Embattled Colorado online retailer 123Mountain closed for business
Windows covered with cardboard and fabric, 123Mountain’s near-vacant Frisco store is closed for business.
On Tuesday, March 15, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office seized most of the store’s inventory in order to satisfy outstanding debts to an Ohio man who helped redesign the company’s website.
The sheriff’s office reported that the seizure was the result of two writs of execution filed in Jefferson County, stemming from a complaint Gantzer Group, Inc. had filed against International Rocky Trade, LLC — the company under which Oliver and Anna Sofia Goumas registered 123Mountain with the Colorado Secretary of State.
“We were contracted to build an e-commerce site five years ago, back in 2011,” Greg Gantzer, owner of the business consulting company, said. “We were nearing completion of the site, and one morning, he had changed the password. He took all of the code, handed it off to some other developer and never paid us.”
Gantzer has been in the business for 18 years, helping design sites for more than 100 retailers, and he said he had never faced such an instance before. He had initially been in contact with the Goumases through his consulting business when he identified potential improvements to their site, which he said was just an English translation of a site they had created while they lived in France.
“From the beginning, it’s been nothing but endless games that resulted in me personally having spent a small fortune to put an end to this,” Gantzer said. “The company never attempted to pay us. When we attempted to collect, we encountered a labyrinth of numerous bank accounts under various names with money constantly shifting around on a daily basis.”
At this point, 123Mountain’s debt to him is in excess of $30,000. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office sent three deputies for 16 hours to collect and store the majority of the store’s inventory. David Butler, a Leadville resident who assisted with the collections process, said they hauled thousands of dollars worth of skis and bags full of down jackets from the store.
“While I don’t expect to recover any monies, I do feel this may have finally put a stop to the nonsense that the skiing community has endured for years,” Gantzer added. “This is the biggest sale 123Mountain will have ever had.”
With paperwork still being arranged, the specifics of the potential sheriff’s sale are still pending.
“These are exceptionally rare for us,” Summit County Sheriff John Minor said, estimating this was the second seizure his office had seen in 12 years.
Olivier Goumas arrived on-site just a few hours after the seizure had started, which took about 16 hours, according to the sheriff’s office.
“(Gomas) didn’t seem angry one way or the other. Of course, he was in shock,” Butler said. “We took a lot of stuff that I’m sure he would have rather kept. … Their inventory was pretty impressive. It was pretty darn close to a REI.”
Gantzer’s lawsuit was not the only legal complaint the company had faced. 123Mountain and its parent company also defaulted on two cases seen in the Summit County District Court, including one fraud complaint after a South Korean customer never received more than $80,000 in sleeping bags, and outerwear manufacturer Canada Goose was never paid for an order of more than $90,000 in coats.
The stream of complaints led to Outside Magazine writing a detailed exposé of the business’s history prior to relocating in Frisco.
The business has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) due to a total of more than 100 complaints filed in the past three years. A public information officer for the Colorado Attorney General confirmed they had received several complaints, though could not comment if any action would be taken.
While 123Mountain provided a phone number for contact in an exchange with the Summit Daily’s Facebook page, the line was not able to receive calls. Prior to the store closing, the owners also declined to comment when approached for an interview.
Shortly after printing a story on recent complaints against 123Mountain, the company took to Facebook to comment, writing, “I’ve heard that all press is good press … thank you!!” A representative named “Peggy” also wrote they would pursue libel charges. Shortly after, 123Mountain’s Facebook page was deleted.
Landlord Larry Feldman, who said he has not seen rent since November, noted the eviction process is underway. Since the windows were covered and the doors locked, he noted he had received concerns from tenants living above the business in Condos Off Main.
“I have no access to the space,” he said. “I’m just nervous about what might transpire and think someone ought to see what’s behind the windows.”
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