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Our Story

Our History

San Juan Sports was established in 1974 by former owner, George Ameel. George ran the store on his own until he married Charlene Ameel. Together, George and Charlene developed their beloved store into one of Creede's most popular shops. They dedicated their lives to providing a creative retail shop that stayed open 360 days a year while remaining family owned. In February 2011, George and Charlene sold San Juan Sports to Michael and Amy McNeil, who presently own the shop. Michael and Amy have continued San Juan Sports’ traditions of being a well-loved store.

In April of 2011, San Juan Sports went under construction to remodel the look and layout of the store. The new rustic and eclectic shape that San Juan Sports took on makes for an enjoyable shopping experience. Bring your bumper stickers from your local areas and slap them on the door in the shoe room. If you have an old pair of boots that you need to get rid of, string them up outside on the San Juan Sports sign. 

Amy has always dreamed of opening a bar, and the summer of 2020, that dream came true. Michael and Amy thought long and hard about what to name it, but knew they couldn't force it -- the right one would come to them. After beginning construction, they found some old momentos from what once was in the building. Amidst them, was a bottle cap that said, “Sunnyside Dairy”. After that, it all clicked into place, especially since one of Michael and Amy’s favorite trails to run is up Sunnyside. On August 2, 2020, Sunnyside Bar Beer & Wine opened, and we have no idea how we lived without it before.

 

About the Owners: Michael & Amy McNeil

Michael and Amy met in college at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, in Bartlesville, OK. Michael played basketball and received a History degree and Amy played tennis and received a degree in nursing. While Michael finished up his final year of college, Amy returned to her hometown of Austin to take a nursing job at a local children’s hospital. After graduation, Michael decided to take a job in Austin, where Amy was.

During this time, they quickly realized that this life was not for them. Amy’s parents happened to have a cabin in South Fork and so Amy was familiar with San Juan Sports and soon contacted the former owners to inquire about the sale of the business. After some discussions, little of this, a lot of that, a wedding and one purchase later, Michael and Amy changed their life forever. They closed on the business January 31, 2011. 

They have settled in and made Creede their home -- centered around what perfectly suits their dream lifestyle and satiates their cravings for outdoor adventure. Work hard for awhile, & play even harder for the rest of the time. Michael and Amy love this mountain town of Creede and embrace the lifestyle with all their hearts. In 2017, they had a beautiful baby girl, Juliet Blue. She is pure sunshine & has her mom & dad’s tenacity & sense of adventure!

When Amy isn’t at SJS, she can be found in the many streams and ponds in the area fly-fishing, hiking, skiing anywhere she can, or attending our very own Creede Repertory Theatre. When Michael isn't in the shop, he enjoys hiking and backpacking anywhere his feet will take him. He also enjoys running the local trails, skiing Colorado’s best powder, & then doing it all again tomorrow. When they are not here, they love spending time at their home in Florida, famously known as Bear Paw. Amy loves saltwater fishing, relaxing on beautiful beaches, and soaking up the sun any moment she can. Michael enjoys the tropics, soaking up different cultures, all with a local brew in hand. 

As you can tell, Michael and Amy are passionate about adventure, fun, and traveling. They believe in the importance of enjoying life by living the life they love. Come meet them at San Juan Sports.

James Heit

James moved to Colorado in 2010 from Central Kansas. He attended Fort Hays State University where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science. James is the Business Manager of San Juan Sports and has been on the team since 2012. He enjoys hiking and Stand-Up Paddle boarding around Creede. In his free time James loves to read & play video games, is always ready for a polite debate, and enjoys playing & listening to music. You will see him around town sipping a latte with his wife or walking with one of their many dogs. James is Bear's official "uncle”.

Erin (Kiki) Yurkinas

Keeks fell in love with Creede back in her senior of year of college on a 20-day camping trip in the Rocky Mountains. Born in Honolulu and raised in South Texas, she attended Texas A&M University Corpus Christi where she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business. Kiki is the Brand Manager for San Juan Sports and Sunnyside Bar. You can catch her cooking/baking away in the kitchen, hanging with her animal crew, playing the ukulele , or tromping through the woods. Come down to SJS for some shopping— while sippin’ a mimosa!

Kambrie Dyer

Kam has been coming to Creede her whole life and she has been in love with it since she started walking. She grew up in a small town in Oklahoma and went on to attend Rogers State University. She received a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Social Entrepreneurship with a Minor in Psychology. She loves taking walks with her pup Aspen, drinking coffee and Babe Rosé, listening to podcasts, spending quality time with those she loves and taking photos of everything in between. She is our in-house photographer, so if you see her around snapping photos, make sure to smile! 

Maddie McClure

Maddie was born in Creede and recently moved back after receiving her Bachelor’s of Science in Communications & Civic Media at Willamette University in Oregon. She is the biggest dog lover there ever was — we can guarantee that you can find her in the store following people’s dogs around giving them all the treats and love. The mountains have always been home, and she’s happiest out hiking, running, mountain biking or skiing. Come on in, grab a beer, and bring your dog!

Bear

Bear is the official companion of San Juan Sports. Any given day he can be found blocking the door to the store or out on a long adventure with Michael or Amy. Bear is a rescue mix, but is mainly Alaskan Malamute & German Shepard. He will never turn down a treat or a belly rub. Before you go out... come in and see Bear.

The Area

San Juan Sports is located in the San Juan Mountain range of southwestern Colorado, in the historic town of Creede. The San Juans are known for old mining towns, high peaks, and abundant fishing waters. The range is home to fourteen of Colorado's 54 14,000 foot mountains. Creede was established as a mining town in 1892, where mining explorations continue today. During the summer, Creede is a bustling tourist destination, attracting outdoor enthusiasts, patrons of the arts and people who want to enjoy beautiful scenery, unique shopping, fun restaurants, and great weather. The Creede Repertory Theatre offers live plays with actors from across the country, to entertain Creede's locals and visitors alike. In fall, Creede offers top-notch hunting and stunning fall foliage. Wintertime brings white, snow-capped mountains and endless blue skies. The area provides cross-country and backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice fishing. Wolf Creek Ski Area is a short 37-mile drive, and claims “the most snow in Colorado,” where it dumps over 465 inches of snow annually. In Late Spring, the rivers and streams fill up rapidly from the snowmelt off of the San Juan Mountains.