Former editor remembers Free Press for food, recreation, entrepreneurship and fun
Grand Junction Free Press covered good news.
It’s not that it chose to shy away from local challenges; there were plenty of those featured over the years. Its pages often highlighted the bright spots, however, because there were so many. That’s what I liked best about working for the community focused media organization in the heart of downtown.
As Grand Junction’s scrapbook, Free Press staff told stories of those who might otherwise not be heard. It also focused on showcasing small, local businesses and innovative entrepreneurs.
From Bonsai Design (a family owned and run business building ziplines and adventure courses) to Bin 707 Foodbar (a downtown restaurant featuring farm-to-table delicacies) — and everything in between, creativity and ingenuity was an often-discussed topic.
I look back fondly on other stories, too — Loma Wax Company’s mustache products, Final Paws Pet Cemetery’s headstone for Bouquet (a pet mountain lion buried years ago by a Las Vegas performer), KAFM’s annual Zombie Prom, Lokiwear’s Seth Anderson and his passion for Colorado National Monument, Illumicirque (a West Slope-based fire-dancing troupe) … and the list goes on into infinity.
Colorado’s Western Slope is also a hotbed for outdoor fun and recreation-based tourism. During my time living in Grand Junction, I rafted the Colorado River, skied Powderhorn Mountain Resort, mountain biked in Fruita, hiked to Liberty Cap, enjoyed Colorado National Monument’s awe-inspiring views and camped in Unweep Canyon (which, in my opinion, rivals any national park as far as beauty goes). These experiences were often documented in my stories as well.
The Free Press additionally covered big wins for the community — most recently the completion of downtown Grand Junction’s Avalon Theatre. Robin Brown, the project fundraiser, worked tirelessly to raise money and get the message out about construction. Now the downtown area has a beautiful, updated performing arts center — thanks, Robin!
Most importantly I’ll remember the Free Press as vehicle for change. It supported feel-good projects and events that changed the area for the better; and it embraced Grand Valley’s unique, giving and fiercely independent spirit.
Above are a few photos from my favorite stories over the years.
Free Press readers, thank you for your support!
Caitlin Row is former editor of Grand Junction Free Press. She currently works as managing editor of the Tahoe Daily Tribune in South Lake Tahoe, Calif.
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