GoLite closed its Pearl Street Mall location in December after completion of the company's liquidation sale. Newton Running Co. opened a flagship store in the 1222 Pearl St. space on Saturday. (Joshua Lindenstein/BizWest)

GoLite bankruptcy case dismissed

BOULDER – The bankruptcy case for out-of-business outdoor retailer GoLite has been dismissed.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Brown issued the dismissal order last week, five months after the company, officially Coupounas LLC, had filed for Chapter 11 protection to try and reorganize.

GoLite, having concluded a liquidation sale Dec. 31 and closed its remaining stores, last month had filed a motion to dismiss the case, noting that the company’s lone private secured creditor, GemCap Lending I LLC, had been paid in full for the $816,475 it was owed. The company also noted in the filing that $62,918 in taxes, plus interest, had been paid to the Colorado Department of Revenue. GoLite employees were to be paid out for about $34,000 in unpaid vacation time, and the Colorado Department of Revenue had a remaining priority tax claim of $51,538.

But GoLite, which owed nearly $5.8 million in unsecured claims to a broad list of creditors that included landlords and suppliers, said in the motion to dismiss that it would not have enough proceeds left over from the liquidation sale to pay any of those unsecured claims.

A hearing on the motion to dismiss was originally scheduled for Thursday, but approval was granted early after no objections to the motion were filed by the March 4 deadline.

Neither GoLite co-founder Demetri “Coup” Coupounas nor the company’s attorneys could be immediately reached Monday for comment.

GoLite filed for bankruptcy in October in part, court documents showed, because the company’s bank accounts were about to be garnished by a creditor. But a few days later the company filed an emergency motion to hold a going-out-of-business sale because the apparel retailer Timberland had terminated its license for the GoLite name and the company would no longer be able to sell products under the brand after March 31 of this year.

GoLite hired a third-party company to act as its agent in conducting liquidation sales at six stores in Colorado. The final two stores, in Boulder and Denver, closed in late December. GoLite’s former Boulder space at 1222 Pearl St. didn’t stay empty long, with shoemaker Newton Running Co. opening a flagship store in the Pearl Street Mall spot on Saturday.

As late as November, Coup Coupounas had been trying to round up investors to keep the company going but admitted the difficulty in such an effort given the licensing issue for the GoLite name. Coupounas LLC had sold the GoLite brand to Timberland in 2006 and licensed it back with hopes that the company would be able to leverage Timberland’s global sales and distribution networks. But the relationship was a rocky one for years, and Timberland was one of the unsecured creditors, listed in court documents as being owed $15,600.

Founded in 1998 by Coupounas and his father, as well as his wife Kim, GoLite became known for technical gear like jackets, backpacks, tents and sleeping bags that it sold mostly through third-party retailers.

But Coupounas, in a November interview with BizWest, said a 2012 shift toward online sales and a rapid expansion into retail stores and casual apparel proved too ambitious for the company, and its finances suffered. The company at its peak had opened 20 stores.

GoLite officials began a year ago trying to find capital sources or a buyer for the company, to no avail. Direct discussions with one potential investor fell apart last July.