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Sweetwater wyoming CoUnty Hot Spot

Sweetwater Events Complex is busy throughout the year

By Gorge, we’ve got it Flaming Gorge Rec Area attracts outdoor junkies

Broadway is Back Broadway Theater reopens after $1.4 million renovation

2013 | sponsored by Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce

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In 2007, Infinity designed and produced a VOC Flare Control System the InfiniFlareTM. This system enables the control and safeguard of vital production equipment. InfiniFlareTM control proves the system is up and running 24/7 by logging information, storing and making that data retrievable for up to 125 days. This application has met stringent DEQ requirements. Environmental testing of our system has shown qualified results making the InfiniFlareTM a leader in volatile organic carbon emission reduction. Also incorporated into the design is on-site emergency shut off and problem recognition, temperature logging of BTEX, Line Heaters and Dehydrators. Auto-ignition comes in the IgKnightorTM. Options include: automatic ignition, fuel availability and alarm telemetry. The concept of this design as with most Infinity Power & Control products is adaptability and versatility for multiple applications.


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anniversary issue

2013 edition volume 5

Sweetwater wyoming CoUnty

9 Welcome to Sweetwater County

An introduction to the community


Things to Do 12 Enjoy the Show Hot Spot

Sweetwater Events Complex is busy throughout the year

6 Outdoor Fun 1 By Gorge, We’ve Got It

Flaming Gorge Rec Area attracts outdoor junkies

20 Local Flavor Suit Your Taste 22 Arts & Culture Broadway is Back 5 Sports & Recreation 2 All-Access Pass

On The Cover The Broadway Theater Photo by Brian McCord

l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y



2013 edition

volume 5

Sweetwater County WYoming Editor | Mitch Kline Contributing Writers | Melanie Kilgore-Hill, John McBryde, Joe Morris, Chris Russell, Stephanie Vozza Content Coordinator | Jessica Walker Staff Writer | Kevin Litwin Proofreading Manager | Raven Petty Lead Designer | Kacey Passmore Senior Graphic Designers | Stacey Allis, Laura Gallagher, Kris Sexton, Jake Shores, Vikki Williams Graphic Designers | Erica Lampley, Kara Leiby, Creative Technology Analyst | Becca Ary Lead Photographer | Brian McCord Senior Photographers | Jeff Adkins, Staff Photographers | Todd Bennett, Michael Conti, Martin B. Cherry Color Imaging Technician | Alison Hunter Integrated Media Manager | Deshaun Goodrich Sales Support Project Manager | Sara Quint Ad Production Manager | Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants | Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan Web Project Manager | David Day, Jill Ridenour Web Development Lead | Yamel Hall Web Developer I | Nels Noseworthy Web Designer II | Richard Stevens Web Product Manager | John Hood Chairman | Greg Thurman President/Publisher | Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President | Ray Langen Senior V.P./Sales | Todd Potter Senior V.P./Client Development | Jeff Heefner Senior V.P./Operations | Casey Hester V.P./Sales | Jarek Swekosky V.P./Content Operations | Natasha Lorens Audience Development Director | Deanna Nelson Creative Services Director | Christina Carden Distribution Director | Gary Smith Photography Director | Jeffrey S. Otto Web Services Director | Allison Davis Controller | Chris Dudley Senior Accountant | Lisa Owens Accounts Payable Coordinator | Maria McFarland Accounts Receivable Coordinator | Diana Guzman IT Director | Daniel Cantrell Executive Secretary | Kristy Duncan Human Resources Manager | Peggy Blake Receptionist | Linda Bishop

Livability Sweetwater County, WY is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Rock Springs 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 email at For more information, contact: Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce 1897 Dewar Drive • Rock Springs, WY 82901 Phone: (307) 362-3771 • Fax: (307) 362-3838 Visit Livability Sweetwater County, WY online at ©Copyright 2012 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

The Association of Magazine Media Member

Custom Content Council

Member Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce




30 Workforce Young Again

4 Business Overview 5 Energy Boost

6 Working Here 5 Business is Booming

The county’s population gets younger

4 Education 3 Class in Session

Western Wyoming CC trains, educates

8 Health 3 To Your Health

Top industries point the way for jobs, growth

61 Chamber Letter Mastering the Website

63 Economic Profile

More medical services, better care

3 Health 4 Healthy Inside and Out 6 Education 4 Head of the Class

49 Community Profile 50 See the County: Living

All or part of this magazine is printed with soy ink on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste. Please recycle this magazine

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Green River we love having you here.® Complimentary, Full Hot Breakfast Complimentary Evening Dinner Reception Mon.-Thur. 5-7 p.m. Pool & Hot Tub • Fitness Center Complimentary High-Speed Internet Access Business Center • Meeting Rooms The Bar at Wild Horse Canyon on Premises

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Visit the website for more photos and stories about Sweetwater County and Rock Springs. Photos & Video

Sweetwater CoUnty wyoming hot spot

Sweetwater Events Complex is busy throughout the year

by gorge, we’ve got it Flaming Gorge Rec Area attracts outdoor junkies

FaCTS Get data fast on population, climate, workforce, cost of living and more.

Broadway is Back broadway theater reopens after $1.4 million renovation

2013 | sponsored by rock springs chamber of commerce

digital magazine Read it online or on your tablet and quickly share articles with friends.

Things to Do



Find the must-do attractions, activities and dining in Sweetwater County.

Learn about Sweetwater County’s schools, health care, education and neighborhoods.

Get info on top employers, jobs and success stories in Sweetwater County. Follow us @livability Like us at Follow us at l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


At A Glance

Sweetwater County, WY

Adventure Calls From kayaking on the Green River to hunting for fossils at what was Lake Gosiute, the opportunities for outdoor adventures are as vast as the views. Living in Sweetwater County puts you minutes away from trout streams, rock formations, hiking trails and a herd of rare desert elk. The Sweetwater Events Complex & Speedway features BMX, stock car and motocross racing, as well as venues for art shows, concerts, camping, fishing and picnics. Recreation centers provide activities for the whole family, and a collection of art galleries provides inspiration. Local restaurants serve up choice steaks, BBQ, fresh brewed beer and a variety of ethnic dishes. Economy is Sweet Opportunities for employment and education are ample in Sweetwater County. Coal and mineral mining remain a key piece of the job scene. Oil and natural gas production are another large component of the energy industry, which employs many residents. The county has seen a recent surge in entrepreneurs who have started a number of new businesses. Health care, education and retail sectors are all growing here. Read on to see why living in Sweetwater County is living the high life.

en Gre

Sweetwater County is the starting point for great adventures. It’s where John Wesley Powell launched an expedition that led him to the Grand Canyon. Today it’s where wild horses gallop across the horizon as the sun sets and ATV riders go full throttle up massive sand dunes. Located in the high desert, Sweetwater County offers high adventure, high art and higher education.


