Established relatively late in 1909, Grant County was initially settled as ranch land due to its dry, shrubby landscape, which was believed to be difficult to farm. However, following the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam in the 1940s, Grant County received access to irrigation water, spurring the development of many flourishing farms and shifting the county’s economy towards agriculture. With easily accessible water, relatively inexpensive land, and cheap electricity from the county’s dams, Grant County has become an attractive place for farmers and businesses alike, growing rapidly in the last 50 years.
Especially successful at growing fruits and sugar beets, Grant County’s economy primarily relies on agricultural production and processing, and is home to a large variety of food processing plants. Durable goods manufacturing, such as aluminum foil and ironwork, is also prominent in Grant County and continues to grow. Home of the beautiful Gorge Amphitheatre, Grant County also attracts tourists, especially during the summer festival season.