Craig hotels benefit from hunting, energy projects |

Craig hotels benefit from hunting, energy projects

Hunting season and energy industry activity means good business for Craig hotels.

Doyle O’Neil, general manager at the Hampton Inn & Suites, said his hotel has been booked full with hunters and workers from Halliburton, Southwestern Energy and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association.

A fracking project west off Craig brings Halliburton and Southwestern to town and Fall maintenance at Craig Station accounts for the additional contracted labor from Tri-State.

Doyle said he was fully booked Tuesday night and $17,000 ahead of last year for the month of October.

For the year, Doyle is $185,929 ahead of 2014 figures but he would still like to get closer to 2013’s revenue.

“It’s better, we’re not where we were the year before, that was like $200,000,” he said. “We’re getting there.”

Randy Looper, owner of Elk Run Inn, said he received calls from Tri-State and Southwestern looking for weekly rates but this time of year he is full with his usual group of hunting clients.

“I’m packed with hunters, that’s the problem with fall shutdown,” he said. “I know they can’t, but I wish they would do it either earlier in September or in December.”

Looper said he is sold out every night but it is returning hunters, not workers.

The Best Western Plus Deer Park Inn & Suites, owned by Kerry and Frank Moe, is also benefiting from an increase in business.

“This time of year we wish we had more rooms than we do,” said Kerry.

Kerry said her hotel has been consistently booked full and she expects the trend to continue through the rest of the season.

However, Kerry is concerned about the decrease in generational hunters and women hunters.

“Where you get in the grandfather, father and son — we don’t see as much of that,” she said.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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