Chamber talks Yampa Building at Craig City Council meeting

Jennifer Holloway provided an update on the Chamber's latest happenings.
Ashley Dishman/Craig Press

Craig Chamber of Commerce head Jennifer Holloway appeared at Tuesday’s city council meeting to provide an update on the Chamber’s latest happenings.

After speaking about the Chamber’s recent victories and upcoming events, discussion turned to the Chamber’s current use of the Yampa Building.

Holloway shared that the Chamber is in the process of launching a new 501(c)(3) foundation which will be “dedicated to community pillars, such as the Yampa Building community, and keeping that facility functioning and viable for all of its multiple uses.”

Hollaway also noted that community use of the building has increased over the past year, with over 35 different non-profits and businesses utilizing various spaces for meetings in the building. Those groups include the United Way, Moffat County Cattlewomen, Rotary Club and Yampa Valley Trail Riders among others.

Holloway stressed that some of the groups who are able to access the facilities due to their Chamber memberships would not otherwise have the ability to utilize convening spaces due to limited funding. She observed that the access to the Yampa Building created by the Chamber is “helping (those groups’) programming, and helping our community at every level.”

Council member Chris Nichols asked Holloway if one of the newly created foundation’s goals might be ownership of the Yampa Building. Holloway acknowledged that ownership would be “awesome,” if possible, but stated that is it not a current priority.

She celebrated the Yampa Building as “an amazing space where we see our community thrive” and contended that her top priority is keeping the building open “however we can” — something she believes would best serve public interest.

Holloway also shared that support from the Community Foundation of Northwest Colorado recently resulted in the Yampa Building’s addition to the National Historic Registry. That designation could potentially open the door for a significant amount of outside funding for the Yampa Building.

Mayor Derek Duran shifted discussion to the building’s rental income and current tenants, which Holloway confirmed as a mix of non-profit, private, and government entities. Duran gave Holloway credit for creating an “inviting space” with the previously empty building. He noted that the City’s financial responsibility for the Yampa Building is a current topic of discussion for the council, as the Chamber’s initial five-year lease for the building is nearing its conclusion. Duran said it’s “good to discuss options” for whatever comes next for the building.

Council member Vicki Huyser took an opportunity to express her thanks for the work Holloway and the Chamber have done thus far with the Yampa Building, noting that she supports keeping the building open for community use.

“I love how you have utilized it for the community; it’s truly a community asset,” Huyser said.

Holloway concluded the discussion with a playful warning to the council. Remarking that the Chamber has already sold their other property for use as a business incubator, she hinted that if “(the City) kicks us out of the Yampa Building, we will be homeless and we might have to come park in (the council chamber).”

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