GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
Colorado Mesa University was founded in 1925, and it’s grown a lot since then. In 2004 enrollment at CMU was 5,750 students, but it grew to over 9,000 students in 2019. Now, in 2021 it’s a whole lot more, and that means not just a stronger economy, but also a stronger community according to the annual CMU Regional Impact Study. CMU President Tim Foster says, ” The students are really good consumers.”
Welcome to Escalante Hall! The perfect setting for enlightenment, and also a great place for a workout, and today’s February 3, lesson is the economic impact CMU has on the region. Diane Schwenke with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce says, “CMU students (are) spending $1,750 a month in this community.”
Morgan Miller is a Political Science major from Chicago attending CMU. Morgan says, “Main Street they have really good food, I’m a big food person. A lot of the restaurants I feel a lot of my money, and a lot of other students money goes.”
Today’s take-aways are $539 million in spending, and 877 additional jobs because of CMU that wouldn’t be here without CMU, but come this June there will now be 878 additional jobs since President Foster is retiring.
“There are more students at CMU then there are residents in the city of Fruita,” Schwenke said.
The mayor of CMU, AKA President Foster is hosting the annual study with the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce and Grand Junction Economic Partnership to give us the 101 on regional economics, and the draw for student spending driving the economy for 14 Western Colorado counties might just be the best things in life. “The outdoor stuff which is mostly free, but in Chicago you’re paying for a lot of the experiences you want like going to the Shedd Aquarium. That’s like $50 to $100 bucks right there. So, it’s definitely a lot cheaper here,” Miller said.
14% of the student body is coming here from outside the centennial state making it a total of nearly 11,000 students plus 668 staff members. CMU now has 231 smart classrooms, 1,478 computers available for students outside of class, $6.6 million invested in information technology, and President Tim Foster will be retiring in June of 2021.