Craig Chamber of Commerce working on State of the County plans

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Christina Oxley, Craig Chamber of Commerce executive director, posed a question during Thursday’s board meeting about Gov. John Hickenlooper’s scheduled appearance at the March 9 State of the County event.

“Do we send the governor through the buffet line?” Oxley asked the board, which responded in laughter.

The governor’s visit was discussed prominently at the meeting.

He will be the keynote speaker at the event, which will take place at the Holiday Inn of Craig.

The problem, Oxley said, is that Hickenlooper’s schedule is still being worked out.

“There’s huge benefit to having the governor here and some complications in that we don’t know when he’ll be available and when we can start,” Oxley told the board.

“We know when he has to leave, so I’m not even sure we can feed him when he’s here.”

Oxley said Hickenlooper is planning on leaving Craig by 7:30 p.m., making him the first speaker at the event, which is tentatively scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

Oxley said Hickenlooper’s presence has increased interest in the event.

“The minute that story hit the paper (about Hickenlooper’s attendance), we’re getting calls like crazy reserving tickets,” she told the board. “We’re getting quite the Steamboat turnout.”

Oxley told the board that in prior years seating at the event was limited to 150 people, but this year there will be 270 tickets available.

Because of the lack of information about Hickenlooper’s schedule, tickets still haven’t been printed, although they can be reserved by contacting the Chamber.

Oxley said there is a possibility Hickenlooper would be available for a reception before the event, although no plans have been made.

Board member Gene Bilodeau recommended patience in finalizing plans for a start time or any related activities, in case they didn’t work with the governor’s schedule.

“I would lean towards taking what we know we can do, which is the State of the County, and doing it well,” Bilodeau said.

Oxley agreed with him.

“I would not want to be in a position where we sold something we couldn’t come through on,” she said. “If it’s from a planning perspective and we’d planned it for something the governor couldn’t accommodate, that’d be awful.”

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