New web site hosted by Mesa County aims to boost local economy

Efforts to rev up the local economy in 2009 are delving into cyber-space.

GJhotspot.com is a new Web site hosted by Mesa County. It was developed in partnership with the city of Grand Junction and the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

“This is all about our continued efforts to recruit retail into the valley,” said Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland.

A city- and county-funded study last year identified 19 restaurant and retail outlets that could find a niche in the community. Each company is being courted individually. The new Web site is intended to give the identified retailers, and others seeking to do business in the Grand Valley, additional information about Mesa County.

The city is promoting the North Avenue corridor, while the county is encouraging retail growth in Clifton.

Typically counties do not get involved with retail recruitment, Rowland said, noting that role is usually reserved for cities. “But we happen to have a very large urban area within the county. It is part of our efforts to help Clifton stand on their own,” she said.

Rowland said the county has identified “three key businesses” it is encouraging to locate in Clifton.

“Unfortunately everything tanked in the economy just as we were gearing up for this,” she said.

If any results are realized from the county’s retail efforts, they won’t come to fruition for one to three years, Rowland said. But the Web site, the study and the enhanced cooperation between local partners are not the end of the county’s rally for retail.

“This is the initial, phase one of trying to pique their interest in Grand Junction,” Rowland said.


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