New Events Center On APRIL, 4, 2017 Ballot
The new Downtown Event Center and Two Rivers Expansion has been unanimously decided by the Grand Junction City Council. The decision now falls upon Grand Junction voters on whether or not the City should construct a $64 million event center that will cost the average home around $30 per year. The price may seem hefty, but the payoff is estimated to be around $30 million per year, and over a billion dollars over a 30-year period.
“The discussion in the community has been going on for a couple years, some community members say several years,” says Grand Junction City Manager Greg Caton.
If voters approve the project, the Event Center would seat over 5,000 people for large concerts, sporting events, and more. The sales tax for Grand Junction’s residents would increase from 2.75% to 3%. This would increase the household expense in Grand Junction around $30 per year.
“This project is believed to be critical in keeping Grand Junction as a provider of regional services…This venue could bring new events to the area including large indoor sporting events, concerts, family shows and can host graduations, larger conferences, and conventions. This project would serve the growing recreation, entertainment, convention, and tourism industry, this includes economic benefit to restaurants, hotels, and motels.” - City Report
A new Events Center would create over 200 jobs per year in the Grand Junction Community
The sales tax in Grand Junction is well below the average, which is around 3.3%. Grand Junction’s sales tax is still around 2.75%. This .25% increase would still keep Grand Junction below the regional average. The sales tax in surrounding cities, such as Fruita, Delta, and Palisade, have rates of 3%.
If the voters approve the Event Center, it will generate $2.3 million in the first fiscal year. The City of Grand Junction has stated that they will not issue more than $65 million in debt, and they will secure an interest rate of no more than 5%.
The annual payments for the city would sit between $3.5 and $3.9 million with an overall repayment of no more than $134 million (over a 30-year period).
The Two Rivers Convention Center has never been large enough to host large concerts, sporting events, or conventions. Councilor Barbara Traylor Smith said she believes this event center is necessary to promote much-needed economic development.
Grand Junction was once a regional hub for retail, and this event center would help renew its deteriorating standing. Grand Junction needs this events center to draw more visitors from surrounding cities and towns in Western Colorado and Utah and other nearby states.
“This is one opportunity for us to do that…This is where we can make ourselves stand out and have the ability to have events.” - Barbara Traylor Smith