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.”