Our View: Plan now to accommodate fall visitors
Craig residents should be used to the boom and bust cycle that accompanies natural resource exploration and development, but anything they’ve experienced was probably not like the one that will hit this fall.
More than 1,200 people will be fighting for food, pillows and entertainment starting in September and lasting possibly through January. There’s already a fight brewing between the companies that are seeking rooms.
Moffat County residents need to make sure this influx is working for them, as well as for the visitors. At the same time, people need to make sure that we’re accommodating those tried and true visitors who strengthen our economy every fall: Hunters.
These are people who come so often they have favorite rooms, favorite watering holes, even favorite waitresses.
What’s needed is a plan. We know what’s going to happen — there’s absolutely no reason to not be as prepared as possible.
Moffat County commissioners tried to be proactive by meeting with Maybell residents and pipeline officials to discuss possibilities.
It was a sad attempt. County officials said “no” almost before knowing what was needed.
“Too expensive” and “not possible” were two statements uttered even before there was a price tag or what the possibilities were.
County Commissioner Darryl Steele said the communities weren’t willing to lose money to house workers and we agree with that.
But, officials need to look long term.
Are there not hunters who stay in Maybell who wouldn’t appreciate — and pay more for — water, sewer and electrical hook ups?
Isn’t it part of the Moffat County fairgrounds master plan to increase the number of hook-ups available for rodeo participants?
Couldn’t the money companies are offering help defray those costs and allow the county to complete a project that it planned to do anyway and would be of long-term benefit?
The bottom line is there will be an impact, but there is also opportunity and those who are poised to take advantage of the opportunity will best benefit.
Some residents are making plans to construct campsites or rent out rooms — they’ll benefit. Is there anything the city or county can do that would give them the opportunity to benefit? And, what can be done to ensure that the community is taking care of its most-loyal customers, the hunters?
No harm would come from having some advance discussions among decision makers to, at the very least, understand the status and at the best, brainstorm ideas.
Moffat County has the opportunity to gain a lot of revenue from this influx — let’s not let it trickle out because we weren’t prepared and didn’t do everything possible to capture it.
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