City backs snowmobile races

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Cooperation from the city of Craig will ensure residents some action this winter.

In the face of resentment from area businesses over the way a previous snowmobile race was handled and no cooperation from the Moffat County commissioners, representatives of the Colorado Snowmobile Racing Circuit didn't think they would be able to hold an event in Craig.

But the Craig City Council offered to help the group haul snow for what is hoped to be an annual snowmobile racing event.

The races are scheduled for Jan. 24-26 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

"This time of year is kind of slow and we try to get into communities because of that reason and spike revenue," CSRC representative Henry Billet said. "We want this to be a yearly event. I don't want this to be a one-hit wonder."

Riders from across the nation are expected and the area will be evaluated as a possible site for a national race covered by ESPN Sports.

But that evaluation isn't looking so good at this point.

"We've had no backing from the community because of problems with the last event held here three or four years ago," Billet said.

CSRC just finished hosting a successful event in Steamboat Springs and cooperation was great, Billet said.

"Steamboat was our first big event and it went great," he said.

Usually a local group helps by lending a trail groomer, but the Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club refused. To hold the event, one must be trucked in from Meeker or Steamboat Springs, both of which have offered to lend the equipment, Billet said.

"It is more expensive to haul it here," he said.

Billet approached the Moffat County commissioners asking for help hauling snow and was told they would do it if it snowed, and then could only spare one truck. They would not truck snow from existing mounds to the fairgrounds nor would they offer to use a loader to help in the set up and tear down.

"The county simply wasn't interested in the event," Billet said.

Council members were enthusiastic about the event and offered to haul snow when needed.

Mayor Dave DeRose offered, through his business, to help sponsor the event.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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