Les Self, general manager for the Kum & Go north location at 895 Yampa Ave., pulled into work at 5 a.m. Friday for his store's grand opening after a lengthy remodel.
The store wasn't supposed to open until 6 a.m.
To his surprise, Self said, there already were several cars waiting at the gas pumps and a few people standing outside the front door.
"Oh, it's been very busy today," he said later that afternoon. "I'm definitely glad to be back open and get to see everyone in the community again."
Mike Zimmerman, 34, was one resident who stopped by the store Friday. He brought his children with him.
"It's a really nice store," he said. "I just wanted to come by and check it out, see what's different."
The new Kum & Go is greatly expanded over the previous store in the same location, Self said.
New food stands with everything from chicken wings to breakfast pizzas - and new merchandise such as pink Kum & Go caps for the ladies - line the aisles inside.
Self said space was too limited inside the old store for the company to stock its newer features, but with the new store, Craig residents will be able to find anything they would at Kum & Gos in bigger cities.
The food service area may see the most traffic. It has more than the generic convenience store fare, Self said.
"We make it all here, and it's pretty good," he said. "There's a lot of stuff, like the breakfast pizzas are really good, a lot of stuff that's nicer to go on than just a burrito."
Self said every Kum & Go store makes room for store merchandise, such as the pink caps, T-shirts and lighters.
"We sell a lot of it, we really do," he said. "Sometimes, people that might come from the south or the east - where we don't have stores - will come in and buy 10 or 15 lighters just to give them to their friends back home.
"I guess they get a jolt out of the name."
The store also has an expanded gas service station, with six pump stations and a large overhanging canopy. Before, there were two stations and no overhang for when it rained.
Kum & Go plans to close its 1302 W. Victory Way location around July 7 for that location's remodel project, Self said.
The building will be demolished to make way for a large gas pump station with 10 stations total.
Self said he couldn't say when the West Victory Way remodel would finish.
Company officials initially scheduled the north location's remodel to be done by Jan. 1, but complications with the Colorado Department of Transportation pushed that back until Friday.
CDOT required Kum & Go to add turn lanes and other renovations at the Yampa Avenue and Ninth Street intersection to accommodate additional traffic.
Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org