Tourism group wants more Crown
County says new tournaments could put a drain staff, field use by locals
The Moffat County Tourism Association has three citywide conventions booked for June, and it’s considering other ideas to fill hotels and boost sales tax revenue this summer, Association Chairwoman Mikki O’Brien reported to the Moffat County Commissioners Monday.
The tourism association has had discussions with Triple Crown Sports to host baseball and softball tournaments in Craig this summer, but county officials want to know that revenue generated from the out-of-town visitors justifies costs involved in hosting the tournaments.
The fields at Loudy-Simpsom Park are already booked for eight weekends next summer.
Those weekends are a trickle down from tournament play in Steamboat Springs, which agreed to a contract with Triple Crown Sports earlier this year.
While Craig cannot support 100-team tournaments like those hosted in Steamboat Springs, O’Brien said, it can handle smaller tournaments of about 10 teams, which has been the focus of discussions with Triple Crown Sports.
“We can accommodate a smaller tournament of 10 to 12 teams,” said city of Craig Parks and Recreation Director Dave Pike. “It would be money well spent.”
The advantage of hosting its own tournaments in Craig would be that those who come to play along with their families would stay in Craig and spend money in Moffat County, O’Brien said.
She said discussions have involved four 10- to 15-team tournaments.
The advantage of hosting its own tournaments, as compared to hosting left-over games from Steamboat Springs tournaments, is people will stay in Craig instead of just driving to town from Steamboat Springs for games, she said.
Moffat County Parks and Recreation Director Steve Grandbouche said the three full-time employees and one temporary worker already are stretched thin at Loudy-Simpson Park during the summer months.
“I realize it’s good for the economy but you need staff to accommodate it,” Grandbouche said.
Just accommodating the overflow of tournament play from Steamboat Springs keeps the staff busy, he said.
One of the tournaments might be held during Fourth of July weekend, which currently is the only weekend those employees have off during the summer, he said.
“I’m not trying to discourage bringing them here but I can’t do it with the staff that I have now,” he said.
Because it will cost the county money in increased maintenance, Moffat County Commissioner T. Wright Dickinson advised O’Brien to investigate potential revenues further.
“I think you ought to investigate the numbers and see where you’re at,” Dickinson said. “At a minimum, it has to pay its way and it ought to make some money because we have to deal with the wear and tear on the fields.”
Dickinson also was concerned about the fields’ availability to local residents.
“We built these fields for the folks in the community,” he said.
Moffat County Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos agreed.
“We’re going to hear, ‘You built these fields for the community and they’re never available,'” she said.
O’Brien told the commissioners she would have further discussions with Triple Crown Sports to find out exactly what it wants to do this summer, and also will find out what potential sales tax revenues might be for the community.
Josh Nichols can be reached at 824-7031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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