Yampa Valley Adventure Center inching toward reality as design firm plans event in Craig | CraigDailyPress.com

Yampa Valley Adventure Center inching toward reality as design firm plans event in Craig

Frank Moe stands for a portrait inside the Centennial Mall in Craig, which he hopes to turn into the Yampa Valley Adventure Center.
Cuyler Meade / Craig Press

Next week, organizers of the Yampa Valley Adventure Center and Colorado Great Outdoors Experience and Hall of Fame will host a reception at the Centennial Mall common area to further discuss plans for the center’s location and impact.

The Colorado Great Outdoors Experience/Museum & Hall of Fame is a non-profit that will occupy the public space in the center and provide over 40 outdoor experiential displays and exhibits. According to Frank Moe, the former county commissioner who, with his wife, is organizing the venture, the center will bring 186 direct jobs to Craig, as well as 111 induced or indirect jobs. After five years, Moe estimates that it will bring in over $43 million to Craig in annual impact, with around $7 million going to payroll. Most of that $43 million would come from retail and ticket sales, followed by hotel revenue and indirect revenue brought in to local businesses.

Dimensional Innovations, a firm that has experience in designing and constructing museums and other exhibits, will help provide exhibit design concept and fundraising concept materials to help visualize the vision for the center.

At the center, Moe’s plans indicate guests will have access to hands-on activities, exhibits and simulators to walk behind and touch a waterfall, step into a fishing boat and reel in a big fish and hit the trail on a mountain bike or snowmobile. According to the center’s brochure, outdoor recreational activities along with specialized retail offerings, unique eating experiences and services (such as outfitting and tours) for outdoor adventures throughout the region.

Carole Hollman, who has led and facilitated large-scale exhibit and interpretive projects across the country, is one of the DI managers who is helping facilitate the project, along with Alex Divine. Hollman said that DI has helped bring the center’s vision to life.

“From my understanding, the center’s plan is to have the Colorado great outdoors experience where part is the adventure center and the other part is the hall of fame,” she said. “The exhibits are basically about Colorado, the outdoors and other recreational activities, flowers of Colorado, Colorado rivers, (and) state parks and wildlife.”

Hollman added that the firm designs and builds exhibits all around the country and has done them for different museums and various sports halls of fame, including work at the Las Vegas Raiders Stadium, which has the largest 3-D printed structure in the world. She added that DI can help design and build early in the visualization process.

“We can take the germ of an idea and bring it out into the world into a fundraising campaign,” she said.

Hollman said she is going to come to Craig next week to the reception in order to further assess the next steps of the project.

“We have a special place in our hearts for Craig after hearing about the coal mines closing,” she said. “Our team is doing everything we can to help Craig re-envision itself. Everyone in our firm is so excited about this. It’s such a great story: ‘What do we do after coal mining?’ We’re going to do everything we can to make this happen.”

Moe’s project relies on approval by the newly formed Craig Urban Renewal Authority, which Moe anticipates will, through tax increment financing, helping fund the development of the Centennial Mall into this bold new venture.

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