Grand Junction shines on list of sunniest U.S. cities

If you live in the Grand Valley and you are a generally happy person or sport a nice tan, there may now be a mathematical explanation for why.

Grand Junction is the seventh-sunniest city in the U.S., according to Tourism-Review.com, an Internet tourism news provider. The sunniest cities were determined based on those that boast the greatest percentage of annual daylight hours during which the sun shines.

The only city in Colorado that made the list fell between Lake Charles, La., and Honolulu, Hawaii. Yuma, Ariz., topped the rankings, with the sun shining during 90 percent of its daylight hours each year.

Grand Junction city officials already are plotting how to use the ranking to market the area to tourists. Debbie Kovalik, director of the city’s Economic, Convention and Visitor Services Department, said she hopes to have the information up on the Visitor and Convention Bureau’s Web site by Monday.

“It is wonderful to be able to share that with other people,” Kovalik said. “Folks that are visiting do understand the benefits of the sunshine in terms of having a successful visit with few to little rain delays or interruptions.”

The list apparently was produced in September, but city officials didn’t learn about it until Wednesday when a Colorado Springs tourism employee notified them.

In its list, Tourism-Review.com noted that Colorado National Monument and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park are nearby and touted the area’s variety of outdoor activities.

“Even winters are ... very sunny, so do not forget your sunglasses,” the Web site said about Grand Junction.

Kovalik noted that unlike other rankings the city has received in the past for a status that may not endure, the designation of one of the sunniest cities in the country is one Grand Junction can keep and promote for years to come.

She said it could help boost visitor stays during the winter, when people may believe it’s not as sunny here as other times of the year.

“The sun isn’t just about being outside,” she said. “It’s also a healthy addition to anybody’s life. It gives people Vitamin D. It’s also part of the reason why we’re a happy and welcoming community. The sun makes people happy.”

Which means there’s no good excuse if you’re a frump and pasty white.


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