Craig businesses see benefit in offering Internet to customers |

Craig businesses see benefit in offering Internet to customers

Nicole Inglis

Randy Looper, owner of the Elk Run Inn, didn’t have a choice when it came to offering wireless Internet.

He said about 90 percent of his guests have computers with them, and “Do you have wireless?” is the first question out of most people’s mouths.

“I had to have it,” he said. “Period. If I didn’t, (guests) would just go somewhere else.”

He said he made the hotel wireless about four years ago by simply buying a few routers. Looper already had Internet service for business purposes, so the only cost was the initial investment in the routers.

Looper said that when he first installed the wireless only about a quarter of his guests had computers with them.

Now, Looper said, it’s difficult to find a tourist who doesn’t want to check his or her e-mail, or a businessperson who doesn’t need Internet access while traveling.

“Everyone’s asking about it,” he said. “You have to have it to compete.”

Looper said sometimes he sees people sitting in the parking lot of the Elk Run Inn for long periods of time. When he approaches their car, he sees they are working on their computers on his free wireless.

“I think some people have wireless in their own homes, but very few,” he said.

Kassie Dilldine, an employee at Serendipity Cafe & Coffee Shop, said the shop’s free wireless service sometimes gets abused by people using large amounts of bandwidth by downloading files.

A sign on the wall now asks guests to exercise respect for the store and for other guests when using the free service.

However, Dilldine said the wireless service is beneficial, for the most part.

“We have to pay for the Internet, but it’s free for guests,” Dilldine said. “Normally when people come in, though, they buy a drink and buy food and you’re getting that business, so it’s definitely worth it.”

When the Craig Safeway was remodeled in 2007, a Starbucks was introduced into the store. One of the stipulations for having a Starbucks franchise is offering a wireless service.

Some restaurants and shops are beginning to charge for offering wireless, Assistant Manager James Patterson said, but Safeway allows users to simply plug in and get online.

“We have a little kiosk area where customers can bring a laptop and do whatever it is they need to do and get a cup of coffee at the same time,” he said. “They might even go shopping, or think about going shopping.”

Patterson said the service doesn’t cost the store anything extra because it uses the same infrastructure already in place for business purposes.

For Safeway, the wireless service is a benefit for the store, and possibly a benefit for the entire community.

“I feel if you’re not offering that wireless service, it could be a detriment to your community,” Patterson said. “In a place like Craig, where not everyone has wireless capability at their house, to be able to go into town, check their e-mail, do some shopping and pay their bills, it’s just fantastic.”

Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.

For tax deductible donations, click here.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User