As we reported yesterday, the River North-area site of the High Times Cannabis Cup was left trashed after the event throughout Earth Day, irritating neighbors and putting a black mark on the cannabis community. A group of volunteers and a cleaning crew from the Exdo Center, where the event took place, worked through the snow to render the field spotless -- or as spotless as a dirt field can be -- as High Times and center supervisors took turns denying that they'd dropped the ball.
Here's a photo of what the field looked like on Monday; we've included more below.
A crew of guys from Platte Valley -- the lone dispensaries that had left a massive display setup behind -- had caught wind of the mess Monday night on social media and were out early with attorney Warren Edson, who lives in the neighborhood. By 2 p.m., a massive cleanup effort was under way, with more than a dozen volunteers -- many from dispensaries, including Pink House, which left a huge pink couch behind -- all chipping in to get the park clean. Warren Edson snapped this (fuzzy) pic during the cleanup:
EXDO manager Andrew Feinstein, with whom we spoke yesterday, was not concerned with blame, saying he would rather focus on the community cleanup effort that took place. He posted the following on Facebook after the cleanup:
I want to express my many many thanks to our amazing EXDO crew, the volunteers who came out and friends like Warren Edson and Kevin Preblud for helping to clean up the neighboring lot here in RiNo. The weather proved difficult but we got it done. Lunch at Jake's on me.
This photo shows the site after the cleanup:
Meanwhile, High Times representatives responded to the mess with a press release in which they said they paid the property's owner "handsomely" for use of the site and clean up afterward.
For that reason, they feel they are taking an unfair amount of blame for someone else's mistake.
Here's the High Times release:
HIGH TIMES is thankful that the concerned citizens of Denver have brought the property owner's dereliction of his duties under the lease he entered into with us to our attention. We too are embarrassed and disappointed at his failure to clean up after a historic and terrific event, especially since we paid him in advance, and handsomely so, to ensure that the property would be returned to its prior aesthetic condition. We at HIGH TIMES do not know of the reasons why the owner failed to fulfill his duties under his own lease. Nonetheless, we must suffer the negative perceptions despite the lack of fault on our part.
HIGH TIMES is greatly appreciative of the community-minded volunteers who brought this matter to our attention and donated their time and good will to restore the owner's grounds that he neglected. HIGH TIMES regrets the negative impression that has sullied its reputation after what turned out to be a monumental celebration that caught the world's attention. We can assure you that we have already begun to address and implement new protocols to ensure that such a publicly offensive derogation of duty on behalf of a landlord will not be suffered again by the good citizens of the Mile High City.
HIGH TIMES is proud of the economic and cultural impact that the 1st U.S. Cannabis Cup brought to Colorado. We are already making troubleshooting plans for next year where we will ensure such an unsightly post-event condition will not happen again.
Again, nobody seems to be talking specifically about contracts, but the land where the outdoor part of the festival was held belongs to the Chop Yard LLC. The address for Chop Yard? 3535 Larimer Street, the same open warehouse building where the indoor medical area was set up. The owner of that building? Kaymart Holding, LLC. Which is also the owner of the Exdo/Tracks building, which are managed by the same company.
Either way, the mess is gone for now, and that's what really matters. Thanks to all of the volunteers -- including the folks at Incredibowl, Herbal Synergy, Incredibles, Hoodlab, Grimey Gatsby -- who stepped up and cleaned up the mess for the neighbors of RiNo.
Look below to see more "after" photos, followed by our collection of "before" shots.
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More from our Marijuana archive: "Photo: NFL running back LenDale White at the High Times Cannabis Cup" and "Photos: High Times Cannabis Cup 2013 wrap-up and winners."