Xcel: Cameo 
is prime spot 
for industrial

An update about demolition progress at Xcel Energy’s Cameo property in De Beque Canyon focused mostly on the property’s ideal qualities as a prime industrial site, despite an initial push from the community to site a large-scale shooting range there.

“This could be an incredible property to put a nice industrial company into,” Fred Eggleston, area manager for Xcel, told Mesa County commissioners last week.

“As we look and we listen to the community about where we are going to go with Cameo, keep that in mind,” he said.

There are a number of reasons an industrial company might be particularly attracted to the Cameo property, Eggleston said. Mesa County is set to replace the aging bridge nearby, providing improved access to the site from Interstate 70 just across the river. The site also “has as much electricity as you’d ever want,” and a rail spur on nearby property owned by Halliburton provides even greater access, Eggleston said.

Large, privately owned available commercial property is rare in Mesa County, and the Xcel piece of the Cameo area totals about 1,200 acres.

Proposals for potential tenants of the property are being funneled through the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, though no formal proposals have been submitted at this point, Eggleston said.

“(The property) could be a great generator for taxes, jobs — so what’s the highest and best use?” he wondered.

The town of Palisade and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have been early backers of a plan to build the region’s only world-class shooting range and education center at the property, but the idea has not progressed beyond a basic concept paper and lots of discussion to this point.

“There have been conversations, but there is not an official proposal on the table,” Eggleston told commissioners. “Until you have a proposal, it’s hard to discuss it.”

That lack of a formal proposal — and more specifically someone or some group to lead the effort — are obstacles keeping the idea from progressing further, Eggleston and Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said.

“I think there’s a lot of support. But there just isn’t a focus ... It’s kind of nebulous,” Eggleston said. “This thing is like a flying concept. It needs to land and let people get behind it.”

People are encouraged to contact GJEP — via email, phone calls, letters and formal proposals — with their input for what they would like to see at the Cameo property.

Reclamation is planned at the site through the end of the year, and discussions about specific uses and proposals are expected to ramp up then.


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