Breaking ground for new bank

It seemed like a family reunion Tuesday night when a throng of Craig investors and their families gathered to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new bank.

A sizeable group of investors, many of whom are longtime residents and business owners, think that Moffat County National Bank will be a good fit for the community. They gathered at the business's future site on Mack Lane to commemorate the undertaking.

"We want to make sure it goes, make sure it's successful," said Jim Duran, an investor and owner of Duran & Pearce Construction. "It's just another business venture that I hope is successful."

Investors plan to open a temporary bank facility by the end of May. The startup bank currently operates in a storefront office called Moffat County Loan Production off Victory Way. It offers customers loans, but a temporary bank can offer a wider array of services, President Dave Fleming said.

"We're getting together to indicate that we're officially moving forward," he said.

Fleming said investors plan to begin construction on a permanent facility in the fall of 2006. That should leave enough time to design a nice-looking building, he said.

Moffat County National Bank plans to open with seven employees. The Craig branch and its sister company, First National Bank of Steamboat Springs, are operated under Routt County Bancorporation. The Steamboat Springs branch has been in business for five years and has been a successful endeavor, Fleming said.

Both branches are run independently, investors said.

"Hopefully our service and local knowledge will serve customers better," Fleming said. "We have a lot we bring to the table, like more local knowledge and more local service. We have a broader base of investors than competitors. That feels like difference between us and them."

Investors include: Dave and Joan Fleming, Dean and Marianne Brosious, Frank and Rose Counts, Darryl and Sharon Steele, Janet Bohart and Joel Sheridan, Jim and Kathy Duran, Mike and Kell-y Nottingham, Scott and Kelly Cook, John and Peggy Ponik-var, Kevin and Amy Peck, Dave and Linda DeRose, Gail Severson, Tom and Jeannie Thornberry, Chuck and Sari Cobb and Sue and Larry Lyster, Julie and Steve Baker, Todd and Terri Jourgensen and Dan and Stacey Severson.

Fleming said the bank's loan office has been well received and garnered a "fair" amount of customers.

"In Craig, people tend to do business with people they're comfortable with," he said.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com

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