GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - When it comes to bringing new companies and new jobs to the state, experts say it's important Colorado use every tool possible to beat out other states hoping to attract them too. Now, economic groups from across the state are teaming up to add another weapon to help win the fight for business.
On May 20, the Grand Junction Cabela's will open its doors for the first time -- bringing with it nearly 200 new jobs and large customer base that will pump money into the local economy.
"Grand Junction and Mesa Mall together made for an ideal retail location," says John Castillo, spokesman for Cabela's.
The outdoor outfitter says one of the biggest reasons that was the case was the property it wanted was already built and the roads to get customers there easily were already in place.
"Obviously the real estate is critical," says Castillo. "It was very, very cost effective to move into an existing building and retrofit it as a Cabela's store rather than building from the ground up."
A sign, local experts say, that having shovel ready sites is good news for the economy.
"It makes us a lot more attractive for companies to move here," says Ann Driggers, president and CEO of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.
Driggers says GJEP and other economic development groups across the state are trying to take that a step further by creating a standardized, statewide system to certify a property as shovel ready.
"So we can actually hand them a package of information about a property saying this is guaranteed," says Driggers. "The utilities are in, the roads are there and they don't need to do the due diligence which might take up plenty of time and cost them quite a bit of money."
She says several states are already doing that and they're seeing results.
"They're very aggressive, a lot of the states in the Midwest and the Southeast," says Driggers. "And we want to be able to be on the same playing field as them."
But more than just evening the playing field, the group wants to tip the scales in Colorado's favor.
"We would definitely like to get something on the ground as soon as possible," she says.
Currently the group trying to figure out what their system would look like, who would oversee it, and how it will be paid for.