DeRose: A vote for Craig’s future

To the editor:

In 2000, the Craig City Council funded Connect to Craig, which was a study of the economy of Craig and what could be done in the future to diversify our economic base.

Three things stand out in that study.

The first issue being that we need to diversify from the coal and generation base of our economy to other sources of primary jobs.

The second was the need for an effort that was targeted to improve economic development. And the third was the idea that we could have a positive effect on our economy by increasing tourism to our community.

I think that recent things happening with our coal industry will make us all keenly aware that we need to heed the first issue that we discussed. I will not spend any time on the second issue, but I want to address the idea of increased tourism.

Not long ago, we all believed tourism in Moffat County was limited to the hunting seasons and that was all there would ever be. We have to explore the idea of all that we have to offer and begin to expand on that.

We need to look at the concept that we have in the past hosted several events such as the Colorado Firefighters Convention, Christian Motorcycle Association, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to mention a few.

We can change the face of what we do and increase our tourism industry with the proper infrastructure and marketing, and that is the concept behind the proposed lodging tax.

Infrastructure that would allow us to have a large meeting place that we as a community can meet the need of added gymnasium space and to have all of this marketed to allow for growth are the heart of this idea. If we do nothing, our present condition may be as good as it will ever get, but with action this may be the worst we see.

We will not be able to replace a coalmine with this or a power plant work force, but we will be able to supplement our economy and possibly allow time to explore other ideas that we can do to diversify our economy and build a strong base for the future.

I encourage you to visit www.progressforcraig.com and look for the answers to your questions and read the lodging tax study and tax question.

Look at the letters of support from some of the lodging industry, and also take time to look at the conceptual drawing of an event center.

There are many safeguards built in to the ordinance to make sure this works for the future. We all realize that there is no free money, but we must realize that without action to secure our future, we will surely find ourselves wanting.

I believe together we can meet the challenges we face and make a difference in our future. To repeat what my mother used to say, “Can’t never went anywhere, and try went a long way.”

David DeRose

Comments

greenie52 3 years, 6 months ago

You have really changed your tune since this lodging tax was first brought up, do you remember saying " We need to get the money out of these peoples pockets when they visit here ".

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wellwell 3 years, 6 months ago

Dave DeRose,

The address is http://www.progressforcraig.com

We have such a beautiful area with activities that people are wanting to experience, horse riding, hunting, experience of sheep, cattle, buffalo, horses, elk, deer, antelope, sagebrush, juniper, ....... all in their natural setting. People like our open area and want this experience that we have each day. We are close to other areas of high visitation, but we are attractive due to our lack of congestion. People like our openness of the people also. We often miss this great sales oppurtunity. Let's use it!

I was unable to find the 2000 Connect To Craig study. You say that the conclusion of the study is: 1) diversify the economy 2) increase the economic developement 3) the tourism industry should be developed.

An infrastructure would be needed be needed to host conventions like the ones we've have in the past and should be able to host more in the future.

This sentence of proposal does seem unusual: "Infrastructure that would allow us to have a large meeting space that we as a community can meet the added gymnasium space and to have all of this marketed to allow for growth are the heart of this idea."

I looked at the Craig for Progress and indeed did see the gym, but did not see the large meeting space. Also the lodging industry collects the monies and should benefit by increasing Tourism and infrastructure related to a Tourism related Meeting Space.

We do need to move to increase Tourism and relate that infrastucture to those needs to increase our economy.

Economic Development also needs to grow its structure within and get on the Tourism bandwagon.

Mr. Derose can you address where is the large Meeting Center for Tourism and our use is in the architectural drawings? Also can you address how the gym is associated to a Tourism related Lodging collected monies?

I am throughly behind this collection of monies to support diversity in our economy thru Tourism.

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greenie52 3 years, 6 months ago

wellwell, When you look at what they want to call a large meeting place is really the start of a rec. center, once again call it something else so people will vote this in instead of calling it the truth, there are a bunch of liers, and by the way what ever happen to a Sonics coming in with Wal-Mart ? How much did the Mcdonalds guy pay you people off for keeping that out of here, you want jobs and more taxes for the city and county, but it just depends on where that is.

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wellwell 3 years, 6 months ago

greenie52,

Hit the nail on the head. The drawing shows a "multipurpose room" layed out as a basketball court. Is this the Large Meeting Room? I do not call them (liers) liars, I want some discussion.

