Editorial: Moving forward

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Editorial board members:

• Al Cashion

— Community representative

• Alisa Corey

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Bridget Manley

— Newspaper representative

• Jerry Martin

— Newspaper representative

Our View

The decrepit Craig Motel on north Yampa Avenue continues to be an eyesore in Craig’s business district 29 months after it burned in a fire. For the good of the city, officials must push owner Qi Lin Wu to either rehab his property or sell it.

Every year when spring arrives, the community’s attention turns to the condition of our surroundings here in Craig and Moffat County.

This attention comes both in praise for the natural beauty of the Yampa Valley as well as frustration over the various nicks and blemishes that mask that aesthetic appeal.

One area has fallen into the latter category the last couple of years yet remains unaddressed. We’re talking, of course, about the dilapidated site of the Craig Motel on north Yampa Avenue.

The sorry condition of the hotel is not a new problem. It burned in a fire in October 2009.

And while the fire was unfortunate for owner Qi Lin Wu and a tough blow for the local business community, the editorial board feels the city has given Wu plenty of time to, at the very least, have the condemned structure removed from the property.

Twenty-nine months, in fact.

But the charred-out shell of the hotel remains, like an anchor slowing a business district seeking to move forward. This has to change, board members contend.

Right now, a community must use all its best assets when navigating the choppy waters of a struggling economy. This is especially true for a community traditionally reliant on boom-bust industries like energy.

The motel site is a good piece of real estate in a decent location, and could be used for any number of alternatives, like a park, new housing or businesses, to name a few.

Letting the property continue to sit in disarray and destitution is a disservice to all the people who work hard to make Craig, and especially the business district, an appealing destination for locals and out-of-town guests.

It would be different if Wu had plans for the property, if he intended to raise something from the ashes of the hotel he once operated.

However, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

The editorial board certainly wishes Wu and his family all the best. Life is hard enough on its own without having to regroup from something like a fire.

But, the time has come to move forward, both for Wu and the city.

City officials late last year told the Craig Daily Press they could start pushing Wu to do something with his property during spring construction season.

Spring has arrived and its time for the city to make good on those words.

Wu either needs to rehab his property until it is once again usable or he needs to sell it to someone who will.

Anything less is unacceptable.

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