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GILLETTE-CAMPBELL COUNTY, WYOMING

JUST DESSERTS Steakhouse meals end with sweet farewell

JAZZED ABOUT MUSIC Frontier hits the right note, thanks to bands and fans

What’s s e Online Video tour of the Rockpile Museum

Cure for Cabin Fever Basketball, skateboarding and more keep kids active

SPONSORED BY THE CAMPBELL COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE


Campbell County Recreation Center

1st Floor Plan

PROJECT SIZE: Fieldhouse – 81,000 sq. ft. Recreation Center – 108,000 sq. ft. Total Facility – 189,000 sq. ft. 2nd Floor Plan

The new Campbell County Recreation Center is currently under construction and will be completed during the spring of 2010. The Campbell County Parks and Recreation Department and Campbell County School District joined hands in creating a facility that serves a wide variety of needs under one roof. This unique facility will have the advantage of combining a full-service recreation center with a multi-use competitive sports and training facility. Shared use of the amenities will be the hallmark of this creative mixed approach. This facility will also be a spectator venue for organized team sports, different user groups will require separation without isolation. The facility will house a 200-meter track, five tennis courts, three basketball courts, lap pool, leisure pool, two waterslides, four racquetball courts, 42’-climbing tower, elevated walking track, babysitting area, concessions, weight room, cardio area, three exercise rooms, training and locker rooms. This state-of-the-art multi-use facility will host several competitive team events, a variety of leisure activities and special events. The climbing tower will resemble aspects of Devil’s Tower National Monument and will serve as the focal point of the spacious lobby to honor this national icon. Additional rock themes will be developed throughout the aquatic facility.


2009 EDITION | VOLUME 8 ®

GILLETTE-CAMPBELL COUNTY, WYOMING CO NTE NT S F E AT U R E S 14 A CURE FOR CABIN FEVER Youth sports, recreation programs and great parks keep kids active and healthy.

16 JAZZED ABOUT MUSIC Bands and fans keep music in the air in Gillette and Campbell County.

30 THIS COMMUNITY CARES Campbell County citizens share a sense of commitment to one another.

32 SPACE FOR THE FRONTIER As Wyoming’s largest meeting space, the Cam-Plex hosts events that thrill, educate and entertain.

20 JUST DESSERTS Steakhouses here make sure diners end the night on a sweet note.

36 HEALTHY EXPANSION Campbell County Memorial Hospital meets the needs of a growing economy.

24 HIT THESE GYMS Don’t worry about the weather, gyms make it possible to get fit here any time.

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26 COLLEGE TOWN Campus enhancement, new programs build university’s community presence.

ON THE COVER Photo by Brian McCord Coffee Panna Cotta from The Chophouse

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Downtown Bank 314 South Gillette Ave.

A NATIONAL FIRST Devils Tower is the country’s first national monument. It rises 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River and attracts thousands of visitors annually. Watch this and other quick videos in the Interactive section.

RELOCATION RC Ranch Bank 520 Running W Dr. Main Phone 24-Hour Banking Bookkeeping

Considering a move to this community? We can help. Use our Relocation Tools to discover tips, including how to make your move green, advice about moving pets and help with booking movers.

686-3300 682-9184 686-3340

Loan Departments: Business 686-3325 Personal 686-3315 Home Loans 686-3330

FIVE ATM LOCATIONS Corner of 4th & Kendrick

PHOTOS We’ve added even more prize-winning photography to our online gallery. To see these spectacular photos, click on Photo Gallery.

(Drive-Up)

106 N. Hwy. 14-16 10800 S. Hwy. 59

FACTS & STATS

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Wyoming Center at CAM-PLEX RC Ranch Branch Bank

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LOCAL FLAVOR The delicious desserts served in local steakhouses and restaurants are often the starring attraction. Get a taste of local flavor in our food section.

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ABOUT THIS MAGAZINE Campbell County’s Only Hometown Bank www.fnbgillette.com

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Images gives readers a taste of what makes Gillette tick – from business and education to sports, health care and the arts. “Find the good – and praise it.”

– Alex Haley (1921-1992), Journal Communications co-founder

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®

G ILLET TE - CAM PB E LL COU NT Y MANAGING EDITOR KIM MADLOM COPY EDITOR JOYCE CARUTHERS ASSOCIATE EDITORS LISA BATTLES, SUSAN CHAPPELL, JESSY YANCEY ONLINE CONTENT MANAGER MATT BIGELOW STAFF WRITERS CAROL COWAN, KEVIN LITWIN CONTRIBUTING WRITERS DANNY BONVISSUTO, SHARON FITZGERALD, BRANDON LOWE, JOE MORRIS DATA MANAGER CHANDRA BRADSHAW SENIOR INTEGRATED MEDIA MANAGER JAREK SWEKOSKY SALES SUPPORT MANAGER SARA SARTIN SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER BRIAN McCORD STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS JEFF ADKINS, TODD BENNETT, ANTONY BOSHIER, IAN CURCIO, J. KYLE KEENER PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT ANNE WHITLOW CREATIVE DIRECTOR KEITH HARRIS WEB DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR BRIAN SMITH ASSOCIATE PRODUCTION DIRECTOR CHRISTINA CARDEN PRODUCTION PROJECT MANAGERS MELISSA BRACEWELL, KATIE MIDDENDORF, JILL WYATT SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS LAURA GALLAGHER, KRIS SEXTON, CANDICE SWEET, VIKKI WILLIAMS LEAD DESIGNER JANINE MARYLAND GRAPHIC DESIGN ERICA HINES, ALISON HUNTER, JESSICA MANNER, AMY NELSON, MARCUS SNYDER WEB DESIGN DIRECTOR FRANCO SCARAMUZZA WEB PROJECT MANAGERS ANDY HARTLEY, YAMEL RUIZ WEB DESIGN CARL SCHULZ WEB PRODUCTION JENNIFER GRAVES COLOR IMAGING TECHNICIAN TWILA ALLEN AD TRAFFIC JESSICA CHILDS, MARCIA MILLAR, PATRICIA MOISAN, RAVEN PETTY

CHAIRMAN GREG THURMAN PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER BOB SCHWARTZMAN EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT RAY LANGEN SR. V.P./CLIENT DEVELOPMENT JEFF HEEFNER

GILLETTE BUSINESS 46 Still Fired Up Plant construction, expansion keep energy industry at forefront of area economy.

SR. V.P./SALES CARLA H. THURMAN SR. V.P./OPERATIONS CASEY E. HESTER V.P./SALES HERB HARPER V.P./SALES TODD POTTER V.P./VISUAL CONTENT MARK FORESTER

50 Biz Briefs 52 Chamber Report

V.P./TRAVEL PUBLISHING SYBIL STEWART V.P./EDITORIAL DIRECTOR TEREE CARUTHERS MANAGING EDITOR/BUSINESS BILL McMEEKIN

53 Economic Profile

MANAGING EDITOR/CUSTOM KIM NEWSOM PRODUCTION DIRECTOR NATASHA LORENS PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR JEFFREY S. OTTO CONTROLLER CHRIS DUDLEY

D E PA R TM E NT S

ACCOUNTING MORIAH DOMBY, DIANA GUZMAN, MARIA McFARLAND, LISA OWENS RECRUITING/TRAINING DIRECTOR SUZY WALDRIP DISTRIBUTION DIRECTOR GARY SMITH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR YANCEY TURTURICE NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR JAMES SCOLLARD

10 Almanac: a colorful sampling of Gillette-Campbell County’s culture

IT SERVICE TECHNICIAN RYAN SWEENEY HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER PEGGY BLAKE CUSTOM/TRAVEL SALES SUPPORT RACHAEL GOLDSBERRY SALES/MARKETING COORDINATOR RACHEL MATHEIS

38 Portfolio: people, places and events that define Gillette-Campbell County

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY/SALES SUPPORT KRISTY DUNCAN OFFICE MANAGER SHELLY GRISSOM RECEPTIONIST LINDA BISHOP

42 Photo Essay 55 Health & Wellness

CU S TO M M AG A Z INE M ED I A

Images Gillette-Campbell County is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Campbell County 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 info@jnlcom.com. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Campbell County Chamber of Commerce 314 South Gillette Avenue • Gillette, WY 82716 Phone: (307) 682-3673 • Fax: (307) 682-0538 www.gillettechamber.com

57 Education 59 Sports & Recreation 61 Arts & Culture 63 Community Profile: facts, stats and important numbers to know

VISIT IMAGES GILLETTE-CAMPBELL COUNTY ONLINE AT IMAGESGILLETTE.COM ©Copyright 2009 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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Almanac

Ready for Some Rumbledethump? Each year, Celtic clans or societies are invited to join the Wyoming Celtic Festival and Highland Games in Gillette. The festival includes traditional music, a Tug of War, Haggis Toss and other Celtic games and events. Visitors and participants attend a fun-filled dinner, which may include Guinness cheese soup, cucumbers and onions, steak-and-stout pie, Chicken Bonnie Prince Charlie, minted peas, Guinness carrots, rolls, Baileys Delight and raspberry whiskey cheesecake. Rumbledethump, a traditional Scottish dish of cabbage and potato, will also be on the menu.

