GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Voters agreed to double Grand Junction’s lodging tax Tuesday night.
This will add an extra $1.5 million a year in revenue and is supposed to bring more tourism to the valley.
"We were thrilled absolutely thrilled,” said Julie Shafer, board chair for Visit Grand Junction.
Referred Measure 2A passed by 55 percent. That’s about 13,100 votes, meaning lodging tax in Grand Junction will go from 3 percent to 6 percent.
"This tax increase is something that we have been working on for three years,” said Shafer.
The original 3 percent will still go to Visit Grand Junction. The new 3 percent will be divided up three ways, giving 1.25 percent more to Visit Grand Junction, that’s about $625,000 annually. Another 1 percent will go to Grand Junction Regional Air Service Alliance, that’s about $500,000. And the last .75 percent will go to Great Grand Junction Sports Commission, that’s about $375,000 annually.
"So we are really excited to work with the Air Service Alliance [and] with the airlines to bring more air services to Grand Junction, the priorities are air service access and affordability,” said Angela Padalecki, Executive Director of the Grand Junction Regional Airport.
The airport should get half a million dollars every year, they say, to put towards more flights and more destinations.
"Increased competition makes it more affordable for everyone,” said Shafer.
The tax goes into effect in 2019 but the airport is already making plans. "There’s quite a bit of unmet demand along that west coast corridor, those are our largest markets that people fly to,” said Padalecki.
They will be working with airlines to find the best routes and the best prices.
"So, we are really looking at, what does a community need and how does that fit into airline strategies, because we really think that's how you optimize those routes and have something that works for both community and the airline long term,” said Padalecki.
The Grand Junction airport says the more visible changes will be in 2020.