Sports store announces new location in Craig |

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Sports store announces new location in Craig

At a glance …

Hibbett Sporting Goods Inc., an Alabama-based company, is on track to open a new store in Craig.

The 4,000-square-foot store will be located inside the Tebo Center, slated for construction near Walmart.

Store officials expect to hire eight full- and part-time employees.

Company official: The majority of employees will likely be hired in the Craig area.

Construction is tentatively scheduled for June or July completion.

A new development is on the horizon that could mean good things for local sports enthusiasts and possibly the Moffat County economy.

Hibbett Sporting Goods Inc., a Birmingham, Ala.-based company, is on track to open a new store in Craig, said Jeff Gray, Hibbett Sporting Goods vice president of real estate.

Although he's unsure when construction will begin, he said he expects work to start "really soon."

The retailer would feature an array of athletic equipment, clothing and footwear, primarily for team sports like football and basketball, he said.

The company announced its lease agreement for the new store in a news release Tuesday, although Gray said the lease was formally executed in November 2011. The company wished to withhold the announcement, he said, until a time closer to the store's completion.

The 4,000-square-foot store will make up a little less than half of the Tebo Center, a commercial development slated for construction near the Walmart Supercenter.

Maurices, a women's clothing store currently located in Centennial Mall, also is slated to take up residence in the building.

Hibbett Sporting Goods has five stores in Colorado, including locations in Delta and Fort Morgan, Gray said.

The company operates more than 830 stores, primarily in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, the company reported in a news release.

The store's arrival in Craig is also expected to yield new jobs.

Company officials are looking to hire eight full- and part-time employees for its Craig location.

"I would think the majority of our employees will come from the local market," Gray said. "(With) store managers, it's hard to say. Sometimes we transfer them in from other (locations)."

Scott Cook, chairman of the Craig/Moffat Economic Dev-

elopment Partnership Board, said he believes the new addition to Craig's retail community will boost the local economy by giving residents another reason to shop locally.

"If (Craig residents) can buy what they want here in Craig, that's a good thing," he said.

In Cook's view, a new sporting goods store also could do more than simply stem the flow of dollars leaving the county. It also could draw out-of-town shoppers who, once in Craig, would spend their money at other local stores, he said.

"Anything we can do to make Craig a retail shopping hub is a good thing," he said.

Christina Oxley, executive director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce, has a similarly optimistic view of the

store's arrival.

"I think this is a fantastic addition, and it's been long needed in Craig," Oxley said.

Hibbett Sporting Goods won't be the first of its kind in Craig. Sports Stop, a similar store, once operate in Centennial Mall but is no longer open, she said.

Oxley said Hibbett Sporting Goods could serve local sports enthusiasts and help fill the gap Sports Stop left behind.

"Moffat County lends itself to outdoor recreation, and I think that spills over to athletics and team sports," she said.

"Having a store that supports that I think is going to be great."

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