Business Buzz: Denver magazine ‘5280’ features Craig eatery |

Business Buzz: Denver magazine ‘5280’ features Craig eatery

Holding a copy of the July edition of ‘5280,’ Brett and Stephanie Etzler stand in front of their Baker’s Pride pizza oven where scratch-made dough is dished out to locals and travelers alike.
Sasha Nelson |

A traveler headed to Utah brought welcome news to one local restaurant.

In his hands the man carried the July edition of Denver magazine ‘5280,’ inside a story about Carelli’s Pizzeria prompted his visit.

Owners Brett and Stephanie Etzler had been tipped about the story in February, the second visit by magazine staff. They believe that magazine staff were incognito when they first visited in December or January.

Hours before the first customers arrive, made from scratch dough is made with care by Brett Etzler. The floury goodness forms the basis of the pizzas, stromboli and calzones that earned the local eatery the 5280 mention.

“People work their whole careers to get such a culinary accomplishment,” said Stephanie Etzler.

Named for Denver’s elevation,‘5280’claims to have the largest readership of any local magazine in Colorado, and its website states that it outsells many national magazines. They regularly publish lists of the best places to eat, shop, travel, see a doctor and enjoy Colorado culture.

While it’s taken the rest of Colorado seven years, the time the Etzlers have owned the establishment, to catch-on to Carelli’s goodness, lunch and dinner bring a robust local crowd.

The Etzlers ran a second restaurant located at the Yampa Valley Golf Course last summer. Earlier this year they made an offer to buy the old Golden Cavvy located at 538 Yampa Ave. in Craig. When that offer went unanswered, the landlords of their present location, 465 Yampa Ave. asked the couple to buy.

“We are in the process now. We are planning to remodel to take the walls in back to the original brick,” Stephanie Etzler said.

Keeping the business location may help more travelers guided by 5280 find their way to the hometown favorite.

The traveler that brought the article to the Etzlers attention left behind payment, tip and the page torn from his magazine that now decorates the wall near the kitchen’s front entry.

“If we can get people to travel to our little town because of it, that’s really great,” Stephanie Etzler said.

Moffat County selected for state technical assistance opportunity

The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade announced Monday that Moffat County has been selected as a recipient of the Brand-Building for Communities technical assistance support in the second round of Colorado Blueprint 2.0 initiatives.

Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership (CMEDP) applied for the program on behalf of the local champion organization, the Craig Chamber of Commerce, and the other partner organizations involved in the branding process. Local partners will work with OEDIT marketing staff as well as Development Counsellors International (DCI), a tourism and economic development marketing firm with an office in Denver, on the initiative. The technical assistance is valued at $50,000 and will be conducted between now and March 2018.

“Building a community brand leads to increased civic engagement and a sense of pride that comes from defining our shared values and identity,” said Christina Oxley, executive director of the Craig Chamber of Commerce. “It brings community members and community leaders together toward a common goal.”

Several local partners have been meeting in recent months to assess existing branding efforts and collaborate on a renewed community vision. The effort was spurred by goal-setting at CMEDP’s Moffat County Economic Prioritization & Action Workshop in December 2016 with representation from 40 individuals representing the City of Craig, Moffat County, Moffat County School District, Colorado Northwestern Community College, Memorial Regional Health, Craig Chamber of Commerce, Moffat County Tourism Association, Moffat County Local Marketing District and CMEDP.

“Craig and Moffat County need this now more than ever, and this opportunity awarded us by OEDIT is the best next step we could have,” Oxley said. “I am thrilled that the groundwork we have done showed a strong enough initiative that the state determined we had earned this assistance.”

Stephanie Copeland, executive director of OEDIT, other state staff and several Moffat County leaders visited the Meeker Golf Course on Monday to make the Blueprint 2.0 recipient announcements. Blueprint 2.0 leverages state partnerships and specialized resources to address the unique economic development goals of rural Colorado. Launched in 2015, Blueprint 2.0 is a bottom-up effort to turn regional feedback on local economic needs into a statewide set of initiatives to advance the economies of rural communities.

“Blueprint 2.0 is a great example of how Colorado is going above and beyond existing resources to support the needs of our rural regions,” Lt. Governor Donna Lynne said. “We congratulate today’s recipients and look forward to seeing how these regions leverage the new services and resources to help strengthen their economies and communities.”

Other recipients of the second round of Colorado Blueprint 2.0 include:

A Data-Driven Approach to Economic Development: Steamboat Springs

Brand Building for Communities: Logan County and Custer County

Community Placemaking: Hayden and Kiowa

Coworking 101: Sterling, Delta, and Rio Blanco County

Creativity Lab: Grand Junction and Grand Lake

Film and Major Production: Georgetown and Victor

Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry: Trinidad and Silverton

Tourism Promotion and Development: Leadville and Rio Blanco County

For more information about the local brand-building initiative, call Christina Oxley at 824-5689 or CMEDP Executive Director Michelle Balleck at 620-4370.