Grand Junction Riverfront Area Will Become a Major Attraction
Las Colonias Park Awarded $1.6M for Music Venue
Grand Junction Las Colonias Park is a 123 acre park and is located along the banks of the Colorado River. The park has a rich and diverse history, and is situated upstream from the namesake of the community, the confluence of the Gunnison and Colorado Rivers. Las Colonais was formerly used as a migrant farm housing then a uranium mill which produced 2.2 million tons of radioactive tailings. At the western end is the 15 acre Watson Island which was used as a junkyard until the 1980’s. Today, Watson Island is a 18 hole disc golf course.
Grand Junction was recently awarded a $1.6 million grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs specifically for the creation of an outdoor amphitheater at Las Colonias Park. Additional grants and community contributions, Grand Junction has a $3.5million budget to construct the facility.
The amphitheater will be located east of the Botanical Gardens and should be able to accommodate as many as 10,0000 people on the grassy lawns that will rise in total about 9 feet from bottom to top, and 5 feet over Riverside Parkway.
Additional amenities are public rest rooms, a star dressing room and adjoining bathroom. Community dollars for the amphitheater have come from a wide range of groups. Grand Junction Lions Club has dedicated $280,000; Colorado Riverfront Foundation $75,000; Goodwin Foundation $50,000; Bacon Family Foundation $125,000; and El Pomar $25,000.
There is bike/pedestrian access off of the Riverside Parkway at approximately 9th Street (south of Edgewater Brewery) and the bridge over the Colorado River by Eagle Rim Park. Construction should start in the Fall of 2016.
The Riverfront Trail a bike and pedestrian path runs about 31 miles with different routes to Fruita, the Redlands, Palisade, Corn Lake, and Blue Heron Park. More connecting routes are planned with separate grant money received from the State of Colorado.