Sweet music for the Avalon
The Grand Junction City Council’s decision to support remodeling of the Avalon Theatre to accommodate the Grand Junction Symphony — without spending city tax dollars — is a welcome one that should prove harmonious for all involved.
Money for the $7.5 million first phase of the project will come from the symphony’s fundraising drive and the Downtown Development Authority budget. DDA raises funds from a mill levy assessed against property in the downtown area.
The city is not spending taxpayer funds on the Avalon as it cuts personnel budgets and curtails services because of the economy.
The project will bring much-needed improvements to the Avalon, a historic downtown icon with an interior in need of an upgrade. It will also provide an anchor tenant for the struggling facility.
Additionally, the project will ultimately provide a better, if somewhat smaller, venue for the symphony than Grand Junction High School. Not to put too fine a point on it, but acoustics at the high school auditorium leave much to be desired.
Those who attend concerts at the Avalon have the opportunity to take a little time visiting and spending money at businesses on Main Street, boosting the local economy. Attending a concert at the high school is far more likely to involve a quick auto trip into the school parking lot and a trip home, with no stops in between.
We know parking is an issue. Even though there is abundant parking in two city parking facilities a few blocks away, city and DDA officials should explore ways to increase parking nearby, at least for those who can only walk limited distances.
We look forward to hearing sweet symphonic sounds emanating from the Avalon in the not-too-distant future.