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Alpine hopes new brewery will bring economic prosperity

Alpine hopes new brewery will bring economic prosperity

ALPINE, Wyo. - A Jackson-based brewery could be moving to the Star Valley. If it does, Alpine officials are hopeful it will bring their community closer to where it was before the recession.

The town is hoping to receive a more than $2.9 million grant from the Wyoming Business Council. It will use the money to build a 20,000-square-foot facility for Melvin Brewing on the edge of town.

"We build the building and the infrastructure. We lease it back to Melvin Brewing on a lease-purchase agreement, (under) which they will buy it back over 15 years," said Alpine Mayor Kennis Lutz.

Some say it's just the kind of growth Alpine's been waiting for.

"Anytime you can bring a new business to a community, what it does for the community -- the jobs, the revenues, the reputation," said town council member Tim Foppiano, who also serves as chief of Alpine's fire department.

If Melvin Brewing relocates to Alpine, town officials expect it to add 30 to 50 jobs over the next five years. In the next 10 years, they say it could bring up to 100 jobs – something many in the Star Valley are desperate for.

"We're the highest unemployment rate in the state, and northern Lincoln County needs more sustainable jobs," said Lutz.

Once Alpine gets the necessary funding, the plan is to move quickly.

"We'd like to break ground immediately and hopefully have it done by the first of the year," said Lutz.

The town is still awaiting approval from the State Land Investment Board.

Lutz said they should get approval by June 19 and the grant money could come their way by mid-August.

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