The economic vitality of Grand Junction and nearby cities have leaned heavily on the oil and natural gas industries in the past. A boom on the those oil and natural gas fields meant more money in local’s pockets, but anything less meant hardship. It’s been this way for decades. Such was the case on May 2, 1982 — Black Sunday — when Exxon locked the gates ending its oil shale project in western Colorado that put more than 2,000 people out of work. Robin Brown, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, an organization that recruits businesses to the area, is one of many leading the effort to avoid that kind of dangerous dependency. “As anybody knows, we’ve relied on extraction for over 100 years,” Brown said. “We like oil and gas, but we don’t want to feel the effects when it leaves.” In order to diversify the economy, Brown and her staff at GJEP have reimagined which businesses would be a good fit in the area and which ones to bring to the Grand Valley, and how to accomplish that. GJEP tries to focus on people who have some sort of connection to the area. The organization understands that if people haven’t heard of Grand Junction, they probably are not moving here. It’s also a plus if the business fits in with the western Colorado lifestyle. Canfield Bikes, at 616 E Grand Ave, is a business that fits perfectly into the Western Slope landscape. The company has […]