Red Rocks Fitness feels the burn when the city asks the owner to change the name

If you've ever thought about running the 192 stairs at Red Rocks Amphitheatre — or you've simply stared in disbelief at the fitness nuts who do — then you may have heard of Red Rocks Fitness, a workout club founded by former BMX star Joe Hendricks.

But that's about to change. Not the workout, mind you: Hendricks and his legion of extreme-fitness followers will continue to run the stairs and benches at the City of Denver-owned park. They'll just be doing it under a new name. Because earlier this year, Denver officials hit Hendricks with a litany of complaints about the name of his club, his website and the photos on the website.

"The city attorney's office has asked Joe to adhere to appropriate limitations of the use of the Red Rocks and Red Rocks Amphitheatre brands in advertising his business and services," explains Denver Division of Theatres and Arenas spokeswoman Jenny Schiavone. "We've held a trademark on the facility's name for a number of years and have a vested interest in protecting the associations made with the name. While we recognize that the brand also describes a naturally occurring geological area and don't expect every business with the words 'Red Rocks' in it to change their name, Joe's use of our intellectual property has created a trademark infringement."

The intellectual property in question includes the city's Red Rocks webcam, which Hendricks had embedded into his site, www.redrocksfitness.com; the venue's concert calendar; and "unauthorized" concert photos. In addition, the city asked him to take down photos of people using the amphitheatre in an "inappropriate manner" — moving or carrying rocks, and hanging from structures or attaching equipment to them.

"The city doesn't want anyone getting injured and having Red Rocks getting associated with it in any way," says Hendricks. "I understand their position. It was a shock at first, but it's not a bad thing. People will get used to it. I'm not angry."

The demands came about a year after the city asked Hendricks, who also owns a DJ business, to turn off the loud music he'd been playing during the workouts — a request he also complied with. "I have well over 6,000 members in my group, so anything that happens or goes wrong, my group is the first one that gets looked at," he says.

And what will the name of that group be in the future? "When we do our workout, everyone is always yelling, 'It burns, Joe, it burns!'" says Hendricks. "So that is what it will be: ItburnsJoeFitness.com."

Curling up: The United States lost the gold for curling to America's hat (Canada), but the sport still won over new fans. A whopping 280 recruits have signed up over the past few weeks with the Denver Curling Club, which operates out of the Ice Ranch in Littleton. And the club's leaders have been flooded with calls and e-mails from many more.

"Our national office tried to warn us to be prepared for an onslaught," says Denver Curling Club president Pam Finch. "And we've been very pleasantly overwhelmed by the response and interest."

And some of those responding actually know what curling is. The obscure and oddly complicated team sport — essentially a cross between shuffleboard and, uh, sweeping on ice — retook its rightful place as an Olympic event in 1998. In addition to the rookie league (which will host the 280 newbies), the club currently has two Thursday leagues and an open league with another 151 curlers.

While registration for all of these leagues is now closed, the club will be opening up new summer leagues. And if you just can't wait to get your hands on some stones, Finch says, you can "corner a curler and they'll walk you through the game."

 
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