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city, seat (1883) of Mesa county, western Colorado, U.S. It lies in the Grand Valley (elevation 4,586 feet [1,398 metres]), at the confluence of the Colorado and Gunnison rivers. Settled by ranchers in 1881 after the expulsion of the Ute Indians, it was first called Ute, then West Denver, and was finally named for the junction of the rivers. It developed as the centre of a mining and irrigated-farm region (including, after the late 1980s, many productive vineyards) and as the transportation hub of the Colorado Plateau.