Steamboat Springs Steamboat Springs' Wal-Mart has gained a super-sized competitor, of its own kind, with the recent opening of a new Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Craig.
The SuperCenter's target market includes all of Moffat County, as well as residents of Hayden and the rest of West Routt County - in other words, many previous customers of Wal-Mart's Steamboat location.
The Craig store, which plans to employ about 265 people, also has transferred some former Steamboat employees to the new SuperCenter, primarily those who already lived in the vicinity.
In addition to selling groceries and produce, the 99,611-square-foot SuperCenter, which opened Nov. 7, features a bakery, delicatessen, and seasonal lawn and garden center.
Wal-Mart officials declined to comment about whether sales at the Steamboat Springs' location are expected to suffer and would not reveal any future revenue projections, except to say that the Steamboat store is expected to remain successful.
"We expect to still do well," said Amy Wyatt-Moore, a spokeswoman at Wal-Mart's corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. "We have a very strong customer base in Steamboat Springs."
City officials declined to release sales tax contributions from individual businesses, but sales tax clerk Christy Abney speculated that the winter season will make up for any lagging business at Steamboat's Wal-Mart.
"Ski season's coming up, and there's usually a boom from folks coming in who won't go out to Craig," Abney said.
Wal-Mart does not have a set policy regarding how many locations it can have for any geographic area or population, but instead examines market conditions at proposed sites and tries to match up its stores with customer demand, Wyatt-Moore said.
Before the Craig Wal-Mart's grand opening, the nearest SuperCenter to Steamboat Springs was more than 80 miles away in Avon.
With the new SuperCenter in Craig, Wal-Mart officials envision Steamboat-area consumers shopping at both locations.
"Hopefully they'll get the bulk of their groceries in Craig, and their weekly needs in Steamboat Springs," Wyatt-Moore said.