Romney to visit Craig on Tuesday
May 25, 2012
Craig — Frank Moe, owner of Deer Park Inn and Suites in Craig, sent Mitt Romney's presidential campaign a video earlier this year produced by Energy America.
The video, titled "The Perfect Storm Over Craig, Colorado," highlighted the community's economic dependence on the energy industry.
Along with the video was an invitation from Moe to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee to visit Craig.
"We (thought) this would be a good place for him to make the point that he is (in favor of) all forms of energy," Moe said.
On Thursday, Romney staffers called Moe and said the campaign was considering Craig as a campaign stop.
The trip was booked Friday.
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Romney spokeswoman Sarah Pompei said the former Massachusetts governor will appear for a public event at 9 a.m. Tuesday downtown. Additional visit details could be released this weekend, Pompei said.
"When the Romney campaign called us, tears rushed over us because now Craig has the opportunity to tell its story to the entire nation," an emotional Moe said Friday night.
“We all need to stand up and make our voices heard that energy can be done and done right.”
Craig City Manager Jim Ferree said he and Craig Police Chief Walt Vanatta are scheduled to meet with Secret Service agents Saturday to discuss the pending visit. Two members of the Romney team currently are in Craig preparing for the event, Ferree said.
The local visit won’t be without its challenges.
“They’re looking to set up in Alice Pleasant Park, which presents some logistical concerns with Grand Olde West Days wrapping up Monday and closing down the highway, but we’re going to work through it and make it happen,” Ferree said. “This is a good thing for the town and for Moffat County.”
Ferree said a section of Colorado Highway 13, likely between Victory Way and Sixth Street, would be closed early Tuesday morning and the Department of Social Services parking lot also might be closed.
The city also will provide police officers for crowd control and to assist Secret Service. Other city employees also will help direct traffic.
The visit, Ferree said, will be costly for the city, primarily in employee overtime.
But the potential cost doesn’t dampen the enthusiasm many elected officials and residents have for the visit.
“I believe it’s important for Moffat County citizens to understand the impact they can have when a presidential candidate will come to our community,” Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner said. “I hope people turn out on Tuesday morning, listen to what he has to say and tell our story.
“Our story revolves around the effects potential changes to the health care system will have on our small businesses and the federal push to have coal replaced by natural gas. Those are two critical issues to small and large businesses and citizens paying their electric bill.”
Sari Cobb, owner of Cornerstone Realty in downtown Craig, said Friday that she’s thrilled to have Romney appearing in town.
“I think it’s awesome,” Cobb said. “I think it’s wonderful that he’s coming out and he’s talking to the smaller communities and this is not just a Denver or (Front Range) thing.
“I don’t know that it will have a long-term impact, but I think it validates who we are. … I just think it does something for our community, and every little thing like that helps.”