Hotel bookings down 8%, yet Junction officials optimistic about summer travel season

The Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau remains upbeat about the summer travel season, despite hotel bookings being down 8 percent so far this year compared to last year.

“We’re feeling very, very happy with where this community is sitting in terms of tourism,” said Barb Bowman, division manager for the bureau.

Bowman said that in 2007 and 2008, the Grand Valley had record years, with double-digit growth in tourism.

“We don’t anticipate we will see that this year,” Bowman said.

The hotel managers she talks with seem to think the summer will be a good time for them. Big conventions that are coming through town should help the hotels.

In June, the Colorado Cattlemen’s Association will have its annual convention at Two Rivers Convention Center. The United Methodist Group will host a regional
conference that is expected to draw more than 700 people. And the Bicycle Tour of Colorado will come through town with as many as 900 cyclists, Bowman said.

New this year to promote travel to the area, the Visitor and Convention Bureau launched “Let’s Meet in GJ,” which encourages businesses in the area to bring corporate meetings to town, rather than meeting elsewhere. A letter promoting the campaign was sent to 1,300 businesses.

Residents who choose to host family gatherings and reunions should check with hotels, some of which have teamed up to offer friends and family discounts this summer.


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