GJ City Council Approves Avalon Funding
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - After several hours of meetings and years of waiting, supporters of the Avalon Theatre renovation project got their answer from the Grand Junction City Council Wednesday night. In a 5-1 vote, with Martin Chazen being the sole 'no' vote, city council decided they would be supporting the project to the tune of $3 million. That commitment would go towards the $7.6 million construction option that would renovate the current auditorium and expand the facilities into the parking lot near 7th Street. New bathrooms and an elevator will also be built. Officials say only the shell of the building extension will be constructed under this option while the Avalon Theatre Foundation raises funds for the next phase of construction. "Every metro area can point to excellent cultural facilities that serve the local community as well as the draw for people coming in from all around the area ... so the Avalon as the nucleus of that, the new facility is a really great step forward," said Harry Weiss with the Downtown Development Authority. Weiss said while the Avalon was open it pulled in around $1.5 million in economic activity annually. He believes after the entire project is completed, it's set to bring in more than $2 million annually. Construction will begin in 30-45 days with that phase of the renovation project wrapping up in 10 months after that.