Big R officials express interest in Craig

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Rumors that a Big R Ranch and Home Supply will be opening in Craig are unfounded but may not be that far off the mark.

Company officials have toured the old Country General store and have their eyes set on opening in Craig in the future.

"We've always been interested in Craig," Big R Operations Manager Rod Mika said. "It's one of many on a list of possibilities."

Big R has been aggressive with new openings in the last year. Of the company's 11 stores, five have been opened in the last year -- four of those were in Colorado with the most recent being in Clifton.

"We love Colorado," said Mary Kay Yeley, the company's chief financial officer.

Big R offers agricultural supplies, animal health products, automotive, boots, clothing, feed, fencing materials, hardware, lawn and garden items, pet supplies, tack and toys.

The company has two distribution centers, one in Cheyenne, Wyo., and one, which opened this year, in Laramie, Wyo.

"You can only go so fast when you're building," Mika said. "We're definitely interested in Craig and hope to be there some day. We're just going month to month."

Big R's motto is "committed to giving you everything we've got and then some," which Mika said is demonstrated with its customer service, selection and the cleanliness of its stores.

"I think that's what's helping us grow so fast," he said.

Big R has stores in Washington, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming. Its corporate offices are in Bozeman, Mont.

Moffat County rancher Clint Earle said having a store such as Big R would be good for Craig.

"I think there'd be a need for it," he said. "It might keep prices down at other hardware stores. As soon as Country General closed down, all the others raised their prices."

Country General closed its doors in December 2001. The 42,000-square-foot building has been sitting vacant since, used only by the Moffat County High School girls soccer team for practice.

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