5 most read Moffat County business stories of 2017 | CraigDailyPress.com

5 most read Moffat County business stories of 2017

Photo from the most read business stories of 2018. Clockwise from top left, renovations at the Old Signal Hill Inn Restaurant, lack of change at the old Safeway, eviction causes closure of the former Elk Mountain Restaurant and Bear Coal Soda Fountain opens.

CRAIG — Old and new businesses made the news in 2017. Following is a recap of the top five most-read business stories of 2017.

  • Feb. 16, 2017: Safeway, which closed its doors in October 2013, was purchased in 2015 by Yampa Valley Medical Center, raising hopes that the vacant eyesore would soon be converted into a medical clinic. Fast-forward to 2017, and the only notable improvement is that the pothole-filled parking lot was resurfaced during the summer. The community continues to await word as to what is planned for the building by YVMC, now UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center and part of the UC Health system after a merger on Sept. 1, 2017.
  • March 3, 2017: Retirement came a little earlier than expected for former McDonald's owner and operator Chris Nichols and his partner, Brenda Elsbree, when McDonald's franchise owners, Paul Nelson and his son, James Nelson, of Glenwood Springs, offered to purchase Nichols' four restaurants. The deal was completed on April 1, 2017, leaving Nichols free to pursue other interests, including winning a seat on the Craig City Council.
  • April 16, 2017: The old Signal Hill Inn Restaurant at 2705 W. Victory Way has been undergoing massive renovations in preparation for Vallarta's Mexican Restaurant, which is slated to open there in early 2018. The property, including the old restaurant, a modular trailer and parking lot, are owned by JDDJ Limited — Jay Oxley, Dave DeRose, Dave Griffith and Jimmy Duran. They purchased the property just prior to the economic downturn. "We’ve been trying to do something with that building for seven or eight years,” DeRose said.
  • May 7, 2017: A new soda fountain — Bear Coal Soda Fountain — opened at 555 Ledford St. Owner Cindi Crabtree serves ice cream with dozens of syrups and toppings to choose from, as well as sandwiches, sodas, smoothies and more. Crabtree built the ice cream shop in the back of her existing laundromat business. She invested her own money to make her dream of bringing a soda fountain to Craig a reality. Included is a drive-through window for those who want to zip in for a tasty treat.
  • Aug. 11, 2017: Former Elk Mountain Restaurant owners Mathew and Catherine Eye were fined nearly $13,000 in damages after failing to appear for a damages hearing in Moffat County Court. Property owner Mitchell Epstein, of Carbondale, presented an itemized list to Judge Sandra Gardner of damages, including $5,300 in inventory lost, $4,191 in legal fees, $1,900 in unpaid rent for May and June and miscellaneous cleaning, plumbing, locksmith and utilities costs. Elk Mountain Restaurant opened in early 2016, specializing in burgers and wild game. Epstein evicted the Eyes in mid-June, alleging they had broken their lease on several counts, including failing to maintain required insurance coverage, residing on the premises and completing improvements to the building without landlord consent. The Eyes disputed the claims and said they were being harassed and slandered by Epstein.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.