Editorial: Downtown improvements spreading positivity through community | CraigDailyPress.com

Editorial: Downtown improvements spreading positivity through community

Bear River Young Life hosted 111 registered cars Saturday at the 17th Annual BRYL car show.
Joshua Carney / Craig Press
Craig Press Editorial Board:
Sheli Steele, Craig Press General Manager
Joshua Carney, Craig Press Editor
Kandee Dilldine, community member
Randy Looper, community member

Times have been tough here in this year called 2020, as many of you know. When times are tough, negativity can become all that we know, often leading to us overlooking the positivity in front of us.

Lately, that seems to be the case downtown.

Positive changes are happening all around us and it’s time to really get excited about what’s happening downtown. The best way to make a change you want to see in this world is to make the hardest change: adjusting your own perspective. Once you have made a positive adjustment it is natural for those around you to follow in your footsteps.

As COVID-19 continues to dominate the daily news cycle and everything seems like doom and gloom, Craig continues to make positive moves.

Last week’s mixer at the Yampa Building allowed the community the chance to see just what’s happening inside the historic building. To put it simply: it’s beautiful inside the building, which has sat vacant for far too long.

The new and improved Yampa Building will help push visitors towards downtown to local shops and restaurants, which will only boost the economy. On top of that, it will give visitors every available resource to learn about Craig and Moffat County, allowing tourists to explore this great county and see all that it has to offer.

As it pushes visitors towards downtown to local shops and restaurants, visitors will be hard-pressed to miss some of the updates happening in the hub of our town.

Moffat Mercantile is currently going through a facelift out front, as is Kitchen A La More. Back in March of 2019, the city of Craig unveiled its new business grant program where applicants could get their hands on a matching grant for façade improvements, building upgrades, or money for hiring extra workers through the grant program. Once that was announced, applications started coming in and grants were handed out to revitalize downtown. Businesses were awarded money to help beautify their shops and provide upgrades that many small businesses might never have been able to afford.

That hasn’t really stopped since then as the hub of Craig went from an aging, historic downtown dotted with vacant buildings and older storefronts to a vibrant, revitalized city center that is drawing residents like never before. Stores are open normal hours and people are actually shopping again, drawing crowds to the heart of the city’s center.

Add in the recent grand opening of Prodigal Son’s Coffee House and Eatery – a feat in and of itself in the middle of a global pandemic – and there’s just a real, palpable positive feeling for the community downtown. For many, it’s fun to be downtown again, popping in and out of local shops and restaurants, seeing downtown Craig thriving once again.

There is reason to shop local again and support our community while contributing to the tax base that supported the remodels. Someday soon, hopefully we’ll be able to have sidewalk sales and festivals at full capacity in the city’s center, allowing us all to come together again.

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