Efforts to attract entrepreneurs to the Grand Valley as a great place to both work and play appear to be working. It’s become an effective strategy at a time of growing discontentment with the high prices and suffocating congestion of life in big cities.
Add the RockyMounts bicycle rack manufacturer to the list of outdoor recreation companies that have or soon will set up shop, drawn here at least in part by the lifestyle.
The Grand Junction Economic Partnership announced at its economic summit RockyMounts will relocate its headquarters from Boulder to the Riverfront at Las Colonias Park under development in Grand Junction.
Bobby Noyes, founder and president of RockyMounts, stated in a news release he was looking for not only a larger location, but also a different location. “I saw an opportunity to be a part of a growing and vibrant community here in Grand Junction; build the headquarters I had always dreamed of; and to contribute to the improved quality of life for myself, my employees and the like-minded souls that call the Western Slope home.”
If would be difficult to write a better testimonial than that.
Robin Brown, executive director of GJEP, confirms that kind of thinking. “Companies are growing tired of metropolitan areas and their long commutes, high real estate costs, and congested neighborhoods. They want good business conditions without compromising on quality of life. We believe we can offer that here in Colorado’s Grand Valley.”
RockyMounts will move into a business park that includes an anchor tenant in Bonsai Design, a company that designs, builds and installs adventure courses and ziplines for customers around the world.
Meanwhile, the Timberleaf Trailers teardrop trailer manufacturer recently relocated its operations from Denver to Grand Junction. Owner Kevin Molick said 75 percent to 80 percent of his trailer orders come from out of state. And at least 50 percent of those customers prefer to pick up their trailers and add camping in the Rocky Mountain region to their trips.
There’s yet another new outdoor recreation business in the Grand Valley that’s making a splash in adding to the attractions that bring in outdoor recreation enthusiasts. And that’s the Imondi Wake Zone in Fruita. The attraction uses cable systems to tow people on wakeboards and kneeboards. One system with six towers installed around the lake can tow up to eight riders at a time. A two-tower system tows one rider at a time. Owners Victor and Kodi Imondi said they’ve traveled thousands of miles to use cable wakeboarding parks elsewhere, so they’re excited about opening a park in Western Colorado.
Thankfully, there are lot of attributes to tout when recruiting businesses to the Grand Valley. There’s highway and rail access and a regional airport with commercial service to destinations across the country. There’s a growing university that offers a range of degree programs. There are a lot of resources available to entrepreneurs in starting and growing the ventures. But one of the key differentiating attributes is the proximity to open spaces and recreational opportunities — whether that’s biking, camping, wakeboarding or a myriad of other pursuits.
The outdoors really is great.