Images Pueblo, CO: 2011

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2011 | ®

What’s Online  Find out about the plethora of cultural activities offered in Pueblo.

pueblo, colorado

CHILE POWER Food Wars battle slopper vs. slopper

E IS FOR Entertainment Revitalization plans generate excitement

Sailing Right Along Recreation options include lake, zoo, Riverwalk, rodeo

sponsored by the greater pueblo Chamber of Commerce

2011 edition | volume 17 ÂŽ

pueblo, colorado co nte nt s F e atu r e s 12 E is for Entertainment Revitalization plans generate excitement.


16 chile power Sloppers compete in Travel Channel’s Food Wars.

22 heating up the grid Businesses take advantage of plentiful sunlight to trim energy costs.

26 lesser known recreation gems City has excellent venues for family fun.

30 current affairs Vestas Wind Systems cites workforce, locale in choosing Pueblo for new plant.

d e pa r tm e nt s 8 Almanac 34 Biz Briefs 36 Chamber Report 37 Economic Profile 38 Sports & Recreation 40 Health & Wellness 42 Arts & Culture 44 Local Flavor 46 Education 48 Community Profile on the cover Lake Pueblo State Park Photo by Jeff Adkins


All or part of this magazine is printed on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste.

Please recycle this magazine

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Building a Better Colorado.

TOGETHER. Over our 15-year history, we’ve invested more than $24.8 million to improve the lives of all Coloradans. We invest in nonprofits because we believe that Colorado is a better place to live, work, and play when each and every person has the opportunity, support and resources they need to thrive. The hundreds of nonprofit organizations in which we invest are committed to improving the quality of life for all of Colorado’s residents. Our program areas include Arts & Culture, Healthy Families, Civic Participation, and Public Broadcasting. Supporting fine arts and cultural awareness initiatives that enrich people’s lives and stimulate conversation, while challenging stereotypes and building bridges between diverse populations.

Arts & Culture

Support of programs that address basic needs of Colorado’s children, youth and families including mental, emotional, and spiritual health, and essentials like food and shelter.

Healthy Families A strong, inclusive, democratic society needs individuals who actively participate in their communities. That’s why we support civic education, leadership development, community activism and advocacy.

Civic Participation

Supporting public radio and television programming throughout Colorado to help promote and encourage intelligent dialogue around important issues facing our state.

Public Broadcasting


• Latino Chamber Development Corporation

• Pueblo Child Advocacy Center

• Southern Colorado Community Foundation

• Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation

• Alzheimer’s Association of Pueblo

• Pueblo Community Health Center

• KRCC 91.5 FM Public Radio

See a full listing of the Colorado nonprofits we support at

JOin Us. Support local and statewide nonprofits that make our state great.

BECaUsE wE all CaRE aBOUT COlOR adO. Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado

Advancing Equality. Stengthening Nonprofits. Building a Better Colorado.

What’s Online

Photos See more photos in our online photo gallery Get the inside scoop from our photographers’ blog

2011 | ImagESPuEbLO.COm ®

What’s Online Find out about the plethora of cultural activities offered in Pueblo.


CHILE POWER Food Wars battle slopper vs. slopper

E IS FOR EntERtaInmEnt Revitalization plans generate excitement

Facts & Stats Dig deeper with in-depth data on industries, schools and more

Sailing Right along Recreation options include lake, zoo, Riverwalk, rodeo


Get a moving glimpse at favorite local places and attractions

Digital edition

Real estate

Easily share articles and photos on Facebook, Twitter or via e-mail


Learn about the local housing market and get started finding your place

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Pueblo, color ado Project Manager Courtney Seiter Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Content Coordinator Jessica Walker Staff Writer Kevin Litwin Copy Editors Lisa Battles, Joyce Caruthers, Jill Wyatt Contributing writers Juliana Edmonds, Kevin Litwin, Joe Morris, Jessica Wlaker Media Technology Director Christina Carden Senior Graphic Designers Laura Gallagher, Jessica Manner, Janine Maryland, Kris Sexton, Candice Sweet, Vikki Williams Media Technology Analysts Chandra Bradshaw, lance Conzett, Michele Niccore, Marcus Snyder Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers Todd Bennett, Antony Boshier

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• Security Patrol and Modern Video Surveillance • Front Door Pick-up and Drop-off Service Images Pueblo is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce and its member businesses. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by e-mail at

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For more information, contact: Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce 302 N. Santa Fe Ave. • Pueblo, CO 81003 Phone: (719) 542-1704 • Fax: (719) 542-1624 Visit images pueblo online at ©Copyright 2010 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member

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Welcome to Pueblo An introduction to the area’s people, places and events

Bronco Busting Looking for a taste of the west? The Pueblo-based Professional Bull Riders Association has you covered. The association sponsors the Wild Wild West Festival, a four-day celebration each May that offers everything from bull riding to art shows to hot-air balloons. The event takes place at the Colorado State Fairgrounds in Pueblo and along Union Street, drawing about 60,000 people. The fest concludes each night with the elite Built Ford Tough Series Pueblo Invitational.

It’s a Steel Back in 1880, Colorado Fuel and Iron became the driving force behind the development of Pueblo. To commemorate the contribution of CF&I, a Steelworks Museum of Industry and Culture has opened on East Abriendo. Visitors can explore the history of steel making, mining natural resources, heavy industry in the West and the many lives touched by the largest steel mill west of the Mississippi River. Exhibits include The Story of Steel, CF&I Through Time, and Dispensary and X-Ray Room. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and admission is $5 per adult and $3 per child ages 4-12.

Speed Thrills The National Street Rod Association has served street rod fanatics since 1970, and that includes gear-heads in Pueblo. Each June, the NSRA brings the Rocky Mountain Street Rods Nationals to the Colorado State Fairgrounds, and in 2010 the organization signed a five-year extension to continue bringing the series through at least 2015. More than 2,000 street rods are in attendance at the threeday Pueblo event, with the value of those vehicles exceeding $50 million.


