It’s difficult to see past the future when it appears dark and gloomy. Having been a part of this community for over 23 years, it has been a roller coaster ride of possibilities, probabilities, and prognostications. One year we are on the precipice of extended economic growth and the next we are headed for ghost town status. But, it has always been fortunate for us that people who care have made decisions that have sustained a vibrant, community-oriented town which is really a tough thing to do with negative pressure as strong as it can be in rural areas.
I remember when subdivisions and business expansion was a real projected need when oil speculators came to town and wanted to buy as many potential well site contracts as could be bought. It was a crazy time and the fervor of the “BOOM” was in the air. But it came and went as oil and coal reduction suddenly became the linchpin of federal efforts to cool down the planet. Suddenly people were talking about how things were gonna get bad and Craig was about to become hopelessly dependent on something that we had no idea would sustain our way of life.
Lots of questions began to circulate when our local electrical cooperative announced that they would be phasing out the coal-fired power plants and that Craig’s was on the list. People scrambled and as the news hit the airwaves; it was clear that pressure for clean energy would doom one of our local employment leaders. Talk of lost revenue, tax base, and families made some people head for greener pastures as Craig seemed doomed to face reductions in population that nobody had ever experienced before.
Then COVID happened and the world changed. For some unknown reason, much to the surprise of some locals, people started moving to Craig, Colorado, to escape the city life. But, it couldn’t last — could it? Suddenly our little town was experiencing a housing and rental shortage as homes were difficult to find and rentals were even tougher to locate. People began to move in and locals began to determine that our little piece of paradise had been discovered.
We really have no idea what is going to happen to Craig in the future but nobody predicted COVID, or the national upheaval that is taking place as people move from state to state and from urban to rural areas. But always remember that what Craig has been to us might just be what other people are looking for in a way of life. We can take it for granted and wonder why people would want to move to Northwest Colorado, or we can embrace the opportunity to welcome people who have decided that Craig might just be that little piece of paradise.
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