Business News and Notes: Walgreens plans mid-summer opening

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— Winter couldn't stop construction at the new Craig Walgreens, even if this year's cold season turned out to be worse than imagined.

"I made the decision to start because I looked at the history of the last 20 years worth of winters, which weren't that bad, and then I got this one," said Ron Davies, who oversees onsite construction as Wadman Corporation project manager. "The winter conditions for the project were far above estimate. Once I got going, people said I was crazy, but I was already committed."

Despite conditions, Wadman and the different crews of subcontractors - local and out of state - soldiered on. Walgreens officials said they expect the store to open mid-summer.

Much like Wal-Mart practices, the company will come in and finish the store's interior itself by building shelves and counters and capping off other projects.

The 13,577-square-foot building will consume about 15 percent of the total lot, Davies said. The rest will have 77 parking spaces and varied landscaping, both of which exceed the city's space requirements, mandated by the new Land Use Code.

Walgreens has not decided whether the Craig store will be open 24 hours a day, Walgreens Corporate Spokeswoman Carol Hively said.

She said the Craig store will have a drive-thru prescription drug window, a fully capable pharmacy and photo and cosmetics departments.

In addition to the drive-thru window, Hively said, customers can dial in their prescriptions and request a pickup time without coming into the store.

Prescription labels can be printed in 14 languages, as well, including Spanish.

The photo department will offer passport photos and digital prints. Hively added customers can upload their photos from a home computer to print at any Walgreens in the country.

The store will have about 25 employees, most of which will be hired locally, Hively said, with at least a store manager recruited from outside Craig.

She said the company does not know where it will find retail pharmacists.

The demand for affordable and convenient prescription drugs brought Walgreens to Moffat County, Hively said.

"We open stores in areas where not only is there a current demand for prescription drugs, but there is a strong case for future demand, as well," she said. "Moffat County fits that model very well because of the elderly population there and the baby boomers that will be growing up pretty soon."

Her company is not averse to strong research before committing to building a store, Hively added.

"There's about 100 pages of research that we do," she said.

Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

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