An annual race up and over the Colorado National Monument contributes more than $570,000 to the Grand Valley economy, according to the organization that manages the event.
“The U.S. Bank Rim Rock Marathon is a prime example of the power of sports on a community’s economy,” said Jennifer Stoll, executive director of the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission.
The Rim Rock Run has gone over Rim Rock Drive in the Colorado National Monument for more than 20 years. The latest race attracted more than 400 participants competing in a marathon, two-person marathon relay, and half marathon. The event serves as a fund-raiser for the cross country program at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.
Since the commission has taken over management of the event, Stoll said participation has increased and along with it the economic effects on the local economy. On average, nearly 70 percent of participants come from outside a 50-mile radius, resulting in increased expenditures at hotels, restaurants and other businesses. In 2017, the Rim Rock Run generated more than $570,000 in economic impact for the Grand Valley, she said. That’s up from $140,000 in 2013.
There are other benefits, Stoll said. “The event has grown to be a marquee event in our community’s sport tourism portfolio by attracting runners from around the country and beyond. But it also underscores why the Grand Valley is such a desirable place to work, live and play.”
The Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission is a collaborative effort involving CMU, the cities of Grand Junction and Fruita, Mesa County and town of Palisade to promote sports tourism.