A career golf professional and his family are opening a golf and multisport simulation business and snack bar attached to a CrossFit gym in Cortez.
Micah and Anett Rudosky, agents for Rudosky Unlimited LLC, purchased the 9,000-square-foot, metal building on the corner of East Empire Street and Colorado Highway 145 just over a year ago.
Half the building has been used a CrossFit gym for 17 years and will continue in that capacity with the new owners. The new simulation business will take over the other half, previously occupied by Stormy’s ATC Gymnastics, which moved to West Main Street.
The Cortez Planning and Zoning Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to recommend that the City Council approve a conditional use permit to expand the use of the building. The CrossFit gym is a legally nonconforming use and does not require a permit unless the building is rebuilt or abandoned.
A planning staff memo states that an approved conditional use permit would legitimize the CrossFit gym and allow the expanded uses that the Rudosky’s anticipate.
Micah Rudosky said he has been working as a golf pro at the city-owned Conquistador Golf Course since 1997. He said golf is his life. He participates in tournaments and runs junior leagues. There’s one problem about playing golf in Cortez, though.
“We just can’t play golf here in the wintertime,” Rudosky said.
So, he purchased two simulators that allow golfers to practice their swing year-round, fire off balls at a driving range and simulate full games on dozens of courses across the globe with up to six players. One of the simulators is just for golf, but the other is a multisport machine that allows players to kick a soccer ball into a goal, pitch and hit baseballs and shoot hockey pucks.
Players can practice these sports in front of an 11-by-17 foot screen that catches the balls and accurately tracks ball speed and distance, Rudosky said.
“It’s not just golf, but it’s mainly that,” he said.
In addition to the two simulators, Rudosky has set up a putting green, a game area for activities like shuffleboard and a snack bar that would serve alcohol and cold food.
Associate City Planner Neva Connolly said the project meets several goals of the city’s Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2008. The plan has several goals and policies that promote year-round recreation, particularly during the slower winter months.
Planning staff recommended four conditions of approval, including a requirement that the applicant obtain a liquor license to serve alcohol and must comply with the Montezuma County Health Department and Cortez Sanitation District to operate the snack bar.
During the public comment period on Tuesday, two nearby residents expressed concern about traffic and serving alcohol.
Rudosky said at the meeting that alcohol is an important part of the business plan, but that they wouldn’t be partying all night long. The business would operate between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has recommended that the business close off the driveway on East Empire Street because the access point is within 300 feet of a state highway. CDOT recommended the property owners use the secondary access point off Cherry Street, but city planners did not include that as a condition.
Rudosky said the simulation business will probably bring lower levels of traffic compared with the previous use as a gymnastics studio, when parents would pick up and drop off kids.
“We know it’s tight coming around Empire, but as long as I’ve been there, I haven’t seen too many issues if any at all,” Rudosky said.
He said he plans on officially opening the business by Feb. 1. Cortez City Council will vote on the conditional use permit at its Feb. 13 meeting.