Prepared for Take Off The $3.5 million Challenger Learning Center is expected to launch in 2009. The land has been purchased, planning is in the final stages and fundraising is in full swing. The Challenger Center for Space Science Education program uses studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; natural enthusiasm for outer space to create innovative learning experiences for imaginative young minds. By transforming the way teachers teach and students learn, Challenger Center is expected to create a new generation of explorers.

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Fast Facts Q About 65 percent of the state of Wyoming’s tax revenues come from energy-rich Campbell County.

Street Museum Gillette’s arts community is not only alive and well, but much of it is on display for everyone to see. In support of a rapidly growing local arts scene, the city has thrown its weight behind the creative community. In 2003, Gillette’s leaders created the Mayor’s Arts Council, which was charged with designing a program to nurture the arts and place public art around town. Its mission: “Create a more visually pleasing environment and expand the opportunities for residents and visitors to experience quality works of art in public places.”

Q It is estimated that there will be 20,000 natural gas wells in northeast Wyoming by 2010. Q Gillette was originally called Donkey Town, but when the railroad arrived in 1891, it was renamed for a Burlington Railroad surveyor.

What’s Online e See Gillette’s public art in our quick online video at imagesgillette.com.

Fair Enough

A Place for Heroes Lasting Legacy Park is home to the city’s war memorial‚ a wall built by local chapters of Veterans of Foreign Wars‚ American Legion and Vietnam Veterans of America. One of the park’s most popular attractions is the tree-planting area. Residents can dedicate trees and plaques in the planting area in honor of loved ones. Lasting Legacy Park also offers an acclaimed skateboard park‚ which opened in 1995 and has been studied by other communities wanting to build similar facilities in their towns.

GILLETTE

Q The First Baptist Church was the first church to be built in Gillette, in 1902. It was the only church in the community until 1907.

The first fair in Campbell County was held in September 1920, and was the vision of a homesteader from Iowa. That first fair featured prizes, music provided by the local Gillette City Band and a rodeo. Today’s Campbell County Fair has all that and much more. Held at the Cam-Plex, the event includes free concerts and other entertainment. Projects displayed in the Energy Hall include cattle, sheep, poultry and horses. A rodeo competition is one of the most popular attractions.

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Almanac

Look and Learn This Museum Rocks The Campbell County Rockpile Museum is filled with artifacts from the Old and New West and is fittingly located next to a sizable natural rockpile formation. The Western history museum is on West 2nd Street near the railhead of the old Burlington and Missouri Railroad. Besides the sheep wagon‚ artifacts on site include firearms‚ pioneer and American Indian clothing and a restored rural schoolhouse. The museum is open seven days a week from June 1through August 31‚ and closed only on Sundays during the remainder of the year. Admission is free.

Who says you can’t have fun and learn something? Brothers Rollo and Nello Williams created just such opportunities at Einstein’s Adventurarium and the Campbell County Public School Planetarium. Rollo is director of the Adventurarium and is also a local science teacher‚ and Nello is a former earth-science teacher who now runs the planetarium. The Adventurarium features live animals and hands-on exhibits, ranging from simple machines and sound energy to animal science and the Earth’s core. Meanwhile, the 30-foot dome inside the planetarium can simulate the whole galaxy.

What’s Online e Tour the Rockpile Museum in our quick online video at imagesgillette.com.

Gillette At A Glance

Gillette

POPULATION (2007 ESTIMATE) Campbell County: 40,433 Gillette: 30,636 Wright: 1,485 LOCATION Campbell County is in northeastern Wyoming, between the Big Horn Mountains and the Black Hills of South Dakota.

MONTANA WYOMING

Sheridan Recluse 14

Ucross

Spotted Horse

Devils Tower National Monument

Weston

14 16

24 59 1 14

BEGINNINGS Campbell County was established in 1911. It is home to the cities of Gillette and Wright, along with the unincorporated communities of Recluse and Rozet. The county seat of Gillette is named for 1890s railroad surveyor Edward Gillette.

Gillette

Buffalo

Rozet

Moorcroft oft

Wyodak

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C A M PB E L L

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Savageton 25 5

50

Wright 59 387

FOR MORE INFORMATION Campbell County Chamber of Commerce 314 South Gillette Ave. Gillette, WY 82716 Phone: (307) 682-3673 Fax: (307) 682-0538 www.gillettechamber.com

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What’s Online e Take a virtual tour of Gillette and Campbell County at imagesgillette.com, courtesy of our award-winning photographers.

I M AG E S G I L L E T T E . C O M

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A Cure for

Cabin

Fever KIDS HERE ARE HAVING A BALL

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BRIAN M C CORD

STORY BY DANNY BONVISSUTO

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occer. Baseball. Wrestling. Hockey. Gymnastics. Figure skating. Swimming. BMX biking. Skateboarding. Football. Softball. You name it, the children in Gillette are involved in it, whether it’s 70 degrees and sunny or 10 below. “As a whole community we’re just very sports- and activityoriented,” says Jason Lembke, youth sports programmer of the Campbell County Parks and Recreation Department. “Parents in Gillette want to get their kids involved and keep them active as much as they can. Even our adult leagues have grown; it’s not only the youth.” The recreation center offers activities galore. “We do a spring and fall season of youth soccer with about 700 kids each season,” Lembke says. “We offer basketball for grades one through six and about 750 kids participate in that. We offer girls fast-pitch softball, which is growing bigger every year. For the boys we have T-ball or the Little Sluggers program, which leads to Gillette Little League and then kids can do the Babe Ruth League through the American Legion after that. We also have boys and girls basketball leagues for kids in first through sixth grade with about 750 kids involved in that, and a youth hockey program with 110 kids just this past year alone.” And that’s not all. The rec center also hosts a summertime camp with games, activities and field trips. The rec center is also looking forward to moving into a new facility next year, which will be larger and have many updates for Gillette’s youth to enjoy. “It’ll have a rock climbing wall;

field track; lazy river; playground; pool with lap swimming and a diving area; new racquetball courts and fitness rooms and a walking track above,” Lembke says. Parent-run travel teams for many sports are just as popular as the rec center’s programming, and the rec center works to accommodate as many as possible on the courts and playing fields. “There are soccer clubs beyond what we do here at the rec center,” Lembke says. “That includes travel and indoor soccer. There are two wrestling clubs for kids that run much of the year, junior football and volleyball, and there’s a gymnastics program that has a great reputation in the area. There’s also a fantastic swim team.” Phillip Rehard would agree. He’s the head coach of the Gillette Swim Team. “This is the premier swim team in the region,” Rehard says of the Gillette Gators. “I’d say it’s the premier team in the state of Wyoming. We’ve won the last 13 Wyoming state titles.” The exceptional environment helps draw children into the program. “We have a world-class facility,” Rehard says. “It’s a 50-meter, Olympic-size pool where we host three to four meets a year. But the tradition of our program adds to the experience here. It’s been a solid program for over 25 years. It’s a parentrun organization and a lot of people do a lot of work to make sure this is a good program for the kids.” Lembke agrees. “People in Gillette work hard for a living. For them, being active with their kids is a great way to spend time with them and be involved in their lives.”

Left: A skateboard park is one of many recreation facilities built specifically for the youth of Gillette. Above: Youth basketball keeps kids active at the Campbell County Recreation Center.

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PHOTO BY JEFF ADKINS

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Jazzed About

Music BANDS AND FANS CREATE BOOMING MUSIC SCENE

Big Horn Big Band trumpet player Steve Oakley

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STORY BY JOE MORRIS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN McCORD

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usic fills the air all over the city of Gillette and Campbell County. The region is home to a growing number of musicians, musical groups and organizations of like-minded aficionados. An expanding range of venues and more musical talent coming into town via Gillette College and new businesses combine to create an exciting and entertaining music culture here. Just how varied is the scene? Consider: The Wyoming Pipe & Drum Band, which offers up traditional Highland bagpipe and drum performances throughout northeast Wyoming and eastern South Dakota, complete with full Highland dress uniform; the Big Horn Big Band, a 17-piece jazz ensemble; and the Jazz Luck Club, a 2-year-old group devoted to jazz which stages an ongoing series of live performances and the Swing Into Spring concert series and live dance program. For those who like a snack with their swing, the “luck” in the club’s name represents potluck. “We just basically networked through friends and got started,” says Adam Hart, who along with Craig Jennings and Renee Fritzen founded the club. “Renee wanted to start a club that had a jazz theme to it, something where we could bring together musicians and performers and also have food and do other things. This year we were able to get a grant, and so we could produce the spring concert series.” The club is open to all jazz fans, and works to promote jazz as a cultural art form through its various activities. Meanwhile, Coffee Friends and Brothers Coffee, where Hart hosts open-mic nights, have become live-music hubs for Gillette. Hart says it’s all about having fun. “We get our regulars, and we have

some random people who come in who are really amazing,” he says. “We tell people that they don’t have to know anything about jazz to come participate, that it’s a fun group of people and a good way to learn about the music.” One of the club’s go-to groups is the Big Horn Big Band, which has taken instructors out of the classroom and put them on the stage, says Steve Oakley, one of the group’s founders. “Steve Schofield, one of our trumpet players, actually had the idea for quite some time, and had begun to pool some music together,” Oakley says. “Steve was my mentor teacher while I was student teaching, and we kept talking about how great it would be to have a band in Gillette. So we ordered some charts and spent many hours in the band room after work putting things together. We were able to get the majority of the band members out of local music teachers and community members, but we did recruit a few musicians from the surrounding area.” The band has always drawn good crowds without too much promotion, and its popularity continues to grow even as other musical groups come onto the scene. There’s also a two-day jazz festival that began three years ago at Gillette College, which is drawing a larger number of both attendees and performers every year. For Oakley, that’s an indicator of both a supportive community and a real desire for more, varied performing arts in town. “Gillette is very unique in the fact that it is populated by people from all areas of the nation,” he says. “Many people come here to work with the natural resources, bringing a variety of experiences to our community. It usually comes down to people networking

throughout the town and sooner or later the musicians will find each other. There are many rock and country bands in the area. The younger kids are bringing live metal bands to the stage, and the adults are usually bringing classic rock or country, as well as a couple folk bands. As of now, we kind of have a monopoly on the jazz scene, but it is growing every year and there are more young people getting into it.”

