Grand Valley Bank expands into Park City

CHRISTOPHER TOMLINSON/The Daily Sentinel—Grand Valley Bank, its branch at North Seventh Street and Teller Avenue shown above, plans to purchase a branch of Frontier Bank in Park City, Utah, late this year or early in 2013.

Grand Valley Bank will acquire the Park City, Utah, branch of Frontier Bank, allowing the Grand Junction-based bank to add customers from the glitzy ski resort town in an expansion executives say reflects the financial institution’s continuing recovery from the recession.

The purchase, announced last week, formally will take effect at the end of this year or beginning of next year, once it’s approved by bank regulators, said Curt Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Grand Valley Bank. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

“We’re in a position where we can take advantage of opportunities,” Taylor said. “We’re strong, we’re in good shape. Our regulators are happy with us. We’re looking for more business to do.”

The Park City acquisition adds about 2,300 accounts to the nearly 13,000 accounts Grand Valley Bank currently manages, making it the second-largest bank branch in terms of the number of deposits next to the Grand Junction branch at 925 N. Seventh St. Grand Valley Bank also will purchase three automated teller machines from Frontier Bank and about $8 million in outstanding loans. Frontier Bank will retain most of its loans, although Taylor said he didn’t know the dollar amount.

This is the first time Grand Valley Bank has acquired an existing bank since it opened in Grand Junction in 1983.

The bank had been looking to add to its holdings in Colorado and Utah and began communicating with Frontier Bank in the middle of last year about purchasing the Park City branch. Taylor said the Park City location was attractive because it’s a “good, dynamic market” — it’s about 15 miles north of Heber City, where Grand Valley Bank operates a branch, and a 20-minute drive to downtown Salt Lake City.

The acquisition makes fiscal sense in other ways, too, Taylor said. He said the collapse of financial institutions on Wall Street resulted in additional regulations and increased banking costs for smaller banks like Grand Valley Bank.

“Costs are going up and if you can spread your costs against a larger footprint, you’re better off,” he said.

Frontier Bank’s headquarters will move to Palm Desert, Calif., where the bank operates three branches as El Paseo Bank.

“While a very difficult decision given our history in Park City, this sale allows us to consolidate our banking operations in a much smaller footprint, thereby achieving efficiencies while increasing capital,” Frontier president and CEO Joe Kiley said in a statement.

Grand Valley Bank operates in seven locations: in Colorado, there are two in Grand Junction and one each in Fruita and Collbran; in Utah, there are one each in Heber City, Midway and Vernal. The bank lists total assets of $273 million.


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