Craig Andrea and Dale Camp have been talking about building a new movie theater in town for a few years.
This year may be the one, Andrea said.
"We hope to start building in early summer," Andrea said. "It'll take about four months to finish. We're getting excited, but I'll be really excited when we're actually building."
The Camps plan to build a four-screen cinema on the west side of town, next to the new Hampton Inn off First Street that has been under construction during winter.
The movie theater also will house a concessions stand, three party rooms and an arcade, though plans to include a restaurant or sports bar inside the building have been scrapped, Andrea said.
Instead, construction plans include a 3,000-square-foot retail space located next door, which Andrea said the couple could build themselves or possibly sell the land to another developer.
"We're hoping to have maybe a restaurant or retail store or something like that go there," she said.
The Camps still are unsure how they will operate the theater, whether it will showcase new releases or how much tickets will cost, Andrea said.
However it goes, though, she said she is ready to bring a "great movie experience" to Craig and Moffat County residents.
"I just think a movie theater with stadium seating and good screens is something people around here would really like," Andrea said. "People have to drive to Steamboat to get that movie experience. We want to bring that movie experience to Craig."
Dave Costa, Craig community development director, said the Camps have submitted their site plan for the theater project, though it was an incomplete application.
He added the couple asked for the Craig Planning and Zoning Commission to review its plans at the soonest meeting possible. That could be in March or April depending on how fast the project's architects get back to city officials with required documents.
Once Planning and Zoning approves the plans, the Camps will go to City Council for final approval. After that, the developers will submit construction drawings to Costa, the Camps will hire a builder and the project will get started.
They are not the only people in Craig thinking about growth.
Despite the national recession, Craig appears to be fertile soil for several new developments.
On the horizon
Costa's desk is partly covered with two other commercial developments, one a planned expansion of an existing local business and the other a preliminary sketch of something different.
Tri-State Equipment plans to build a large shop addition at its current space at 3025 W. Victory Way, Costa said. The project would more than double the footprint of the existing building, bringing the total size to about 23,680 square feet.
Costa added that Tri-State plans to pave its parking lot and the access road to its storefront, as well as remodel the exterior and put in new landscaping.
Tri-State owner Tom Walsh was out of town and could not be reached for comment.
Planning and Zoning and City Council approved site plans for the project.
Costa said he's waiting on construction documents before giving the OK for work to start.
The other project in the works is the idea of Four Hands LLC, an out-of-town development company with an office in Carbondale.
Costa said the company proposes to move City Market from its current building at 505 W. Victory Way to the space now occupied by the post office on the other side of Pershing Street.
Under the preliminary plans, the post office building and the current City Market building would be demolished and the grocery store would put up a new building where the post office is now.
Costa was unsure what would become of City Market's current location, but he added there was a thought to install Kroger gas pumps.
A representative with Four Hands could not be reached for comment. Kelly McGannon, with City Market's Denver office, said her company would not comment at the present time.
However, local residents said Four Hands has made offers to buy the necessary real estate.
Postmaster Victor Cordes, of the Craig post office, said a Four Hands representative approached him with a proposal, which he sent to the Colorado and Wyoming district office in Denver.
Cordes is unsure whether any agreement has been reached, but he is excited about the possibility.
"Quite honestly, we're not in a post office, we're in (the old) Safeway building," Cordes said. "If anything were to happen, that'd be great for us."
Cindy Looper, co-owner of Elk Run Inn at the corner of Victory Way and Green Street, said her business also received a purchase offer.
She said she wasn't sure she and her husband, Randy, would sell their hotel, but anything is possible.
"Everything is for sale if the price is right," Cindy said. "They'd have to pay the going market price for a hotel, even if they don't want to operate a hotel."
Building a community
Commercial projects are not the only plans that cover Costa's desk.
The congregation at New Creation Church is growing, Pastor Jason Haskell said, and it needs a new home.
So much so that church officials purchased land in the Ridgeview subdivision and plan to build a new 6,000-square-foot building at 520 Westridge Rd.
"As the work has been growing, our congregation has been growing," Haskell said. "Our sanctuary now, with the attendance we have on Sundays, it's just full."
Plan drawings for the new church building show a 232-capacity sanctuary, three classrooms, a kitchen area and a conference room. Haskell said the entire project - including buying the land, designing the building and construction - is about $1.2 million.
The local community has been gracious and welcoming since New Creation began renting space in Centennial Mall about five years ago, Haskell said. Now, it's time to give something back and make a permanent home.
"Part of it is the maturation of the church and planting our roots in the community," Haskell said.
The church is in the same situation as the Camps, Costa said. His office has received site plans, but church officials came with an incomplete application.
Still, he said he expects both projects to start this year if the developers are ready to build.