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The Plane Truth

Fast Facts

More than 25 aircraft dating back to World War II – including a huge B-29 called Peachy – are on display at the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum. The museum on the grounds of Pueblo Municipal Airport is managed by the Pueblo Historical Aircraft Society. Starting in 1972, then-Pueblo city manager Fred Weisbrod began collecting vintage airplanes, and today the museum also includes thousands of artifacts. An interesting exhibit is a collection of women’s uniforms from all branches of service in WWII. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $7 for visitors age 10 and older.

n Founded in 1872, the Colorado State Fair is held in Pueblo each year at the 102acre Colorado State Fairgrounds. n The 3.5-mile-long Pueblo Levee Mural Project is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest mural in the world.

Pueblo At A Glance Population Pueblo: 104,175 Pueblo County: 156,737 Location Pueblo is situated beside the Arkansas River in southeastern Colorado, 110 miles south of Denver.

For More Information Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce 302 N. Santa Fe Ave. Pueblo, CO 81003 Phone: (719) 542-1704, (800) 233-3446 Fax: (719) 542-1624

n A whitewater park opened in downtown Pueblo in May 2005 that covers a halfmile stretch with eight different water features. n Lake Pueblo State Park, an 11-mile-long water reservoir, boasts 60 miles of shoreline and is one of the top recreation spots in the state.

What’s Online

Beginnings The El Pueblo Trading Post was established in 1842, and the city of Pueblo was incorporated in 1870.

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All Around the World

Juneteenth Day Juneteenth is celebrated in more than 200 cities in the United States, including Pueblo. June 19, 1865 is considered to be the date when the last slaves in America were freed, and that day has come to symbolize for many African Americans what the Fourth of July symbolizes for all Americans. Juneteenth Day recognizes and honors black ancestry not for slavery, but for the freedom that was rightfully passed to them. Juneteenth has been occurring in Pueblo since 1981 and occurs at the Colorado State Fairgrounds Family Park.

If you want an Asian adventure without flying 10 hours to Asia, then check out Pueblo Zoo. The year-round destination has exhibits such as Asian Adventure, Serengeti Safari, North American Grasslands, the Australian Outback and World of Color. The zoo also features a tropical rain forest and an underwater viewing of penguins, plus an Islands of Life shipwreck journey as well as a Pioneer Ranch friendly farm. Pueblo Zoo is home to 400 animals from 140 species that are living on 25 acres in Pueblo City Park.

What’s Online  Find out why visitors go wild over the diverse inhabitants of the Pueblo Zoo by watching a quick video at

Viva Las Vegas Elvis impersonators, rejoice. There are now direct flights connecting Pueblo to Las Vegas. Allegiant Air announced in August 2010 that nonstop jet service between the two cities would begin Oct. 7, 2010. The new flights operate two times weekly – Thursday and Sunday – between Pueblo Memorial Airport and McCarran International Airport. Flights depart Pueblo at 7:25 p.m. and arrive in Las Vegas at 8:25 p.m., and depart Las Vegas at 3:55 p.m. and arrive in Pueblo at 6:45 p.m. Allegiant Air uses twin-engine, 150-seat jets for all the trips.

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E is for Entertainment Initiative will make heart of Pueblo a boom area


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Historic buildings occupied by restaurants, shops and apartments line Union Avenue in downtown Pueblo.

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Story By Kevin Litwin Photography By jeff adkins


xcitement, enthusiasm, entertainment, enchantment, excellence, energy – everything. The Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce has launched a new visitor destination initiative called E District. The district is actually a geographic area in the heart of Pueblo that encompasses the Riverwalk, Pueblo Convention Center and the historic Union Avenue shopping district. The initiative is an effort to further promote venues that already exist in the E District, plus plan several future projects to further enhance the area. Some of those proposed projects are huge. “Our Riverwalk channel currently runs where E Street used to be, so this new initiative began with the old E Street name and then we started using all the other E words to market the effort,” Rod Slyhoff, president of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, says. “This newly named district has a lot of entertainment potential, and much of it will focus on attracting sports events.”

center would have a lap pool for large swimming competitions, with spectator viewing. There is a growing demand for those types of aquatic facilities along the Front Range, and we want one.”

Expand and Establish More Hot Spots Slyhoff says the chamber, city officials, urban renewal officials, Destination Pueblo, the Pueblo Convention Center and other groups are now concentrating on expanding and establishing more venues that can be used for amateur sport competitions in the E District. “First of all, there are expansion plans for a large exhibition hall inside the convention center where Pueblo can host large volleyball tournaments, karate tournaments, cheerleading competitions and wrestling events,” he says. “There are also plans to eventually construct a regional aquatic center and water park in the E District. The aquatic

It’ll Take Time to Develop Slyhoff says E District is already within close proximity to Pueblo Memorial Airport, and he believes several residents from Colorado Springs would make the 45-minute drive to Pueblo to attend sporting events once everything in E District is in place. “This is a project that will take years in the development process, but we have already begun construction of a building that will house four restaurants and have office space,” he says. “E District is an exciting project – it’s already home to an inspiring Medal of Honor Memorial and a Walk of Valor. This district is a lofty vision that this community is dedicated to creating.”

Colorful international flags fly on Union Avenue.


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Pueblo Already Welcomes Sports There are also talks of the E District aggressively attracting some big-name, sports-related retailers to settle along Union Avenue. “Pueblo already is home to the Professional Bull Riders world headquarters, and the city hosts the annual 1A state boys and girls high school basketball tournaments, as well as the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments,” Slyhoff says. “A large soccer tournament called the Sunbelt Classic also comes to Pueblo each year, along with the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo. We host a lot of sporting events – we just want to start hosting a lot more. We want to be a destination for athletic competitions.”

