New bank is coming to town

Small chain to open branches in Steamboat, Hayden, Meeker

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A subsidiary of a small banking chain in Western Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming has announced plans for branches in Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Meeker.

The parent company is Platte Valley Financial Services Companies Inc. of Scottsbluff, Neb. The Colorado banks will operate under the name "Mountain Valley Bank."

"Having come to that part of the state for the last 25 years, we have witnessed its growth and the maturing market there," company executive Hod Kosman said. "We've always loved the valley. It's a natural move for us."

Kosman is chairman of the board of directors and CEO of Platte Valley Companies, based in Scottsbluff, which operates eight banks in Nebraska and Wyoming. Kosman owns a home here.

In Steamboat, the company has a building permit to remodel the former Rock, Rattle 'n' Stroll store in Curve Plaza. The company has no immediate plans to build a new bank building here.

Terry Jost, who most recently served as branch manager and commercial/agricultural and real estate lender at First National Bank of the Rockies in Hayden, will manage the banks in Walden, Steamboat and Hayden. Bruce Clatterbaugh will manage the bank in Meeker.

The company expects the Steamboat and Meeker banks to open no later than July 1. The opening date for Hayden has not been determined.

The new Colorado banks will join the existing North Park State Bank in Walden to become Mountain Valley Bank. Platte Valley Financial Services acquired North Park Bancshares Inc. on April 22.

Kosman expects the strength of the real estate market in Routt County to provide ample opportunity for his banks to succeed here.

"You have a very strong real estate economy, and that economy tends to turn over a lot," Kosman said. "You have new business every day, and that makes for a very fertile marketplace to do banking."

In addition, Kosman said, Steamboat has many qualities that people seek out.

"You have all the essentials," he said. "You have an excellent hospital. You have a great school system and college. It's a community that will continue to have a lot of attraction for people."

Although he sees opportunity in Routt County's potential for growth, he said he is drawn to the region because the community has demonstrated that it has a handle on growth and knows how to grow.

"To me, that's a very important quality," he said.

Platte Valley Financial Services Companies report $375 million in assets. In addition to banks, it operates insurance, trust and brokerage firms.

Mountain Valley Bank will have a Colorado-based board of directors, according to Jacque J. Neu, director of marketing for the company.

Jost has been in the banking industry for more than 25 years, most of them spent as owner and president of a community bank in the Midwest.

Kosman said the company plans to construct a new bank building in Hayden. The site has not been finalized.

-- To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205

or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com

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