A quick, comprehensive overview of what’s great about the community


Farson Fontenelle





Superior Point of Rocks


Granger Little America


Creston Junction Wamsutter


Table Rock Bitter Creek

Rock Springs Green River 191






Flaming Gorge Res.



Sweetwater County

Location Sweetwater County is in southwest Wyoming, just north of the Wyoming, Utah and Colorado state lines.



Time zone Mountain

Distances to three major cities nearby Salt Lake City, 183 miles Casper, 226 miles Cheyenne, 256 miles

annual rainfall


National Average: 30”

For More Information

Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce 1897 Dewar Dr. P.O. Box 398 Rock Springs, WY 82902-0398 Phone: (307) 362-3771 Fax: (307) 362-3838

Fast Facts Fish weighing more than 50 pounds have been hauled out of Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

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Things To Do Sweetwater County’s must-do attractions, activities and dining

Walk on the Wild Side

Experience the glory days of the Wild West with a tour through Rock Springs’ Wild Horse Loop. Roughly 23 miles long, the loop offers visitors scenic views and the chance to spot a wild horse.



Recreation Center

Farmers Market

Trip Down Memory Lane

Make a Splash

Dive In

Farmers’ Finest

Residents get their fill of underwater fun with a trip to Expedition Island, located next to the Splash Park and Whitewater Park. The famous island sits in the middle of the Green River, offering easy access to tubing, whitewater rafting and the kidfriendly Splash Park.

Rock Springs residents cool off at the Aquatic Center, which is part of the Rock Springs Family Recreation Center. The facility’s aquatic area has both a leisure and lap pool, and offers a range of activities including swim lessons, water exercise and AquaZumba.

Pick up local produce at the Rock Springs Farmers Market. The market is held in downtown Rock Springs each summer from July to September and features only the freshest fruits and vegetables. Visitors will also find craft booths and local specialties.

Take a look back at Rock Springs’ past at the Rock Springs Museum. Housed in the original City Hall, the museum features rotating exhibits that highlight the city’s past, with an emphasis on its unique coal-mining and multicultural heritage.


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

Things To Do

Tee Off

Golf enthusiasts won’t want to miss Wyoming’s White Mountain course. The 27-hole championship course is one of the best public courses in the state, complete with a golf shop and full-service restaurant.





Take a Hike

Standout Stand-Up

A Walk in the Park

Drink Up

It’s easy to spend hours at the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, but if you’re crunched for time, you won’t want to miss the Firehole Canyon or the Red Canyon Overlook, two of the most scenic spots at the Gorge. Each draws big crowds.

Sit back and enjoy the laughs at Johnny Mac’s Good Time Tavern in Rock Springs. Every Wednesday, the bar hosts a comedy night featuring stand-up routines from various acts. Shows start at 8 p.m., and tickets and reservations are available in advance.

Rock Springs’ oldest park still draws big crowds, thanks to a slew of outdoor activities. Located downtown, Bunning Park hosts Sweetwater County’s Concert in the Park series and features a gazebo and walking paths.

OT Sports Bar in Green River, just a short drive away from Rock Springs, is a favorite local hangout and eatery. Whether enjoying the latest big game or throwing back a beer, it can be counted on for top-notch food and entertainment.

l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


Things To Do

Sweetwater Events Complex 3320 Yellowstone Road Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 352-6789


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y


Spot Events complex is busy year round


osting the National High School Finals Rodeo brought 1,700 competitors and an estimated $10 million to Sweetwater County. The rodeo, considered the world’s largest, is coming back here in 2013, 2014 and 2015. It’s just one of the events that has settled into the Sweetwater Events Complex, which provides year-round entertainment to residents.

Motocross racing at Sweetwater Events Complex

l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


Sweetwater Events Complex

on st w llo Ye d. e R

. Dr nal S ig


The Sweetwater Events Complex is busy year round.

“The entire 2012 calendar year at the Complex was busy, with the High School Finals Rodeo in July being the largest activity,” says Sweetwater Events Complex Director Larry Lloyd. “It took us most of the winter to prepare for that seven-day extravaganza. Participants came from as far away as Hawaii, and some even flew in from Australia.” Lloyd says that besides that particular rodeo, the Complex hosts numerous competitions and activities, and welcomes 250,000 people each year. “This place basically never closes,” he says. “It’s perfect for planning a vacation, with 1,200 new camp sites, new horse stalls, multiple arenas and more grandstands than ever before. We also have exhibit halls and banquet halls for hosting large or small dinners.”

The Sweetwater Events Complex hosted the 2012 National High School Rodeo and will host it again in 2013.

The Big Show The Complex also welcomes an annual three-day Red Desert Roundup Rodeo and a three-day Mountain States Circuit Finals Rodeo, which are both sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. In addition, there is pari-mutuel horse racing for four days in August and September, plus motorsports events such as stock car racing and a demolition derby. “We also serve as host site for an annual Wyoming’s Big Show, which is our county’s fair that occurs in late July and early August,” Lloyd says. “The Big Show features the usual carnival rides and baking competitions and 4-H competitions, plus we attract major concert acts. This fair serves as a fundraiser for many charitable organizations throughout the Sweetwater County region.”

Anyone, Anytime Lloyd says even though the Sweetwater Events Complex is known for its tourism impact and its ability to draw large events, the facility is just as important to individual residents who want to access it at all hours of the day and night. “The Complex has welcomed everything from President Clinton speaking here to hosting refrigerated dessert contests,” says Joanne Zotti, a Rock Springs resident whose family visits the facility often. “I booked one of their rooms for my son’s rodeo-themed fifth birthday party, while my daughter won two ribbons and $50 for a coconut pie she baked for the fair. Sweetwater Events Complex is important – it greatly adds to the quality of life and what we enjoy about this part of Wyoming.”  by Kevin Litwin l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


Things To Do

Flaming Gorge Located in Ashley National Forest, Red Canyon Visitor Center overlooks the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

By Gorge,

We’ve Got It Flaming Gorge attracts outdoor junkies


ometimes Congress gets it right. Need an example? The Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area was established in 1968 and has been drawing in anglers and aquatic enthusiasts ever since. With more than 200,000 acres of land and water, there’s plenty of room for everyone, so locals don’t mind when new folks come to visit and get in on the fun. Most spend some time at the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, which has three fullservice marinas for houseboats and other aquatic craft. The reservoir is also the spot for Flaming Gorge’s famous lake trout. Several 30-plus-pounders are caught every year, and the record (for now) is 51 pounds, 8 ounces. Rainbow and brown trout also are plentiful, as well as kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass.

