Stopping the commute to start over

David Pressgrove

Gary Cole has enjoyed his 10 years in Craig, but before this summer, he didn’t get to fully experience the town because he commuted to Steamboat Springs.

This summer, he decided it was time to stop the commute.

“It was frustrating because, at times, it would take just as much time to get from Steamboat to Craig as it would take to drive from Ace at the Curve to City Market in Steamboat,” he said. “One thing I like about Craig is that you can still drive in town.”

This summer, Cole was driving by Z’s Motor Sports on Ranney Street, and he saw that the business wss moving out. The former City Market employee in Steamboat saw an opportunity that he had been thinking about for a while.

“I’ve been helping the Pack Center post their eBay listings, and I realized there wasn’t a consignment store in Craig,” he said. “I also realized there wasn’t an open-air market in Craig.”

Cole talked to the owner of the building that housed Z’s Motorsports, and when he found there was going to be a vacancy, he decided to start his own business venture.

Since July 27, Cole has been working on the building, which he said was a “made-to-order opportunity.”

The business has taken up most of his free time, but the Steamboat native said that when he has free time, he likes being with his family — wife Brandi, 9-year-old son, Jaque, and 8-year-old Jo-el. He also enjoys training horses and working on his house.

The new business is called Snow Country Sales. It’s the Coles’ second attempt at operating a small business in Craig.

His and his wife owned Yampa Valley Gifts from 1997 to 1999.

“That went well until we moved from the initial building,” Cole said. “I like that people in Craig will take chances at running their own small businesses. They don’t always work out, but they try.”

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