them, the customers had to go through the ordeal of trying to cancel them quickly, because the warranties are only fully refundable within 60 days after purchase.
USPS carrier facility at 734 Scarlet: turmoil inside
It may look peaceful on the outside, but a longtime U.S. Postal Service employee at the Grand Junction Carrier Annex at 734 Scarlet Drive reports that inside the building the Postal Service is “going crazy lately.”
The employee reports, “We are delaying mail and it is running horribly.”
What’s going on and why is this happening?
“It started when they decided to lay off our newest hires,” the employee said:
“They claimed ‘lack of work’ as the reason, but since then, we’ve been 5 or 6 people short of a normal crew to process the mail. I worked over 80 hours last week and we can’t catch up. In addition to that, we process mail for DHL, UPS and FedEx as part of an agreement with them. They dropped half of a semi [truck full] of bags of mail at our office at Scarlet Drive on Wednesday, and all of that mail is still sitting there.”
Yet another former employee of a Red Rock auto dealership has contacted AnneLandmanBlog wanting to unload about what they experienced while working for Red Rock, and wanting others to know how business is done at these dealerships. This person has more detailed knowledge about financing of vehicle deals. Their name is withheld at their request. I asked this person follow-up questions based on information provided by a previous Red Rock employee who came forward and told about the illegal acts allegedly taking place at the dealerships, like falsifying customers’ financial information to lenders, misuse of digital signatures, forging of signatures, and more. This new person has even more detailed insight into these dealerships, the things they do to customers and banks, and how and why Red Rock dealerships operate so differently from other dealerships in town and around the country.
The above is a 2 minute video of Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters getting cuffed and detained this morning around 10:45 a.m. by law enforcement officers in the front room at Main Street Bagels. The video was posted on the website of 9News in Denver.
The video shows Peters kicking at an officer, struggling to get away, yelling “That hurts! Let go of me! Give me my car keys!” The officers cuff her and take her outside onto the sidewalk in front of the restaurant.
Peters was detained for resisting a search warrant for her IPad, which she allegedly used to record a court hearing she attended for her former Chief Deputy Belinda Knisely earlier that morning, despite the judge having admonished people inside the courtroom not to record the proceedings.
The 7th Street Deli has been at the same location on 7th Street and Bookcliff for 15 years
The 7th-Street Deli has been saved!
The deli was threatened with eviction in mid-January for non-payment of back rent. The owner had suffered a prolonged 50% loss of business due to back-to-back renovation projects that took place on 7th Street in 2019 and 2020, and then got hit with the no-indoor dining order in 2020 from Covid. Deli owner Debbie Allen had made it through all those obstacles and was finally getting out of her debt when the property owner slapped her with an eviction notice and a lawsuit for tens of thousands in back rent. The deli started a GoFundMe account and donations poured in. By the end of January they had raised about $8,000, but it wasn’t enough to pay off all the back rent.
You’ve seen it…you drive by it all the time. After 15 years in this location, the much-loved 7th Street Deli, a woman-owned and operated family business that makes home-made food, has been threatened with eviction.
The 7th Street Deli just south of St. Mary’s Hospital may soon be forced to close its doors.
The restaurant has been there for 15 years, and has been owned and operated by Debbie Allen and her daughter for the last 8 years. It is woman-owned business and the only restaurant close to the hospital. Their food is damn good and now they might have to close.
On January 5th, the landlord who owns the Medical Arts complex where the deli is located threatened Debbie and her family with eviction by the end of the month for non-payment of rent. The eviction notice comes after the restaurant was faced with a long series of unfortunate events starting in 2018. It has been struggling to come back, and just as business is finally starting to improve again, now this.
How did they get into this position after having so much success for so long?
Screen-shot from a January 6, 2022 email sent out by Mesa County Concerned Citizen in which the group links to this box of every day drug store items selling online that claims to be an “early and effective treatment for Covid-19.” The box sells for $160.00 plus $20 shipping and $12.37 tax, for a total of $182.36 — all for about $60 worth of over-the-counter items.
In its January 3, 2022 email blast, the local extreme right wing group “Mesa County Concerned Citizen” included a plug for “The Defense Box,” an item selling online that contains about $60 worth of common over-the counter items like Pepcid, Listerine, Vitamin C and baby aspirin, that costs $182.36, including shipping and tax.
The group says the items are an “early and effective treatment option” for Covid-19.
None of the items in the box are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment, prevention, mitigation or cure of Covid-19.
In an alarming case that has received little to no attention, Deandre H. Rogers (pdf), a Black man aged 32, was found hanging in a carport in Grand Junction, Colorado on September 21, 2020. He had participated on June 1, 2020 with a group of local Black Lives Matter activists who met with G.J. Police Chief Doug Shoemaker in the lobby of the Grand Junction Police Department to protest unjust treatment they had experienced at the hands of local law enforcement. The discussion took place about a month after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police on May 25, 2020.