City considers GOWD funds money well spent

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The money the city of Craig gave the Grand Olde West Days committee was the show of faith needed to get the Memorial Day weekend event off the ground and organizers are grateful, committee chairwoman Carol Wilson said.

"Thank you very much for providing the funding to make Grand Olde West Days (GOWD) happen," Wilson told the Craig City Council Tuesday night. "Without that vote of confidence, we wouldn't have had the guts to go out and make it happen."

Wilson and other GOWD committee members attended Tuesday's Craig City Council meeting to report on how the $8,500 donation for the event was spent.

Money from the city, combined with donations from individual businesses and contributions to a donation jar, started the committee with $11,327.25. Revenues from T-shirt sales and vendor fees allowed the committee to end $4,370.56 in the black, though there were several expenses and the bull-riding event lost money.

That money will be used as seed money for next year's event and Wilson asked the council to keep it in mind during its next budget cycle.

Donations from businesses were down from years previous, but Wilson said she thinks that will change as confidence in the organizers is boosted following a successful event.

"The committee is in place now, we'll recruit more members and hopefully we'll be able to match city funds in the future," Wilson said.

She said the committee began its fund-raising efforts in February for the May event and would start earlier next year.

Other expenses were $4,474.39 in entertainment, which was free to all spectators, and $1,469.39 in advertising. KRAI radio and the Craig Daily Press donated local advertising but the committee paid for radio spots in Glenwood Springs and Dillon and for newspaper advertisements in Steamboat Springs and for posters and window signs.

For the first time in three years, Monday's events were held in historic downtown Craig, with Yampa Avenue closed to traffic. Wilson attributes much of the event's popularity to that move.

"The fairgrounds was nice, but downtown was nicer," she said. "My feedback was a resounding 'yes' for moving it back downtown."

Mayor Dave DeRose said he also heard from residents that they were happy with the event's return to downtown.

"Thanks so much for all you do," DeRose told committee members. "I think it was a real positive thing."

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031,

Ext. 210 or by e-mail at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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