New event center considered by city of Grand Junction: what do you think? | PostIndependent.com

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New event center considered by city of Grand Junction: what do you think?

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A new, expansive events center may be built in Grand Junction in the coming years — that is, if need and desire is confirmed by developers.

According to the City of Grand Junction, it recently received a proposal by Rick Kozuback, president of International Coliseums Company, to host a minor-league hockey team in Colorado's Grand Valley. Other investors in the project include Sink Combs Dethlefs (architecture), VenuWorks (management), Plenary Group (finance) and The Morgan Firm (buyer/seller/tenant representative). After exploring options for the last six years, developers believe the area can support such a venue.

The proposed event center would be placed just south of Two Rivers Convention Center in downtown Grand Junction. The 140,000-square-foot structure could house 6,300 seats, and it could also be used to host rodeos, indoor soccer, football, lacrosse, boxing, concerts, graduations and more.

"City Council would like to collect community input," said Sam Rainguet, city spokesperson, by email. "The information gathered will help determine a timeline and development."

Depending on the level of construction done, building costs could range from $46-$57 million. Funding will be determined as part of the public process. Design of the building will depend on if it is privately funded.

According to city officials, the event center management will be determined based on the community's desire to move forward. Users of the facility would "certainly be charged to help defer the costs of operations."

"If a private firm was sought with the expertise such as VenuWorks, a process to solicit proposals would take place," Rainguet communicated, and further studies would be made.

City Council will discuss the matter further on Friday, May 15, during a council retreat.

COMMUNITY INPUT

When the Free Press posed a question on Facebook about the need for a large event center, readers also brought up the need for a recreation center in Grand Junction.

"An event center isn't needed as much as an activity center for all the kids and families in this town," Laura Wachler, a Grand Junction resident, said.

Grand Junction resident Tyler Veatch disagreed, however, noting numerous places for families and kids to enjoy in the city, but not enough entertainment for older adults or those without families.

"The chief complaint amongst the young in this town is that there's not enough entertainment," he said in a Facebook comment. "A large event center with an ice rink could bring in a minor league hockey team, Disney on Ice, and other sporting events such as that."

Derrick Hamrick, another commenter, said people shouldn't engage in an argument between an event center and recreation center just yet. He believes there can't be a comparison until more information is released.

Then John Hodge, another Grand Junction resident, weighted in, saying such a project should be funded without taxpayer money.

"The purpose of the city is to provide services to the taxpayers, not to build and maintain entertainment and sporting venues," he said.

For more information, visit http://www.gjcity.org.