Union Avenue

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Chile Power Sloppers compete in Travel Channel’s Food Wars

Story By Kevin Litwin


an one little pepper power a city? In Pueblo, the green chile is a force to be reckoned with. It’s the special ingredient many local restaurants find creative uses for, and it’s what brings 100,000 spectators to Union Avenue each year for the Loaf ‘N Jug Chile & Frijoles Festival. Most recently, the green chile brought the city some

national media attention on a Travel Channel TV show and helped earn Pueblo a spot on’s Top 10 Surprising Foodie Cities list. Chile Foods and Fests Chile peppers are a mascot of sorts in Pueblo. Nestled in the Arkansas River Valley, Pueblo has cool nights, hot days and frigid river water fresh from the Rockies, all of which contribute to

the mira sol variety of pepper, affec­ tionately known as the Pueblo chile. A large, flavorful chile that is thickskinned and easy to peel, these peppers are addictive! The zing you feel when you bite into a chile actually goes straight to your brain, which releases the natural painkiller endorphin to give the eater that “chile high.” Locals and visitors feed their addiction every fall during the town’s pu e b lo


Loaf ‘N Jug Chile & Frijoles Festival, the annual celebration of the array of peppers grown in the area. “The festival has definitely increased the awareness of Pueblo’s chile crop throughout the region and state, thus increasing the demand,” says Juls Bayci, communications director for the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce. Each year the farmers plant nearly 300 acres of chilies and close to 500 acres of frijoles. Farmers like Carl Musso of Musso’s Farm sell thousands of bushels of chilies worth tens of thousands of dollars at the fest. Amid pepper-eating contests, cookoffs, craft booths and live music performances, the smell of farmers roasting chilies hangs in the air. “It’s just getting bigger and better every year,” said Musso, who owns the oldest and most well-known chile farm in the area. Many restaurants feature Musso Farms chilies on their menus. The Musso Farms pizza, at popular local pizzeria Angelo’s, features sausage, pepperoni and chilies. Hot, medium or mild, Pueblo’s chilies lend a little kick and a hearty flavor when eaten plain, mixed into an entrée or atop a tortilla chip. And if you think there’s a limit to what chilies can do, consider Pueblo’s other concoctions, like green chili jams and jellies, breads, stews – even beer. Whether they’re fire roasted, barbecued or baked, Pueblo green chilies kick anything up a notch or two.

Fire roasting Pueblo chilies


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Jeff Adkins

Sloppers Get TV Time Smother a burger with the famous chilies and top with raw onions and you’ve got a slopper, possibly Pueblo’s most unique contribution to the food world. The origin of the messy meal (most often served in a bowl, to be eaten with a spoon) is a little cloudy. Although it is known to have originated in Pueblo, no one can agree on which restaurant was the first to serve it. Today, a variety of Pueblo restaurants slop up sloppers, including the Pantry Restaurant on E. Abriendo

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Jeff Adkins Jeff Adkins

Clockwise from top: Handpicking chilies at Musso’s Farm in Pueblo; Annual Loaf ‘N Jug Chile & Frijoles Festival; The lunch crowd fills the tables at Sunset Inn Bar & Grill, the recent winner of a slopper showdown on the Travel Channel’s Food Wars.


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and Primetime Sports Emporium on W. 7th St. In April 2010, Sunset Inn Bar & Grill and Gray’s Coors Tavern were contacted by the Travel Channel to compete, slopper vs. slopper, in an episode of Food Wars, the TV show that pits two eating establishments against each other in a competition to prepare a signature dish that is unique to their particular city. “Travel Channel found out about the Pueblo slopper on the Internet and called us in early April 2010 to get everything in motion,” says Chuck Chavez, co-owner of Sunset Inn with his wife, Gerda. More than 1,000 spectators were in attendance for the show’s taping at the spacious Pueblo Union Depot. “A Travel Channel representative told me our business would never be the same after the episode aired, and she was right,” says Donnie Gray, co-owner of Gray’s Coors Tavern with his uncle, Gary Gray. “The episode was finally televised for the first time on Sept. 1, 2010, and we have done a booming slopper business ever since.” By the way, the Food Wars winner was Sunset Inn, whose slopper consists of a three-quarter-pound patty, bun, melted cheese, shredded cheese, hot green chile, crackers, tortillas and onions. “But honestly, we really make the best slopper in Pueblo – most people know that we do,” Donnie Gray says with a smile. “During the first couple weeks after the program was shown, we were selling about 1,500 sloppers a week. That’s why many people visit our tavern – to have a slopper. The show has been great for both places because many residents of Pueblo never visited Coors Tavern or Sunset Inn before the airing. Now they do.”

What’s Online  Hungry for more?Visit for extra chile power.

Antony Boshier

• Take a video tour of Pueblo’s green chile slopper restaurants

• See a video of the annual Chile and Frijoles Festival • Read about the Travel Channel’s slopper showdown

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Heating Up

The Grid Pueblo businesses take advantage of plentiful sunlight to trim energy costs

Story By Joe Morris Photography By jeff adkins


ith a thriving alternative-energy business sector and plenty of local companies building and rehabbing facilities to take advantage of natural resources, Pueblo’s going green at both ends of the spectrum. With strong sunlight almost every day of the year, solar energy is leading the charge here. New technologies are allowing businesses of all sizes to add solar power arrays to their buildings, and the effort is proving to be worth the cost. Solar Array Boosts Savings at Andrews Foodservice At Andrews Foodservice Systems, a new 100,000-square-foot warehouse is powered primarily by a 100,800-watt photovoltaic energy system designed and installed by Vibrant Solar Inc. It has 500 solar panels, and is expected to reduce Andrews’ electricity demand by at least 23 percent once it’s fully operational, says George Andrews III, president and chief executive officer.

“It went into operation in March 2010, and we anticipate that we’re going to see those savings,” Andrews says. “It’s already helping us with certain contracts, because we’re considered a ‘green’ company now, and so it’s good for us in a number of ways.” Solar Roast Coffee Breaks Ground With Roaster On the “small but mighty” side you’ll find Solar Roast Coffee, which was begun in 2004 by brothers Michael and David Hartkop. They built their first solar coffee roaster from an old satellite dish, and have been upgrading and expanding their groundbreaking technology to keep pace with the company’s success ever since. “We’re currently in the process of developing our fifth-generation machine, and raising capital to build our first-ever roof-mounted roaster,” Michael says. “We’re going to build into a historic building downtown, where nobody’s done solar yet, so that’ll be our next step.”