The Big Horn Big Band is a popular jazz ensemble in Gillette featuring musicians Tyler Young, Scott Engel, Rich Gleason, Craig Jennings, Steve Schofield, Steve Oakley. Above: Schizoid Johnny performs at a local venue.

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Just

Desserts GILLETTE’S RESTAURANTS KNOW HOW TO END THE NIGHT RIGHT

STORY BY DANNY BONVISSUTO | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN McCORD

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t The Prime Rib, a dining destination in Gillette since 1983, diners are determined to indulge. Sure, they come for the signature dish – handcut, USDA choice prime rib slow-roasted for 24 hours and served with au jus and horseradish – but they don’t stop there. “Vanilla ice cream is pretty much the same wherever you go, but we make a lot of our desserts in-house,” says Charles Schlesselman, general manager of the restaurant. “And the one we sell 10-to-one over any other is our raspberries and Russian cream.” The recipe is as straightforward as it sounds: Fresh berries are topped with sweet cream for a cool way to end a rich meal. “It’s a must-have if you come to The Prime Rib,” Schlesselman says. “It’s a simple dessert, and you just have to try it to understand how good it really is.” Though The Prime Rib also sells “hundreds and hundreds” of quarts of the creamy concoction to-go, it’s often upstaged

by the 24 Karat Cake, which is “super moist and has a great cream cheese frosting,” as well as the Chocolate Lava Cake, which Schlesselman describes as “chocolate beyond chocolate.” “If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll get your fix after you’ve eaten it,” he says. Want to wash down your dessert with something equally as sweet? The Prime Rib’s extensive wine list, which has won many awards including the coveted Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, includes several ports and dessert wines. Another restaurant that has staked its claim in delicious dining in Gillette is The Chophouse. Executive chef Ray Marini, who trained in France and operated restaurants in Russia, says Gillette’s dining scene has changed quite a bit since he came to town 14 years ago. “When I first came out here, I made garlic mashed potatoes one night and people told me I was crazy and no one in Gillette would eat them. Now everybody in town has them,” he says. “With the influx of different people in the town, it’s really diversified things.

Molten Chocolate Cupcake in Fudge Sauce from The Chophouse

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People are eating desserts now they wouldn’t have eaten five years ago, and they’re willing to try more than chocolate cake and pie.” Marini makes sure his dessert menu at The Chophouse steers clear of those mainstays because he knows his competition is stiff. “In this area, people make their own pies a lot, and I don’t want to compete with grandma and mom,” he says. So he ventures slightly outside that culinary comfort zone with seasonal variations of crème brulée, panna cotta and a peanut butter mousse topped with chocolate ganache. Other sweet treats include an eight-pound chocolate cake, a molten cupcake with fudge sauce and “a bunch of different garnishes like spun sugar, gaufrettes or pretzel sticks dipped in white or dark chocolate,” he says. Marini and his team are always looking for ways to improve The Chophouse, and that includes taking their customer comments very seriously. They’ve thought often about taking the cheesecake and tiramisu off the menu, but customers won’t have it. “We try to keep things seasonal,” Marini says. “I’m one of those people who believes that berries are best when the man upstairs says they’re best, though you can get them frozen any time of the year. But the cheesecake and tiramisu are safe, because if we took them off the menu, we’d really hear about it.”

Russian Creme from The Prime Rib Below: Summer Berry Bar at Brother’s Coffee Right: Slice of chocolate cake from The Chophouse

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Hit These

Gyms NEVERMIND THE WEATHER, GET FIT HERE ANY TIME OF DAY OR YEAR

STORY BY BRANDON LOWE

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“There are many opportunities for adults to stay active.” Pace Fitness is ideal for women looking to improve personal fitness in a more casual training environment. The fitness center is designed around a six-piece circuit training model and

membership includes personal training and a monthly fitness analysis. “Most of the people who come to Pace are just starting to get healthy and are looking for a place they can feel comfortable,” Malone says. “They know they can do their workout here and not have to feel self conscious.” For a more intense personal training regimen, Gillette looks to Club Energize, the community’s largest full service health club. Club Energize has earned the loyalty of its clients since 1982 by offering personal training in a fully equipped facility. The club offers orthopedic massage, tanning, racquetball, an indoor climbing wall and a 55,000-gallon swimming pool. A special cardio room is stocked with 32 pieces of cardio equipment. The recently remodeled aerobics room is one of the largest in a four-state region, says General Manager Darrell Okray. “We have a little bit of everything,” Okray says. “But we don’t just sell memberships and turn people loose in the BRIAN M C CORD

o matter your fitness goals or interests, Gillette’s gyms have you covered. “Fitness is huge in Gillette,” says Kahleaha Malone, manager of Pace Fitness For Women, locally owned fitness club that is exclusively for women.

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A rock-climbing wall is a special feature at Club Energize.

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facility. We make sure everyone gets the personal attention they need.” Club Energize offers a personalized training program that pairs guests with certified trainers who possess a wealth of fitness knowledge, as well as motivational skills. Over 40 group exercise classes are offered every week, ranging from water aerobics to relaxing yoga routines, all of which are included in membership. “We have people who come in every day of the week,” Okray says. “Gillette is a very healthy community.” Wyoga and All Dimensions Fitness Center both add specialized features to the fitness atmosphere in Gillette. Beyond personal fitness, the general commitment to fitness in Gillette extends to organized sports and outdoor activities as well. The Campbell County Parks & Recreation Department, through its impressive facilities and beautiful parks, offers a range of adult fitness opportunities throughout the year, from karate to cross country skiing. Races and runs are quite popular in Gillette. The recreation department hosts the Razor City Splash and Dash Triathlon, a seven-year tradition, and the Polar Bear 5K, a winter race that draws hundreds annually. The department’s recreation center features two weight rooms, a Junior Olympic-size swimming pool, a cardio area and an indoor running track. The center also has basketball, volleyball, tennis, softball, racquetball, squash, handball and wallyball, a rebound volleyball game. And for many of the sports, there are adjoining adult leagues that offer some seasonal competition. In Gillette’s cold winter months, the walking and running paths at Bicentennial Park and Lasting Legacy Park are kept open to keep adults warmed up and active. Cam-plex Park’s walking trails are converted into cross country skiing paths. Other community parks are open for sledding and other winter activities.

Gillette’s gyms and the recreation center offer fitness activities for adults.

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College

Town

CAMPUS ENHANCEMENTS, NEW PROGRAMS BUILD UNIVERSITY’S COMMUNITY PRESENCE

STORY BY JOE MORRIS

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center on the south edge of the campus with walkways that lead directly to our new student housing, new retail and residential development.” Even in a town the size of Gillette, it’s hard not to notice the college when so much is happening on the ground.

A new nursing program in partnership with Campbell County Memorial Hospital has also come online. A new culinary program is in progress and a roster of health and science-related programs are well under way. “We have a lot of new things up and

PHOTO COURTESY OF RYAN RAGAN

illette College is keeping backhoes busy with its ambitious campus building and improvement program. Construction projects include the first of four planned new dormitory villages, a new health and science center and other facilities, as well as other landscaping and infrastructure improvements. These join an administration center that opened in 2003, a central building that houses the campus bookstore, science labs, a coffee shop and more. All told, the Northern Wyoming Community College District, which includes Gillette College, Sheridan College and Buffalo Outreach, has spent about $70 million in the last six years, and there’s plenty more to come, says Dr. Paul Young, vice president of institutional effectiveness for the district and dean of the Gillette campus. “In the case of Gillette, I think it is safe to say that we are an emerging college town,” Young says. “Certainly, all the new buildings and grounds on nearly 100 acres on the south side of town create the necessary physical infrastructure. The campus is really becoming the focal point of a new neighborhood that includes the new county recreation

Gillette College offers a nursing program in cooperation with Campbell County Hospital. Left: Gillette College Main Building PHOTO BY BRIAN M CORD C

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Gillette College is a key component of the community’s economic development efforts. become,” Russell says. “When we show the tech building and the residence halls, parents are surprised and excited because we really have created a brandnew campus.” Russell’s major task these days is communicating that sense of excitement from the faculty to the city and surrounding area, making sure the region is not only buzzing about the physical campus, but also about the educational opportunities. “We fit the needs of most students,” she says. “They can get a degree in two years, or spend those years preparing to move to a four-year institution. We also have a lot of other programs. We work

with other colleges to feed students into their systems, but it’s really about opportunity, about spending less money and getting a very good education. We’re really about launching them into their future from here.” Young says that future might be just down the street. “The college is connected to economic development because many of our students may stay in the community, which will help it in turn be a magnet for other people from around the region,” he says. “It gives Gillette the feeling of being a college town, having an energy and attractiveness that makes people want to live in this community.”

