Welcome JUCO visitors: Don’t ever leave

Dear JUCO visitors,

As vice president of the Grand Junction/Fruita Advisory on Regional Tourism (GJ/FART), it is my pleasure to welcome you to our community.

All of us here in the Grand Valley are thrilled to have you here this week. That’s because you’re paying us a 3 percent nightly lodging tax. Don’t get the wrong impression though. We don’t just look at you as some faceless, anonymous tourist paying a lodging tax. We know you’re paying a 7.65 percent sales tax too.

It is our sincere hope that you’ll enjoy your time in western Colorado, while dropping an obscene amount of cash in the process. We’re not going to lie to you, JUCO visitor; we sure could use the economic boost.

We’re suffering through a record number of foreclosures, high gas prices, a crippling national debt, crashing home values and a local unemployment rate of 9.1 percent. Other than that, the whole “Hope and Change” thing is going very well for us.

So we desperately need the monetary shot in the arm you bring, as this tournament represents our one and only economic bright spot — so much so that we’re thinking of expanding the JUCO tournament out a few games, from just one week of baseball to ... say ... 46 weeks. You should probably book those hotel reservations now.

In preparation for your arrival, we’ve spent the past few months sprucing up Horizon Drive. Artwork has been installed, signs have been cleaned, and the bums panhandling on the I-70 exit ramps have all been given a fresh coat of paint.

We’ve also spent the last few months in eager anticipation. Most of us are excited at the opportunity to see some of the most talented young baseball players in the country take the field here. But enough about the Grand Junction Rockies, let’s talk JUCO.

This year’s tournament features a number of accomplished teams and returning fan favorites. Personally, I can’t wait to cheer on my favorite team, the athletically gifted and spunky bunch of kids from (Dear Editor: Insert name of a JUCO team here).

In fact, this year’s field is so impressive, the level of play stands to match that seen in last year’s thrilling championship game, in which the Southeast Northern Middle Western Georgia State Community College “Mullets” defeated the “Bearcats” of the Northwest Tennessee Appalachian School of Technology and Taxidermy.

You returning JUCO visitors will immediately notice several significant upgrades to Suplizio Field — the most obvious being the addition of new pink urinal deodorizers in the men’s restroom.

Another addition is the large, multi-million-dollar structure towering above the first base line. These luxurious skyboxes and suites are sure to enhance your enjoyment of the games — assuming, of course, you are either a sports reporter or own a bank. The rest of you can enjoy the new urinal deodorizers.

These skyboxes and new VIP suites are gorgeous. At least that’s what I hear. I’m not allowed anywhere near them because I’m in a low tax bracket.

You JUCO visitors, however, WILL be allowed in the beautiful new reserved seating section down on the first base side. Don’t have reserved seats? No problem. The third base stands still offer the traditional “Redneck Reserved Seating,” by which we mean, “Show up three hours early with duct tape and a blanket.”

Another time-honored tournament tradition is the presence of our furry, friendly, fun-loving mascot, Mr. JUCO, who has put the past behind him and is now (we are proud to say), legally allowed to be within 500 feet of an elementary school. So say “Hi!” to Mr. JUCO. Get your picture taken with him. And please don’t be intimated by the ankle monitor.

In fact, don’t be intimated by anything. Just sit back, enjoy the games, and take in everything you can, right up until the moment the JUCO tournament ends.

Which we’re hoping will be sometime in December.

Reach Steve Beauregard at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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