A mix of new neighborhoods and historic downtown charm make Castle Rock a great place to call home.
When early settlers came to Colorado looking to strike it rich during the gold rush, they found something a little different in Castle Rock: rich rhyolite veins. They hand-quarried the pink and gray volcanic rock that’s formed from ultrathick magma, and, today, distinctive rhyolite buildings can be spotted around downtown from Castle Café to the Castle Rock Museum.
Castle Rock is a community that aims to preserve its historic charm and celebrate the legacy that drew people here in the first place while simultaneously enjoying the spark of rapid economic growth and development. Breaking out of its shell as a bedroom community, CastleRock has transformed into a dynamic town with a rich past and an exciting future.
Today, the superior combination of diverse housing options, outdoor and recreational opportunities, and high-quality education lures businesses and their families to this sun-drenched Colorado community between Denver and Colorado Springs. But, just like the early pioneers, those who come to Castle Rock are bound to be met by delightful surprises.
Castle Rock has always been an economic foothold since Jeremiah Gould, one of its first settlers, came looking for gold and instead found rhyolite stone, which was used in many of the town’s early construction projects.
Those looking to move to Castle Rock today have their pick of housing options. They range from hip apartments with a resort-style pool at The Riverwalk, located in a walkable downtown, to a slate of sustainable, master-planned neighborhoods to sprawling ranches, says Frank Gray, president and CEO of the Castle Rock Economic Development Council.
The Town of Castle Rock estimates that an average of 800 single-family homes and 125 multifamily units are constructed each year, along with 320,000 square feet of nonresidential space.
One of the master-planned communities, The Meadows, provides residents with excellent views of “The Rock,” the town’s iconic landform. In addition, it boasts top-notch amenities like The Grange Cultural Arts Center, where everything from Spanish classes to piano lessons and pool days brings neighbors together.
The Meadows area also features commercial uses like the ACC Sturm Collaboration Campus, where residents can earn an associate degree from Arapahoe Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University. Residents also have access to high-end health care at Castle Rock Adventist Hospital. (An insider secret: One of the best restaurants in town is inside the hospital, Gray says. Manna serves pickle pizzas, hot chicken katsu, Colorado lamb burgers and more).
Many generations to come will enjoy infrastructure improvements like landfill cleanup, road enhancements, water system upgrades and more.
Next up, Miller’s Landing is transforming a neglected landfill into a mixed-use development that will leverage smart city and smart building technology. Currently in the planning and development stage, this 65-acre development includes potential land uses for hospitality, entertainment, retail and office, all at the eastern base of Philip S. Miller Park.
A Thriving Downtown
Residents can connect with Castle Rock’s past with trolley tours, a monthly speaker program, and historical plaques with scannable QR codes available at historically significant landmarks throughout downtown, says Angie DeLeo with the Castle Rock Historical Society & Museum.
Many people are surprised to learn that before Castle Rock was recognized as a town in 1874, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad cut through the area and, in the 1960s, there was a big racetrack here where Evel Knievel performed stunts.
Many people know the town for the Outlets at Castle Rock retail center – in fact, the shops draw more than 6 million visitors a year, and it’s one of the biggest tourist attractions in the state.
Over the last five years, the downtown has experienced over $200 million in investments.
Bennington Mercantile and Castle Café have been in business for over a century, watching downtown Castle Rock evolve from a small agricultural community to a vibrant area for enjoyment and employment. The downtown is home to designer boutiques and one-of-a-kind restaurants, plus hosts a calendar full of events, like concerts, a movie night, an Oktoberfest celebration and carriage rides come the holiday season.
“Downtown Castle Rock is one of our best-kept secrets,” Gray says. “People are blown away when they come and see what’s happening in downtown Castle Rock.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Castle Rock area, check out the latest edition of Livability: Castle Rock, CO.