Cedar Springs, Lucerne and Buckboard Marinas Have It All Before exploring a place as big as Flaming Gorge, it’s wise to have a base of operations. Many use the Cedar Springs, Buckboard and Lucerne Valley marinas for that purpose, and it’s easy to see why. Cedar Springs is two miles from the dam, and from its secluded cove offers slip rental, shore power, fresh water, gasoline, accessories and boat rentals, as well as guided fishing and lake tours. It’s also home to The Snag Bar & Grill, so you can fill your stomach with classic American

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1 19 WY H

Flaming Gorge Reservoir 44 HWY


Cedar Springs Marina

Red Canyon Visitor Center

44 HWY

Flaming Gorge Resort

Red Canyon Lodge

The 13-mile Sheep Cre ek Geologic Loop goes through the Sheep Creep National Geolo gic Area.

Flaming gorge resort offers fly fishing, river rafting and more.

Lucerne Valley Marina on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

dishes, such as hamburgers and onion rings, while you’re topping off the boat’s tank. The floating, open-air hangout is popular with locals and visitors alike, and also offers a full bar. The Lucerne Valley Marina pulls in a third of Flaming Gorge Reservoir’s visitor traffic, in no small part thanks to its boat rentals and other services, as well as its many campgrounds. The marina also offers floating cabins, which are tied up on a private dock next to the shoreline. In addition, Lucerne Valley can handle your mealtime needs, with the Lucerne Lakeside Grill that overlooks the marina. The restaurant includes a menu of sandwiches, wraps, salads, fish and chips, and more, as well as dessert items such as ice cream cones, sundaes and milk shakes.

Scenic Views

People enjoy RV camping on the lake shore at the Flaming Gorge Reservoir near Lucerne Valley Marina in Utah.

Red Canyon Lodge Makes Magic Memories Many people are lured back year after year by the Flaming Gorge’s many activities, both on land and water, and just as many come back because they’ve fallen in love with the Red Canyon Lodge, a resort in the Dutch John area offering fine dining, a private lake, horseback riding and more. The year-round facility’s luxury log cabins are a home away from home for many people, says owner Mark Wilson, and so they keep coming back for more. “Our focus is handcrafted logcabin lodging, but we’ve also got a little finer dining than you might expect out in the middle of nowhere,” Wilson says. “We have a lot of on-site recreation and private lakes wellstocked with a variety of trout, and so we like to say that we’re the

civilized way to enjoy the great outdoors.” Whether you’re roughing it or camping out in style, Flaming Gorge offers plenty of options, another reason why it brings in visitors from around the country, and even around the world.  by Joe Morris  by staff photographer Brian McCord THINGS TO


GORGE Located in Ashley National Forest, Red Canyon Campgrou nd overlooks the Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

By Gorge,

We’ve Got It






“We have a lot of on-site recreation and private lakes well-stocked with a variety of trout, and so we like to say that we’re the civilized way to enjoy the great outdoors!” Mark Wilson, Owner of Red Canyon Lodge


ometimes Congre

Flaming Gorge ss gets it right. Need an example? National Recreat established The ion aquatic enthusi in 1968 and has been Area was drawing in asts ever since. anglers and


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With more than and water, there’s 200,000 acres of land plenty of room CEDAR SPRINGS, everyone, so for LUCERNE locals don’t MARINAS mind when folks come HAVE IT ALL new to visit and get in on the Before exploring Most spend fun. some a place as big Flaming Gorge, Gorge Reservoir, time at the Flaming as it’s wise to operations. service marinas which has five fullMany use the have a base of for houseboat Cedar Springs and Lucerne aquatic craft. Valley marinas The reservoir s and other purpose, and for that for Flaming is also the spot it’s easy to see Gorge’s why. Cedar Springs Several 30-plus-po famous lake trout. is two miles unders are from the year, and the caught every dam, and from its secluded record rental, shore cove offers 8 ounces. Rainbow (for now) is 51 pounds, slip power, fresh water, gasoline, and brown accessories are plentiful, trout and also boat as rentals, as guided fishing and smallmout well as kokanee salmon and lake tours. well as h bass. home to The It’s also Snag fill your stomach Bar & Grill, so you can with classic American

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digital magazine Read it online or on your tablet and quickly share articles with friends. l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


Things To Do: Local Flavor

Suit Your Taste

Many tasty fares await visitors to Sweetwater In Sweetwater County, the number of dining options is, in a word, diverse. It starts with a popular destination in an unlikely place. By Chris Russell Café

Yogurt Shop

Popular Restaurant in Local Hospital

sweet treats

“The café at Memorial Hospital is different than a normal hospital café in that we do actual exhibition cooking/carving stations in the dining room,” says Executive Chef and Director of Nutrition Allen Blankenship. Tuesdays usually involve meat or poultry at the carving station, while pastas or fajitas are at the action station on Thursday. “We also do any and all outside caterings and in-house caterings/meetings. And from the same kitchen, we also serve our patients from a room-service style menu,” Blankenship says.

That Yogurt Place in Rock Springs is locally owned and operated and offers not only delicious frozen yogurt, but its health benefits as well – though visitors can add plenty of candy and cookie toppings if they like. Donut Shop

get em’ while they’re hot Plenty of rants and raves are made about Rock Springs’ Cowboy Donuts, where fresh donuts and kolaches are made from scratch each day. The shop will be seen on the Food Network’s Donut Wars. Restaurants

Top-notch dining choices For lunch or dinner, Sweetwater residents can visit Remedies Grill and the locally owned Santa Fe Southwest Grill, which serves rare and tasty dishes, such as stuffed sopapillas and Navajo tacos, and $2 margaritas during the restaurant’s happy hour. For a change of cuisine pace, hungry patrons can head to Siam King, which serves hefty portions of Japanese and Thai fare. Mexican Grill

made-from-scratch meals


The 9 Iron Grill brings an Italian taste to the White Mountain Golf Course with a stunning view of trees, a stream, pond and the course’s driving range. No club membership is needed to feast on the variety of pastas, pizzas, steaks, salads and sandwiches.


