Moffat County and Craig get new welcome banner | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County and Craig get new welcome banner

Patrick Kelly

Draped across the old drive-in theater off U.S. Highway 40, a new banner reads "Welcome to Moffat County" and shows a collage of activities the area has to offer.

After years of work, Craig Chamber of CommerceCraig Chamber of Commerce has its new welcome sign proudly displayed on the old drive-in movie theater on U.S. Highway 40 east of Craig. has its new welcome sign proudly displayed on the old drive-in movie theater on U.S. Highway 40 east of Craig.

Craig Chamber of Commerce has its new welcome sign proudly displayed on the old drive-in movie theater on U.S. Highway 40 east of Craig.

The banner reads "Welcome to Moffat County" and depicts some of the area's many attractions with the hopes that it will catch the eye of passersby and encourage them to explore Craig and Moffat County.

The $12,000 project was funded entirely by sponsors and did not cost the chamber a dime. All of the sponsors donated $1,500 the first year and have been invited to donate $500 in following years to continue with improvements.

"It's gorgeous, it's great," said chamber member Randy Looper. "I mean you drive in, and it catches your eye immediately and it represents Moffat County."

Looper said back in 2012 the idea came about to use the old drive-in as a canvas for a mural that would welcome travelers into Craig and Moffat County.

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With a budget of about $40,000, the original idea was to have local artist Nini Shroyer paint a mural on the back of the theatre.

The property owner, 3 B Enterprises was on board with the project and allowed the Chamber to use the theatre.

Severson Supply & Rental Co. prepped the theatre by pressure washing and putting on a new coat of white paint. It donated one of its boom lifts and two employees for two weeks to complete the project, said Todd Jourgensen, vice president at Severson.

But due to an injury, Shroyer was unable to paint the mural and the Chamber decided to use a printed graphic as an alternative.

Looper said the first option for getting a banner made was Identity Graphics in town, but it was eventually purchased from Platinum Sign Co. in Grand Junction, which also did the installation.

Former Chamber member Gail Severson, who helped come up with the mural concept in 2012, said she was tickled when she drove by and first saw the new banner.

"I jumped in the car and drove down there and really got tears in my eyes because to me that really says Moffat County," she said.

Severson said there are still some touchups to be done to fix the current wrinkling on the banner and the installation crew will be back to address it.

Chris Oxley, executive director of the chamber, said there are more plans for beautification at the theatre and hopefully it will be renovated into a picnic area.

"For years people have looked at that drive-in and not known where to go with it, wanting to hang onto it, and I think this was a great way to preserve that piece of history and market all the amazing things that Moffat County has to offer," she said.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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