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.

Quint Shear
2020 Chairman of the Board of Directors

Economic Snapshot

In 2019, the Grand Valley experienced…


job growth


GDP growth


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

883 placements

$2.6 million in ad equivalency

reach of 266 million

surpassing 2018 by 130%

American West Discovers How to Make Money on the Outdoors: Enjoy It

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.

City of Grand Junction Gains in List of Best Performing Cities

The City of Grand Junction jumped up 56 places overall in the “Best Performing Cities 2018” report released last month by the Milken Institute. Out of the 201 small cities in the U.S. that were ranked, Grand Junction made one of the largest gains by moving from 187th to…

BLM Goes On Hiring Spree To Fill New Grand Junction Headquarters

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 Breaks Ground on New Headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado

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…

paid advertising

Reached a target audience of 23.9 million

GJEP.org had

total users

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.

invest in gjep

When you invest in GJEP, you invest in the economic development of the new west and the community of people behind it.

We thank our current investors for their continued support.

Contact Nicole Troester at (970) 245 4332 ext. 2, or email invest@gjep.org

2020 year to date

get in touch

[gravityform id="1" title="false" description="false" ajax="true" tabindex="49" field_values="check=First Choice,Second Choice"]