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Craig sheds mining town image in reinvention

Dec 26, 2023

Transitioning from coal mining and coal-generated power as their main economic drivers, the city of Craig and Moffat County are repositioning themselves as one of the best places to do business in the state of Colorado. Their efforts are paying off as more interest and investments have come in.


Craig is situated in what the city calls a Rural Jump Start Zone, an Enterprise Zone, as well as an Opportunity Zone, where businesses enjoy various incentives. The city has also recently set up two Urban Renewal Authority areas, which offer tax increment financing to spur investment and redevelopment.

In line with its midterm goal to diversify its economy, Craig is building a pro-business climate that nurtures an entrepreneurial culture, is among the most affordable places to live in Colorado and has a skilled and ready workforce.

Trapper Industrial Park is a fully independent location on a 4,532-hectare site with over 7,897 square meters of modern office and industrial space with dedicated utilities, explosion-permitting and uncontrolled airspace. (Credit: Craig City Economic Development)

Topping the city’s many assets is its people. More than 20% of its working population are college or post-graduate degree holders, and a large percentage are tradespeople trained in highly technical industries directly from high school. With an abundance of engineers and computer-aided designers, the city is confident it has no shortage of highly skilled and competent workers.

Only 31/2 hours from Denver and five hours from Salt Lake City by land, Craig has easy access to Interstate 70 to the south and Interstate 80 to the north and is only 27 km away from Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

Craig has also become a popular destination for visitors seeking unique experiences, like spotting wild horses and rare birds, as well as hunting, hiking and rafting. Among the most popular attractions are the Routt National Forest, Yampa River, Elkhead Reservoir and Dinosaur National Monument. For skiing enthusiasts, the slopes of Steamboat Springs are only 64 km away.

“Thanks to favorable incentives, lower costs of doing business, a highly skilled workforce, and a pro-business environment, the city of Craig is committed to ensuring entrepreneurs, industry and businesses of all sizes thrive in our community,” said Economic Development Manager Shannon Scott.

U.S. Mountain States 2023 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

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