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

Café Rio, a regional chain whose sole Wyoming location rests in Sweetwater County, makes every meal a masterpiece with USDA beef and pork, along with green chiles from Mexico. The restaurant also offers a variety of dessert options such as coconut caramel flan and fresh key lime pie.


CatCh the hometown spirit!

eat local No county or small town is complete without food that captures its spirit. Sweetwater County has that covered as well Grub’s Drive-In has been a community fixture since 1946. Popular among its diners are the shamrock burger, extra-thick milkshakes and “Nutritionally Incorrect Diner” T-shirts.

“Small town restaurant... big burgers. That pretty much describes Broadway Burger Station. Don’t mess with the chain burgers by the freeway. Take a few more minutes and swing off the freeway and [go] downtown to enjoy the retro tastiness at Broadway Burger.” Adam G, Restaurants

Green river eateries Just a few miles over in Green River lies Krazy Moose and Arctic Circle. Located in the same building as the Red Feather Bar, Krazy Moose offers weekly specials such as stuffed peppers filled with ground beef, corn and tomatoes topped with a cheddar cheese sauce, and smoked salmon pasta. Arctic Circle heats things up with Black Angus burgers, halibut, fries and chicken, along with their famous above-the-rim milkshakes and malts.

Green River Basin Federal Credit Union was founded in 1967. We are Southwest Wyoming’s community credit union serving Sweetwater, Uinta, Sublette and Lincoln counties. Serving you ToDAY, ToMorroW – throughout life’s milestones.

Southwest Wyoming’s Community Credit Union Green river 131 E. Railroad Ave. • (307) 875-3044

rock SprinGS 301 2nd St. • (307) 382-4321

active realty 367 e. Flaming Gorge Way • Green river, Wy 82935 Jeannie earhart Broker/Owner

tina Mulinix, realtor Sales Associate

anne Winders, realtor Broker Associate

307-870-5037 jearhart@

307-707-8226 tmulinix@

307-871-9617 annewinders@

Selling real estate for more than 40 years and keeping you our #1 priority

Check out more tasty restaurants and eateries in Sweetwater County at sweetwater-county.

l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


Things To Do: arts & culture

Culture Club

Art, culture and spirit await in Sweetwater County Thanks to an abundance of live performances, fun festivals and artsy attractions, Sweetwater County’s cultural scene is varied and thriving. It’s also ever-changing and evolving; in April 2012, the 370-seat Broadway Theater reopened after a $1.4 million renovation. By Chris Russell Live Performances


Community College Theater

International flavor

The theater program at Western Wyoming Community College is known for professional, award-winning productions in dance, theater and musical theater. The program provides students with first-class performance and technical instruction while maintaining small class sizes to ensure each student receives individual attention. Past productions that WWCC students have performed in include The Diary of Anne Frank, Bells Are Ringing, A Murder is Announced and more. WWCC’s Green River Center houses the John Wesley Powell performance hall, which can seat as many as 135 people and has its own audio and video equipment.

At International Day at Rock Spring’s Bunning Park, visitors get a taste of the region’s rich heritage and history. The city of Rock Springs is nicknamed the “Home of 56 Nationalities” and offers this free event where guests can enjoy exotic foods as well as local, regional and international entertainment.

The Broadway Theater, located in Rock Springs’ historic downtown area, is now open for business and showcases live performances. In addition, the venue can be rented for parties or special events.


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y


ART CENTERS, galleries At the Rock Springs Fine Arts Center, guests enjoy paintings, sculptures, photographs, crafts and more from artists all around the country. Lectures, workshops, demonstrations and a special “ArtCamp” means there is something offered for all ages. The area also features the High Desert Art Gallery and Local Color, the largest artist-owned gallery in the state, which includes everything from pottery and paintings to photographs, and gift baskets are available for purchase.


Located in Rock Spring

s, Local in the area.

Color is a top attraction

Festivals and Events

Fun FUNCTIONS Those looking for festivals can saddle up to the Blues n’ Brews Festival with its top-shelf microbrews and live blues music, and can also check out nearby Green River’s River Festival, which includes duck races, a kayak rodeo, food and free games for kids. For those wanting to enjoy a concert, Flaming Gorge Days at Expedition Island Park will be music to their ears, having featured such names as Brett Michaels, Ted Nugent, Night Ranger, and some of the biggest acts in country music. Since no trip to the Midwest is complete without a rodeo, Sweetwater County has that area covered with Wyoming’s Big Show and the Red Desert Roundup Rodeo.

It’s time to make a trip to White Mountain Mall for the best in shopping, entertainment and dining! Shop at one of our many retailers including Herberger’s, jcpenney, rue21, maurices, Samuel’s Diamonds, Famous Footwear, Pro Image Sports and many more! After you’re done shopping, watch the latest hit movie at our 10-screen, all stadium seating theater, or take in a meal at Applebee’s. 2441 Foothill Blvd. • Rock Springs, WY 82901 • (307) 382-9680

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Things To Do: sports & recreation

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

For fishing, bighorn sheep sightings and more, head to the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. Comprising more than 200,000 acres, the destination is ideal for outdoor lovers with camping, hiking, boating and jet skiing. Whether you have an entire week or just a weekend to explore, there’s plenty to see and do.

All-Access Pass

Public Lands are sportsman’s paradise in Sweetwater County The Bureau of Land Management controls 75 percent of the land in Sweetwater County, but that doesn’t mean that property’s walled off and unusable. In fact, it’s just the opposite. By Joe Morris Shoot Straight

“We have a lot of opportunities on our public lands for enjoyment...People really take advantage of all that we have to offer on the public lands, and whether it’s hunting or fishing, or just hiking, the usage continues to go up.” Lance Porter, field manager

Sweetwater Trap Club At the Sweetwater Trap Club, clay shooting’s the name of the game. With instruction available onsite, the facility has nine trap houses for five-stand clay shooting sports, as well as a 2,400-square-foot clubhouse. There are 40 electrical hookups for RVs at the club, which hosted the national finals for the High School Rodeo trap shooting contest in 2012, and also hosted five Amateur Trapshooting Association events. Walk in the Pioneers’ Shoes

See Sweetwater’s Wild Horses

Historic Migration Trails Draw Traffic

Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop Tour

Many visitors to the area are drawn by the Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, Pony Express and other western migration trails. With wagon ruts still visible, it’s easy to mentally and physically march along in the footsteps of those early pioneers. Sweetwater County has more miles of still-visible pioneer trails than any other area in the United States.

