With world-class mountain biking, over 30 wineries, the Colorado National Monument as a backdrop, and a milder climate than the rest of the state, Grand Junction in Colorado’s Grand Valley is a popular tourism destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the Denver metro. But it also has a thriving and diversified economy with unprecedented growth over the past few years, particularly in tech. Here are six reasons why you should consider Grand Junction for your business:
- TECH IS HERE
Grand Junction is home to a number of diverse tech startups such as KAART Group, Proximity Space, AI Dragonfly, Violet Gro and ProStar Geocorp. Together, they’re building an innovation ecosystem that spans agtech, GIS, creative tech, game tech and other software development. Colorado Mesa University (CMU) – the 5th fastest-growing university in the country – boasts programs in mechanical and electrical engineering, sustainable agriculture, computer science and manufacturing technology. From the university to the local, proactive workforce center, we create unique training programs specific to the jobs and industries that exist in the valley, as well as help local companies find the workforce they need to grow. There are a number of training and workforce incentives that offset the wages of new employees so that companies are able to grow quickly and efficiently.
- AGRICULTURE IS IN OUR BLOOD
Agriculture, farming and ranching make up one of the largest industry sectors in Colorado’s Grand Valley, where Grand Junction is the main city. It is part of Colorado’s banana belt – the climate is temperate year-round and the soil is ideal for growing grapes, tomatoes, lavender, hemp and more. In fact, the region is responsible for about 90% of the grapes used to make Colorado wines and is home to the famous Palisade peaches. Beyond a rich heritage in agribusiness, there’s a strong culture of experimentation and innovation. From the student-driven restaurant, Chez Lena, at the Western Colorado Community College to the award-winning Business Incubator Center with its 2,500 square foot commercial kitchen for shared use. From top restaurateurs like Bin 707’s Josh Niernberg, part of the Colorado 5, to startups breaking new ground, like Violet Gro.
- HAPPY EMPLOYEES, HAPPY EMPLOYER
Quality of life means something a bit different in western Colorado. With housing prices half of what they are in Denver, residents spend far less of their income on housing, making Grand Junction the most affordable metropolitan area in Colorado. But there’s more to it. In Grand Junction, residents spend 32% less time sitting in their cars than Denver residents. That’s 32% more time to spend on skis, bikes, kayaks, trails or even the couch. The low cost of living and high quality of life equates to happier employees that stay in their jobs longer. In turn, that reduces costs to business caused by employee turnover.
- WE WANT YOUR BUSINESS
In western Colorado, there is room to grow and the resources to support that growth. There’s also a culture of collaboration that supports sustainable development and a comprehensive plan that makes sure that growth is done in a smart way for the future. The Rural Jump-Start tax incentive is one of the most lucrative incentive programs in the country and allows new businesses to operate tax-free for up to eight years – agtech business Violet Gro was the latest to join the program. What’s more, a straight-forward planning and permitting process only takes 90 days from application to approval.
- BIG CITY AMENITIES WITH SMALL TOWN CHARM
Grand Junction is bigger than you think. Known as the Grand Valley, the Grand Junction area includes the town of Palisade to the east and the city of Fruita to the west and has a total population of 151,000. Add in the mountain and regional communities that come to town to do their shopping and get their healthcare, and that population grows to 350,000. Home to the Grand Junction Regional Airport with 17 daily, direct flights to 7 destinations, you’ve got the amenities of a big city with the charm and culture of a small, rural town. The location on Interstate 70, halfway between Denver and Salt Lake City, puts your business within an easy drive of over 5 million people without the congestion and prices that come with big-city living.
- THIS IS THE COLORADO YOU WERE PROMISED.
Western Colorado has it all. Water sports? Grand Junction is named for the junction of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers and the City is in the midst of building a 140-acre riverfront park, which will include a river recreation park and zipline over the river. Mountain sports? Grand Junction sits at the base of the Grand Mesa, the largest flat-topped mountain in the world, home to world-class Nordic skiing and Powderhorn Mountain Resort. Public Lands? 75% of the area is public land: BLM, National Forest and the stunning Colorado National Monument. Trails? Where to start? Mountain biking in Fruita. Trail running in Grand Junction. Hiking on the Grand Mesa. Then there’s the Palisade Plunge, a 6,000-foot drop from the top of the Mesa into the town of Palisade spanning 33 miles. Currently under construction and scheduled for a 2020 completion, the Palisade Plunge will prove to be a destination for bikers from all over the world.
In short, Grand Junction offers all the benefits of living and working in Colorado at a more affordable cost – to your wallet and your wellbeing.