PHOTOS BY BRIAN M C CORD

running, and later in 2009 we’ll open our new technical-education center and our first residential village, which will have 96 beds in suite-style apartments in four buildings,” Young says. “People in the community are already referring to this as a crown jewel, and there’s so much more to come.” The campus improvements have led to plenty of interest from the community, and campus tours are quickly turning into student enrollments, says Jeri Russell, director of admissions, who came to the college in late 2008. “A lot of people didn’t realize we were growing as fast as we are, and that we are going to be as big as we are going to

Gillette College prepares students for a variety of careers in the health-science field.

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This

Community

Cares CAMPBELL COUNTY CITIZENS SHARE A SENSE OF COMMITMENT TO ONE ANOTHER

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STORY BY BRANDON LOWE PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN McCORD

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hen local banker Nancy Snyder first moved to Gillette 15 years ago from the West Coast, she discovered a new way of life that went beyond the difference in landscapes and climate. Here, she noticed that people took the time to get know each other. “Life has been very good to me in Gillette,” Snyder says. “And I tell people that every day.” Many who have transplanted to Gillette share Snyder’s experience of good will. It’s an experience that people here seek to pass on. “So many of us are from other places that there is a sense of commonality in being in a new place,” Snyder says. “That shared experience helps newcomers look outside of themselves to welcome and care for one another, and it also piques people’s interest in getting involved in the community.” The spirit of volunteerism in Gillette translates into action. A significant number of outreach opportunities means volunteers can choose their interests. Organizations here assist the elderly, those with disabilities and the disadvantaged. In addition, volunteers work in a variety of efforts that support children, including youth sports, scouting and recreational activities. “I have found Campbell County to be a very giving community,” Snyder says. “I have never seen the level of service organization participation like there is here. There seems to be a more personal connection to one another here that causes people to get involved on a deeper level.” Snyder is an active member of Zonta International, a global service and

advocacy organization dedicated to women. The Gillette chapter is made up of a group of 20 volunteers who engage in service projects throughout the year. “There is a grassroots sense of caring and outreach that has become imbedded throughout the leadership of elected officials and local business owners,” says Campbell County Commissioner Amir Sancher, who moved into the community some 30 years ago. Sancher helped co-found the Boys and Girls Club of Gillette in 1998 after county and city assessment surveys demonstrated a need for a youth outreach organization. “Several groups and individuals donated time and resources to make the Boys and Girls Club possible, and now as many as 160 kids go there every day. People in Gillette really care about each other. The entire community is very good about coming together to address our needs,” he says. Sancher also points out that Gillette’s thriving economic environment plays a role in the ability of the citizens here to reach out to one another. “In Gillette, you can find a decent job, good housing, great friends, churches, schools and social organizations,” Sancher says. “We have almost everything a

person needs to have a safe, happy and secure life.” The Salvation Army and the American Red Cross are also active in Gillette and Campbell County. Meanwhile, the business of helping people also thrives here. Firms devoted to meeting the needs of others include Sol Domus Inc., which helps those with developmental disabilities by offering day and residential rehabilitation, as well as employment and transportation support. Rehabilitation Enterprises of North Eastern Wyoming, an organi zation with operations in Sheridan, Gillette and Newcastle, helps adults with disabilities and offers support services to their families. As a bonus, over the last 35 years the organization has grown to become one of the area’s largest employers. One citywide program that demonstrates the strong community spirit is the annual Trash to Trees event. Hundreds of volunteers, ranging from elementary school students to elected officials, spend the day picking up trash from roadsides, parks and private property. The event provides trees to citizens who turn in trash. The program has helped earn Gillette a designation as a Tree City USA.

A volunteer coach works with a youth basketball team at the Campbell County Recreation Center. Left: Happy children surround County Commissioner Amir Sancher, a co-founder of the Boys and Girls Club in Gillette.

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Space Frontier for the

CAM-PLEX HOSTS EVENTS THAT THRILL, EDUCATE AND ENTERTAIN

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STORY BY BETSY WILLIAMS | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN McCORD

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yoming’s largest events complex stretches across the plains of Campbell County, providing a wealth of opportunity and activities for area residents and visitors. Situated on 1,100 acres, the Cam-Plex annually hosts as many as 350 events, drawing 350,000 citizens and stimulating almost $20 million in local economic impact. “The Cam-Plex event facilities are designed with two primary goals in mind,” says Dan Barks, general manager. “Number one is to positively impact the quality of life of the people of the community who attend the wide variety of events held here. The facility is a venue for concerts, performances,

equestrian events and other shows. Second, is to have a positive economic impact on the businesses of the community through the conventions and other events that bring in people. Those people spend their money here.” New to the immense Cam-Plex is the Wyoming Center, a 122,000-square-foot facility funded by a temporary sales tax and featuring 70,000 square feet of multi-use activity space capable of hosting three events simultaneously. It was planned and built because of the number of events that had to be turned away due to lack of space. “In addition to a convention center and concert hall, it includes a National Hockey League-regulation rink, so it

The Wyoming Center at the Cam-Plex, one of Wyoming’s premier facilities, recently added another 122,000 square feet. Left: The sculpture Pulling Leather by Tom Ford welcomes visitors to the Cam-Plex.

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provides a public ice skating facility as well as a host site for youth hockey tournaments, which are held almost every weekend,” says Barks. Families of hockey players ages 6 to 18 stay in Gillette’s hotels, eat in local restaurants and shop while they are here for the tournaments. Residents use this space for a variety of indoor sports activities, commencement ceremonies and trade shows. Cam-Plex also features a performing arts theater, two large multi-purpose pavilions, rodeo grounds, an RV campground, a horse race track and a 21-acre park and picnic area. Events include national and state conventions, Broadway theater performances, art exhibits, tournaments and numerous RV rallies and rodeos. The largest indoor garage sales in Wyoming are hosted by Cam-Plex in April and October, when local bargain hunters will flock to Central Pavilion to find treasures among the booths. At various times, Cam-Plex really sparkles. The Pyrotechnics

Guild’s International Fireworks Convention, held here every few years, draws as many as 2,500 PGI members. Large-scale public displays of breathtaking fireworks draw thousands of local spectators during the week. August is also the month the Campbell County Fair takes over the entire facility, with rodeos, demolition derbies and concerts by top country stars. It all goes to the dogs in September, as the North American Dog Agility Championships are held, bringing dog-andhandler teams from 26 states and three Canadian provinces. Top-notch entertainment also takes center stage at the Cam-Plex. The 2009 line-up includes performances of the musicals Bye, Bye, Birdie and Footloose. The Platters will be in concert and the Cam-Plex is home to the Powder River Symphony. National conventions planned for 2009 include the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Campers on a Mission RV Rally and the National Saddle Clubs Association’s O-MokSee show.

Rodeo practice is held at Cam-Plex, which plays host to exciting competition events. Right: Steve Bricker applies a hand-rubbed finish to a pew he is remodeling at a furniture remodeling class at Cam-Plex.

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Healthy Expansion CAMPBELL COUNTY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL MEETS NEEDS OF GROWING ECONOMY

STORY BY BRANDON LOWE

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n Gillette, growth is not only good; it’s healthy. Thanks to a robust economy and the accompanying population growth, Campbell County Memorial Hospital has been engaged in several expansion efforts. “We have to expand our facilities to meet the growing demand for medical services,” says CCMH CEO Bob Morasko. “And the expansion of our emergency room is a classic example of our growth. It is going to make a big difference in the level of service we can provide.” CCMH’s recent emergency room remodel and expansion adds space for emergency services and increases efficiency within the hospital. Some 6,000 square feet of new construction and remodeling help accommodate the emergency room’s roughly 25,000 annual visitors. In addition to providing patients with more privacy, the project increases the level of health care provided, thanks to the addition of some larger and better-equipped rooms for major trauma victims. Projects such as the ER expansion demonstrate CCMH’s ongoing commitment to serving the greater Gillette area. As the only major hospital with 100 miles of Gillette in any direction, the hospital is an invaluable resource to the region. But at CCMH, expanding medical care is about more than

Robert Morasko, CEO of Campbell County Hospital

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Campbell County Hospital, located in Gillette, continues to expand its health-care services.

