You know what they say about first impressions -- they last.
With that knowledge, and now, at the outset of hunting season, we all need to do the most we can to make Craig and Moffat County a memorable place.
Many would agree that Craig is a sportsmen's paradise and touts some of the best fishing and big game hunting in the United States, and even the world.
It's a selling point many local agencies have used to attract visitors to Northwest Colorado.
But, once we get hunters here, it's important to put on our best face to keep them coming back.
So, how do we do that?
It starts with changing the service environment.
Some people believe that, when hunting season rolls around, you can expect the service at local restaurants to dramatically improve. We hope that's true, that businesses do in fact recognize the importance of treating out-of-towners well. On the other hand, we find this practice of working hard and well on behalf of a minority of customers for only a few months out of the year to be a tad disturbing.
Hunting season or not, good, friendly customer service should be a year-round practice.
It's our belief that local business owners know this to be true. It's our belief that some of the their employees may need a refresher course on this basic tenet of good business.
How can we improve this at-times apathetic atmosphere?
For starters, employees themselves need to make the personal choice to work hard.
Good employees are hard to find, true. But, there are always people that need a job, people that recognize a paycheck is a tradeoff for a hard day's work.
Business owners, if you're employees aren't cutting it, cut them loose. Someone out there is more than willing to work for their living.
Next, some of the area's economic development organizations -- groups that push our world-class hunting -- need to fully support the business culture by sponsoring workshops on providing the best service possible.
What does this all add up to?
Keeping our existing hunters, enticing them to come back and attracting more in the future. Also, it would help in providing local customers good service for their money.
The goal should always be to sell Craig and Moffat County as the wonderful destination that it is -- 365 days a year.
If we can make sportsmen happy, as well as our local customers, there's a better chance they'll return, and a better chance we'll all see a return.