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lack of affordable housing state-wide, only Western Slope seeks tourism

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) — Colorado Mesa University released the results of its statewide survey Wednesday.

The survey polled Coloradans on a variety of social, economic and cultural issues and other topics affecting their communities.

There were two hot-button topics: housing and tourism.

“We hope to be part of another piece of information so they can make the decision that best for their community constituents and the state of Colorado,” said Justin Gollob, Associate Professor of Political Science.

A big piece of that puzzle is the housing market.

Only one-third of Western Slope residents believe there is adequate access to affordable housing in the area.

“The demand for the affordable and attainable housing has way exceeded the supply,” said Scott Aker, the chief operating officer of the Grand Junction Housing Authority. “It continues to be a challenge for many Coloradans.”

The survey is hoping to not only to open doors for the real estate market but also the tourism industry.

“It’s an economic driver; we want them to spend dollars that generate jobs that generate sales tax. We across the Western Slope are dependent on tourism,” said Diane Schwenke, president, and CEO of the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce.

In regards to housing, the numbers are similar across the state, but for tourism, they are quite the opposite.

It showed that 68 percent on the Western Slope think tourism is important to our economy, whereas only 18 percent of residents in the Denver Metro area wanted to expand tourism in their area.

“We — on the Western Slope — are not always in alignment with the thought process on the front range,” said…

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