Museum of Northwest Colorado presents five-year action plan to city council |

Museum of Northwest Colorado presents five-year action plan to city council

Ellen Fike
For Craig Press


Although there were five recent years of financial uncertainty for the Museum of Northwest Colorado, officials are ready to reclaim its status as one of the region’s main attractions.

Museum director Dan Davidson gave a five-year action plan presentation to the Craig City Council on Tuesday night, which also included a request for an additional $100,000 in funding.

“The Museum of Northwest Colorado is a major source of pride for our local community by being above and beyond the typical small-town museum,” he said. “The museum introduces Craig and Moffat County to roughly half a million people every year.”

Currently, the museum receives $300,000 in funding from the city of Craig, with some additional funding that stems from museum operations (such as the gift shop) and fundraising. The gift shop brings in around $21,000 a year, but Davidson noted that staff hoped to bring in around $30,000 by 2026 by adding a greater variety of goods.

In order to run the museum and maintain its high-quality reputation, Davidson said that the museum would need $400,000 in funding from the city, with a plan to increase funding from museum operations and fundraising.

In 2019, the museum received about $9,300 in walk-in donations, which they hoped to increase to $13,000 by 2026. They also generate around $35,000 per year in fundraising, but there was a proposed membership program in the action plan that would hopefully increase and annualize donation income.

However, the membership program would need to bring in an additional $15,000 annually to the museum in order to make financial sense.

The museum’s main focus over the next five years is to tailor all of its programming (from exhibits to social media posts) to a broader audience. Staff also want to highlight the more significant aspects of the Craig and Moffat County area in order to generate excitement about the region.

Davidson provided a detailed list of how the expense breakdown would work for the museum. Around $90,000 per year would go toward new annual expenses, around $75,000 to pay the salary of an office/operations manager and $15,000 to expand the current exhibit budget.

There would also be a number of capital projects that would take place over the next five years, including:

$100,000 to update the cowboy and gunfighter exhibit, the most popular one in the museum. It hasn’t been significantly updated in about 30 years;

$35,000 for a new roof;

$15,000 for replacing equipment, such as security cameras, computers and a scanner;

$10,000 for updating and maintaining the Marcia car, David Moffat’s personal private railroad car that the museum is planning to acquire;

$15,000 to add a handicap ramp to the back display rooms;

Davidson added that he was hoping to work with the local VFW to schedule tours of the Marcia car.

“It is probably the most ignored historically-important artifact that sits in the city of Craig,” he said.

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