Scarlet Ranch, Scottie Ewing, Michael Hancock, Denver Players & the swingers story that lives on
Old swinger stories never die.
Late Thursday, Complete Colorado broke a story about Michael Hancock allegedly being one of the clients of Denver Players, the prostitution/escort business that three years ago ended the career of Chief Judge Edward Nottingham -- the only name that came out at the time, although certainly there were rumors of other power players involved.
For now, those names remain nothing but rumors. There's been a lot of talk of the Complete Colorado report on talk radio; Michael Roberts wrote about it here Friday, and we also discussed it Friday on Channel 12's Colorado Inside Out. But so far, nothing in the "mainstream" media.
And the Denver Players story isn't the only one making a comeback in the media. On Friday, the venerable Northwoods Inn, a fifty-year-old steakhouse in the southern 'burbs, was suddenly transformed into the Scarlet Ranch, the new home of a swingers club that for years had been located at 424 Broadway.
Conditions at the old Scarlet Ranch had long been a source of concern for Scottie Ewing, owner of the Sugar House -- a restaurant/bar that houses a swingers club upstairs -- and a former player in Denver Players. He got a plea deal from the feds on charges of tax evasion in the sale of that business.
Here's his take on these two stories. "Happy that Scarlet Ranch, after all these years of operating illegally out of an unsafe building, has finally gone legit," he says. "It's great for the entire swinger community, especially now that the city should have no excuse to harass any of us anymore."
As for the Complete Colorado report? "Looks like someone slapped that together in five minutes to make that guy look bad. But since there was a Chief Federal Judge who got caught using a service, anything less than that is pretty boring in my opinion."
Todd Shepherd, the former radio producer behind Complete Colorado, says he's not giving interviews about the story right now. (For more on his stance, read this related post: "Michael Hancock prostitution-article reporter waiting for mainstream outlet to pick up story.") Which is too bad; at the very least, readers and listeners would benefit from a discussion of the reporting involved in coming up with the initial story, and how he handled the documents.
That's not being a political partisan -- for the record, the Romer campaign has denied any involvement, and Shepherd says that if he lived in Denver, he'd vote for Hancock (where have we heard that before?). That's just part of being a responsible journalist. If you can publish it, you should be able to talk about it.
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Crisanta Duran donated to Michael Hancock before she endorsed Chris Romer."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Westword's biggest stories.