Colorado sports bar loses business during NFL postseason after arson: ‘It’s almost like starting a new business all over again’

Colorado sports bar loses business during NFL postseason after arson: ‘It’s almost like starting a new business all over again’

Two weeks after a sports bar was set on fire by a burglar in Arapahoe County, the doors remain closed during one of their busiest times of the year.

Judson Dymond, owner of Sportsbook Bar & Grill said as a business owner, one of your biggest fears is fire. Last month, he got a call from the police early one morning and his worst fear came true.

The fire happened just days before the NFL Conference Championship games, which Dymond said is the busiest weekend of the football season.

“Now, the Super Bowl this weekend, we’re going to miss that, which is a fun weekend where everybody just celebrates football season,” Dymond said.

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Dymond said his 40 employees are also out of a job and cannot work high-paying shifts during the football, basketball and hockey seasons.

“The Nuggets and Avalanche are in full swing. It keeps us busy during the week as well as the weekend, and unfortunately we’re missing those things,” Dymond said.

But they are working hard to reopen before their busiest month of the year: March.

“We’re still in the process of cleaning up and renovating, doing the restoration, making all the phone calls, getting people in here to fix things,” Dymond said.

From cleaning furniture and removing smoke-contaminated food and alcohol, to replacing equipment and the audio-visual system and fixing water damage, everything had to be cleaned or thrown out.

“It’s almost like starting a new business from scratch,” Dymond said. “In terms of cost, I mean it could be up to $1 million.”

Dymond said it was overwhelming and scary to arrive at his business and see all the fire trucks in the parking lot. From the parking lot, he could see that the front door had been broken.

Surveillance video showed the intruder tried to break into the ATM machine, but had no luck. He also tried rummaging through the drawers. He then went to the back office and tried to break into the safe, with no luck. That’s when he started the fire inside the back office.

Dymond added that the silver lining is that the fire was contained to the office. If it hadn’t been for the water pipes above bursting and pouring water down, he said the entire building would have burned down.

“The water came rushing into the office and that’s what killed the fire,” Dymond said.

While he’s waiting for the day when his doors can reopen, he’s also making sure his staff are still getting paid and meeting with them regularly. Some have even taken tours to the other country.

“They know what’s going on. They know the plan, knowing that we’re going to reopen and reopen better than before is our absolute goal,” Dymond said. “We owe it to our staff and our customers to open up and be better than before.”

Dymond said they plan to reopen just in time for March Madness, which is their busiest time of year.

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To follow all news or updates from the bar, or to help the business and staff during the closure, click here.

A suspect remains behind bars in connection with the fire at the Sportsbook Bar and Grill.

Early in the morning on January 26, the suspect went into another restaurant nearby right before that, Fuji Hibachi And Sushi called, and it also lit a fire in that business. A third break-in at Rodizio Grill by the same suspect occurred after entering the sushi restaurant and sports bar.

Jerrell Q Bailey, 30, faces charges of burglary, arson, criminal mischief, menacing and theft.

Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped the suspect at a nearby intersection.

The Greenwood Village Police Department is leading the investigation, while South Metro Fire is also investigating the arson.

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