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Brandon Johansson: Consignment store opens in Craig

Brandon Johnson

Wal-Mart’s plan to open a 100,000 square-foot store in Craig wasn’t the only news on the business front in recent weeks.

Northwest Colorado native Gary Cole recently opened Snow Country Sales on Ranney Street.

The consignment store sells everything including snowmobiles and saddles.



“We sell anything,” Cole said. “We will sell whatever people bring us to sell.”

Cole was born in Steamboat Springs but has made his home in Craig for the past 10 years.



Snow Country takes a percentage of the sales, but Cole said the percentage depends on the item. For expensive items such as snowmobiles and couches, the store takes a smaller percentage than it does for items such as VCRs and TVs.

The store will try to sell items for two weeks.

This is Cole’s first crack at the consignment business. His background is in sales and marketing.

The store opened two weeks ago, but Cole said they didn’t open “full fledged” until last Aug. 22.

Cole painted the building bright yellow to attract customers, and he said business has been pretty good.

“There has been a lot of interest,” Cole said. “We get consignments now everyday.”

To put something on consignment, call the store at 824-5755, e-mail Cole at snowcountrysales@msn.com or stop by the store at 458 Ranney Street.

Self-checkouts

The Craig City Market installed four self-checkout counters earlier this month.

The self-checkouts replace the store’s express lanes.

Store Manager Kirk Mahaffie said the checkouts will be open from about 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.

Mahaffie was at the Steamboat Springs City Market when self-checkouts were installed there and said some customers didn’t like the machines at first. Part of the problem in Steamboat, Mahaffie said, was that the technology was new and people weren’t sure how to use it.

But in Craig, Mahaffie said customers seem to like the machines.

“It’s been a lot better than I thought,” Mahaffie said. “(Self-checkouts) are not as strange as when they first came out.”

Mahaffie said the new checkouts probably won’t affect the number of employees the store has.

“We still have to man them, so it’s about the same,” Mahaffie said.

The machines can’t take $50 or $100 bills, so cashiers have to help with that, Mahaffie said.

Cashiers also have to check identification for cigarette and alcohol sales.

Uranium mine closer?

A potential uranium mine near Maybell moved one step closer to reality Friday.

The state land board approved a lease for Standard Uranium to access state lands near Maybell.

Standard manager of business development Frank Ludeman said the company still has to get permits from the state and the county before any mining can start.

It will take about five years for a mine near Maybell to be operational, Ludeman said.

Company officials aren’t sure the mine will produce a profitable grade of uranium.

When uranium mining in Moffat County shut down decades ago, it was, in large part, because the ore wasn’t profitable.

“If it wasn’t profitable at $40 a pound, we’ll have to be innovative to make it profitable at $30 a pound,” Ludeman said. “Certainly, we have more arrows in our quiver to make it economically feasible than were available 20 or 30 years ago.”

But Terrie Barrie of North–west Colorado Cares said she thinks Standard will mine the uranium regardless of its quality.

Northwest Colorado Cares opposes uranium mining in the area. The group wrote a letter to the state land board asking them to reject Standard’s request.

“It was low (grade) back then, and they mined it,” Barrie said. “The ore’s probably good enough today.”

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031 or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com


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