The Moffat County Visitor Center, which sits at the corner of Victory Way and Washington Street, has been home to the Chamber of Commerce for a number of years. Plans are under way to expand the building and bring the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Moffat County Tourism Association into the fold, as well.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

The Moffat County Visitor Center, which sits at the corner of Victory Way and Washington Street, has been home to the Chamber of Commerce for a number of years. Plans are under way to expand the building and bring the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and Moffat County Tourism Association into the fold, as well.

Visitor Center co-op

Chamber, MCTA, EDP look to have joint office

— There is no question.

Officials from the Craig Chamber of Commerce, Moffat County Tourism Association and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership agree it would best serve the three groups to share a joint office.

Now, they said they just have to find out whether the groups can afford an expansion at the Moffat County Visitor Center.

It's also important to note, they said, that none of the group's boards have voted on the move and that nothing is official until then.

"I personally feel like that's the right direction if the dollars work out the way they're supposed to," MCTA board president Tammie Thompson-Booker said. "We have some of those overlapping areas. I want to see us get together. I think if we're under one roof, there's less confusion about what the other groups are doing."

There have been informal meetings between one or two members of each group for a few months to discuss the possibilities. Out of that, Steamboat Springs-based Robert S. Ralston Associates Architects was hired to draft building plans.

Chamber Executive Director Christina Currie displayed the preliminary plans at the Chamber's after-hours mixer Thursday night at the Visitor Center.

Chamber board member Gene Bilodeau said he expects to have solid numbers for the project in the next seven to 10 days.

The idea to combine offices for the Chamber, EDP and MCTA has been "batted around" for a while, Bilodeau said.

The MCTA director once had an office in the Visitor Center. Bilodeau said the small space afforded the MCTA director was not enough for the amount of work that position requires.

Which is why members of the three groups think an expansion is the way to go.

EDP board chairman Scott Cook said he feels the same as MCTA and Chamber board members, however his group may have tighter purse strings than the other two.

"We think it's a great idea," Cook said. "With us, though, the city donates our office space and we don't pay anything for that. We don't know if we'll be able to contribute anything to a building project."

One idea floating around is to have members of the groups build the expansion themselves with direction from a qualified construction supervisor, much like Habitat for Humanity builds houses.

A project like that could help lend the expansion a sense of community ownership, Bilodeau said.

"Between the EDP, Chamber and the Tourism board, we have the kind of membership that could come around for that," he said.

Thompson-Booker supported that idea.

"If I have to come out and swing a hammer to make it happen," she said, "then I'm not opposed."

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