Black Hills Energy Builds New Gas-fired Plant On a much more massive scale, Black Hills Energy also is utilizing natural energy, albeit from a more ground-up approach. The energy giant is building a new power plant to serve the Pueblo area, and will power the $500 million facility with natural gas, rather than coal, to lessen its environmental impact. The gas-fired plant is set to open by January 2012. The plant’s ability to scale its output up or down depending on need is key to this area as solar-energy installations can sometimes cause spikes, says Christopher Burke, vice president of operations for Black Hills EnergyColorado Electric. “PV-solar is approaching the point at which it begins to make more economic sense for all customers,” Burke says, adding that the plant will be able to provide needed boosts in power if the sun is blocked by cloud cover, or the wind stops blowing to power turbines. “The quick-response capability

The Andrews Foodservice Systems distribution center is primarily powered by 500 rooftop solar panels.

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incorporated into the design of the Pueblo Airport Generating Station projects make its units ideally suited for this purpose,” Burke says. CSU-Pueblo Leads With Alt-energy Studies, Pilot Projects The world of academia is also heavily invested in the region’s green future. Known as the “Green University,” Colorado State University-Pueblo has research programs in everything from alternative fuels and engines to atmospheric monitoring. CSU-Pueblo also has many physical manifestations of new technology, including an 18.9-kilowatt solar array that ties directly into the engineering building’s electrical system, new LEED-certified residence halls and an LED street lighting pilot initiative in the larger Pueblo community. SECRES, CSU-Pueblo Sponsor Expo, Solar Tour The university also co-sponsors the annual REPowering Southern Colorado renewable-energy expo every August in tandem with the Southeast Colorado Renewable Energy Society, or SECRES. That kind of outreach to both the busi­ ness and residential communities will be key in the city’s success as a growing new-energy hub, says Tom Corlett, a co-founder of SECRES and a principal in Sustainable Buildings Concepts. “We want to keep doing things like the expo, and our annual National Solar Tour, that shows people projects that are functioning, and the savings that are being realized as opposed to just being forecast,” Corlett says. “Our goal is to show people that it’s actually working; the more we do that, the more people will want to come here, and we’ll become the solar capital of Colorado.” 24

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Andrews Foodservice Systems is southern Colorado’s largest commercial solar array.

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Not Just a Walk in The Park City Has Unique Venues for Family Fun Story By Kevin Litwin | Photography By jeff adkins


he staff at Pueblo Plaza Ice Arena plans to install a laser light show in late 2010 or early 2011. That light show should attract high school and college students to public skating sessions on Friday and Saturday nights. It is one of several citywide recreational activities that are being planned or are already in place throughout Pueblo. “The arena is open year-round and offers public skating sessions, learn-to-skate classes, youth and adult hockey leagues, broomball and curling,” says Creighton Wright, director of parks and recreation for the City of Pueblo. “Not a lot of people know about everything that our beautiful arena offers, but the word is getting out more and more.” Additional lesser-known recreational gems in Pueblo are as follows: City Park Disc Golf Course This 18-hole course is in the northwestern corner of City Park. It opened in 1999 and is the third-oldest disc course in the nation. City Park Disc Golf Course is open year-round from dawn to dusk, and there is no charge to play. “The course is challenging with elevation changes, trees and other obstacles,” Wright says. “It is a registered member of the

From left to right: City Park Disc Golf Course; Golfing at Elmwood at Pueblo’s City Park


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Professional Disc Golf Association and has hosted the Colorado Disc Golf Championship. There could be 100 to 300 people playing the game at City Park on a given afternoon or weekend.” City Bark at City Park The 2.5-acre park opened in 2008 and the facility has already won awards for its design. It features a water fountain, tables and benches, and is located at the west end of City Park between the two softball fields. “City Bark is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and dogs can run free once they are inside the fence,” Wright says. “It’s a great place for both the dogs and their owners.” Runyon Field This Pueblo County-run ballpark is just east of Interstate 25 off the Santa Fe exit, north of Runyon Lake. There are two high school-sized baseball fields and two junior-sized baseball diamonds. “Runyon Field was established in 1938 and Babe Ruth played an exhibition game at the park that year,” Wright says. “It is named in honor of former Pueblo resident and noted newspaperman Damon Runyon, and continues to be a great baseball destination and sports gem for our community.” Kiddie Rides At City Park across from the main entrance to Pueblo Zoo, a Kiddie Rides attraction is open to all residents and visitors, and is one of the best family values in the city. “There are 12 rides for little kids, and the two favorite rides are a carousel and a train,” Wright says. “The carousel dates back to 1911 and costs 50 cents to ride, and the train goes around Horseshoe Lake and also costs 50 cents. All other rides are 25 cents, so a family can have an enjoyable afternoon or evening for around $10. It’s one of the lesserknown recreation gems in Pueblo that help make this city such a nice place to live.”

Residents enjoy year-round access to ice skating at Pueblo Plaza Ice Arena.


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Affairs Vestas Wind Systems cites workforce, locale in choosing Pueblo for new plant


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photos by Jeff Adkins

A large wind turbine stands in front of the new Vestas Wind Systems manufacturing plant in Pueblo.

Story By Joe Morris


hen you’ve got it all, people notice. In Pueblo’s case, the stars aligned brilliantly when work began to lure Vestas Wind Systems to town. Vestas, the world’s biggest supplier of wind-powered systems, was looking for a U.S. location for its new wind-turbine component manufacturing plant, which would be the world’s largest. The company wanted a central location, an alternative-energy savvy city, a quality workforce and an involved, engaged local and state government presence. In Pueblo, it got all that and then some, Anthony J. Knopp, vice president of Vestas Towers Americas Inc., says.

