After announcing he would step away from his business to retire, Gordon Grandbouche has sold the land and equipment of the Craig Grain Company.
According to the Moffat County Assessor’s office, Grandbouche sold the two lots and equipment he owned for 43 years at 786 Industrial Ave.
Darcy Land LLC, the real estate holding company of The Goodrich Mud Company, purchased both lots on July 21 for $700,000, according to the assessor’s office.
The first lot, which contains a grain elevator, is 54,100 square feet and the vacant lot is 27,050 square feet, according to the assessor’s office.
Coray Goodrich, of Vernal, Utah, owns the Goodrich Mud Company and said his company has been operating in Craig for about 14 years. He said the business specializes in providing sand for use in fracturing operations for the oil and gas industry.
Goodrich said he plans to convert the Craig Grain facility to a sand handling operation in about two years.
In the meantime, Goodrich said he will lease the property to the Craig-based company, Snyder and Counts Feed & Seed.
Rose Counts, of Synder and Counts, said the company had no comment.
“We have leased it to them to make sure there is continuity for the farmers and the grain handling for the time being,” Goodrich said.
The grain handling equipment on the Craig Grain land includes elevators and seed cleaning equipment, among others, Goodrich said.
“That was one of Gordon’s main concerns is that it is the only seed cleaner in the area, and he wanted to make sure the farmers had access to that until someone else could get into the business,” Goodrich said.
The Goodrich Mud Company employs a crew of Craig residents and operates on the stretch of railroad between Barclay and Taylor streets and in the Craig rail yard, Goodrich said.
The company unloads about 2,500 to 3,000 railcars of sand per year, and uses about 16 trucks to move the sand from Craig to Vernal, he said.
The reason for shipping the sand to Utah, which comes from places like Minnesota and Illinois, is because Vernal does not have a railroad, he said.
“Almost all of it comes out of your rail yard there and straight to Vernal,” he said.
In addition to purchasing the property and developing it to meet his business needs, Goodrich said he wants to expand his sand business in the area.
“We intend on staying in Craig indefinitely,” he said. “Sand handling is what we do.”
Goodrich also has sand operations in Rifle and Martin, Utah, but said he has no plans to open other locations. He said he recently built a $3 million facility in Vernal to receive sand coming from Craig.
Darcy Trask, Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership director, said the property staying open to the grain industry for a period is good news.
“Whenever you lose a community infrastructure business like that one, it has a particular ripple effect through the particular industry,” she said. “We will always be creative in working around those kinds of infrastructure limitations, but the more we have that in place, the easier it is for folks to do business here.”
According to a 2008 Bureau of Economic Analysis, Moffat County agricultural products were valued at $37.9 million. Of that value, $7.6 million were crops.
Trask said she estimated the value of small grains in the county were between $400,000 and $1 million in 2008.
As far as the sale of Craig Grain, Trask said the community may value one industry over the other, but that businesses “spotting economic opportunities” in the area is a good thing.
“It sure beats the heck out of a business sitting empty,” she said.
Trask said bringing new business into the area could also help the local economy.
“Whenever we have a business that brings new dollars into the community, which these sand operations do, and for that matter so do the grain operations, that is very good for the local economy,” she said. “It exponentially improves the economy.”