Trailhead Denounces Trailhead

The latest organization to denounce the political Trailhead Group’s misleading radio ads attacking Democrats running in hotly contested Colorado races is… Trailhead, Inc.

The Buena Vista, Colorado-based outdoor gear company with the similar name as the Trailhead Group has issued a statement denouncing the Denver-based 527 political committee’s tactics as not reflective of their views. And, despite requests by the sports outfitter that the political group clarify the two have no affiliation, the Republican Trailhead Group, founded by Gov. Bill Owens, Pete Coors and Bruce Benson, has refused. Here is Trailhead, Inc.’s recent statement:

A political action committee called “The Trailhead Group” is running spots in Colorado Springs and Chaffee County, and perhaps other media markets in Colorado. THEY ARE NOT IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, FORM, OR FASHION AFFILIATED WITH THE TRAILHEAD, INC., OR THE TRAILHEAD. We have contacted them to add THE TRAILHEAD shop to their disclaimer but they have refused. PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS OR ANYONE WHO MENTIONS THESE SPOTS THAT “THE TRAILHEAD GROUP” IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE TRAILHEAD. These spots do not reflect the views of THE TRAILHEAD, or owners, or staff. PLEASE DO NOT ASSOCIATE THESE SPOTS WITH THE TRAILHEAD, INC., OR THE TRAILHEAD SHOP.

Trailhead, which sells outdoor gear, footwear and accessories, was founded in 1972 by Dick and Jan Scar as a guiding company, and evolved into retail sales. It opened its Buena Vista headquarters in 1986, and registered as a Colorado corporation in 2004. The Republican Trailhead Group formed last year.

Groups that the outdoor outfitter do support include the Colorado Mountain Club, Earthshare, The Fourteener’s Initiative and High Country News. The group’s website includes several “bedrock beliefs that comprise its CORE VALUES, including service, excellence, quality and … the drumroll, please … “INTEGRITY: Dealing with our customers honestly and fairly is paramount; we do not tolerate substandard performance amongst ourselves.”

As Colorado Confidential’s Paul Preston has noted, since organizing last year, the Republican Trailhead Group has received notoriety – and controversy – for its tactics, and its hefty war chest. State Rep. Michael Merrifield, running for reelection in Manitou Springs, and Rep. Betty Boyd, who is currently running in a heated race for the state senate, are just two targets of Trailhead attacks. The most recent candidate to cry foul is state senate candidate John Morse, who is taking on Republican incumbent Ed Jones in Colorado Springs.