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A big tourism idea in Craig fails to get onto runway

The Craig Press reports that a plan to create a tourist attraction in an abandoned shopping mall has died only months after getting approval to receive tax-increment financing.

Frank Moe, a former Moffat County commissioner, and his wife, Kerry, hoped to convert old Centennial Mall into something called the Yampa Valley Adventure Center and Colorado Great Outdoors Experience Museum & Hall of Fame.

“After analysis of the most recent business modeling and financing projections presented to me and because of family health reasons, I have made the difficult decisions to terminate my efforts to develop the project,” Frank Moe wrote in an e-mail to the Craig Press.

The mall is part of the Craig Urban Renewal Authority’s area of concern. The Craig Press explains that the proposed adventure center was the first project approved to receive tax-increment financing funds. That decision by the city council and representatives of other taxing district would have allowed the Moes to secure a private loan from a local bank and, in increments, get $7.6 million in financing.

The mall was built in the late 1970s, during the construction of the trio of coal-fired power plants just outside of Craig.

Also developed about the same time was a Village Inn, which was to cease operations Feb. 17. The Craig Press reports that the manager confided that the reason for the closure was that the restaurant wasn’t bringing in enough business.

Allen Best
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