meeting basic needs; it’s about exceeding expectations. The hospital is the only medical facility in Wyoming that has all board-certified emergency physicians in its emergency room. “We are committed to providing the highest level of care we can,” Morasko says. “We have a very high skill level requirement.” Take CCMH’s hospitalist program, for example. A hospitalist is a staff doctor who cares exclusively for patients in the hospital, enabling private practice doctors to be free from being on call at the hospital. In turn, the program ensures that both adult internal medicine specialists and pediatricians are on hand to focus on hospital patients. “We started the hospitalist program to take pressure off of area doctors,” Morasko says. “And for a hospital our size, that is very unique. And more importantly, I think it improves the quality of the care at the hospital.” CCMH offers comprehensive health care services, including oncology, dialysis, a 12-bed intensive care unit and a broad spectrum of surgeries, including orthopedics. As CCMH continues to strive to bring efficient, quality health care to Gillette, recruitment efforts are now focused on expanding specialty services by attracting more quality physicians to the staff and community. In addition to improving the way it delivers care, CCMH is also extending help to the Gillette business community by offering a new Comprehensive Occupational Health Program. GILLETTE

This program will include services ranging from employee drug testing to on-demand physicals for employees. The initiative also will feature work injury management, allowing employees who are injured on the job to be expedited through the emergency process in order to help get them back to work sooner. And employee wellness programs with on-site testing and wellness coaching can keep a company’s workforce healthy through lifestyle changes. “We have the ability, being a locally owned county hospital, to meet the needs that we think fit our community,” Morasko says. “Having that local control helps us develop our mission to provide a lifetime of care for residents of Campbell County and our region.” CCMH’s history runs deep. In June of 1953, a 31-bed, red brick hospital was built in Gillette at a cost of $275,000. Four physicians and one visiting surgeon served the community of 2,190, which was then on the brink of an oil boom. Residents and community leaders continued looking to the future of health care with the opening of Campbell County Memorial Hospital in 1981. Expansion and improvements to the facility began almost immediately, with construction of the fourth and fifth floors, emergency room and outpatient surgery additions and construction of the two-story annex on the north end of the building. The Heptner Radiation Oncology Center was completed in 2002. I M AG E S G I L L E T T E . C O M

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Portfolio

What’s Online e See Devils Tower in our quick online video at imagesgillette.com.

Day Tripping DEVILS TOWER MAKES FOR A GREAT GETAWAY

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rom climbers who crave outdoor adventure to artisans who capture its beauty, Devils Tower remains one of northeastern Wyoming’s most prized geographic and cultural landmarks. “It is a short drive to what I think is one of the world’s true natural wonders,” says Dorothy Firecloud, monument superintendent. “Everyone has this sense of awe when they see the tower. They aren’t able to explain what it is, but people feel drawn to the tower.” The nearly vertical monolith rises 867 feet from its base and 1‚267 feet above the meandering Belle Fourche River. The 1‚347-acre park encompasses pine forests‚ deciduous woodlands and prairie grasslands. Teddy Roosevelt

declared this landmark America’s first national monument, and the earthen mound made the cut for Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Today’s visitors usually spend two to three hours exploring the monument, making it an ideal day trip from Gillette, which is the closest city to the spectacular site. In 2009, the park hired a new chief of interpretation to oversee a revamping of the park’s educational programs. The goal is to offer more hands-on programs to teach the historical importance of the tower to climbers, Native Americans and pioneers. “The tower is so much more than

just this big rock sticking out of the ground,” Firecloud says. “We want to start educating people a little more on the cultural and geological history of the site.” Another popular new draw at the park is the Old Settler’s Picnic, an event held on Father’s Day in which surrounding communities bring family picnics while enjoying free entertainment provided by the park. Though a park tradition, the picnic went away for several years before returning in June 2006 for the monument’s centennial celebration. “The kids love the Old Settler’s Picnic,” Firecloud says. “Its just a fun day at the park.”

Devils Tower National Monument, about 60 miles from Gillette, glows in the sunset.

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espite its quaint size, Gillette boasts a unique collection of arts opportunities, the centerpiece of which is the Advocacy for Visual Arts, a small, nonprofit arts center designed to host art classes, exhibitions, inspirational and cultural activities. When AVA opened its doors in 2002, the organization began serving a diverse population and a variety of interests. Since then, AVA has been busy building bridges in order to connect the community with a wide range of art genres. “One thing that is really great about Gillette is that most everyone here is from somewhere else,” says AVA Assistant Executive Director Ariane Jimison. “And the arts have the ability to create a common ground.” AVA promotes the visual arts by displaying three exhibitions each month by guest artists from around the region and country, making the organization an invaluable cultural resource for Campbell County and the northeastern Wyoming region. But AVA is important to Gillette’s pool of weekend artists as well. Featuring two galleries and two classrooms, the AVA facility offers art classes ranging from card making to traditional art forms for people 18 and older. “We are a really busy community and everyone seems to work way too much,” Jimison says. “We create an opportunity for people to take classes they would not normally be able to take.” Currently in the works at the AVA facility is an expansion of the organization’s ceramics program. Thanks to the new Mile of Quarters fundraising campaign, AVA is optimistic that an outdoor kiln will be in place at the facility by the end of 2009. “We try our best to support local artists in any way we can,” Jimison says. “After all, our mission is to advocate the visual arts.” GILLETTE

BRIAN M C CORD

Arts Culture Growing D

J.B. King’s Resting Athlete and Gourd Dancer are displayed at AVA.

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Program Teaches Pet Care F

Gillette Animal Control teaches children how to care for pets.

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or the last 18 years, the committed staff at Gillette Animal Control has been teaching a popular program that shows children how to care for pets. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Education is so important in promoting animal safety,â&#x20AC;? says department director Phyllis Jasseck. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why we cover everything from pet responsibility to pet safety.â&#x20AC;? The program, which is offered to students from kindergarten to third grade, is made up of two separate courses. Kindergarteners and first graders learn how to meet a dog and also get a tour of the control department facility, while second and third graders learn basic pet owner responsibility. The program is designed to teach a range of information about pets and pet ownership as a means to promote public safety and pet owner responsibility. One success has been the reduction of dog bites that have occurred in the community since the education program was initiated. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Before we started the classes, we had bites on the playground on a regular basis,â&#x20AC;? Jasseck says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But now, kids will actually call us when they see a dog out there. The classes have made quite a difference.â&#x20AC;? At the age of 12, the children have another opportunity to get involved with animal control in a volunteer program. As volunteers, they have the opportunity to do everything from take the dogs outside for exercise to helping do dishes and dirty laundry. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Some of the young ones bring their parents in to get a license for their pet,â&#x20AC;? Jasseck says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kids who have been through the program come in as adults and bring in their pets to have them properly tagged. They really are different pet owners down the road.â&#x20AC;? The animal shelter offers adoption programs and volunteer opportunities. The shelter offers online purchase of Kuranda dog beds for the comfort of its four-legged residents. GILLETTE


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Saddle Up at Energy Town Rodeo W

yomingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rural heritage has made rodeo an integral part of the stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s culture. And in Gillette, the spirit of the rodeo is strong thanks to the Energy Town Pro Rodeo, an annual competition held each August in conjunction with the Campbell County Fair. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Energy Town makes for one of the most exciting weekends of the year for Gillette,â&#x20AC;? says event organizer Charlene Camblin. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The whole community participates.â&#x20AC;? The rodeo, now in its eighth year, is held at the magnificent Cam-plex event facility. With a thriving economy, support and sponsorship of the Energy Town event remains strong, which allows event planners to put on a spectacular show. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want you to come, bring your family and have a good time,â&#x20AC;? Camblin says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And thanks to the backing of the community, we are able to help people do just that.â&#x20AC;? Entertainment provided at the event includes trick riding, a rodeo clown and live music. The rodeo also includes a â&#x20AC;&#x153;mutton bustingâ&#x20AC;? event. The is

competition is similar to bull riding, but children ride sheep and try to hang on as long as possible. Sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, the Energy Town event is a key competition within the rodeo circuit. Participants are provided free stalls and are treated to a hospitality tent throughout the competition. Money won by contestants counts towards the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, the premier championship rodeo event in the United States.

Elsewhere in the community, the Gillette High School Rodeo Club is one of the largest school rodeo programs in Wyoming. Also, Gillette Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first sports team, established in 2007, was, appropriately, a rodeo team. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are really proud of youth rodeo around here,â&#x20AC;? says Camblin, whose brother is one of a handful of national rodeo champions to come from Gillette. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kids can really rise through the ranks of rodeo from Gillette.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Stories by Brandon Lowe

THE GOLD STANDARD

EXPECT BIG RESULTS

PHOTOS BY BRIAN M C CORD

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Energy Town Pro Rodeo is held during the Campbell County Fair.

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Photo Essay

Art

Without Walls STORY BY KIM MADLOM | PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN McCORD

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ith the simple mission of creating a more visually pleasing environment, the city of Gillette created a Mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Art Council in 2003 to implement a program to place public art within the community. The Avenues of Art Sculpture initiative has been a resounding success. Dozens of sculptures from artists throughout the country have been exhibited throughout the community, and several have been purchased for permanent display. The sculptures are on display from June to the following June and are placed on permanent exhibit if sold. The purchases are made by companies or individuals as a public donation. New sculptures are displayed each year. Sculptures pictured here include Samson by Benjamin Victor, Butterfly Kisses by Mary Rust, Polar Bear and Cubs by Dellores B. Shelledy, Flight by Ana Lazovs and Last Coup by Don Coy.

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Online e Visit imagesgillette.com to see more award-winning photography highlighting the places and people in Gillette.

