The Craig Motel, 894 Yampa Ave., has sat dormant since an October 2009 fire destroyed the site. Allie Craig, a local resident who owns a duplex next door to the burnt motel, said she would like to see the city level the property and possibly build a small park in its place.

Photo by Joe Moylan

The Craig Motel, 894 Yampa Ave., has sat dormant since an October 2009 fire destroyed the site. Allie Craig, a local resident who owns a duplex next door to the burnt motel, said she would like to see the city level the property and possibly build a small park in its place.

Future of Craig Motel site uncertain

Owner Qi Lin Wu: Insurance coverage insufficient to renovate

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A notice at the Craig Motel, 894 Yampa Ave., warns that it’s unfit for occupancy. Nearly half of the motel’s rooms were destroyed during an October 2009 fire that was caused by a faulty wall-mounted heater.

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Craig Fire/Rescue firefighters combat a blaze in October 2009 at the Craig Motel. City officials have given motel owner Qi Lin Wu time to rehab the site, but they said if no action is taken by spring, they might have to move the issue along.

It’s been more than two years since a faulty wall-mounted heater sparked a blaze in room 11 of the Craig Motel, sparking a fire that destroyed almost half of the site.

Since the Oct. 21, 2009, fire, little has been done to the property at 894 Yampa Ave.

Dave Costa, Craig city director of community development, said the city has been patient with the motel owner, Qi Lin Wu, because it was believed he intended to rehab the property.

“We’re affording the gentleman some time to seek some financing to rehabilitate the motel,” Costa said. “Based on the economic hard times, he has had a little difficulty with his insurance coverage and collecting on the fire damage.

“Rather than have him demo the whole thing and have a vacant site there, we’re trying to be a good neighbor and allow him to find some financing.”

But Wu, who has relocated his family to Cortez, said he has received an insurance settlement.

“It is not enough to replace (the motel),” Wu said. “I don’t know what I am going to do. I don’t have enough money.”

Costa said he has not spoken to Wu for several weeks and was unaware the motel owner had received his insurance settlement.

However, since Wu has stated the settlement is not enough to rehab the motel site, Costa said he might have to encourage the site owner to take some type of action when construction season picks up.

“Come next spring, if he doesn’t do anything, he will receive a notice from me to either rehab or raze the building,” Costa said.

If Wu does not act within the city’s timeline, Costa said a lien can be placed against the property and the city will take action.

“I really hate to get in the middle of this because I really don’t have money in the budget to raze that building,” Costa said.

Allie Craig owns the duplex next door to the Craig Motel site. She said the two-year grace period has gone on long enough and she would prefer to see the city take action sooner than next spring.

“I think it’s horrible looking and I would like to see anything there but a burnt down motel,” Craig said. “If they rebuild it, that’s fine. If they tear it down, even better.”

Craig said her home has been on the market since the blaze occurred and she would prefer to see the damaged buildings leveled and a small park take its place.

“Our biggest problem is that our property is worth next to nothing because of the motel,” Craig said. “We’ve had prospective buyers view my building, but they have all raised concerns about the motel.”

Craig Mayor Terry Carwile said he would like to see the issue of the motel site remedied. He is confident, given the time since the fire, the issue will come before council members in the future.

“The bottom line for me is it is on my radar,” Carwile said. “Once we have solid information on what the owners intend to do, we’ll have a conversation to see if we need to take care of the motel ourselves.”

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Comments

cactus 3 years ago

My gosh! Clean it up! Get volunteers. The money has been received to clean it up even if not enough to rebuild! Why wait? This is devaluing other people's property and they can't get on with their lives.

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lonelyone 3 years ago

If the owner has recieved a settlement from his insurance, tell him to use that money to tear it down and get it cleaned up. Probably not enough money for that project either, but at least it's a start.....unless he has spent it already??? Let the fire dept use it as a training session and burn it the rest of the way down and the tell the owner to pay for the clean up from that?

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curious_reader12 3 years ago

How about instead of criticizing the owner for not cleaning it in time, why don't we get volunteers to help? If he can't afford the cost of cleaning and rebuilding the building then maybe he requires the assistance of the community rather than the criticism.

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David Moore 3 years ago

I agree with curious_reader, lets help them out, clean it up and turn it into a small park.

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lonelyone 3 years ago

Curious and Mr. Moore, that's probably not a bad idea. BUT it's still going to cost money to tear things down and dispose of it correctly and that will cost money and he should have to pay for that.

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curious_reader12 3 years ago

I agree that he should have to compensate for the clean up and/or removal, yet I believe that having a group of volunteers to help can aid the owner in saving money (to later spend on disposal) and time (which seems to be one of the larger topics of discussion). If the community does not accept that it has been two years since the incident and nothing has been done, they could cure their own issues by helping the poor man who is already struggling with the loss of his business.

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Tammy Showalter 3 years ago

I agree with curious_reader12..... But let us not forget what that place looked like for MANY years. Then the present owner came in and if I am not mistaken was awarded for community improvement? There are alot of ugly places around town and I am sure if everyone with a property for sale next door pitched a fit, we would hear of many more. I know several people who have looked into buying that duplex who thought it was overpriced before the motel burned. The motel property is owned by someone who should just clean it up and then sell the prime commercial property they own, or ignore it and let the city do what they have to do, but why let anyone take over that responsibilty unless you just don't care? If it was underinsured that is not the fault of the city or the neighbors, but shouldn't the insurance money that was received go towards the cleanup?

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curious_reader12 3 years ago

sljsmom Explained it perfectly. That is exactly what I mean to say.

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