U-Haul analysis: Grand Junction among top Colorado destinations

Grand Junction and Delta were among the Colorado cities posting strong gains in the latest U-Haul analysis of migration trends based on truck rentals.

Colorado ranked ninth overall for the most growth in 2017 with a 4.5 percent increase in arrivals of one-way U-Haul truck rentals, the company reported.

Arriving trucks accounted for  50.3 percent of one-way U-Haul traffic in Colorado to keep it among the leading net-gain states. Colorado ranked 11th in 2016 and 22nd in 2015.

Growth States are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul truck rentals entering a state versus leaving a state during a calendar year. Migration trends data is compiled from more than 1.7 million one-way U-Haul truck rental transactions that occur annually.

While migration trends don’t correlate directly to population or economic growth, U-Haul growth data offers a measure of how much states and cities attract and maintain residents.

Fort Collins, Aurora and Boulder paced the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks. Grand Junction, Delta and Pueblo were among other cities with strong net gains.

“I’ve been in this area four-plus years, and the growth I’ve seen is amazing,” said Mike Blau, president of the U-Haul Company of Northwest Colorado. “You used to drive down the Interstate 25 corridor and see open spaces everywhere. Now you hardly pass a dirt lot. There are no gaps. Colorado is bursting at the seams.”

Chris Lambert, president of the U-Haul Company of East Central Colorado, said the climate, outdoor activities and labor market attract people to Colorado.

Texas was the No. 1 growth state in the U-Haul analysis for the second year in a row. Florida, Arkansas, South Carolina and Tennessee rounded out the top five. North Carolina ranked seventh, continuing a strong growth movement in the Southeast.

California overtook Illinois in the analysis as the biggest net-loss state.