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.
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 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 and a Minor in Psychology. 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 one of their dogs.
Steve is our Beverage Manager and hails from Houston, TX. He is currently a senior at Sam Houston State University where he is majoring in History. His dog, Ladybird, serves as our greeter and is the main reason we keep him around. Steve enjoys skiing, hiking, singing, and playing the drums, and can usually be found crooning in Sunnyside on Friday nights.
Joe moved to Colorado in 2015, originally from Connecticut. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont and is now pursuing a Masters in clinical mental health counseling (Free therapy is available when he’s working the bar). In his free time he’s likely found in the hills with his dog, biking, or skiing. As an amateur guitar player and San Juan Sports’ resident deadhead, Joe is always down to jam.
Ben is a CO native who is happy to have lived full time in Creede for the last three years. He has a BA in Theatre from the University of Northern Colorado and an MFA in Acting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. During fishing season you can find Ben guiding for Rio Grande Angler, Soward Ranch, and Long Ridge Outfitters—all in the Creede area. His dog Molly is a regular at Sunnyside Bar and loves when folks come in to SJS to scratch her rear end!
Cody is happy to have moved to Creede from Denver with his girlfriend in 2022. He enjoys playing video games, mountain biking, skiing, and fetch with his corgi. He has a degree in Political Science from CU Denver but hates that there is so much politics in politics.
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