Editorial: Flight focus


Editorial board members:

• Al Cashion

— Community representative

• Bryce Jacobson

— Newspaper representative

• Bridget Manley

— Newspaper representative

• Chris Nichols

— Community representative

• Jeff Pleasant

— Community representative

• Joshua Roberts

— Newspaper representative

Our View

Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden is an untapped asset that Craig and Moffat County could better capitalize on. Local business owners and organizations would be wise to develop plans integrating the airport and its operations into marketing strategies.

About 20 miles east of Craig an opportunity is waiting to be fully developed.

Yampa Valley Regional Airport in Hayden brings visitors from just about everywhere to the Yampa Valley.

And, if these travelers’ interests are piqued enough, hopefully their stop in the area includes visiting Craig and Moffat County.

But herein lies the problem.

A lack of promotion at the airport means new arrivals know little about what lies west of Routt County.

Yes, there are a few signs and brochures at the airport hinting at what they could find beyond Hayden town limits, but it’s not enough to draw the crowd it could and should.

The editorial board suspects this lack of vision may be attributed to the invisible wall between the two counties. According to this logic, if it’s in Routt County, it belongs to Steamboat Springs.

This thinking prevents Moffat County from capitalizing on the largely untapped asset that is the airport in Hayden and the visitors it regularly shuttles in and out.

Putting out more brochures and signs promoting the rich outdoor recreational opportunities in Moffat County is a good start to correcting the problem.

So is working with Alpine Taxi to give out coupons for Craig restaurants and attractions to visitors bound for Steamboat.

A shuttle from the airport could bring new arrivals to major Craig events like Whittle the Wood and Wyman Museum’s Winter Festival.

Ultimately, though, the solution must include a broader vision for luring airport traffic to Moffat County. A master plan is in order, and everyone — namely local businesses and agencies — must be on board with it.

The Editorial Board contends more Craig business owners would be willing to advertise at YVRA if they realized how rich a resource it is. The same goes for agencies like the Craig Chamber of Commerce and the Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership.

Craig and Moffat County have two choices.

Option one: Continue to allow tourists to shuttle east on Highway 40 with little idea of, or little interest in, what they’re missing in Moffat County.

Option two: Recognize YVRA as a major transportation hub and take advantage of it.

It should be obvious which choice is wiser.

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Cole White 5 years, 1 month ago

With all due respect editorial board, advertising at the airport and expecting a return on your investment is about as useless as advertising in the news paper. People flying into YVRA just drog a cool G on the plane ticket and are going to be spending another 200 a night for a hotel in stemaboat. Not many are going to say "ya know, I hear their is this really cool town that is 45 miles aways from steamboat, lets blow off a day of skiing and our $150 dollar lift tickets and walk around Craig." Spending money advertising at YVRA is a bad idea on many levels.


George Robertson 5 years, 1 month ago

Imagine that, they DID find something else to gripe about, and now Alpine Taxi, Local businesses and agencies, Craig business owners, Craig Chamber of Commerce, and the Economic Development Partnership have all been given new assignments/responsibilities. I suppose the Editorial Board is going to come up with the funds for the shuttle from the airport to Whittle the Wood and Wymans Winter Festival.


David Moore 5 years, 1 month ago

Highway 1340, you took the words right out of my mouth. Steamboat has it all and those wanting to blow 10 grand on a ski week are not going to drive 45 miles to be bored to death for an afternoon. Air traffic significantly decreases in the summer, can't see someone catching a flight for a grand to come to Whittle Da Wood, sorry. Geez, even I go to Steamboat frequently to get away from here, I work there, I like to eat at a different restaurant, and I can buy items not even imagined here. Just last night I needed to find non-cotton thermal underwear and non-cotton socks for my kid, you think I was able to find it anywhere here? There is no "invisible wall", its called progress and money, neither of which Craig possesses.


native_craig_guy 5 years, 1 month ago

Maybe we should focus on the "non-tourism" aspects of our local economy. It is ridiculous that we are still focusing on tourism to our area. We need to be focusing on business growth and development, NOT tourism. We constantly create a boom and bust economy because we focus on Industries like oil and gas and tourism. People are not going to travel to NWCO for a vacation unless they are headed to Steamboat. I do not know why we cant focus on something productive rather than beating our heads against the same pole trying to figure out why we can't seem to obtain any semblance of economic stability.


Nadja Rider 5 years, 1 month ago

I have to agree with the above comments, Craig is not a tourist destination and after 30+ years of living here, does not appear to be heading in that direction. We offer a few unique and wonderful attractions, like hunting, rafting (in western Moffat county), dude ranches, etc., but we do not offer activities, shopping or restaurants that appeal to the broad masses.

I travel often and I can tell you that the signs, brochures and other info in airports does not lure me to do anything else. My focus is always on getting to where I want to be. If I am lured to try something unplanned it does not come from airport signs, it will most likely come from local referrals - and even that isn't always reliable, especially if someone is making a buck to promote that referral.

If this community truly wants to promote themselves to tourists, I suggest using some of the online tools and websites to educate people as to what we have to offer. I plan all my trips from info I gather online from sites like Trip Advisor, as well as specific local sites in the areas I wish to travel to. Look at the resources that Steamboat has online, Craig & Moffat County don't even come close to offering the type and quality of info. Local organizations that should be concerned about their online image, haven't been and have always gone for the cheapest solution. They aren't kept up-to-date - and it shows.

I also agree with the statement above that we should first focus on non-tourism aspects of our local economy.


craignative 5 years, 1 month ago

I believe all the editorial board is trying to do is promote our community. A lot of the talk here on the comment board is making Criag better. I believe that's what they are trying to do.

We need to advertise what we have versus what other communities have. We are not Steamboat. We don't have ski mountains and never will.

I agree Craig needs more "things" to make Craig more appealing. But, why not look at what we do have to offer. The Northwest part of Colorado come Sept thru Nov has a major boost to our economy from hunting. By promoting the things we have may produce the right thought process to take our community to the next level, whatever that level is.


Cole White 5 years, 1 month ago

The only advertisement that would be any good is a simple billboard at the intersection of highway 40 and Routt Rd. 51 leading to the airport that has an arrow on it pointing west and a picture of Benjamin Frankling that says:

"Craig....Drive 18 miles and save a founding father (Avg. Craig hotel = $85 - Avg. Steamboat hotel = $185)"


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