GRAND JUNCTION, Colo - The Grand Valley has seen their fair share of economic booms and busts over the years, and many of them were discussed Wednesday morning during the Western Colorado Economic Summit.
"The big picture of what we're starting to see is that Mesa County and Grand Junction are recovering. We have two years of some pretty good job growth, we've seen a larger increase in the population, so a larger set of 'in-migration' and these two pieces tend to go together as we see the area recover", says Elizabeth Garner the State Demographer for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs.
The loss of many energy industry related jobs had an effect on housing and growth, and while Grand Junction is experiencing positive recovery in relation to market diversification and adaptability during the post-recession era, there's still more that can be done to catch up.
"If you take out the mining, oil, gas, and construction related, if you don't look at that component and you look at the rest of the economy, I'd say its definitely close to pre-recession peak levels", says Garner.
Grand Junction industries that have made large strides over the past decade include healthcare, accommodation food services, tourism, and professional business services due to the city's steady growth benefiting from its attractive surroundings and lifestyle.
"The advantages that Grand Junction has is the lifestyle, quality of life, affordable housing", says Fred Schmidt the President & COO for Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates.
Schmidt also included, "Diversification in it of itself is key because you're not dependent on just one industry segment as such and [Grand Junction] is a good example of this. As you're coming out of this, you're seeing healthcare, a lot of different elements and items that are coming up that reflect the population base also."
While it's a steadfast improvement, the summit indicates Grand Junction still has some work on its proverbial desk. Many speakers included at Wednesday's summit that the continued innovation, diversification, and the adoption of current market trends is whats expected to cause a large ripple in Grand Junction's future economic growth.