Serial entrepreneur buys Echo Mountain ski space in Clear Creek County

This story first appeared in The Outsider, the premium outside publication by Jason Blevins.

In it, he covers the trade from the within out, plus the enjoyable aspect of being open air in our stunning state.


Echo Mountain ski space in Clear Creek County has a brand new proprietor. 

Serial entrepreneur Dan Dietrich, a Parker father of 9 who’s the CEO of a number of corporations, is the fourth investor to take the reins on the closest ski space to Denver because the tiny ski hill was revived in 2005.

Dietrich is kind of the businessman, guiding a number of newly minted companies in well being care, transportation, renewable power, health and staffing industries. He didn’t reply to emails looking for touch upon his plans for the closest ski space to metro Denver.

Particulars of the deal weren’t disclosed however paperwork filed with Clear Creek County point out Dietrich paid a minimum of $7.35 million for the ski space and a bit extra for peripheral properties and water rights.

Dietrich began Jogan Well being in 2021 to assist with staffing at overworked hospitals and clinics. His LinkedIn profile says Jogan Well being has deployed greater than 5,000 well being care employees in 30 states. 

An investigation by Denver7 in 2022 scrutinized Jogan Well being’s $74 million contract with the Colorado Division of Public Well being and Setting to assist distribute 175,000 COVID vaccinations in 2021, two months after Dietrich created Jogan Well being. The tv information channel quoted a number of Jogan Well being staff saying that they had not been paid. It additionally questioned the Jogan Well being utility for the contract citing work in different states earlier than the corporate was created. The state well being division additionally fielded complaints that Jogan administered expired doses of the vaccines. 

The state division of well being ended its contract with Jogan Well being in 2022. Douglas County additionally employed Jogan Well being in November 2021 and prolonged the contract in June 2022. A civil case filed in Douglas County District Court docket in April 2022 accused Jogan Well being of not paying certainly one of its subcontractors.

Dietrich sued Denver7 for defamation and an Arapahoe  County District Court docket choose in 2022 dismissed the lawsuit.

Dietrich in March instructed the ProCO360 Colorado enterprise podcast that he launched Jogan Well being with greater than $300,000 in bank card loans. 

“I ended up boot-strapping this factor off of bank cards,” mentioned Dietrich, who instructed the podcast host Dave Tabor that he paid off the high-interest loans in three months. 

Dietrich, a father of 9, mentioned he went to a number of Dwelling Depots and Lowes shops to purchase pop-ups and chairs and tables for his vaccine distribution plan. He ultimately turned the corporate into a bigger healthcare staffing firm and instructed Tabor his revenues have topped $1 billion.

Tabor mentioned Dietrich’s Jogan Well being start-up timeline “is the nuttiest story of success I’ve heard but.”

Prior to now few years Dietrich has created a number of new corporations. His Jogan Site visitors develops “thermal visitors detection options” and the tagline “You’re not secure until you’re Jogan secure.” Dietrich additionally this month listed himself as CEO of Recoup, an organization promoting muscle restoration instruments. In June he based H2 Energy Co., a renewable hydrogen energy enterprise. He’s additionally CEO of West Haus Med Spa in Englewood. And CEO of D2 Striping, a highway marking enterprise. And CEO of All Fingers Consulting, a Maryland-based emergency administration enterprise. 

Earlier this month Dietrich’s LinkedIn profile additionally included a place as CEO of Echo Mountain ski space. He has not commented on any plans for the ski space.

The Squaw Go ski space opened in 1960 and closed in 1975. It remained dormant till 2002 when Maryland-based hotelier Gerald Petitt purchased the 226-acre space for $680,000. Petitt invested $5 million within the ski space, constructing two floor lifts, a chairlift, 16 trails and snowmaking throughout about 75 acres. He opened the Echo Mountain ski space for the 2005-06 season with distinctive terrain park options. Petitt in 2012 put the ski space up for public sale, saying a brand new proprietor might have “limitless alternatives” that embody constructing accommodations, condos or “merely proudly owning a private ski resort.”

Nora Pykkonen, an entrepreneur and mom of ski racers, acquired the ski space in August 2012 for $1.5 million with plans to desert the terrain park idea and develop a non-public ski racing coaching facility. She bought memberships to ski racing groups however ultimately opened to the general public in 2015. In early 2016 she filed for chapter safety after defaulting on a roughly $1 million mortgage. 

She bought the ski space for $4 million in October 2016 to Peter Burwell, the son of late Minnesota investor Rod Burwell, whose Burrell Enterprises as soon as owned accommodations in Snowmass Village. Burwell and supervisor Fred Klaas spent the previous seven years constructing Echo Mountain into an inexpensive, accessible ski space with a concentrate on attracting new skiers to the game. 

The Burwell crew got here in “with numerous concepts and definitely some naivety in addition to some modern concepts and alternative ways of issues,” Klaas mentioned. 

One factor that stunned Klaas, the final supervisor of the resort, was the range of Echo Mountain skiers. The U.S. resort trade has been challenged with attracting individuals of colour to ski areas, with the nation’s resorts caught at round 12% non-white friends yearly. Greater than half of the skiers at Echo Mountain for the previous a number of years have been individuals of colour. 

“The tradition we created and the group we created was interesting to numerous totally different of us, together with  newcomers and other people testing out snowsports,” Klaas mentioned. 

The American ski resort trade is powerful proper now, with two years of record-setting visits to ski areas and highest-ever participation popping out of the pandemic. Echo Mountain has loved a few of that success, however there’s a novel problem to a really small ski space working within the shadow of the largest, busiest ski hills within the nation. 

The key to survival, Klaas mentioned, was making it clear that Echo Mountain was not like the larger hills. 

“We by no means felt like we had been attempting to steal clients from anybody round us,” he mentioned. “The hope was that we had been creating new clients for these bigger ski areas.”

One of many largest development areas for Echo Mountain is the $99 evening snowboarding go. 

Visitation by evening skiers has soared lately with core skiers and newcomers rallying for fast laps after work. That’s a technique Echo Mountain has differentiated itself from different resorts within the state, Klaas mentioned. 

Klaas mentioned he and his crew are serving to with the possession transition with the expectation that they may proceed to work on the ski space. They are going to be firing up the snowmaking system within the subsequent couple weeks with a plan to open in early December. So no dramatic adjustments. 

“There’s numerous potential right here for positive,” Klaas mentioned, “and the brand new possession sees that.”