Workforce, Location Key to Vestas Decision “Pueblo is centralized to our customers, and the transportation structure here has greatly reduced our costs to move our products,” Knopp says. “We also found state and local governments that would strongly sponsor our technology, and support our industry.” Since opening in early 2010, the 670,000-square-foot, fourbuilding Vestas complex has begun to ramp up production, sending out its first product in May. The company is only using 300 of its 800 acres, so growth will be easily managed in the future. Early projections called for a 500-employee starting point, and the company is well on its way to meeting pu e b lo


Employees of Vestas manufacturing wind turbines

that goal. In fact, employees and employee training were other major draws for Vestas when it began researching Pueblo, Knopp says. “We were looking for a location where we could find metalworking employees with a background and similar skill sets to what we needed,” Knopp says. “There are five generations of people who have worked in the steel industry here. We knew that we could take and mold those people into what we needed, that we could train them into our culture.” Pueblo Community College Reworks, Adds Training Programs Vestas found a capable partner in Pueblo Community College, which already had a well-established workforcetraining program, and the two entities quickly boosted those synergies with contract instructors for specialized jobs, and other custom applications tailored to meet the new plant’s needs.

“We worked with their consultant, who had put together a spreadsheet of skill sets that about wallpapered half my office,” John C. Vukich, dean of PCC’s Economic & Workforce Development Division, says. “We had about a 60 percent overlap in terms of things we were already capable of doing, and we accomplished the remaining areas by bringing in outside sources or building up our own staff.” The college only had a few months to put programs into place before mid-2009, when the training needed to begin, but was able to meet the goal. That success gives local economic-development officials a real boost when talking to companies that may work alongside Vestas, or are in entirely different fields, Vukich says. “We can build further from this platform, and it’s huge that our people, no matter who the employer is, can show that we have a skilled workforce, and that we can train them here,” he says. “Now we have this big success to tout, and it’s a tremendous calling card for our community.” pu e b lo


Biz Briefs Businesses – both large and small – that help define pueblo’s economic climate

Scorecard Business At A Glance

$1.1 billion Annual Retail Sales

$9,708 Retail Sales Per Capita

$176 million Annual Hotel and Food Sales

10,032 Total Firms Source: U.S. Census QuickFacts

STOEHR CLEANERS Biz: Dry cleaning Buzz: Stoehr Cleaners has several convenient locations throughout Pueblo, with all stores open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Services include leather and suede cleaning, extensive shirt service, alterations and drapery cleaning. Stoehr will even go to a customer’s house for in-home cleaning tasks. The company also does reweaving, wedding gown preservation and zipper repairs, as well as water and smoke damage service. (719) 543-3360 34

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HEALTH ACCESS PUEBLO Biz: Affordable health care Buzz: Health Access Pueblo is an initiative started by proactive leaders in Pueblo to create a local nonprofit organization that will offer comprehensive, high-quality coverage to the working uninsured. ALI’I MANAGEMENT Biz: Office space broker Buzz: Ali’i Management Inc. provides on-site management and on-site maintenance staff, and offers lease incentives for qualifying tenants. CIGARS LIMITED Biz: Cigars and accessories Buzz: The store on South Union Avenue features a large array of cigar-related items, including more than 50 wellknown brands from around the world. Besides fine cigars, Cigars Limited sells premium tobacco, cutters, lighters and select pipes. There is also a humidor on-site set at an ideal 64 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 percent humidity, so that all of the cigars are guaranteed optimum flavor. (719) 542-4300 FLOWER AVIATION Biz: Airport services Buzz: Flower Aviation is based at Pueblo Municipal Airport and offers a variety of services to private aircraft owners. The company has car and limousine rental, a conference room, comfortable lounge with fireplace, a weather computer, flight planning room and in-house catering. Flower Aviation also offers aircraft services such as deicing, defueling, oxygen and nitrogen tanks, and a spacious hangar. THE WATER COMPANY Biz: Clean-tech water treatment Buzz: This homegrown enterprise uses an electrical separation system for reducing contaminants and impurities from water. The Water Company is mostly known for its wastewater treatment system that includes a process invented by Pueblo native Brian Elson, who continues to lead the research operation.

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Hampton Inn & Suites Pueblo Southgate Northstar Engineering Parkview Medical Center Praise Assembly Pueblo Community College Pueblo Convention Center Pueblo Economic Development Corporation St. Mary Corwin Medical Center The Realty Post Wingate by Wyndham

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Chamber Report members praise greater Pueblo chamber of commerce Arnold Gallegos says whenever a convention or festival arrives in Pueblo, the staff at Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce recommends that visitors contact his company. Those recommendations result in a great deal of business for him. Gallegos is president and owner of Shuttle Service of Southern Colorado, and has been a chamber member since 1999. “Yes, the chamber throws me a lot of shuttle business – in fact, they use me exclusively for charters to and from the main parking lot at the annual Loaf ‘N Jug Chile & Frijoles Festival,” Gallegos says. “They have also called me to transport several legislators to and from Pueblo Memorial Airport. Being a Pueblo chamber member has many advantages.”

Elizabeth Gallegos, owner of Euphoria Salon, sponsors an event each August called Free Kids Cut Day. It provides free haircuts to any child throughout Pueblo, and the chamber is a major promoter of the proceedings. “This event results in free haircuts to about 200 kids, and the chamber helps pass out fliers and posts the event on their website, where the information is very easy to access,” Gallegos says. “One nice story is that in 2009, we gave haircuts to several children in one family and saved them $75, and the mother told me that she was then able to buy new shoes for all her children for school.” Gallegos, a chamber member for 10 years, adds that the Pueblo chamber also asks for feedback from all small business owners in an effort to help make those businesses more successful. “The chamber often e-mails helpful information and helps my business in many other ways,” she says. “I had my best year ever in 2009 and expect the numbers to be just as strong in 2010, and I credit the chamber with assisting with my overall success. I will always be a Pueblo chamber member.” – Kevin Litwin

Jeff Adkins

Bob Nicholson, owner of Southwest Brokerage Corp. and a chamber member since 1974, thinks the biggest value of the Pueblo chamber is that they are the marketing arm of the city. “Those folks market to prospective residents, companies and employees who might be considering Pueblo as a new home,” Nicholson says. “That kind of growth is vital to our economy, and the chamber is always trumpeting what Pueblo is all about. Their staff attends trade shows, organizes events

to bring people to Pueblo, and does promotional pieces such as Images Pueblo magazine. I will remain a chamber member as long as I’m in business.”

Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce staff


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economic profile Economic Overview Pueblo has a low cost of doing business – among the lowest in America – which is a key reason why more than 50 companies have located here in recent years. Pueblo serves as the southern boundary for the state’s major business growth corridor, better known as the Front Range of the Rockies.





Per Capita Income




Average Annual Household Expenditure


3.5% City Sales and Use Tax





Pueblo Memorial Airport 31201 Bryan Cir. Pueblo, CO 81001 (719) 553-2760

economic resources

Pueblo Transit 123 Court St. Pueblo, CO 81003 (719) 553-2727

County Sales Tax




State Sales Tax

White Collar Jobs



Total Sales Tax

Blue Collar Jobs


Pueblo Economic Development Corporation 301 N. Main St. Pueblo, CO 81002 (719) 544.2000 Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce 302 N. Santa Fe Ave. Pueblo, CO 81003 (719) 542-1704

“We offer residential and commercial disposal service, as well as roll-offs, port-o-lets and recycling services.”

(719) 647-9100

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photos by Jeff Adkins

Sports & Recreation


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Aquatic Thrills to Natural Marvels Pueblo offers an assortment of recreational options There’s plenty to do in Pueblo, no matter what you’re in the mood for. Those who prefer to spend their downtime in or around water can visit the scenic Lake Pueblo State Park, or take a trip down Pueblo’s Whitewater Park. The Historic Arkansas Riverwalk, Pueblo Zoo and the Nature & Raptor Center of Pueblo offer plenty of sights to behold. And for some family fun, the National Little Britches Finals Rodeo never fails to entertain.

Lake Pueblo and Other Water Recreation Lake Pueblo State Park, the most visited state park in Colorado, is an aquatic hot spot, with more than 60 miles of shoreline and 4,500 acres of surface water. The lake is ideal for water sports of all kinds, including jet skiing, tubing, wake boarding, boating and parasailing. North Shore Marina offers 608 boat slips, the Water Street Cafe and a Ship’s Store that sells snacks, toys, sports equipment, boating parts and water rafts. South Shore Marina offers 400 boat slips, a covered patio area with propane barbecue grills and a general store for groceries, snacks and boating equipment. River surfers are a new crop of water enthusiasts making waves in the area. Thanks to Pueblo’s Whitewater Park, the area is quickly becoming Colorado’s main surfing destination. The venue provides great waves and eddies in one central location.

Historic Arkansas Riverwalk The Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo is another popular attraction in Colorado, although it offers much more than mere waterworks. The 32-acre downtown Riverwalk includes a scenic walkway, outdoor amphi­ theater, nature center, small shops, cafes, artworks and the just recently opened Veterans Bridge. Residents commonly visit the Riverwalk to exercise on its various pathways. Pontoon boat rides are the most favored activity of tourists. The Riverwalk is always abuzz with community involvement. There is outdoor enter­

tainment every Friday and Saturday night from May to September. An outdoor farmers market also provides food and entertainment throughout the summer.

Pueblo Zoo and The Nature & Raptor Center of pueblo The Pueblo Zoo, located in City Park, treats guests to a scenic stroll through the habitats of more than 420 animals of 140 species. Visitors can get up close and personal with farm animals at the Pioneer Ranch, or see a shipwreck journey to habitats around the world at the Islands of Life exhibit. The Nature & Raptor Center of Pueblo, located in Rock Canyon, also provides visitors with a wealth of wildlife viewing. A variety of animals and plants are housed within the center’s blend of natural habitats, allowing guests to observe, explore and enjoy nature.

National Little Britches Rodeo Association Family, fellowship and fair play form the creed of the National Little Britches Rodeo Association. NLBRA participants range in age from 5 to 18, allowing entire families to travel and experience the rodeo rush together. The annual National Finals Rodeo is held at Pueblo’s Colorado Sate Fairgrounds, where about 900 contestants compete to receive more than $60,000 total in scholarship prizes. NLBRA is not only a source of entertainment in Pueblo, but is also an important tool for community enrichment. – Julianna Edmonds pu e b lo


Health & Wellness Providing Advanced Life Support Ambulance Service to Pueblo County Since 1994

Helping women through the many transitions of life

1120 Minnequa Ave. Pueblo, CO


1600 N. Grand Ave. Ste. 260, Pueblo, CO

(719) 564-0660

(888) 384-5238

(719) 543-6755

New Service: Mobile Health Care for Private Business 911 Patient Care and Transport Interfacility Patient Transfers CPR Classes • Community Awareness Programs

Back: Joseph Castelli, M.D., James W. Meeuwsen, M.D., Stephen J. Wassinger, M.D. Front: Kristin Kruse, M.D., Megan Lenhart, M.D., Sara M. Tonsing, M.D.

Special Event Standby Services • Wheel Chair Transportation

• Annual Exams

Critical Care Transport • Bariatric Patient Transport

• Endometriosis • Infertility

• Same-Day Surgery Including: Hysterectomy & Incontinence

• Ultrasounds

• Menopause

• Family Planning

(719) 545-1226 office (719) 545-9631 dispatch


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• Pregnancy – Low & High Risk

Staff Photo

Parkview Medical Center

Health Care Options Growing Medical and emergency care centers serve Pueblo Meeting the health-care needs of the Pueblo community, two medical centers and one emergency care facility provide quality health care to the area.

