With the start of the new year, the City of Grand Junction is planning to focus on economic recovery from early COVID-19 pandemic conditions. The City would like to highlight how its economic development investments have helped to strengthen the local economy. A strategic priority of the City of Grand Junction is to foster a strong economic environment. Recognizing the need to diversify and strengthen the local economy, the City prioritizes economic development investments in each annual budget.
The City’s economic development investment in 2022 totals $3.7 million. Over the last five years, investments in this area have totaled over $18.3 million. This is an $8 million increase from the total investment by the City from the previous five-year period. In addition, the City has also leveraged public investments into Las Colonias Park, Dos Rios, and the Grand Junction Convention Center, totaling $36.1 million, to spur economic activity. This $54.4 million total investment over a five-year span has helped to improve the local economy through public improvement projects and supporting economic development partners.
Public spending to improve public assets such as the Riverfront properties has a multiplier effect on economic activity by encouraging new private investments in the area that would not otherwise have been feasible. Increases in transportation infrastructure spending, including the work along 24 Road, the 29 Road Interchange, and the Riverside Parkway also contributes to facilitate positive economic growth in the area by ensuring safe and accessible movement of people and freight.
By strategically leveraging public investments in economic development, the City has seen many more times that in private investment which has resulted in the growing economy that we are experiencing now. The positive economic conditions are also evident in the area’s tourism industry. Grand Junction is the 3rd most booked city in Colorado after Denver and Colorado Springs. Grand Junction lodging occupancy through November 2021 YTD was a factor of 11.3% above Colorado for the same 11 months. When compared to the broader U.S., Grand Junction’s lodging occupancy for all 12 months of 2021, was a factor of 13.7% higher than the U.S. occupancy for 2021. In terms of local growth, Grand Junction’s 2021 occupancy was 9.3% ahead of 2019, the pre-pandemic year. As a reminder, the 6% lodging tax funds the operations of Visit Grand Junction, while also providing dedicated funding for the Air Service Alliance and Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission.
These collective economic development efforts have helped to strengthen the local economy by diversifying the economy, which will soften the downturns of a historically cyclical economy. For more information on economic development and the annual budget, please visit www.gjcity.org.
Contact: Greg LeBlanc, Sr. Assistant to the City Manager | 970-244 1557 or firstname.lastname@example.org