It’s official: Craig is now the “Elk Hunting Capital of the World.” Having spent five years building the brand, businessman John Ponikvar trademarked the phrase this spring.
“It’s fantastic,” says Christina Oxley, of the Craig Chamber of Commerce. “I have a lot of respect for him taking this effort on, supporting it with his own dollars, marketing it and getting it trademarked.”
Ponikvar says he trademarked the phrase to give the community some identification. “We were trying to brand Craig and they didn’t like my ideas so I thought, ‘Shoot, I’ll go do it myself,’” he says.
Several years and thousands of dollars later, Craig is on the map, with the logo appearing on bumper stickers, banners, hats, T-shirts and more. “It’s worth it,” he adds. “Hopefully it’s a source of pride for Craig and Moffat County.”
Oxley says trademarking the phrase likely will bring good things for Craig, and they’ve already received positive feedback from visitors. “It gives us great visibility and searchability online,” Oxley says. “Every time somebody inputs elk hunting, having that as our brand draws people.”
Ponikvar adds that a man who films outdoor hunting shows even already found a hat with the phrase at a Georgia golf course and because of it, decided to film an elk hunt for their show in Craig. “I’ve been hunting in Florida and New Zealand and took T-shirts and hats with me,” he says. “Everyone loves them. It’s starting to get around the world.”