Parkview Medical Center Founded in 1923, Parkview Medical Center serves Pueblo County and 14 surrounding counties, or approximately 350,000 individuals. The nonprofit medical center, part of Parkview Health Systems Inc., is locally owned and governed. Parkview Medical Center offers 350 general acute-care beds, as well as 20 beds for those in need of long-term care. The region’s first certified Stroke Center is available to patients, in addition to a Level II Trauma Center. The medical center also provides cardiac, women’s, emergency and neurological services, with behavioral health programs also available. Nutritional services, including diet instruction, education, planning and analysis are offered to patients and visitors

alike. Spiritual care is also provided, assisting families with end-of-life issues, sacraments and offering counseling plus other services.

ParkviewPueblo West Parkview-Pueblo West is a stand-alone emergency department open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients can expect to receive the same level of care they enjoy at Parkview Medical Center, with boardcertified emergency care physicians and nurses who specialize in emergency care on staff. Patients will also have access to the same resources that are available in the medical center’s emergency department, including laboratory services, radiology and CT scan, and respiratory therapy. The 18,000-square-foot facility, built

on a 35-acre parcel, may expand in the future as needed.

St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center Converted from a two-story boarding house into a hospital in 1882, St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center is a 408-bed facility serving the city and county of Pueblo, as well as southern Colorado and the neighboring states of New Mexico, Kansas and Oklahoma. St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center provides a Flight for Life helicopter base, a comprehensive cancer center, a stroke center and a variety of other resources. The facility recently underwent a $59 million expansion, creating a new emergency department, an innovative intensive care unit, enhanced diagnostic services and 112 private patient rooms. – Jessica Walker pu e b lo


Arts & Culture

Antony Boshier

Rosemount Museum


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Getting Cultured Pueblo offers a variety of cultural activities and experiences to residents and visitors alike

Rich in arts, culture and history, Pueblo offers a variety of museums, festivals, events, performing arts centers, historic sites and more.

Pueblo Museums and Historic Sites To see where Pueblo began, visit the El Pueblo History Museum, which showcases the city’s history and the region’s various cultural and ethnic groups. Its “Song of Pueblo,” an oratorio by Daniel Valdez, is a live, multi-media concert that relates the city’s story through narration, music, and images. Featuring art created by local, regional and nationally recognized artists, the Sangre de Cristo Arts & Conference Center includes a three-building complex with six galleries, as well as the Buell Children’s Museum. The Steelworks Museum offers a variety of exhibits related to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Corp. Museum guests can enjoy artifacts, photos, activities and educational programs. The Rosemount Museum is a 37-room mansion, built in 1893 and formerly home to the John A. and Margaret Thatcher family. The mansion contains almost all of its original furnishings, accessories and paintings. The Pueblo Medal of Honor Memorial, located outside the Convention Center on Heroes Plaza, is home to the statues of Pueblo’s heroes, as well as the names of more than 3,400 Medal of Honor recipients. Preserving, restoring and displaying military aircraft and

artifacts, the Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum offers more than 100 display cases and exhibits.

Pueblo Festivals and Events The Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival is held in downtown Pueblo and features music, fun and food. Festival-goers can also enjoy the works of many local artisans and craftsmen. A western-themed event, the Wild Wild West Festival offers family-friendly activities, including concerts and cook-offs. While the festival is held throughout Pueblo, the majority of events take place on the Riverwalk and the Union Avenue Historic District. The Colorado State Fair features carnival rides, exhibit halls, contests and concerts. Attendees can also enjoy livestock, horse and small animal shows, as well as parades and a rodeo. The National Street Rod Association’s Rocky Street Rod Nationals, which is the region’s largest street rod automotive event, is held at the Colorado State Fairgrounds each year.

Performing Arts The non-profit organization Pueblo Performing Arts Guild supports the performing arts all around the city by collaborating for marketing, performances, and education opportunities, raising awareness in the community, and

promoting and providing educational opportunities in the performing arts. A nonprofit corporation, the Steel City Theatre Company pro­ vides modern, quality productions for public enjoyment. The Damon Runyon Repertory Theater Company offers live theater, children’s theater, adult and children’s workshops, dinner theater, murder mysteries and an art gallery. Historic Memorial Hall seats more than 1,600 for live plays, concerts and more. The hall is also where President Woodrow Wilson made his last speech in 1919. Pueblo voters recently approved funding for the renovation and expansion of the hall, with an expected completion date of fall 2012.

Historic Arkansas River Project The Historic Arkansas River Project serves as a heritage tourism destination. The area, located in the heart of downtown Pueblo, includes sculptures, statutes, ceramic murals, and stone and bronze fountains.

Bishop Castle While it may have started as a family construction project, Bishop Castle is now a southern Colorado tourist attraction, open from dawn until dusk seven days a week. The castle is named for Jim Bishop, the builder of the structure. – Jessica Walker pu e b lo


Local Flavor

Serves Him Right Chamber president dishes on sloppers

photos by Jeff Adkins

Sunset Inn’s version of a slopper

A slopper is a slopper, right? Not according to 23 restaurants that are members of the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce. Rod Slyhoff, president of the Pueblo chamber, says all 23 restaurants have a different version of the slopper, and for one main reason. “It’s the green chili,” Slyhoff says. “Everyone’s green chili recipe is different in their taste and the way they make their chili. Almost all of the recipes are handed down from generation to generation and perfected along the way, and highly guarded. And all 23 restaurants are independently owned and operated – there are no chain restaurants. That’s why there are so many different and unique recipes.”

Do You Agree? According to the Travel Channel’s show Food Wars, Sunset Inn serves the best slopper in Pueblo. See what you think by trying all the varieties of sloppers the city has to offer. Contact the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce for a list of all Pueblo restaurants that proudly serve this sloppy specialty. (719) 542-1704 or (800) 233-3446


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Thin or Thick Chili A slopper is a hamburger patty weighing one quarter to three quarters of a pound, with a bun on the bottom, and usually served open faced in a bowl. It is then covered with red or green chili, although most people in Pueblo prefer green. The slopper can also have cheese and onions and other various toppings, but it’s the green chili that gives it the distinct flavor. “The chili can also range from being really thin to really thick,” Slyhoff says. “Some restaurants use potatoes to thicken it, while others use a roux of corn starch and milk to thicken it, and a couple places even use refried beans.” In addition, the green chili can be served mild, medium or hot. “For example, if I have a slopper at Jorge’s Sombrero or at Papa Jose’s Union Cafe, I ask for half medium and half hot chili,” he says. “It’s just a perfect mixture for me.”

