Craig Years of speculation have led to this: The rumors are true.
After three years of interest and waiting for the opportune moment, a business partnership hopes to begin building a Sonic fast-food franchise in Craig next spring.
"They have an application sitting on my desk," said Dave Costa, Craig community development director. Costa also is the city's planning and zoning official.
Craig Drive-In, LLP, and managing partner Dean Sigler, of Colorado Springs, are the forces behind the application, which includes detailed site plans, Costa said.
The Sonic franchise is planned for the front east corner of Victory Way and West Sixth Avenue, the intersection in front of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter.
According to literature distributed at the Craig Chamber of Commerce Wake-Up Craig breakfast Thursday, there are four additional plots along Victory Way in front of Wal-Mart for sale or lease.
Sonic's arrival has been awhile in the making, Sigler said.
"We've been looking at Craig for about three years," Sigler said. "With the new Wal-Mart moving in there, and the current business economy, it just seemed like the right time."
Sigler and other partners own four Sonic franchises on the Western Slope, including one in Rangely and one in Rock Springs, he said.
"We're kind of expanding throughout western Colorado as lots become available and the demographics look good," he said.
The Craig franchise site plans call for a traditional drive-thru and carhop Sonic as opposed to the rare sit-in establishment, Sigler said.
Costa and the Craig Planning and Zoning Committee will review the site plans Jan. 21. The Committee makes a recommendation to the Craig City Council whether to approve or not, Costa said.
The Council will look at the plans at its meeting Feb. 12.
"If the City Council approves the site plan, then they could start construction in March if they wanted to," Costa said.
If approved, the builders are restricted to build exactly what the plans specify within a 10 percent window, Costa said. For instance, if the builders had a 1,000-square-foot wall painted brown in the plans, they could paint 100 square feet blue pending Costa's approval.
Outside of that 10 percent, the plans have to be resubmitted to the city and go through the city's approval process again.
Costa was "very happy" with the plans on his desk, he said.
"They're really exceeding our minimum requirements" such as parking and landscaping, Costa said. "I have no negative comments, only positive comments, and I will be recommending we approve."
The Sonic franchise would be in addition to a retail building, which already has received unanimous approval from the City Council for the development's site plan.
That retail building would be located on Wal-Mart's east side and would encompass about 9,750 square feet and contain five to seven spaces for small retail shops and stores. Each space would be between 1,300 and 2,000 square feet, said developer Tom Metzger, of the Boulder firm, Laurus Associates, LLC.
He also said the building would house a "variety of tenants" at Tuesday's Council meeting, and he has had inquiries from people interested in locating a sandwich shop and cellular telephone wireless store there.
Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or firstname.lastname@example.org