It wouldn’t be the West without horses, and Sweetwater County doesn’t disappoint here, either. The self-guided Scenic Loop Tour, which requires a 4WD vehicle, starts in Rock Springs or Green River and will take you through the countryside and up close to the area’s wild horses, from near the city all the way across the top of White Mountain. l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


things to do: see the county

Enjoy the View

The top of White Mountain in Green River is home to hundreds of wild horses and offers beautiful views of Sweetwater County and the surrounding area. See more photos that showcase Sweetwater County’s unique offerings at


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

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living Schools, health care, education and neighborhoods in Sweetwater County


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

Outdoor Activities

A family enjoys a rafting trip on the Green River in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The river is also ideal for fishing as it is home to a large population of trout, with as many as 20,000 trout per mile in the river’s upper sections. Those who cast in a line could pull out a trout as heavy as 40 pounds.

See more photos that showcase Sweetwater County’s unique offerings at

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Lyndon, J.T. and Dylan Schmidt create a graphic print at Unique Signs & Designs, which they opened in 2011.



The County’s population gets younger


weetwater County is looking pretty young these days. In less than 10 years, the average age of its residents has dropped from 47 to 32.7. “That’s a dramatic shift in a short amount of time,” says Dave Hanks, director of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce. “The national average age is 35.7. We used to be an older community, but in recent years that’s changed.” 30

S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

Retirement Influence The largest factor is the retirement of the area’s aging workforce, many of which work for area mining and extracting industries. “A lot of people working at those plants came here in the 1970s and early 1980s,” Hanks says. “They were in their early 20s and have worked for 30 to 35 years. Now they’re retiring and up to 40 percent of the workforce is turning over. Their jobs are being filled by people 35 and younger. The huge influx we saw in the 1970s and 1980s, we’re seeing again.” According to 2010 U.S. Census data, the population in Sweetwater County grew by 16.5 percent, which was among the top five growing counties in Wyoming. The large swell in the population has

New Life

impacted area schools, health and safety services and recreational opportunities. Growth in Major Industires Enrollment in area schools has increased during the last eight years; the previous 12 years saw a decline in student enrollment. Five different construction projects on schools have taken place including the addition of three new elementary schools and two school expansions and remodels. During the 20112012 school year, 55 new teachers were hired due to expanding classrooms and teacher retirement. The hospital is also being impacted, especially in the maternity ward. In the past, 200 to 300 babies would be born in the county each year. In 2011, 857 babies were born.

A baby is born in the maternity ward at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County in Rock Springs.

The Village at Silver Ridge

Cozy Living With an occupancy rate of 97 percent, apartment living in Rock Springs is a popular choice. Offering affordability and low maintenance, two area complexes provide comfortable, contemporary living. The Village at Silver Ridge opened in 2009 and has 264 units in 11 buildings. Amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, playground, barbecue area, swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Units feature nine-foot ceilings, balconies, pine cabinets with crown molding, walk-in closets and storage space. “We attract a mix of people,” says Krista Anson, property manager for the Village at Silver Ridge. “Old and young, college students: we have a diverse group of residents.” Just over a mile away, The Preserve at Rock Springs opened in 2010 and offers 184 units. Amenities include a clubhouse, fitness center, business center, conference room, spa, hot tub, swimming pool and barbecue area. Units feature private patios and balconies, built-in bookshelves, brushed nickel hardware and fixtures, nine-foot ceilings and fireplaces. “We have several residents who sold their own home because they don’t want to deal with that kind of headache,” says Tim Creek, property manager for The Preserve at Rock Springs. “They want to be taken care of, and that’s what we do.”

 by Stephanie Vozza

l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


cruel jack’s 8 Purple Sage Rd. Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 382-2321

Sun.-Thur. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. 2518 Foothills blvd. Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 382-2053

Hanks says a lot of people who grew up in Sweetwater County and moved away after graduating from college in the late 1990s and mid2000s are moving back because they like the area. One example is Dylan Schmidt, who grew up in Rock Springs but moved to Des Moines, Iowa, with his family. When the housing market there crashed, he moved back to Rock Springs to work at Unique Signs & Designs as a designer. “Rock Springs has grown a lot,” he says. “To see a Starbucks in town was great! I’m glad I gave it a second chance.” In addition to Starbucks, other stores are being drawn to the area’s

changing demographic. Retail chains, especially those that cater to infants, toddlers and preteens, are coming. For adults, cuttingedge clothing stores, such as Trendy X Change, are opening. And a wider variety of products geared to the younger market, such as electronics, can be found throughout the county at discount prices. “The area is changing dramatically,” Hanks says. “Opportunities are here that didn’t exist before.”  by Stephanie Vozza  by staff photographer Brian McCord

Starbucks Coffee in Rock Springs

Young Entrepreneurs Thrive Here A young population can bring fresh ideas to old businesses, and in Sweetwater County, residents have seen growth in businesses being opened by young entrepreneurs. Just take a look at Cowboy Donuts, which was opened by Derek Johnson in March of 2011. Growing up in nearby Green River, Johnson had an opportunity to move to Rock Springs after graduating from college with a degree in business management.

“I knew I wanted to open a business, but I wasn’t sure what,” Johnson says. “My goal was to open a car dealership, but we saw the need for a bakery or fresh doughnut shop. Rock Springs is a very special place, and it was underserved in that area.” After learning the doughnut business from experts in Texas, Johnson opened Cowboy Donuts, which is quickly becoming known for its hand-chopped apple fritters. A year and a half later, he’s ready

to open another location and preparing to be seen on the Food Network’s Donut Wars. “I found there is a lot of support for entrepreneurs in Wyoming, from writing a business plan to sourcing funding,” he says. “We’re currently working on getting our infrastructure set up to scale stores for different locations.” Brothers JT and Lyndon Schmidt also found Sweetwater a welcoming area for young entrepreneurs. With a third partner, Jeremy Newman, they opened Unique Signs & Designs in 2011. “Sweetwater County is the perfect location for our business,” says Lyndon Schmidt. “We have the opportunity to work with industry such as mines and the oilfield. It can be hard to get your foot in the door with these companies. We also offer products and services that others don’t.” The brothers breathed new life into this field after working for a competitor. “We saw an opportunity to serve the area by doing things our way,” Schmidt says. l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y




S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y


Western Wyoming Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The college is one of approximately 200 institutions that participate in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) with the Higher Learning Center.

