Craig optometrists foresee new services when clinic opens in 2018 |

Craig optometrists foresee new services when clinic opens in 2018

Sasha Nelson/staff

CRAIG — One of the Craig’s vacant buildings will be renovated inside and out this year, the result of the purchase of the old Family Dollar Store, 460 Pershing St., by providers at Eye Care Specialties. The deal closed last week.

“Our view is changing, but not our focus,” wrote optometrists Craig Eckroth, O.D., and Natalie Hansen, O.D., M.Ed., in their patient email newsletter.

The renovation will begin soon. APH Construction won the contract to bring to life a floor plan created by Eye Designs — a national eye care design company — and interior and exterior plans developed by Moon Hill Design, of Steamboat Springs.

“I really wanted to keep as much business local as possible. So APH is doing the remodel work for me, so all of the subs are local too,” Eckroth said.

The business has outgrown its current space in the mall, but Eckroth was hesitant to invest in improvements to a property the clinic didn’t own.

They’ve had been exploring options for a number of years and had considered a new construction, but that proved more costly than redeveloping an existing structure.

“We went into it knowing we would have to fully renovate, which is nice. We don’t have to worry about too much demolition to start the project, and we could build it to suit our floor plan,” Eckroth said. “One of the main reasons for moving is to increase efficiency, and the floor plan was a real key to that.”

Though the main entrance will remain facing Fourth Street, when the project is completed, it should be impossible to tell the building was formerly a Family Dollar store. The space will also be divided to provide a new north side entrance and a 2,200-square-foot shell that could accommodate one or two tenants.

Once open, the new location will allow for the expansion of existing services and the addition of new ones.

“We look forward to being able to increase our specialty services, such as pediatrics and vision therapy, in addition to expanding our specialized dry eye clinic,” Hansen said. “We will also continue to provide the highest quality eyewear to provide superior visual quality.”

Additionally, renovating an existing structure will have less impact on patients.

“We will do the renovation without shutting down business. It should be fairly seamless, without any impact to patient care,” Eckroth said.

The city permitting and planning processes are complete, and the renovation will begin soon. The goal is to open in the new location in early summer.

“Over the last year, we have already ramped up our staff to have them in place and trained, with the expectation that we would need more staff,” Ekroth said. “It’s going to be great for the community.”

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or


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