It can be surprising, even to those who’ve long lived in the area, to discover some of the remarkable businesses that operate in the Grand Valley and equally remarkable products and services they provide. The realization can provoke a common response: I didn’t know they do that here.
One of the first examples to come to mind is Reynolds Polymer Technology, which supplies acrylic panels for aquariums, architectural features and scientific projects around the world. That’s right. The components of those gigantic aquariums that house all those fish come from the landlocked high desert of Western Colorado.
Given the proximity of the ski industry in Colorado, it’s a bit more logical the manufacturer of chairlifts and gondolas would be based in Grand Junction.
But it’s still pretty cool Leitner-Poma of America operates here. The same holds true for Enstrom Candies, which has made Grand Junction famous in part for the company’s world-famous almond toffee.
There are many other examples. West Star Aviation attracts customers — and their aircraft — from around the globe for the overhaul, painting and repair services provided at the Grand Junction Regional Airport. ProStar Geocorp has evolved into a growing operation in providing software and services to manage underground infrastructure.
Add to the list National Kennel Sales & Appraisals, a business brokerage that specializes in the pet care industry. Teija Heikkila and her staff serve clients nationwide from offices in an historic house in downtown Grand Junction.
The brokerage is unique in focusing on selling businesses and real estate in the pet care industry. Heikkila brings to the operation not only her expertise in mergers and acquisitions, but also her experiences in operating a boarding and training facility.
All this bodes well for continued economic development. As transportation logistics — and, of course, computer technology — make it easier for businesses to operate nearly anywhere, more entrepreneurs and their operations likely will do so from the Grand Valley. Consider the differentiating advantages: lower land and housing costs and less traffic congestion combined with a higher quality of life with easy access to outdoor recreation. And if someone just has to get to the big city for some reason, the Grand Junction Regional Airport offers the connections to fly there.
That makes it all the more probable more pleasant surprises await in the remarkable businesses that operate in the Grand Valley. They do that here? Thankfully, they do.