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Photo Essay

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Business

Still

Fired Up PLANT CONSTRUCTION, EXPANSION KEEP ENERGY INDUSTRY AT FOREFRONT OF AREA ECONOMY

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ew technologies, a push toward more ecofriendly operations and a continuing thirst for power have combined to keep the energy industry sector robust in Wyoming. And that’s good news for Gillette and Campbell County, which have long been centers of activity for many nationally and internationally known companies. Coal and gas continue to dominate the local landscape, and as new methods of extraction come online, paired with revamped and fresh facilities, the future is very bright. That optimism is evidenced by the energy projects under way throughout the area. Black Hills Corp.’s new WyGen III plant is a 100-megawatt, $225 million coal-fired plant, of which the city of Gillette may be part owner. White Energy Coal North America Inc. has an agreement with Buckskin Mining Co. to develop a coal-upgrading facility in the Powder River Basin. The Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s new coal-based, 385-megawatt power plant, Dry Fork Station, is nearing completion. For Black Hills, which has been in the area for more than a century in one capacity or another, WyGen III is just the latest commitment to both energy production and the Gillette area. “Power plant projects like this are part of a long-term resource plan that we work toward,” says Gene Decker, generation chemical processes manager for Black Hills. “WyGen 3 keeps us up to snuff in terms of customer needs versus available electric resources. By having our own facilities,

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Black Hills power plant is at home in Gillette-Campbell County. The region is a major producer of coal and gas.

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Business

“And the more energy that the country and the world continue to use, the more they will need our coal.” Black Hills is able to assure adequate supplies of electricity at stable prices.” That’s why the ribbon-cutting at WyGen III won’t even be over before the next round of plants are in the planning phases, which is good news for the local economy. “We’re already looking ahead to the future and studying the need for power beyond the commercial operation of WyGen 3,” Decker says. “We’ve been in the area more than 85 years and in business for 125 years. We have grown from a small electric utility to a mid-cap utility, and that’s exciting. We’re happy with the growth and our biggest problem is just

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finding enough good Wyoming employees to complement those we already have as we continue to grow.” But, he adds, “That’s a good challenge.” It’s also a task that local officials are working on in tandem with the various energy providers and their feeder businesses in the area, says Susan Jerke, interim executive director of the Campbell County Economic Development Corp. “We have 14 coal mines in the basin and they’re still very active, and then there are the coal plants and a planned test facility for a coal-gasification plant, so it’s a very vibrant industry here,” Jerke says. “And the more energy that the

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country and the world continue to use, the more they will need our coal.” Building and sustaining an employee base is one of many items on the industry’s wish list, so the CCEDC holds annual events such as its industry forum to get a sense of how a new administration in Washington, the slow economy and other factors are affecting business on the ground. “We’ve been insulated fairly well from what’s happening nationally so far, but we need to be on top of it,” Jerke says. “We stay in contact with all our companies, many of which sit on our board of directors and are major investors in our organization. We’re working on meeting their needs, and we all benefit from each other’s efforts.”

Dry Fork Station BASIN ELECTRIC CREATES JOBS WITH EYE TOWARD FUTURE

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Left: A worker changes a tire on a coal truck at the Black Hills power plant. Right: Construction of the new Wygen III Power Plant is well under way.

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ob creation. Energy production. Environmental consciousness. Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s Dry Fork Station project is realizing all three of those important goals. The $1.35-billion project under construction north of Gillette is expected to come online in 2011. The plant capacity is 385 net megawatts. The project’s expected peak workforce in late 2009 is 1,050. When complete, the plant will employ 75 permanent full-time positions. Dry Fork Station is being constructed to meet growing member system demand for electric power in northeast Wyoming and a nine-state service region. “Campbell County and Gillette offer tremendous existing infrastructure for locating a plant of this size and scope,” says Daryl Hill of Basin Electric. Known as the Energy Capital of the Nation, Gillette is rich in minerals. Much of the region’s economy is based on the mining of coal and coal bed methane extraction. “Our cooperative was welcomed here,” Hill says. “We’ve had a presence in Wyoming for the past 30 years – with the Laramie River Station in Wheatland. Now we’re excited to build on that foundation in Gillette. Leaders and citizens here are familiar with how the energy business works. They know what it takes to construct and operate a coal mine or a power plant and they know the positive economic impact these plants can have on the community. We have a very good working relationship with the city fathers, and with the business community and civic leaders.” Dry Fork Station is focused on the future both in terms of meeting the growing demand for electricity and operating efficiently and cleanly amid a growing concern about the environment. “Dry Fork Station will be extremely clean, using the latest in environmental controls,” Hill says. “We are not only looking at the positive economic impact of this project, but also minimizing the environmental impact. We take that challenge seriously and will meet it.”

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Business

Biz Briefs A SAMPLING OF BUSINESSES – LARGE AND SMALL – THAT HELP DEFINE GILLETTE’S WELL-BALANCED ECONOMIC CLIMATE

Scorecard BUSINESS AT A GLANCE

$445,835 Retail sales ($1,000)

$12,327 Retail sales per capita

$53,465 Accommodations And food services Sales ($1,000)

3,683 Total number of firms Source: U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts

BIG HORN TIRE INC. Biz: tire sales and auto service Buzz: Family-owned and operated for 44 years, Big Horn Tire serves northeast Wyoming. Founded in Gillette by John and Doris Crump, the company expanded into the Buffalo area in 2007. In addition to tire sales, Big Horn Tire offers brake inspections and experienced auto repair services. www.bighorntire.com 50

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2 GUYS’ DECO FLOORING AMERICA Biz: flooring and decorating center Buzz: Owners Shawn Dorr and John Gunnels founded the business more than 20 years ago. The company has a large selection of carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic, vinyl and area rugs and provides installation services and also “do-it-yourself” instruction for those interested. www.2guysdeco.com GILLETTE


WYOMING WATER SOLUTIONS Biz: bottled water, filters, coffee service Buzz: Wyoming Water Solutions provides water coolers for homes and businesses, household water filter systems, coffee services and a selfservice purified water dispensing station. The company also sells spas and carries a full line of spa chemicals. www.gilletteculligan.com

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SOUNDWORKS Biz: home and car electronics Buzz: Providing custom installation of home and car electronics, Soundworks creates home theaters, automated lighting, security systems and even remote car starters. A member of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association, its technicians are licensed low-voltage electricians. www.soundworkswyo.com

MAIN ELEMENTS Biz: clothing and accessories Buzz: A Wyoming original, the store was founded in 2007 by Jennifer Hight and Jessica Bannister, two best friends with banking and business backgrounds. The store carries a wide variety of clothing brands for men and women, as well as fragrances, handbags, accessories and more. www.shopmainelements.com

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Business | Chamber Report

SOUTH FORK APARTMENTS LLC

All Advocacy, All the Time CHAMBER WORKS TO ENSURE BUSINESS VOICE IS HEARD

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South Fork Apartments takes care of resident desires by offering a state-of-the-art fitness facility, hot tub, swimming pool, and business center filled with computers and printers. Faxing available upon request. And for social engagements our South Fork party room with a full-size catering kitchen is available by reservation.

South Fork Apartments LLC 4500 Running W Drive Gillette, Wyoming 82718 Phone: (307) 687-7000 Fax: (307) 682-4325 E-mail: leasing@southforkapts.com

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the “Shop at Home” promotion to keep retail dollars in town. That and other efforts make the community stronger, says Sherry McGrath, broker/owner of ERA Boardwalk Real Estate. “They do a good job of marketing Gillette and Campbell County, whether it’s the retail and business or the community side,” McGrath says. “They do a good job of promoting Gillette as a good place to live or visit, which is beneficial to all of us.” In the end, that’s the goal of the chamber, whatever the specific program, workshop, networking event or lobbying effort, says Simon. “We focus on the things that give our members a voice in the community and in the state,” she says. “We have a leadership training program and we have developed a program for young leaders, so we can keep our future leaders here in our community. “We always ask our members for their ideas, how we can make ourselves better, and then we implement those ideas and continue to stand up and be that voice for business,” she says. – Joe Morris

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South Fork Apartments offers four different types of apartments. All of which are exquisitely laid out into various floor plans. From our 1bed/1bath Estes, to our two different style 2bed/2bath Zion and Bryce, and finally, our large 3bedroom/2.5bath Arches apartment, we are able to meet the specific needs of every present and future resident. We take pride in our positive costumer service, helping others satisfy their housing wishes.

t’s hard to sum up the various activities of a multifaceted organization like the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce, but it all focuses on business advocacy. “When people ask me what we do, my short answer is that we provide an atmosphere in which business can thrive,” Chamber President Julie Simon says. “We provide access to other chamber members through networking, and we provide advocacy for our businesses by standing up for them in local government and the state legislature. We give them access to legislators and others that they might not have time to pursue on their own.” With more than 600 members, the organization wields considerable clout in the halls of government. “There are a lot of demands on my time, so having them represent the business community is very helpful,” says Tony Klamm, owner of the Wyoming Work Warehouse. “We don’t have time to lobby for ourselves, and they do it very well.” Klamm also praises the chamber for campaigns that help various business sectors. As a retail owner, he appreciates

The Gillette Chamber staff, from left, Tracy Mathews, Katie Alo, Christine Overton, Gail Lofing and Julie Simon, president/CEO (sitting)

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Business | Economic Profile

GILLETTE BUSINESS CLIMATE Located in the northeastern corner of Wyoming, Campbell County is the powerhouse for the state. Rich in natural resources, the mineral industry and supporting manufacturers dominate the economy.

