Making it in business

Money, time often get in the way of progress

Owners of Craig's Thunder Rolls Bowling Center knew their fellow bowlers were eager to play the sport in an updated facility with the option to eat a good meal. They took that idea one giant step further and created a 16-lane bowling center that should open by the end of the month.

"A lot of the veteran bowlers said they'll believe it when they see it," said co-owner Beryl Dschaak. "I thought, 'Come hell or high water, we're going to do it.'"

But some ideas for new businesses in Craig don't seem to make the transition from concept to reality. A quick search of Daily Press archives revealed some plans for new businesses that haven't yet materialized. Others are coming along at a slower than anticipated rate.

Dave Costa, building inspector for the city of Craig, said no new construction applications have made their way across his desk.

That means no formal plans are under way for renovations for Signal Hill. Last May, new owners from Salt Lake City told the Daily Press they wanted to turn the former steak and seafood joint west of Craig on U.S. Highway 40 into a Mexican restaurant.

A "re-opening soon" sign at Craig's Drive-Inn has hinted that residents may see a return of the outdoor movies residents enjoyed here more than a decade ago. A phone call to the owner seeking comment was not returned.

Moffat County Commissioner Daryl Steele said the county has not had contact with its owners in two years.

Frustrated city and county officials have talked of tearing the facility down but stopped short fearing legal implications.

Steele said the county may be poised to take legal action on cleaning up the property that lies outside the city line at the east end of town. It may take a formal complaint and the county acting on its recently adopted international building codes to be able to take action on the site.

"It's kind of like opening a can of worms, yet it needs to be done," Steele said.

Darrell and Carol Camilletti purchased the former Cosgriff property along Victory Way between Russell and Tucker streets last June. Darrell Cami--lletti said he plans to build a new office building for his business, Mountain West Insurance, but constructing additional space to lease out to other businesses doesn't make economical sense. Camilletti said he would have to charge rent at an inflated rates to justify the constructing the space for another tenant. He said he wanted to have a new building for his business constructed by the end of the year.

"I'm just trying to be a little patient," he said. "The costs of construction materials are skyrocketing right now. I'm just trying to make the best economic decision possible right now."

At least once a day, people quiz property owners Mike Durner and Bob Edwards about the status of their plans to renovate the former Burger King on Victory Way into a family restaurant.

The owners are in the process of trying to secure a loan through the government's Small Business Administration, and the process requires the owners to submit a wealth of information.

Durner said the scope of the project is much greater than taking over an existing operation, therefore getting to opening day will take more effort.

"When they start telling you how much money you're going to have to throw around, it's a shock," Durner said. "Some people look at the process and say, 'no way,' and some people look at it and say they're afraid to do it.

"For a first-time owner, it really does become overwhelming," he said.

Kaye Jacobson, regional director for the Small Business Development Center, said it's not always a negative sign when people back out of starting new businesses.

"People get bitten by the entrepreneur bug but you don't want them to lose their life savings if the business isn't right for them," she said. "Lots of people have great ideas but they sit on them for a long time."

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