Downtown board supports events center plan

The board of directors that oversees a downtown Grand Junction organization has voted to support a plan to construct an events center downtown and renovate the nearby convention center.

The Grand Junction Downtown Development Authority board of directors voted unanimously to support the City of Grand Junction in its efforts to build the center, including a measure on the April municipal ballot asking voters to increase city sales tax to fund the project.

Members of the DDA board cited the potential economic benefits to the downtown of a new events center, including increased tourism and employment. Members noted that by one estimate, an events center would attract 80,000 new visitors to Grand Junction a year while adding $30 million in retail sales revenue.

The Grand Junction City Council voted
to place a question on the April 4 ballot asking voters to approve a quarter-percent increase in city sales tax
from 2.75 percent to 3 percent in July. The increase is expected to generate about $4 million annually, although the exact amount could vary.

The increase in sales tax revenue would be used to repay no more than $65 million in financing to construct an events center and renovate Two Rivers Convention Center as well cover operating costs for the facilities.

The proposed events center would be constructed just south of Two Rivers Convention Center and seat more than 5,000 people for sports events, concerts, trade shows and other activities.

Renovations at the convention center would offer more space and an improved experience, including a larger main ballroom, additional meeting rooms and separate corridors for service workers.