Gjep 2019 annual report
from the chairman
What an exciting and challenging time to take the helm of the GJEP board! Last year we saw a number of exciting firsts: the first-ever Western Slope Opportunity Zone pitch event, the first West Slope Startup Week, the first groundbreaking at the business park in Riverfront at Las Colonias Park, and the first relocation of a major federal organization to Grand Junction, when we finally secured the Bureau of Land Management after a long and intense pursuit.
This year, we’ve also seen a number of firsts. The first time in modern history that a virus shut down the economy across the entire world, put millions of people out of work and sent millions more toward uncharted territory, as we learned to navigate work, school and play in front of a computer screen. This spring, a late frost decimated almost our entire peach crop, forcing a disaster declaration for Mesa County. Only a few months later, the county declared a local emergency as the largest wildfire in Colorado’s history raged in our backyard. We’re not strangers to wildfires or losing crops, but these back-to-back disasters sure feel like a first.
It’s in these hard times that we take stock of our community and realize that we are made of great resilience and ingenuity. In 2019, we saw growth in job opportunities, GDP, home values and tax revenue. While COVID slowed us down, it has by no means derailed our growth. We are still seeing our home values climb and construction is booming. Unemployment took a hit but is quickly rebounding, and as GJEP’s recent industry analysis showed, most of our industries are weathering the storms well.
The GJEP staff and board have remained committed to our mission of creating a strong and diverse economy in the Grand Valley. In recent months, that has involved a partial pivot to focus on the local business community, providing information and resources to overcome the economic downturn. Yet, we have continued to recruit new business to the area through the pandemic and are working hand-in-hand with the Las Colonias Development Corporation to bring to life our masterplan for the riverfront.
Last year, my predecessor Doug Simons asked that you join him in helping to make our community one that we will be very proud to pass on to future generations. After seeing us work through the ups-and-downs of late, I feel confident that we are on the right path.
2020 Chairman of the Board of Directors
In 2019, the Grand Valley experienced…
Rise in average annual wage
rise in home value
more building permits
higher sales tax revenue
higher lodging tax revenue
GJEP by the numbers
In 2019 we…
secured the BLM headquarters
And welcomed 3 companies into the Jump-Start tax credit program: FHE, Violet Gro, and one yet to be announced…
Our top industries for prospects were:
- Outdoor Rec 42% 42%
- Tech 16% 16%
- Manufacturing 14% 14%
GJEP prospects came through a direct inquiry
GJEP prospects came came from local referrals
We hosted the first-ever Western Slope Opportunity Zone Pitch Event with 125 attendees
We co-hosted the first-ever Techstars Startup Week West Slope with 319 attendees over 4 days in 6 communities across Western Colorado
We led a delegation of 15 people to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market in Denver, where we met with over 130 exhibitors and secured 5 prospects for the Grand Valley
Sponsored the Colorado Smart Cities Symposium
2019 earned media included
$2.6 million in ad equivalency
reach of 266 million
surpassing 2018 by 130%
For the past 100 years, Colorado’s Grand Valley rode the wave of commodity prices—from uranium to oil shale to natural gas. Now, the region is staking its survival on another natural resource: the great outdoors.
As the Bureau of Land Management gets ready to move into its new national headquarters in Grand Junction, it appears that many of its current D.C.-based employees won’t be coming along. Of the 27 positions…
RockyMounts, in cooperation with The Grand Junction Economic Partnership, are pleased to announce that the bike rack manufacturer has officially relocated to Grand Junction, Colorado. On Friday…
Reached a target audience of 23.9 million
up 25% from the previous year
Social media followers grew more than
with $0 spent on paid promotions
GJEP added a monthly radio show
Business Beat on KAFM
to its regular communications
Thank you to the GJEP board of directors, our community partners and all of our investors for believing in our mission to grow and diversify Colorado’s Grand Valley. As a 501(c)3, GJEP cannot succeed in its mission without the sustained support from our donors.