Oh I love Sonic food and when out of town for necessary business, I surely make my meal stop at a Sonic and I certainly would have gone to Sonic here. Again, I would not a judge payments were made. Do you want to run down to Rifle?

Well, well Dave DeRose we've got some questions. Give us the answers.

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craiggirl 3 years, 6 months ago

I feel a few comments by wellwell and greenie52 should be addressed. First, the statement that the City ignored the lodging industry is interesting. Both have claimed to have read information on www.progressforcraig.com, so I'm wondering if you missed the Testamonials section where three of our hotels have voiced support for this lodging tax. "The lodging industry" is not, as a whole, opposed to this tax. I'm wondering if the few vocal people who oppose this are feeling terratorial about the current County lodging tax and MCTA. If the City's tax passes, the County will soon see a decline in revenue collected, perhaps eliminating a need for MCTA.

The other issue that should be addressed is that the proposed Event Center is the beginning of a rec center. I find it interesting that just because there is space for a multi-purpose room, that can be gym space, that it's suddenly a rec center. What is the Boys and Girls Club? It's building that has flexible space - BGCG during the day, gym space sometimes, meeting space other times. Are they a rec center? Should we suddenly start looking at their funding?

I agree with Mr. DeRose's letter - we are asking people to vote for this tax to 1) continue to fund tourism marketing at a level GREATER than the current level, while 2) giving tourists (all tourists and not just hunters) additional reasons to come to Craig and space to use here.

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DaveDeRose 3 years, 6 months ago

The Connect to Craig study is available at the Craig City Hall; it is not available electronically as it was done previous to everyone being online. The concept of having Gymnasium floors is to allow us to have basketball and wrestling tournaments to bring in additional sporting events here on the weekends. That same floor conceptually is planned to be a multi-use surface that could then house trade shows, large meetings, parties and dinners. When not in use at one of those facilities could be used in local youth and adult league sports or for 100’s of other ideas too numerous to list. The idea of giving this kind of open space is that we as a community can benefit from using this space with the ultimate goal of benefiting from increase in tourism. Most business type meetings are held in a central location with large rooms. This is similar to the event center in Billings, Montana.
This is not intended at this time to be a Rec Center, but if memory will serve you, you might remember that Moffat County School Board asked the city to fund the building of a new gym at the time of building the new middle school. This building will assist to satisfy that need as well.

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wellwell 3 years, 6 months ago

citygirl and Dave DeRose,

Thank you for your responses. My posts were questioning and not negative. I'm all for the proposal and, in fact, trying to emphasize that it will benefit the lodging industry by bringing in tourists to fill the rooms.

The economic development must be also addressed. It was the second part of the study. If the Moffat County Tourism can't "get it together" darn quick and work cooperatively as group, they will have no chance to work in cooperation with the city. Here again both the county and city can and should work together, Nothing terratorial, no connections, just common sense to use all experienced personnel sources and funding sources.

Often the biggest concern of citizens are the building rather that the importance of the structure of the program. My desire to spark discussion on the building was to answer to this need. Again thank you citygirl and Dave DeRose for answering the use of the mulipurpose room/gym. This is a good start for a tourism center. This and other issues need to be publically and through discussed quickly so that the voters can be informed. When informed they will come behind this disversity of our economy thru tourism as I am.

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Nadja Rider 3 years, 6 months ago

I've always supported a lodging tax, what I don't support is the high rate that is proposed. I was ok with the 1.9% and would have gone along with 2.9% - but not 6.9%! Does Craig really want to be known for the highest rate in the state? People do pay attention to tax rates and do shop around - I do.

I encourage everyone to vote NO! This bill needs to be revised with a more sensible tax rate.

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Ray Cartwright 3 years, 6 months ago

Just think, now instead of just raising the gas prices for hunting season we can pay the elevated rates year round because of all the tourist business we are getting... Once again the local loses..... by the way folks 30 cents cheeper for gas in Grand Junction.

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wellwell 3 years, 6 months ago

Dave DeRose, Mr. Carwell,

Can you put more information in the Craig Daily Press for the voters, Let's leave out the percentage stuff and talk more about the benefits to the lodging industry, how the tourism can be grown by the Referendum, and how this will help our overall economy.

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als362 3 years, 6 months ago

$30.00 per hour + wages in Craig. Minimum wage in Steamboat.

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