Reader: Enough of This Ridiculousness, Let Clubs Reopen!

After a packed house on January 30 was documented on a video that went viral, the venue is closed. Again.
After a packed house on January 30 was documented on a video that went viral, the venue is closed. Again.
Eric Gruneisen
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Grizzly Rose owner Scott Durland, who also works as a pilot, was out of town last weekend when a venue staffer called, panicked. Word had gotten out in the three weeks since the 52,000-square-foot club had reopened for business, and there was a rowdy crowd of far more than the fifty people allowed inside clamoring to get into the legendary country bar.

What should they do? Anger the crowd by keeping people out, or break COVID-19 guidelines? Durland advised his employees to let the crowd inside — and one of the patrons subsequently posted a video of the packed party that went viral. As a result, before the Tri-County Health Department that oversees the venue at 5450 Lincoln Street could take action, on February 1 Durland told the department that he was closing the Grizzly Rose again until capacity limits were raised.

In the meantime, though, the episode has raised lots of concerns with readers, who shared their thoughts on the Westword Facebook post of the Grizzly Rose story. Says Mike:

Wow, an article from Westword that isn't full of shameless bias. Thank you for getting the owner's point of view. And he is totally right; the totally different standards across the states are the biggest reason why people are so fed up. Especially when those less restricted states aren't doing any worse than us. Enough of this ridiculousness.

Adds Eric: 

Great point of view from the owner. Good interview and solid perspective, Mr. Durland!

Counters Stan: 

Sounds like the owner shouldn’t be the owner and the staff he hired aren’t worth a shit if they were calling him for instructions. As someone who has worked in the nightlife industry for some time, there’s no way any place I have worked for would have opened with a 50-person capacity. Period. The overhead alone wouldn’t be covered with such a small crowd in a venue that size. Owner should have hired off-duty police officers to handle the crowds.

Suggests Brian:

This is all back-tracking excuses. I've been to clubs where patrons had to wait hours to get inside. If they cater to a violent crowd that can't wait outside, then they should be shut down permanently.

Replies Matt:

Free adults in their own country need to be allowed to make their own decisions about their own health. It's been a year, for Christ's sake.

Notes Jack:

A place I’d avoid even without a pandemic haha.

Responds Rigel: 

I’m not even that much of a fan of country music but...the Grizzly Rose is hands-down the best country-dancing club in Denver. I fought going there for months, and once I went it’s pretty much some of the best fun you can have. I hope they stay open and we can have wild fun dancing nights again. Talk all the shit you want, but it’s a quality establishment and should be able to be open.

And Rod concludes: 

Can’t you people line dance at home?

What do you think of the owner's actions? Should the Grizzly Rose have higher capacity limits? Would you go to a club, large or small, these days? Post a comment or email your thoughts to editorial@westword.com.

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