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Grand Junction arena project on hold

Financial woes force a developer to put plans for a Grand Junction (Col.) arena on hold.
The plan sounded too good to be true: investors and a $25 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would be more than enough to finance a new $35-million civic arena in Grand Junction, Col., according to developer Reed Mitchell. But the promised federal money never arrived, and now Mitchell has put his arena visions on hold.

In fact, a lot of work needs to be done before a shovel can be turned. A feasibility study still needs to be finished, and there’s some question as to who will be paying for it. Even if the study comes back with a recommendation to go ahead with the project, Mitchell will have a tough times raising the money with the credit markets the way they are. And a lease for the land says the arena must be finished by Dec. 31, 2009 — a tight deadline even if construction were to begin before the end of this year.

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