Gamble settling in to new home
Craig’s newest resident, and the local hotel industry’s latest manager, said he is settling into his new position and life in Moffat County.
Christopher Gamble, general manager of the Holiday Inn of Craig, arrived Jan. 2 and has already cemented himself as a fixture in the community.
The 26-year hotel and lodging veteran was appointed Wednesday by the Moffat County Commission to the Moffat County Tourism Association.
“I’m looking forward to sitting on the board, bringing my assets to the table and seeing what I can contribute,” Gamble said. “I think working with MCTA, the Chamber and the county to further tourism is going to make a huge difference for all of us.”
Gamble believes there is an opportunity to increase tourism to Moffat County based not on our attractions, but on what the county doesn’t have.
“Most of the boards I’ve sat on in the past have been in areas that have definitive draws, whether it be aerospace or Disney Land,” Gamble said. “I think Moffat County has the attraction of being away and I know a lot of people in cities that are looking for away.
“They are looking for places where their cell phones don’t work. They’re looking for places to unplug. Personally, that’s a direction I would look to take it.”
There are a lot of communities that live and die by tourism, and although Gamble doesn’t believe Moffat County is one of them, he doesn’t see anything wrong with going after a bigger share of the pie.
“It is my understanding that there are more elk per square mile than people,” Gamble said. “People need to know that. People need to know about the opportunities.
“I have a lot of friends that are amateur astronomers. They need to come here and see this.”
Gamble has touched almost every corner of the country in his life and career. He said it’s a shame it took a job opportunity for him to discover Moffat County.
“I love it here. It’s beautiful and that’s coming from someone who has lived in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s,” Gamble said. “I think it’s a tragedy that more people don’t know about it. I’ve been in this business for 26 years, I’ve lived all over this country and I’ve never heard of Moffat County before.”
Although Gamble has an obvious vision for improving the county, he admits he has not been at the Holiday Inn long enough to articulate his vision for the hotel’s future.
But, he’s confident he’ll have an idea as soon as he gets his feet wet.
In addition to more than 26 years of experience, including serving in a general manger role for the last 12, Gamble is a certified hotel administrator by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the highest accreditation achievable in the hotel and lodging industry.
“I don’t have a vision for Holiday Inn just yet, but because it is the only full-service hotel in Moffat County I want to make sure it is the premier hotel in Moffat County,” Gamble said. “I love doing what I do. I love making sure that when people arrive their expectations are exceeded and when they leave, they leave happy and want to come back.”
When not at work, Gamble said he enjoys keeping tabs on his four adult children Alexandria, Joshua, Jon and Catie, and spending quality time with his wife, Lori.
Music is also a big part of Gamble’s life. In addition to being an avid guitarist, Gamble is studying to be a luthier.
A luthier is a person who builds stringed instruments. In Gamble’s case he is learning how to build guitars. He has already built four electrics and has two more in the works, but he is really looking forward to the next phase of getting into acoustics.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Gamble said he enjoys the Blues, Heavy Metal and anything that might fall in between.
In his younger days he played in a number of different bands focused on everything from blues and jazz to progressive country to “really nasty, driving Rock and Roll.”
His influences include Pete Townsend from The Who, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Frank Zappa.
Although consumed by his seemingly 24 hour a day job, Gamble said he would welcome the opportunity to get together with like-minded folks for a jam session.
“I’ve often thought about finding a group of guys my age who want to sit around in a garage and lay out a couple of sets,” Gamble said. “I’ve thought about that a lot. I’d love to, but it would take time away from here, which is something that’s not going to happen right now.
“But, we’ll get it to the point where I can take some time off.”
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Next week, Colorado Northwestern Community College and Moffat County are hosting a free day-long seminar for local ranchers and agriculture producers.