Business Buzz: Local leaders attend broadband conference

Several Craig and Moffat County representatives attended the Mountain Connect Broadband Conference last week at Keystone Resort and Conference Center. The event featured educational workshops, networking with state and federal agency representatives, and vendor booths. Local attendees included Craig City Manager Mike Foreman, Moffat County Commissioner Frank Moe, Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership (CMEDP) Executive Director Michelle Balleck and Moffat County Information Technology Director Mason Siedschlaw. Audrey Danner, of Craig, co-hosted the conference with Jeff Gavlinski, of Durango, and Kirstie McPherson, of Craig, provided event support. Additionally, representatives from Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association were in attendance.

The City of Craig, Moffat County and CMEDP are leading the local effort to ensure high-speed, reliable, affordable internet access to businesses, organizations and homes.

“Mountain Connect was one of the most informative conferences I have been to,” Foreman said. “The information that we received will be used to build a fiber network in Craig that will allow our businesses and citizens to better access information for work and entertainment.”

The conference, held May 22 to 24, attracted nearly 500 people to this year’s event, which is the largest attendance since its inception in 2013. The 2017 conference carried a theme of “Building Sustainable Communities through Smart Networks” and featured speakers from throughout the state and country focused on emerging technologies and local governments’ role in developing broadband infrastructure.

“Mountain Connect Broadband Conference brings together policymakers, technology and service providers, and business and community leaders to improve broadband infrastructure,” Danner said. “More and more community leaders are addressing the lack of infrastructure and services to meet the needs of citizens. Broadband is an essential service key to our economic vitality.”

Moe agreed, noting applications for education, health care, and business growth and recruitment.

“When asked why advanced, superior broadband service is so important to our local economic future, the simple answer is that we don’t have an economic future without it,” Moe said. “The Mountain Connect Broadband Conference — as well as Audrey Danner’s role in it — is instrumental in expediting our learning curve and ability to help bring the advanced broadband service required for our community’s future.”

The Moffat County Strategic Broadband Plan was completed and released earlier this year. The plan and supporting documents can be accessed at ci.craig.co.us/government/broadband1. Foreman, Moe and Balleck have been meeting with partners in neighboring counties to understand Moffat County’s tie-in to regional broadband efforts while addressing the local needs for the local anchor institutions and businesses.

“The Mountain Connect conference really put into perspective for us how broad the broadband community is and how many resources we have available to our communities as we move forward with our implementation efforts,” Balleck said. “We have wide community support to improve this critical infrastructure and strengthen our economic future, and I’m encouraged by the momentum we have moving forward.”

For more information on the Mountain Connect conference, visit mountainconnect.org2.

Craig’s Legion Fitness now The Weelhouse, owner hopes to maintain image

The new owner of one of Craig’s local gyms has found that overseeing fitness is right in his wheelhouse. He’ll just be spelling it differently. Downtown workout spot Legion Fitness is now The Weelhouse, 583 Yampa Ave., under new owner Luke Weeldreyer.

Weeldreyer, a longtime part of Legion’s usual lineup of exercisers, purchased the business from Jeff Boss.

“Jeff was hoping to move on, so he asked if I wanted to buy it,” he said. “He’d wanted to go partners for a long time. The coaches will stay the same, do the programming for the workouts.”

As the new head of the gym, Weeldreyer does not plan to make any drastic changes, though he is hoping to move slowly toward getting CrossFit certification by the end of the year.

“You’ve got to get affiliated, and it’s pretty spendy, so you want to make sure you’ve got things rolling before you dive into that,” he said. Overall, the goal is to maintain a “fun, drama-free” zone for clients to continue to improve their physical wellbeing.

“Hopefully, it’ll just be a fun place to hang out and work out,” Weeldreyer said. For more information on The Weelhouse’s services, hours and rates, visit the business’s Facebook page or call 970-629-8769.

Locals Love You More contest underway

The Downtown Business Association has once again opened its Locals Love You More Contest that runs through May 31.

To participate, shoppers must keep their receipts from the 50 local participating businesses. The list of businesses can be found at KS Kreations, Downtown Books and The Community Budget Center. The list also is available at the Downtown Business Association’s Facebook page3. For every $250 in receipts collected, participants will receive one entry into the contest. A drawing will be held June 2 at the Yampa Valley Young Professionals second annual

Dinner on the Avenue at 5:30 p.m. in Alice Pleasant Park.

The goal is to get Craig and Moffat County residents to shop local, said DBA President Karen Brown. Winners will receive $250 in spree bucks. For more information, call Brown at 970-824-7898.

Daily Press, CMEDP solicit business news

The Craig Daily Press and Craig/Moffat Economic Development Partnership (CMEDP) have a cooperative agreement to share news from businesses and industry with the community in the “Business Buzz” section that runs each Monday in the Daily Press.

The entities are seeking news items to share through the weekly section.

“This partnership give us a unique opportunity to share the positive happenings within our business community — new employees, added service lines, expanded and renovated locations, and more,” Balleck said. “There’s plenty of news to be celebrated within our community, and I am pleased to be a part of this program.”

To share news about your business or another business in Moffat County, contact Craig Daily Press Editor Thomas Martinez at 970-875-1790 or

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