GJ Sports Commission secures $25,000 grant
The good news just keeps coming in for the Greater Grand Junction Sports Commission.
It was announced Thursday that the commission secured a grant from the Colorado Tourism Office for $25,000.
The grant, which will match marketing funds, will allow the commission to continue to market and promote itself and the area as a prime destination for sports events.
The funds, added to the current investment funds from its public partners, means the commission will be fully funded for the 2017 fiscal year.
“It allows us to build on some of the recent wins we’ve had and leverage those to take the commission to the next level,” said Jennifer Stoll, the commission’s executive director.
Over the last year, the commission has won bids to bring 2017 events into the region like the USA Cycling Road Collegiate and para-cycling nationals in late April, the state masters swim meet in March, and the Train to Hunt regional and national competitions this coming summer.
Earlier this month, the commission’s organizational work with the Rim Rock Run made for the most successful race ever with more than 400 runners participating. A half marathon was added to the race this year.
The commission is a collaborative effort between Mesa County, Colorado Mesa University and the municipalities of Grand Junction, Fruita and Palisade, to promote sports tourism in the community.
“We’ve had a great year in 2016 and that’s just one step in the vision. It’s also a proof of the concepts of the commission and what we hope to do,” Stoll added.
The grant money adds to the $50,000 invested by the public partners that make up the commission, Stoll said.
The grant application to the Colorado Tourism Office included support letters from the public partners and actual marketing strategies the commission will use to promote the area.
Stoll said the marketing strategies they will use include developing a larger digital presence, attending tourism trade shows, video assets and more to promote the region as a sports event destination.
“Events like the Rim Rock Run really show that this is a great sports destination,” Stoll said.
She also said the commission is currently looking to build a couple more events that they would own and operate like the Rim Rock Run, possibly starting in 2017.