It’s been quite a year as we look back at all that Grand Junction has achieved in 2022:
- Grand Junction played host to many exciting events, most of which will be back in 2023.
- A variety of businesses who were looking to elevate the quality of life for their staff, while also finding an affordable Colorado city, have relocated to Grand Junction.
- Residents were jazzed to see their city get noticed on many of the significant “Best Of” lists.
Whether you are from Grand Junction or are just putting down new roots, it’s an exciting time to be here. Even though 2023 is off to the races, we wanted to take some time to reflect on some of the top moments of 2022. From events and new businesses to notable mentions and awards, 2022 was an excellent year for Grand Junction, Colorado.
Grand Junction is a popular destination for all kinds of events & entertainment including music, sports, and parades. We are breaking down the top events that welcomed some of the world’s biggest music industry stars, to championship baseball covered by Major League Baseball scouts.
Grand Junction brought the house down with one of the biggest celebrities to step foot in GJ, Snoop Dogg. Yes, you read that right. Snoop Dogg performed some of his original songs, and also focused on his DJ-spinning jams. He was spinning his turntables, mixing well-known songs and new hip-hop songs.
Rides and Vibes Downtown Music Festival
The Grand Junction Sports Commission and Downtown Grand Junction unveiled the Rides & Vibes bike race and festival, previously called Grand Junction Off-Road. In its inaugural year, the race and music festival featured new epic mountain bike routes throughout the area and live music in Downtown Grand Junction. The early bird registration is now open for next year’s festival slated for May 5-6, 2023.
Junior College World Series
Grand Junction is proud to serve as the host for the Junior College (JUCO) Baseball World Series. This week-long tournament drew young baseball athletes full of talent, commitment and enthusiasm. Players, coaches and fans were swept up in thrilling moments of America’s favorite pastime. For 2023 tournament details, visit the JUCO website.
Country Jam is Colorado’s biggest country music festival and celebrated its 30th year in 2022. The festival featured three days of live music on two stages surrounded by fans from across the country. 2022 headliners included Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw. Tickets are already on sale for Country Jam 2023, June 22-24. Performers include Jason Aldean, Blake Shelton and Cody Johnson.
Grand Junction was one of many stops for Bob Dylan’s Rough and Rowdy Tour. It had been 20 years since Bob Dylan was in Grand Junction and his return brought a sold-out concert at the Amphitheater at Las Colonias Park. Check out his set list featuring his best hits.
Parade of Lights
The Parade of Lights was the biggest parade of the year! Main Street came to life with more than 100 illuminated floats, twinkling with holiday spirit. Visitors and locals joined the festivities, while also shopping Downtown for locally-made holiday gifts. And for those “in the know,” a stop at Main Street Bagels for their famous Polar Express hot chocolate is always part of the experience.
Grand Junction is a thriving city that attracts guests from across the globe. And those who visit come back year after year because there is always something new to explore. Here are just a few new businesses we are excited about, so add them to your itinerary and make 2023 a memorable year.
- Trail Life Brewing: Explore their beers!
- Clark & Co’s Distillery: Check out what they are distilling!
- Mama Ree’s Pizza & Brewhouse: There is nothing better than pizza and beer.
- Camp Eddy: Book now for Airstream stays, modern tiny homes, and full hookup RV sites.
- Roots Gastrohub: A fast, casual outdoor eatery. Check out their menu.
- Bistro 317: A new French bistro open breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Natalia’s Hat Bar: A unique quality hat customizing business, both onsite or at your event. Book Natalia's for your next event.
- Grand Junction Rockies Changed ownership and name to Grand Junction Jackalopes. ‘Gotta love minor league baseball team logos!
- Blue Beryl Winery: A boutique winery that turns winemaking into an art form.
- Five Guys: Burger and fries. Oh my!
- Mod Pizza: Build your own pie right before your eyes!
- Jersey Mike's: Freshly sliced meat on every sub.
- El Mescal Family Mexican Restaurant & Bar: Serving up authentic Mexican food.
- Yama Sushi: Crafting up Sushi, Chinese, and other authentic Asian food.
The year 2022 challenged travelers to look beyond the overly popular and crowded towns, and experience new places that offer unique geography, outdoor adventures, affordability, and cultural diversity. Grand Junction is a destination receiving national recognition and state awards for all of these reasons and more. In 2022, Grand Junction was called a “hidden gem” and “a paradise for lovers of the outdoors.”
Travel Lemming | 50 Best Places to Travel in 2023
From Madagascar to Mississippi, Travel Lemming’s list of best places to travel in the world included only two Colorado destinations – Grand Junction and Crested Butte. Highlights included emerging destinations that are worthy of visiting in 2023. “On the nearby Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flattop mountain, you’ll discover scenic lakes and countless trails. Hiking, biking, and climbing extend to the Colorado National Monument, while the mighty Colorado River draws kayakers, rafters, and fishers.” Read more about why Grand Junction is one of the top places to visit in the world in 2023.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance | 7 Standout Places to Retire
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance picked cities across the U.S. that are affordable and offer the amenities retirees value most, while also celebrating Grand Junction’s outdoor recreation lifestyle and diverse population including a wide age range. “Named for the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers, Grand Junction is a paradise for lovers of the outdoors.” Read more about Grand Junction’s growing community.
Red Bulletin Magazine | Grand Junction in 48 Hours
Red Bull suggests ditching the crowds and biking, paddling, climbing or hiking your way through Colorado’s well-kept secret, Grand Junction. “Dusky red canyons proudly stand in stark contrast to the snowcapped peaks of Colorado’s ski country.” Read more from Red Bull about how to spend an adventure-filled 48 hours in Grand Junction.
Wall Street Journal | Beyond the National Parks: Public Lands to Visit—Without the Crowds
Listed as a lesser-known natural getaway filled with “Hidden Gems” that offers striking beauty and outdoor recreation, Grand Junction has all the experiences with none of the crowds. “In the overlooked northern corner of Utah and Colorado’s shared border is a cluster of lesser-known gems around Grand Junction.” Read more about visiting your public lands without the crowds.
Visit Grand Junction awarded Outstanding Marketing Program at Annual Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference
Visit Grand Junction won the 2022 Outstanding Marketing Program Award for their 3-part series on Outside TV called Park2Park. This award recognizes a Colorado organization for a campaign that executes creativity and excellence in promoting tourism. Elizabeth Fogarty, Director of Visit of Grand Junction, stated, “This achievement recognizes the support and effort from our community, while rewarding the hard work and expertise of the Visit Grand Junction Advisory Board and staff.” Read more about Visit Grand Junction’s state-recognized marketing award.
If you weren't able to visit Grand Junction in 2022, there are plenty of opportunities to experience this special place in the New Year! We guarantee you will be inspired to visit after you check out the “ad free” Official Grand Junction Visitor Guide. The imagery alone will have you planning your next getaway – take a scenic drive or hop on an easy flight to the Grand Junction Regional Airport.