Class in

Session Western Wyoming CC trains, educates


picture may be worth a thousand words, but real equipment is invaluable when it comes to training employees to work in the Sweetwater County extraction industry.

That’s one way a manager at Halliburton assesses the value of Western Wyoming Community College (WWCC), a two-year school in Rock Springs that is a major workforce provider and trainer for oil, natural gas, coal, trona and other industries found throughout southwestern Wyoming. In a partnership with the community college, Halliburton’s Rock Springs facility provides equipment that the school can use to train the company’s employees. It gives them true hands-on experience. “Our employees can actually utilize the equipment they’ll see on a worksite,” plant manager Brian Carty says, “versus just seeing pictures and drawings of it. It has worked out very well.” Halliburton, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry. Its Rock Springs plant has approximately 850 employees and performs product enhancement, l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


College Dr. D op llt Hi

Western Wyoming Community College


Skyline Dr.

“Our employees can actually utilize the equipment they’ll see on a worksite versus just seeing pictures and drawings of it. It has worked out very well.” Brian Carty, Halliburton’s Rock Springs Plant Manager

Cr est Dr .

approximately 4,053 students are currently enrolled at Western Wyoming Community College.

cementing, completion tools and other functions. “They actually provide our onboarding training and development for our new employees,” Carty says of WWCC. “It’s basically a safety-orientation course where they provide more of a hands-on approach in getting employees adjusted to industry standards.”

Testing at Western Wyoming Community College


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

Real-World Training WWCC partnered with 17 oil and gas companies to build a well-site facility on campus that provides real-world training to the companies’ current and future employees. It has more recently added a 7,500-square-foot training facility that holds a five-ton crane to move various equipment and includes a 1,000-foot-deep hole for teaching specific down-hole training techniques. Founded in 1959, WWCC had its main thrust as a feeder for the area’s major industries in the mid-1980s. “That was when the college made the strongest commitment to

accommodate industry training, by building a training facility,” says Karla Leach, who has served as the school’s president since 2008. Among the many programs and courses offered at WWCC are welding, industrial maintenance, diesel mechanic compression technology, oil field training, OSHA safety topics and mine safety. Professional development classes and computer workshops are also available. “We work with all advisor committees, and they come directly out of our industry partners,” Leach says. “We work with them to develop curriculum that’s specifically targeted to preparing them with a skilled workforce.” A Natural (Gas) Fit Recently, WWCC has become a center of study for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. “It’s actually an alternative fuels program, and it’s doing really well,” Leach says. “One of our industry partners said they would convert a vehicle for us if we’d start doing the training. One of their missing pieces is having their mechanics trained to service CNG vehicles.” Many students who go through the two-year program at WWCC can find high-paying jobs at industries in the area. As a result, Leach says, enrollment has significantly increased in recent years. “We continue to see our enrollments grow because these industries must have a trained workforce,” she says. “We’re only as good as our partners and the partnership that we build together, so it’s very important that we’re building a skilled community for the benefit of everybody.”  by John McBryde  by staff photographer Brian McCord

Check out more fun things to do in Sweetwater County at sweetwater-county.

Mike McGovern Mountain West Storage (307) 382-STOR (7867) 87 Gookin-White Mountain Rd. Rock Springs, WY 82901

• New State-of-the-Art Buildings • Conveniently Located Near I-80 and Foothill Blvd. behind Home Depot • Electronically Controlled 24-Hour Access Gate • Complete Fenced and Paved Facility • Online Billing and Payment Options • 186 Indoor Units, 5’x10’ to 12’x30’ • 46 Outdoor R.V. Storage Spaces • Locally Owned and Operated

Vaughn’s Plumbing and Heating was founded in 1963 on the basis of providing the highest quality work to residents in Sweetwater County. We have grown from a one-man shop to the leading mechanical contracting and service company in Southwest Wyoming. As a family-owned company, we believe in dependable service and doing the job right the first time – that’s our tradition.

1130 SignAl dr. • roCk SPringS, WY • (307) 362-7550 WWW.VPHWYo.Com

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To Your

Health more medical services, better care


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County Contact Info: 1200 College Dr. Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 362-3711


emorial Hospital of Sweetwater County is bringing big-city care to southwest Wyoming. On the heels of a $55 million renovation completed in 2010, Memorial Hospital has embarked on a second major expansion that will bring more specialized services and highly trained physicians to Sweetwater County. More Space for Specialized Care In 2012, the 99-bed hospital broke ground on an 80,000-square-foot, $16 million medical office building conveniently attached to the hospital. Memorial Hospital CEO Gerald Klein says the project will consolidate physicians and services under one roof. “From the consumer perspective, the building is attached to the hospital, which makes it a one-stop shop for health care,” Klein says. “In addition to having a place for physician offices, we’ll also be able to expand existing services that are now housed off campus.” Slated for completion in 2013, Memorial’s medical office building will house expanding renal dialysis services and a cardiopulmonary rehab unit – a well-utilized service adopted by Memorial Hospital in 2011. Physical and occupational therapy and cardiac rehab also will relocate, along with several other services.

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Staff members help a patient at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County in Rock Springs.

Expanding Cancer Services Most notably, the space will allow for the addition of a cancer treatment center, designed by the Huntsman Cancer Institute and developed in collaboration with the University of Utah Hospital. In September 2012, Memorial Hospital became an affiliate of the University of Utah, allowing Memorial Hospital to broaden its services while continuing to offer the same cutting-edge care in Rock Springs. “This partnership gives us the opportunity to access everything from the design of the Huntsman Cancer Center to assistance with buying equipment and expertise on policy,” Klein says. “We’ll have the same quality cancer center they have in Salt Lake City, right here in Rock Springs.” Comprehensive Medical Care Memorial Hospital also recently welcomed a pulmonologist and nephrologist, and is making plans to add additional highly skilled specialists to its Sweetwater County medical staff. Accredited by The Joint Commission, Memorial Hospital also includes inpatient and outpatient surgery; intensive care; an emergency department; a full-service

laboratory; a sleep disorder laboratory; and a medical imaging department offering MRI, ultrasound and mammography, as well as a 64-slice CT scanner. In addition, Memorial Hospital houses a modern labor and delivery unit, which welcomes approximately 500 babies each year. It’s no wonder Memorial Hospital is the health-care choice for some 20,000 emergency room patients and nearly 3,000 in- and outpatient visitors annually. In 2011, Rock Springs paramedic Ron Gatti became a hospital patient after experiencing sudden, severe pain. Gatti, a partner of Sweetwater Medics, says the hospital’s staff members persevered in diagnosing his condition, which resulted in gall bladder surgery. “From the emergency department to the nurses and doctors, everybody that took care of me was just amazing,” Gatti says. “I woke up in the recovery room and felt better than I had in months. I’ve written letters to the local editor about the quality of care I received, and I tell everyone I know about Memorial Hospital.”

