Rumors started flying after the article "Pimp" was published in last September's issue of Skiing magazine. "A lot of gossip," says World Cup skier Lindsey Kildow, who lives in Boulder. "I don't remember if we figured out the deal with it."
Jon Billman's story followed a pro big-mountain skier -- "Call him Bobby Fenton" -- who was now the owner of a multimillion-dollar escort service, a sex-for-hire operation in an unnamed city in the high country. When he saw the article, Kendall Seifert, owner of Scarlet Ranch, thought that Bobby Fenton sounded a lot like swing-club rival Scottie Ewing. And he wasn't the only one to think so.
"Bobby Fenton was a fake pro skier that Freeze came up with in the late '90s," says former professional freeskier Shane Anderson. "They wrote a couple of dumb little articles about this fictitious character to try and fake people. I assume they just resurrected the name to use as a cover-up name."
Derek Taylor, senior editor at California-based Powder magazine, knows Ewing from their days of skiing in Crested Butte, and says he and others at the Powder office assumed right off that "Bobby Fenton" was really Ewing -- even though the piece included a quote from Ewing about Fenton. "Any time you're not naming your subject, the article is suspect," Taylor says. "There's no question the story is about Scottie."
Fenton is "definitely not Scottie Ewing," says Marc Peruzzi, editor-in-chief of Skiing and the article's editor. "There is no such person as ŒBobby Fenton,' as we say in the story. But there is a character out there who fits that description." But not in Denver, he adds, since it's not the location of the story.
Here's how Ewing explains the situation: He and Fenton are old pals who owned a bachelor/bachelorette party service together in 2003. For a fee, their Players Girls would supply both strippers and a late-night location. "It was really just an underground party place, and that was it," Ewing says. But then Fenton turned the business into an escort operation, and "I said I'm done," Ewing remembers. "They wanted to take the word 'players' because they had already started the ball rolling, so they just chose Denver Players. They took Denver Players, I took Players Girls, and that was it. And that's how we separated and went our separate ways." Ewing says this was when he started up Sindicate Media and Consultation, which Colorado Secretary of State records show he registered in January 2004. Ewing is adamant that Players Girls never dealt in escorts -- but in an August 2003 advertisement for Players Girls in the now-defunct Buzz magazine, two scantily-clad young beauties were shown with a listing of such services as "bachelor/private parties" and "sensual body rubs." And on August 7 of that year, www.playersgirls.com featured profiles of women available for "all-inclusive companionship" -- industry code for full intercourse, with rates listed as $250 for thirty minutes and $325 for one full hour (with discounts for regulars). The location given for "Incall" appointments was "I-25 and 6th Avenue," near the building Ewing was leasing at the time at 401 Kalamath Street.
It was here on October 6, 2003, that Ewing was involved in a physical altercation with his girlfriend's ex-husband, Jaymes Ryan. According to court documents, Ryan had called his ex-wife's father earlier in the day to inform him that his "daughter was involved in illegal activities with her boyfriend" and that he had made an "appointment with a woman named ŒDevon' for a massage." Then Ryan called police prior to knocking on the door of the Kalamath building, the document continues, because he wanted to "make her leave that sleazy business" and because he hoped the cops would "arrest Ewing and shut his business down." Instead, a fight ensued. Ewing was later arrested and charged with second-degree assault, but the case was eventually dismissed by prosecutors, largely because of Ryan's history of domestic violence against his former wife, according to Ewing's case file. Ryan says the website he visited to make the appointment with "Devon" was www.playersgirls. com and that Ewing was in charge of the operation.
In "Pimp," Bobby Fenton describes being charged with felony assault on a john who was stalking one of his girls. "The guy started cursing me, calling me a 'pussy pimp.' When he tried to grab the girl I snapped and beat the shit out of him," the article quoted Fenton as saying. "The girl took off and the cops came and I got charged with felony assault. But the guy didn't show up in court so I walked." The layout for "Pimp" included several photos by Carl Skoog, who died in a mountaineering accident in October 2005. In a January 6 posting in an online forum dedicated to Skoog, a writer who identified himself as "Scottie Ewing (and Bobby Fenton)" praised the photos. "I had a choice of which pics to run in the story and Carl was my first choice," he wrote.
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"I didn't write that," Ewing says. "That's not me speaking."
"Pimp" is no longer on the Skiing website. "That's run out of our Internet division, and sometimes those stories get pulled down and I have no idea why," Peruzzi says.
But the story has since reappeared -- without photos -- at http://denverswingers.myblogvoice. com/?denver-pimp-925.
Was this Seifert's doing? "No comment," he says.