Sweetwater County, Wyoming, natives know this is not just a great place to grow up, but also a perfect spot to put down permanent roots. And in recent years, others have learned that, too.
In the decade between 2000 and 2010, Sweetwater County grew to almost 44,000 residents, a population jump of about 16.5 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The county’s growth has come in large part from workers in the nearby oil fields, as well as the related company executives and other business operators who have flooded the area. That has led to the construction of lots of new single-family homes ranging in price from the low $100,000s all the way to $1 million-plus mansions. It has also meant strong growth in apartment communities, which cater to full-time residents, as well as workers who commute in for the workweek.
Multiple housing options
At The Village at Silver Ridge, which opened in 2009, all 264 units in 11 buildings are leased – and there’s a waiting list, says Krista Anson, property manager.
“We have a lot of people who come to Rock Springs to work, but we also have a lot of families, so all of our units are popular,” Anson says. “The oil field brings a lot of people here for work, and I think that’s going to keep the area growing.”
That sentiment is echoed by Tim Creek, business manager at The Preserve at Rock Springs, a 15-month-old complex with 184 one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
“We have a nice diversity of residents,” says Creek. “Rock Springs is really seeing a boom, and while some people may buy houses, there will still be many who are looking for a place to rent.”
Senior-citizen facility flourishes
Residents who put down roots for the long haul know that their golden years will be well occupied, thanks to facilities like The Young At Heart Senior Center, which has provided a wide variety of programs since opening in 1971, according to Jeanine Cox, executive director.
“We’ve got prevention programs, home-delivered meals, caregivers, social activities … really we have the whole scope here,” Cox says. “And we’re adding all the time. Now, we’ve got the Baby Boomers aging, so we’re adding programs that keep people busy and dynamic. It’s not just a place to come sit, knit and play bingo!”
Rock Springs planners think ahead
There’s very little sitting done in municipal offices, either, as new master plans are being formulated to take Rock Springs and the surrounding area into the next couple of decades, says Jana McCarron, city planner.
“The new plan will be completed in late 2011, and will help us see how we can handle the people coming in now, and the next group as well,” McCarron says. “We’re looking at where people are living, what roads and other infrastructure needs to be added, so that we can rewrite our zoning ordinances to reflect current and future needs. We want to make sure we have enough properly prepared space for the next boom, and the one after that as well.”
Read about more great places to live in Rock Springs, WY.