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Grand Junction Plan Targets Outdoor-Focused Firms

The $30 million project, Riverfront at Las Colonias Park, will blend passion for the outdoors and business


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Grand Junction is carving out up to 15 acres in Las Colonias Park for a business park that will be home to companies focused on outdoor adventure.

Located adjacent to downtown Grand Junction along the banks of the Colorado River, the $30 million project, called Riverfront at Las Colonias Park, will blend passion for the outdoors into a business environment. Located within the 147-acre Las Colonias Park, the business park will embrace the natural environment with outdoor meeting zones scattered  among the buildings and recreational amenities that include an open space park, aerial adventure course, bike trails, retail outlets and a river recreation zone. All buildings will use sustainable design practices.

“The idea with this cluster of outdoors businesses is that they’re complementary to each other — they’re not competing,” says Greg Caton, Grand Junction’s city manager. “We’ve gotten a tremendous amount of interest. Along the river, we’re developing some restaurant-oriented pads, and we’ve had interest in those as well.”

The development broke ground in March and is funded through a public-private partnership with a projected $10 million public investment split between the business park and the recreational area, as well as a $20 million investment from the private sector.

Bonsai Design, a company that builds aerial adventure courses across the country, plans to invest $2 million into new facilities on the site, including a $600,000 research and development building that will include a zip line and challenge course that will be open to the public.

Under terms of an agreement with the city, Bonsai will lease up to 4.5 acres in Las Colonias for $20,000 a year for 25 years. The city will contribute $1 million toward the construction of the new facilities and waive certain fees, as well as real and business personal property taxes over a 10-year period, totaling about $117,000. The state of Colorado has agreed to provide the company with $75,000 in cash incentives to support new job creation.

In return, Bonsai will add 15 new employees, bringing its staff up to 50 people with an average annual salary of $55,000. The expected economic impact from Bonsai alone is $23 million.

The total economic impact of construction of the project is estimated at more than $41 million.

To the west of Las Colonias, the city owns another 66 acres at the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers that will be developed as Riverfront at Dos Rios, which is in the master planning stage.

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Margaret Jackson

Margaret Jackson is an award-winning journalist who spent nearly 25 years in the newspaper industry, including seven years as a business reporter for The Denver Post covering residential and commercial real estate. She can be reached at myjackson7@gmail.com.

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