TAXES

1% County Sales Tax

4% State Sales Tax

5%

Campbell County Economic Development Corporation 201 N. Lakeway Road Suite 1004 Gillette, WY 82717 (307) 686-2603 www.ccedc.net

Southern Drive, an industrial park. Visit the Campbell County Economic Development Corporationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Web site for more information, www.ccedc.net

Why Wyoming 214 W. 15th St. Cheyenne, WY 82002 (307) 777-2864 www.whywyoming.org

GOVERNMENT OFFICES

INDUSTRIAL SITES

City of Gillette 201 E. Fifth St. (307) 686-5200 www.ci.gillette.wy.us

Industrial sites include the Gillette Tech Center, a cityowned business park; Energy Park, an industrial park; and

Campbell County Government 500 S. Gillette Ave. (307) 682-0374 http://ccg.co.campbell.wy.us

Total Sales Tax

TRANSPORTATION Campbell County Airport 2000 Airport Road Gillette, WY 82716 (307) 686-1042 www.ccgov.net/departments/ airport/

MORE EO ONLINE

ECONOMIC RESOURCES Campbell County Chamber of Commerce 314 S. Gillette Ave. Gillette, WY 82716 (307) 682-3673 www.gillettechamber.com

imagesgillette.com More facts, stats and community information, including relocation tools and links to resources.

Spanish Collection | E-mail | Internet Public Fax | Notary Services | Meeting Rooms

(307) 682-5678 Toll-free: (800) 682-5676 2101 S. 4J Rd. Gillette, WY 82718 (307) 682-3223 Fax (307) 686-4009

305 Wright Blvd. Wright, WY 82732 (307) 464-0500 Fax: (307) 464-0502

Jack DeBerg Owner

1403 East 7th Gillette, WY 82716

WWW.CCPLS.ORG GILLETTE

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CCMH.NET IS ALL NEW Campbell County Memorial Hospitalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s number one goal is to be your first choice for health care. Our redesigned Web site has an improved â&#x20AC;&#x153;Find a Doctorâ&#x20AC;? function, online bill pay, event registration and information about our services. The easy-to-use format includes virtual facility tours and community links, plus an online employment application feature to recruit the best physicians, nurses and professionals to our community.

Visit us online at www.ccmh.net.

s3"URMA


Health & Wellness

Health Care in a Home Setting NEW HOSPICE FACILITY WILL SERVE PATIENTS AND FAMILIES IN A WARM ATMOSPHERE

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“People want to be comfortable during end of life care,” McGrath says. In addition to convenience and better care, hospice patients will also have the benefit of being close to their care providers. The offices of hospice and home health employees will be located on the ground floor of the facility, something McGrath says will have a positive impact on both patients and their loved ones. Four private rooms will be available in the hospitality wing for families with loved ones undergoing medical treatment. “Because we serve a 100-mile radius, we have a lot of people who need care,” says Campbell County Memorial Hospital CEO Bob Morasko. “Now, thanks to the Hospice Hospitality House, people who travel to Gillette to visit and comfort their loved ones will have a place to stay.” CCHCF, which is approaching its 35-year anniversary, hosts the annual Black Cat Ball, one of several fund-raising events that have raised more than half of the $7.5 million goal for the H3 project. Hospice is one of five programs and boards affiliated with the CCHCF, all of which help advance medical care in Gillette. “The Hospice Hospitality House and the Foundation are programs the community can invest in and feel a pride of ownership,” McGrath says. – Brandon Lowe

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y the end of 2009, Gillette families will discover a new found sense of comfort and security when it comes to health care. That’s when The Campbell County Healthcare Foundation, an organization whose mission is to help bring strong and comprehensive healthcare to Gillette, will unveil H3, the Hospice Hospitality House. H3, which is part of the organization’s continuing partnership with Campbell County Memorial Hospital, will help serve patients and their families by offering a homelike health-care environment. “We have a need in our community to better serve our hospice patients,” says Nachelle McGrath, CCHCF’s executive director. “The house will make care more convenient for patients and their families.” The new facility will be located across the street from the hospital. It will have a hospice wing for terminally ill patients and a hospitality wing for the families of patients receiving care at Campbell County Memorial Hospital or down the hall in the hospice wing. Though hospice services have traditionally been carried out in the homes of patients, some patients need a level of care that can’t be provided in the home. The CCHCF project is part of a nationwide trend in health care to move some services out of the hospital and into a more home-like setting.

An architectural rendering of the planned Hospice Hospitality House in Gillette

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Education

Me and My Shadow MENTORSHIP PROGRAM INTRODUCES STUDENTS TO ON-THE-JOB EXPERIENCE

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what to do, how to act, how to dress, when they’re out there,” Clikeman says. “We want them to have some basic workplace skills and to make sure that the mentor has a good experience, so the student can really expand their knowledge of this career.” Perhaps the best aspect of the program is that it stops some career dreams with a cold splash of reality, which sounds

harsh but is better in the long run. “We had a student who just knew she wanted to be a physical therapist,” Senef recalls. “She got in there and didn’t like it, but then she mentored with a radiologist and that is what she is today. The program is very valuable for the students and the businesses alike, and they both get out of it what they put into it, which usually is quite a bit.” – Joe Morris

ANTONY BOSHIER

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hoosing a career after high school is much easier for Gillette’s students, thanks to a program that allows them to explore their options and earn course credit at the same time. The mentorship program offers juniors and seniors the chance to shadow a professional in a specific career, learning about an occupation that interests them. At the same time, the program gives the local business community a chance to shake hands with their future employees, and to know first-hand that the school system is providing students with the skills they’ll need in the working world. All told, a win-win for everyone involved, says Sherilyn Senef, head of the Campbell County High School’s business department. “All our programs have an advisory committee of business people, but we require our students to make the first contact,” Senef says. “They draw up the contract that requires them to show up, so they have to take the initiative.” Just about every business imaginable takes part in the program, so it’s rare that a student with a specific interest can’t find someone to shadow. But when that does occur, administrators step in to create a match, she says. “I’m just amazed at how great our business community is,” she says. “We also have a cooperative office education program, where the kids are at a business in the afternoon, and those companies are very supportive of us as well.” The students are in a classroom setting at the beginning of the program, at which time they learn basic skills such as resume and application writing, how to interview, the art of conversation and other business basics, says Lori Clikeman, one of three faculty members involved in the mentorship program. “We want to make sure they know

Some 140 businesses participate in the high school mentorship program.

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Coach America • Wheel chair accessible buses available upon request

• Our buses are clean and comfortable with air conditioning and restrooms

• Charter and contract services

1700 E. Hwy. 14-16 • Gillette, WY (307) 682-0960 • (800) 442-3682

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www.coachamerica.com GILLETTE


JEFF ADKINS

Sports & Recreation

Tee Up at Bell Nob GOLFERS ENJOY CHALLENGING AND FUN OPTIONS

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hile buffalo may not roam here, you just might say that Bell Nob Golf Course in Gillette is where the deer and the antelope play. Mule deer, to be specific. “And we do have antelope on the course, quite a few, to be honest,” acknowledges Kirk Wasson, professional and manager of the county-owned 27 holes. The course operates under the auspices of the Campbell County Parks and Recreation Department. Despite that Wyoming’s winter weather

cuts short the golfing season, Bell Nob averages about 25,000 rounds annually, a respectable number even for courses in warmer climates. “We’re officially open April 1 through Oct. 31, give or take a week on either side,” Wasson says. “Then we put the greens to bed and shut the water off to get the course winterized.” The 18-hole regulation course, built in 1981, features four tee boxes to ensure enjoyment by players of all skill levels. The yardage is 7,258 from the back tees,

with a course rating of 73.2 and a 123 slope. At first glance, golfers may underestimate Bell Nob. “It’s a very links-style golf course. We’re mainly fairway and sagebrush, and it’s very hilly,” Wasson says. While there’s water on a few holes, it’s the wind that can be deceptive. “We get a lot of wind out here because there are no trees, so there’s nothing to block anything,” he says, adding that Bell Nob is “one of the few courses in Wyoming” with large, undulating and fast greens. During 2008, 90 percent of the course’s bunkers were refurbished. According to Wasson, Bell Nob’s No. 6, which is a par 4, is the signature hole. “From the very back tee, you can see a lot of the entire golf course. In fact, you can see the knob, a big hill that looks like an oversized bell. Of course, that’s how we got our name, Bell Nob. It’s a beautiful hole.” Bell Nob golfers enjoy reasonable $35 green fees for 18 holes, or they may purchase a season pass for unlimited golf, not including carts or range balls. Pass prices range from $650 for a family to just $100 a year for a junior golfer. Because Bell Nob is the only 18-hole course in the Gillette area, it stays busy hosting corporate tournaments. Also at Bell Nob is a 9-hole, par 3 known as the Wee Links, which opened in 2005. “One of the reasons why we built the par-3 golf course is for kids, and it’s been very, very good,” Wasson says. The county’s recreation program organizes summer-long instructional activities for Gillette’s young linksters. Junior golfers play the Wee Links for $2 a round, or just $1 when they are playing with an adult. Another golfing option is the Gillette Golf Club, a 9-hole tract which opened in 1969. Lonnie Reed is the general manager and golf professional. – Sharon H. Fitzgerald

Golf is a popular activity from April through October in Gillette, where residents play at the city’s Bell Nob course.