“This partnership gives us the opportunity to access everything from the design of the Huntsman Cancer Center to assistance with buying equipment and expertise on policy.” Gerald Klein, CEO of Memorial Hospital


To Your





Memorial Hospita l of Sweetwater County CONTACT:

1200 College Dr. Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 362-3711 (307) 875-7730


emorial Hospita l of Sweetwa County is bringing ter southwest Wyomin big-city care to $55 million renovati g. On the heels Memorial Hospita on completed in 2010, of a major expansio l has embarked on a second n that will bring specialized services more and highly physicians to Sweetwater County.trained




MORE SPACE FOR SPECIALIZ ED CARE In 2012, the 99-bed 80,000-square-foot, hospital broke ground on an $16 million conveniently attached to the medical office building CEO Gerald Klein says the hospital. Memorial Hospital project will consolidate physicians and services “From the consumer under one roof. perspective, to the hospital, the building which makes is attached care,” Klein says. it a one-stop shop for health “In addition offices, we’ll also be able to to having a place for physician expand existing now housed off campus.” services that are Slated for completion in 2013, Memorial’s building will house cardiopulmonary expanding renal dialysis medical office services rehab and a adopted by Memorial unit – a well-utilized service Hospital in 2011. occupational Physical and therapy along with several and cardiac rehab also will relocate, other services. L I VA B I L I T

digital magazine




Read it online or on your tablet and quickly share articles with friends.

 by Melanie Kilgore-Hill  by staff photographer

Brian McCord

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1200 College Dr. Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 362-3711 (307) 875-7730 CLINICAL: • Bio- Medical Engineering • Cardiac Rehabilitation • Central Sterile • Cardiopulmonary/ Respiratory - Respiratory Therapy - Sleep Disorder Lab - Stress Testing • Dialysis • Emergency Department • Infection Prevention - Employee Health • Intensive Care Unit • Laboratory - Blood Bank - Histology/Cytology - Microbiology • Medical Clinic • Medical Imaging - Breast MRI - CAT Scan - DEXA – Bone Mineral Densitometry - Digital Mammography - MRI - Nuclear Medicine - PET Scan - Stereotactic Breast Biopsy

- Ultrasound • Medical/Surgical Unit • Obstetrics - Labor & Delivery - Nursery - Post- Partum • Oncology Unit • Pharmacy • Pulmonary Rehabilitation • Quality & Accreditation - Quality & Safety • Rehabilitation Services - Occupational Therapy - Physical Therapy - Speech Therapy • Surgical Services - Endoscopy Suites - Recovery Room - Same Day - Surgery Suites

• • • • •

NON-CLINICAL: • Administration • Admitting • Central Supply • Communications • Community Partnership • Education

SURGERY & SPECIALTIES • Adult Primary Care • Allergy

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Emergency Management Fiscal Services Foundation H.I.M./Medical Records Housekeeping/Laundry & Linen Human Resources Information Services Maintenance Marketing & Public Relations Materials Management Medical Staff Services Nutrition Services Patient Financial Services Physician Recruitment Services Security Social Services Volunteer Services

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Audiology Cardiology Emergency Medicine Family Practice General Surgery Internal Medicine Medical Imaging/ Radiology Nephrology OB/GYN Oncology - Hematology - Radiology Orthopedics Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat) Pathology Pediatrics Plastic Surgery Podiatry Psychiatrics Pulmonology Urology

When your family needs health care, we are your local, multispecialty clinic. Call to schedule your appointment today at (307) 352-8125.

Adult Primary Care • Anesthesiology ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) Family Practice • General Surgery Hematology/Oncology Internal Medicine • Nephrology Pediatrics • Psychiatry Pulmonology/Critical Care 1204 Hilltop Dr. • Suites 107-109 Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 352-8125

LIVING: Health

Healthy Inside and Out

Sweetwater County provides services for both mind and body From Alzheimer’s care to cancer support to yoga and massage, health-care services in Sweetwater County are broad and far-reaching. By Melanie Kilgore-Hill


Relaxation, Rejuvenation

Founded by wellness and awareness coach Lorna Lange, M.S., Synergy Fitness and Wellness provides a respite for semi-private and one-on-one personal training, meditation and yoga instruction. A Metabolic Typing advisor, Lange also helps clients develop healthy eating programs. “It’s a delight to help people create physical and mental well being to enjoy their lives more,” says Lange, a certified personal trainer and yoga instructor. “The body is a portal to having a happier life and being able to serve others better.” Also located in Synergy’s downtown Rock Springs office is Absolute Bodyworks Therapeutic Massage, specializing in deep tissue, Swedish relaxation, injury recovery, hot stone, Hawaiian, and pregnancy and infant massage.

Escape Day Spa & Boutique Escape Day Spa & Boutique is another destination for relaxation in Rock Springs. Services include massage, skin care and facials, makeup and permanent cosmetics, hair removal, salon services, sunless tanning and spa treatments. Hand and foot care and spa packages also are available. Fundraiser

Cowboys Against Cancer Helping locally in the fight against cancer is Sweetwater County’s Cowboys Against Cancer®. Established in 1994, the non-profit volunteer organization raises funds for area residents diagnosed with cancer and assists in development of cancer treatment facilities in Sweetwater County. Corporate sponsorships and an annual fundraiser raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year for cancer treatment.

