Craig Chamber recognizes businesses large and small

Recipients

State of the County 2011 award recipients

• Small Business of the Year

— Golden Cavvy Restaurant & Lounge, 538 Yampa Ave.

• Large Business of the Year

— Tri-State Generation & Transmission, 2101 S. Ranney St.

The winners of the two Business of the Year awards at the State of the County 2011 may be different in size, but ultimately have the same goal — providing service to the people of Craig and Moffat County.

The Golden Cavvy Restaurant & Lounge, 538 Yampa Ave., was named Small Business of the Year at Wednesday’s State of the County 2011, hosted by the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

Taking home the title of Large Business of the Year was Tri-State Generation & Transmission.

Craig Station Manager Rick Johnson, who accepted Tri-State’s award at the ceremony, said he was proud to be honored by the Chamber.

“I think we’re becoming more noticeable to the town, the county, and the state as providers of clean, low-cost, environmentally friendly energy,” Johnson said.

Johnson credited the employees of the Craig station as being the backbone of the success. The Craig station retains a workforce of about 300.

“They do a fabulous job, 24/7, providing power,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he also wanted to thank the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership and the organization’s director, Darcy Trask, for the work they have put in promoting the business.

“With everything going on in the economy, I think it’s sinking in for people how important we are to the area,” he said.

He added that Tri-State’s association with regional coal producers Trapper Mine and Colowyo Mine is crucial to its role providing energy for the area. Among the funds the company provides for the local government is $8.1 million in annual real and personal property tax revenue for local governments.

“We hope to continue to do our part for the local economy,” he said.

While Tri-State’s Craig station was constructed years ago and has been serving the area for more than 30 years, the winner for Small Business of the Year has been in Craig much longer.

The Golden Cavvy has been a Craig institution for more than 100 years, originally as a hotel called the Baker House.

Ownership of the building has changed hands many times since then, but current owner Charlotte Gariner said she plans to keep what people love about the restaurant while still maintaining its familiar look and feel.

Gariner, who worked under three different owners at the eatery before buying it, said patronage has been high since she and her husband, Glen, took over.

“We want to give the people what they want and keep up the good service,” she said.

The Gariners purchased the Cavvy from Ron LaSalle in 2009 and have since remodeled the eatery’s layout, most recently replacing the booths in the dining room with more tables, and tinkering with the menu depending on customer feedback.

“That’s where we get our ideas … from what customers want,” Charlotte said.

The Gariners purchased tickets to State of the County but were unable to attend at the last minute.

“When we came in the next day it was just such a surprise,” Charlotte said. “We had no idea. We were totally shocked, but we’re just glad people are recognizing us.”

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