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GILLETTE OPTOMETRIC CLINIC P.C. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. www.visionsource-gilletteopto.com

Providing Comprehensive Vision Care with the Latest Technology Offering Honest, Caring, Personalized Service t t t t t

Eye Exams for All Ages Vision Therapy Contact Lens Fittings Emergency Eye Problems Pre & Post Care for Cataract and LASIK Surgery

t t t t t

Safety Glasses Gift Certificates Infant Care Large Stock of Contacts One of the Largest Frame Selections in Wyoming

(307) 682-2020 t609 4-J Court WE ACCEPT: t.FEJDBSF t741 t.FEJDBJE t#$#4 R.L. Mills, O.D. R.L. Jordan, O.D., F.A.A.O.

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D.M. McDermott, O.D. J.C. Maycock, O.D.

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Arts & Culture

Showing Out on Stage GILLETTE COMMUNITY THEATRE TROUPE TAKES THE SHOW ON THE ROAD

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ocals have known about the Gillette Community Theatre Troupe for years, but who knew that the performers could be repackaged as an economic-development tool? Yes, in the world of tourism, theater plays an important role. In 2008 the troupe, which normally counts its audiences in the dozens, was asked to perform for 1,800 visitors in town for the Escapees RV Club’s Escapade event. “It was the first time that our melodrama show has truly gone on the road,” says Claudia Urlaub, president. “We normally do our shows in one venue, but for this we had to bring the entire set to the Cam-Plex Heritage Center from our original location, and then do two performances for 900 people each.” Not bad for a volunteer organization that counts on members for everything from building sets to costume design and repair, not to mention the myriad other chores that mounting a stage production requires. But with around 80 members, each with his or her own unique skill set, the show does go on. The troupe does four or five shows a year, one of which is the justifiably famous melodrama. That one requires a great deal of audience participation, up to and including boos, hisses and the throwing of popcorn. The latter wasn’t an option for the big show this time around, but the performers soldiered on nonetheless. “The melodrama is interactive so we encourage that sort of

thing, but there was no food allowed,” Urlaub says. “Still, they booed and hissed really well, and everyone seemed to have a good time.” So much so, in fact, that local convention and event planners are likely to ask the group to step up again when a big crowd needs to be entertained, which suits the players just fine. Whether it’s a school auditorium or a larger event center, even a reception area that wasn’t exactly designed with live theater in mind, it’s all about the show, and all about having fun. And, one day, a permanent home might even be in the offing. “We’d love to have a playhouse of some sort, something we could rent out for additional income or share with another organization,” Urlaub says. “That’s definitely in the longrange plan.” But for now, look for innovative programming, be it melodrama, mystery or comedy. A great example is the 2008 production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which relied upon the script used for the Muppets’ film adaptation. “It had the same lines and music, the same songs and attitude, but of course we did it with people,” Urlaub says. “We had a very successful run with it, and were received very well, so we’re going to keep throwing out some titles and work on some new, major productions.” – Joe Morris

The Gillette Community Theatre Troupe is a volunteer organization that performs up to five shows annually.

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STAFF PHOTO

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Credit Union with Friends and Family

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Community Profile

GILLETTE SNAPSHOT Campbell County was established in 1911. It is home to the cities of Gillette and Wright, along with the unincorporated communities of Recluse and Rozet. The county seat of Gillette is named for 1890s railroad surveyor Edward Gillette.

EDUCATIONAL OVERVIEW CLIMATE OVERVIEW Gillette and Campbell County offer year-round outdoor recreation. Hiking, biking, fishing and boating opportunities abound in the spring and summer months, and fall and winter bring snowmobiling, skiing and sledding.

10 F January Low Temperature

31 F

Gillette/Campbell County has an excellent public school system, several private schools and access to a branch of a four-year state university.

ARTS AND CULTURE Campbell County Rockpile Museum 900 W. Second St. (307) 682-5723 Powder River Symphony (307) 660-0919 www.prs.vcn.com

Science Center 525 W. Lakeway (307) 686-3821 CAM-PLEX Multi-Event Facilities 1635 Reata Drive (307) 682-0552 www.cam-plex.com

MEDICAL SERVICES OVERVIEW Residents of Gillette/Campbell County enjoy the services of many physicians in more than 20 specialties. Campbell County Memorial Hospital offers excellent hospital care with 78 beds.

January High Temperature

54 F

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July Low Temperature

85 F

imagesgillette.com

July High Temperature

More facts, stats and community information, including relocation tools and links to resources.

HOUSING

$222,870 Average Home Price

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visit our

advertisers Adecco www.adeccousa.com

DOInc.

Your Lubrication Expert Since 1977

Black Hills Power & Light Company www.blackhillscorp.com BW Insurance Agency www.bankofthewest.com Campbell County Economic Development Corporation www.gillettewyoming.com Campbell County Memorial Hospital www.ccmh.net Campbell County Parks & Recreation www.ccprd.com Campbell County Public Library www.ccpls.org Campbell County School District www.ccsd.k12.wy.us Campco Federal Credit Union www.campcofcu.com Cam-Plex Multi-Event Facilities www.cam-plex.com Century 21 Real Estate Associates www.wesellwy.com Coach America Crew Transport www.coachamerica.com

DO Oil Inc. is a locally owned and operated leader in lubrication marketing. Serving Northeast Wyoming’s diverse markets of: • Oil Production • Gas Operations • Coal Mining • Construction • Agriculture Visit us online at www.dooilco.com. 502 El Camino Rd. • Gillette, WY 82716 Phone: (307) 682-9049 • Toll-free: (877) 682-9049

Contractors Supply Inc. www.gillettecsi.com D.O. Inc. www.dooilco.com ERA Boardwalk Real Estate Inc. www.eraboardwalk.com Farmers Insurance – Susan Doop First National Bank of Gillette www.fnbgillette.com Gillette College www.sheridan.edu/gc Gillette Optometric Clinic www.visionsource-gilletteopto.com Gillette-Campbell County Airport www.iflygillette.com Hillcrest Auto Body Specialists Inc. L&H Industrial www.lnh.net Major Metal Service PCA Engineering Inc. www.pcaengsur.com Powder River Dental Associates www.powderriverdental.com Sand Creek Ranch/Foley www.foleygroupinfo.com SourceGas www.sourcegas.com

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South Fork Apartments www.southforkapts.com

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GILLETTE


Ad Index 39 A D ECCO 5 6 B L AC K H I L L S P OW E R & LI G H T CO M PA N Y C 2 BW I N S U R A N C E AG E N C Y 1 C A M P B E L L CO U N T Y ECO N O M I C D E V E LO P M E N T CO R P O R ATI O N 5 4 C A M P B E L L CO U N T Y M E M O R I A L H OS P ITA L

6 1 C A M P CO FE D E R A L C R E D IT U N I O N 5 6 C A M - P L E X M U LTI E V E N T FAC I LITI E S 41 C E N T U RY 2 1 R E A L E S TAT E A S S O C I AT E S 5 8 COAC H A M E R I C A C R E W T R A N S P O RT 5 1 CO N T R AC TO R S S U P P LY I N C . 6 4 D.O. I N C .

4 C A M P B E L L CO U N T Y PA R K S & R EC R E ATI O N

C 4 E R A B OA R DWA L K R E A L E S TAT E I N C .

5 3 C A M P B E L L CO U N T Y P U B LI C LI B R A RY

6 4 FA R M E R S I N S U R A N C E – S U SA N D O O P

C 3 C A M P B E L L CO U N T Y SCHOOL DISTRICT

6 FI R S T N ATI O N A L BA N K OF GILLETTE


Ad Index (cont.) 6 0 G I L L E T T E CO L L EG E 60 GILLETTE O P TO M E T R I C C LI N I C 6 0 G I L L E T T E- C A M P B E L L CO U N T Y A I R P O RT 5 3 H I L LC R E S T AU TO B O DY S P EC I A LI S TS I N C . 2 L&H INDUSTRIAL 4 0 M A J O R M E TA L S E RV I C E 9 PCA ENGINEERING INC . 8 P OW D E R R I V E R D E N TA L A S S O C I AT E S 1 2 SA N D C R E E K R A N C H / FO L E Y 5 8 SO U RC EGA S 52 S O U T H FO R K A PA RT M E N TS

questions answers

©2002 American Cancer Society, Inc.

8 0 0 . A C S . 2 3 4 5 / c a n c e r. o r g


Campbell County School District has been ranked in the top 15% of school districts nationwide by SchoolMatch.

Te a c h i n g E f f e c t i v e l y L E A R N I N G S U C C E S S F U L LY

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Campbell County’s REALTOR OF CHOICE

ERA BOARDWALK REAL ESTATE, INC.

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600 4-J Court Gillette, WY 82716 (307) 686-9200 era@eraboardwalk.com

www.eraboardwalk.com


Images Gillette-Campbell County, WY: 2009