Sloppers With Personality

Mad Hatter Bar & Grille

The 23 restaurants also have distinct names for their respective sloppers. “Romero’s Café serves a Green Giant Slopper, and Mad Hatter Bar & Grille sells a Mad Slopper,” he says. “There are some pretty funny names, too, such as the Sloppy Cocker at Cock & Bull Tavern, and the Thunder Humper at Gold Dust Saloon.”

Future Slopper Days Slyhoff adds that the chamber plays up the slopper whenever it can. “The chamber is planning to organize a Slopper Days Celebration that will tentatively begin in 2011 and will become an annual event,” he says. “And for now, residents or visitors to Pueblo can go online at our website or visit our chamber office on North Santa Fe Avenue to get a brochure of all the restaurants that serve the slopper. That way, a person could try different sloppers all over the city. By the way, I’m working on having a slopper at all 23 locations. So far, they’re all excellent.” – Kevin Litwin

What’s Online  Get a load of these sloppers! See varieties of the local delicacy up close in a video hosted by Rod Slyhoff, chamber president, at

Papa Jose’s Union Cafe

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Learning in Pueblo

Jeff Adkins

Students enjoy educational opportunities in their community

Pueblo is rich with educational opportunities, boasting two exceptional public school districts as well as two first-rate higher education institutions.

Learn More pueblo school district 70 pueblo city schools colorado state university-pueblo pueblo community college


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Pueblo School District 70 As the largest geographical school district in Colorado, Pueblo School District 70 educates more than 8,000 students from Pueblo County. The district includes four high schools, six middle schools and 12 elementary schools, as well as two charter schools, an alternative middle school, an alternative high school and seven preschools. Schools in this district work to integrate technology into class instruction in order to enhance each student’s educational experience.

Pueblo City Schools More than 18,000 students are enrolled in Pueblo City Schools, formerly known as District 60. This district includes four high schools, five middle schools and 19 elementary schools, in addition to two K-8 schools and three international magnet schools. Pueblo City Schools’ high school students follow block schedules, in which the students attend fewer classes each day for longer periods of time.

Colorado State University-Pueblo

Staff Photo

With approximately 5,000 students enrolled, Colorado State University-Pueblo sits on more than 275 acres in the Northeastern portion of the city of Pueblo. Students enjoy a small professor-to-student ratio, with an average of 25 individuals in each class, and can choose from 28 undergraduate programs in the College of Science and Mathematics, the Hasan School of Business, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the College of Education, Engineering and Professional Studies. More than 70 clubs and organizations are available to students as well. On the athletic field, with 16 varsity intercollegiate sports, the university competes at the NCAA

Colorado State University

Division II level and is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

Pueblo Community College Pueblo Community College is a two-year community college that offers associate’s degrees, certificates in a variety of programs, and is a state leader in health-care education. Students can study Arts & Sciences, Business & Technology and Health Professions, with 60 completed semester hours required to obtain an associate’s degree and a minimum of two courses necessary to earn a certificate. In addition to its main campus, Pueblo Community College has campus’ located in Canon City, Durango and Cortez Colorado. – Jessica Walker

New Ways to Succeed charter schools offer educational alternatives


he public and private schools in Pueblo are second to none in terms of achievement. There’s also a third network operating within and alongside them; charter schools that are giving students another option for a first-class educational experience. The Cesar Chavez Network, which includes Dolores Huerta Preparatory High School and Cesar Chavez Academy Public Charter School, as well as The Connect Charter School in District 70, are all examples of how public-private partnerships thrive here. The Chavez Academy has received the James Irwin Award and the El Pomar Foundation’s award for excellence in education, and provides full educational services for grades K-8. It also has an after-school program, cultural and community studies, extended day and extended year learning, tutoring for all students and extracurricular activities ranging from track and field to choir and mariachi. Dolores Huerta Preparatory High is a tuition-free public charter school that also boasts multiple awards and achievements, and is justifiably well known for its successful early-college program, as well as participate in and even complete certification programs. For the middle grades, The Connect Charter School in District 70 consistently makes multiple “best of” lists. It has a string of John Irwin awards, as well as being named a Colorado sustaining school several times. – Joe Morris pu e b lo


community profile Community Overview The air in Pueblo is so clean that residents often can see purple mountains’ majesties from 70 miles away. That is one of the numerous advantages of living in this city with clean water, a nationally ranked school system and reasonable home prices.

time zone


Age less than 25 35,105 Age 25-34, 14,586 Age 35-44, 12,222

size in square miles


Age 55-64, 11,134

Pueblo County

Age greater than 75 9,906

numbers to know

White, 82,707

Climate Overview The Pueblo County growing season is 180 days, but the county’s elevation range (4,400 to 12,000 feet) can influence what can be grown in different areas. Crops such as alfalfa, corn, melons, onions, peppers and tomatoes thrive throughout Pueblo County, but all require supplemental water. January Low Temperature 14 F

Recyling Environmental Health (719) 583-4323 Voter Registration Colorado Dept. of Revenue (719) 543-5164

Household information

July Low Temperature 52 F

Total Population, 104,175

This section is sponsored by


Division of Motor Vehicles (719) 543-5164 (719) 543-5165

January High Temperature 48 F

July High Temperature 91 F

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Age 45-54, 13,422

Males, 49,652 Females, 54,523

Age 65-74, 7,800

Black, 1,471 Hispanic, 48,711 Other, 14,523

cost of living

$37,246 Median Household Income

$94,500 Median Home Sale Price

$668 Estimated Gross Rent for a Two-Bedroom Apartment

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