Grand Junction Sees 7.4 Percent Increase in Visitors
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- The latest tourism numbers are in for Grand Junction, and the news is positive.
Officials with the Visitor and Convention Bureau say it was a great summer.
Compared to September 2011, the number of people who paid a lodging tax in Grand Junction has gone up 8.4 percent, which means more people are staying and spending money in the Grand Valley.
"We've had some great events," said Barbara Bowman of the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau. "From Rock Jam through to Wine Fest through to Pork and Hops and all of the different events we've had from August, I think it's really been strong."
VCB officials say year-to-date numbers show the percentage of people visiting and staying in lodging options in Grand Junction is up 7.4 percent.
"We really feel like it's a true turn in the economy. It's kind of an indication of where we are and that we're going up," said Bowman.
They've also seen an increase in the number of people researching what the Grand Valley has to offer.
Although phone calls coming into the visitors' center have gone down 28.1 percent in the past year, officials attribute that to more people taking advantage of the web. Views to their website have gone up 20.6 percent.
The increased interest is good news for people like Jason Bargar, the general manager of Spring Hill Suites.
"The summer's been really great for downtown hotels," Bargar said. "Grand Junction has had a lot of events that brought people to the area; it's kept busy through the entire city."
Although the weather is cooling off and large festivals and outdoor events may be scarce, Bargar says their numbers are looking good for the next three months.
"A lot of that is business travel; they tend to book a little farther out," said Bargar.
"As the economy improves nationwide that business travel segment improves for us," said Bowman.
VCB officials say they anticipate the winter months will outperform last year's numbers.