Bank of the San Juans closing Hayden branch
Steamboat Springs — Bank of the San Juans plans to permanently close it doors at its Hayden branch Sept. 2.
“It’s a business decision,” bank president Art Chase said Wednesday. “If we’re not covering the cost of operations in a market, you have to look at things in the long run.”
The bank has about 400 customers and employs four people. Chase said three of those people will transfer to different positions in the company. They are working to find a position for the remaining employee.
Bank of the San Juans has about 20 branches in Colorado and is a division of Glacier Bank.
Once the bank closes, Mountain Valley Bank will be the only bank in Hayden.
“The size of the Hayden market is that I think one bank will do very well there,” Chase said.
Customers were notified about the bank closing in late May and early June.
“We got people that are willing to serve them at our Craig and Steamboat offices,” Chase said. “We hope that these great customers stay with us.”
Chase said the federal government’s crackdown on coal is not helping communities such as Hayden, where residents have jobs in the coal industry.
“The nation’s energy economy is not helping these communities,” Chase said. “When jobs go away, if there is no alternative, people have to relocate out of the area, and that’s sad.”
Some communities are also being impacted post-recession.
“All of Colorado was hit hard in the Great Recession, and some areas have recovered and some have not,” Chase said.
Chase said their location in Craig continues to do well.
Tammie Delaney, a Bank of the San Juans customer who owns Wild Goose Coffee, said she was surprised to hear the bank was closing.
“Hayden is the one community in our county that is poised for growth,” Delaney said. “Hayden has the potential to grow with the infill lots that are currently vacant. We’re starting to see a whole new energy of new families.”
Delaney thinks there is an opportunity for a new bank in Hayden, and she has had discussions with other banks about opening a branch in Hayden.
“I think there is an opportunity for a bank that supports and gets involved with the community,” Delaney said.
Mountain Valley Bank has sponsored Hayden Daze and the Routt County Fair.
“Those types of things are important in a small town,” Delaney said.
Acting Hayden Town Manager Greg Tuliszewski said he understood Bank of the San Juans’ decision, and it would be good to have a second bank.
“It would be great to have it, and we also understand they are a business, and they have to make those business decisions,” Tuliszewski said.
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