“I was in Memorial Hospital four times in the last two years – two planned, two unplanned. I absolutely received great care all four times.” Mike Yedinak Sweetwater county resident l i va b i l i t y. c o m / s w e e t wat e r- c o u n t y


24-hour access, Seven days a week, 365 days a year Free weights | Cardio theater | Private showers 24-hour tanning available | Air conditioned Personal training | Towel service | Magazines

2441 Foothill Blvd. ROCK SPRINGS (307) 389-1960 (307) 382-4441

410 Uinta Dr. GREEN RIVER (307) 875-6777


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

LIVING: Health

Deer Trail Assisted Living Center

Located near Rock Springs’ Young at Heart Senior Center, Deer Trail Assisted Living Center offers enrichment programs and a chef-run restaurant, as well as beauty and barber shops. Licensed by the Wyoming Department of Health for both assisted living and Alzheimer’s care, Deer Trail features emergency-call technology, camera surveillance and secured building access.


• Pulmonary Function Tests

• Internal Medicine

• EKGs

• Family Medicine Age 12 & Older • Cardiac Stress Test

• DOT Physical

• Bone Density Testing

• Pre-Employment

• Full-Service Lab On Site

• Occupational Medicine

• Functional Capacity Testing

Dr. Terry Donaldson Donaldson Medical Clinic 1577 Dewar Dr., Ste. 8 Rock Springs, WY 82901 307-362-0707 t • 307-362-0606 f

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LIVING: Education

Students watch as their teacher demonstrates welding at Rock Springs Junior High School.

Head of the Class

Students have many top academic options What’s new? New schools. Sweetwater County Schools District 1 has added three new schools to its academic lineup. They are Rock Springs Junior High, Pilot Butte Elementary School, which serves grades 5-6, and Sage Elementary School. The district, headquartered in Rock Springs, now has 13 schools along with a Head Start facility that is committed to helping less-fortunate families, with opportunities for early childhood development, family partnerships and community involvement. By Kevin Litwin

Accolade The Princeton Review ranks UW in the top 15 percent of the country’s four-year colleges.


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y


University of Wyoming-Laramie The university is situated on Wyoming’s high Laramie Plains, at an elevation of 7,200 feet between the Laramie and Snowy Range mountains. It is known as UW (often pronounced “U-Dub”) to people close to the university. It was founded in March 1886, four years before the territory was admitted as the 44th state, and opened in September 1887. The University of Wyoming, which enrolls more than 13,000 students, consists of seven colleges: agriculture and natural resources, arts and sciences, business, education, engineering and applied sciences, health sciences, and law. There are more than 190 undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs, and the Princeton Review ranks UW in the top 15 percent of the country’s four-year colleges.

Private Schools

There are two private schools in Sweetwater County: Holy Spirit Catholic and Green River Bible Baptist. Holy Spirit Catholic School in Rock Springs offers a pre-K through grade 6 curriculum, while Green River Bible Baptist School is a K-12 school that has only 25 students and six teachers.

Rock Springs

Sweetwater County Schools District No. 1 The K-12 system oversees all public schools within Rock Springs, Farson/Eden Valley and Wamsutter. Enrollment is nearly 5,000 students and there are 15 schools including eight elementary facilities. Green River

Sweetwater County Schools District No. 2 This district is in Green River and includes all public schools in the outlying communities of Granger and McKinnon. There are 2,700 students and 11 schools, with eight of the schools situated within the Green River city limits. The three rural schools are Granger Elementary, McKinnon Elementary and Thoman Ranch Elementary.

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Top 10

Cities to Defy Death

sTiLLWATeR oklahoma FAYeTTeviLLe north Carolina sAvAnnAh georgia CoRPus ChRisTi Texas RoCK sPRings Wyoming TRAveRse CiTY Michigan ogDen utah

Rock springs made the list.

top 10 Cities to defy death See more Top 10 lists at

gLAsgoW Kentucky BenD oregon TWin FALLs idaho

Introducing the Top 10 Lists New lists every month | Not your average lists | Not your average website

Community profile

cost of living


ethnicity  White




Median Household Income

$218,000 Median Home Price



Median Rent for a Two-Bedroom Apartment

 19 and Under  20-54  55 and Over

Transportation Temperature January Average Low

Median Travel Time to Work

July Average High

83° F

13° F 31°


16 minutes Closest Airport: Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport

January Low National Low

July High

National High

8 Miles

This section is sponsored by

Civil Engineering • Geotechnical & Materials Testing Land Surveying & Mapping GIS (Geographic Information Systems)

“Committed to Your Success”

1515 Ninth St. • Rock Springs, WY

(307) 362-7519 Visit our website at

JFC is proud to support the growth of Sweetwater County through our professional services.

LIVING: see the county


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

Gateway to the West

Known as the “Gateway to the West,” Rock Springs features magnificent high desert scenery that is punctuated by dramatic rock formations including the Palisades Rock Formation near Green River.

See more photos that showcase Sweetwater County’s unique offerings at

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business Info on Sweetwater County’s top employers, jobs and success stories


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

High-Powered Plant

Located near Rock Springs, the Jim Bridger Power Plant has been operating since the 1970s and employs approximately 340 people. The plant helps provide power to more than a million customers. See more photos that showcase Sweetwater County’s unique offerings at

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business: overview

Energy Boost

Companies help fuel Sweetwater’s growing economy Sweetwater County’s economy is among the best in the nation. Jobs here are plentiful, businesses keep posting higher profits thanks to continued growth, and the county’s residential and retail sectors continue to expand as more and more people move in. The energy industry is an essential reason for the region’s overall economic success. Here are some key players in the energy sector: Energy


Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport

The airport is home to private jets and three commercial airlines. Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport accommodates Delta Connection to and from Salt Lake City, while Great Lakes Airlines and United Express serve Denver.


“The people here were brought up to be hard workers. The businesses around here are tough.” Eric Schillie Simplot Phosphates plant manager


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

FMC Wyoming Corp. Founded in 1983, FMC Wyoming Corp. is involved in agricultural, industrial and consumer markets, and uses advanced technologies to improve the delivery of medications, enhance foods and beverages, power batteries, protect crop yields and more.

The mission at Halliburton is to optimize oil and gas reservoir production through pressure pumping services, nitrogen services and chemical processes. Many employees at the company’s Rock Springs site are engineers who train for an entire year before being assigned to oil rigs. PacifiCorp gathers its energy capacity from a variety of sources including coal, hydro, renewable wind power, gas-fired combustion turbines, solar and geothermal. The utility giant is one of the lowest cost electricity producers in the United States, providing 1.7 million customers with energy. The Exxon facility in Kemmerer is involved with gas processing for the pipeline transportation of crude oil. Company officials say their quest is to apply science and innovation to produce safer and cleaner ways to deliver energy. Mining

Solvay Chemicals The company’s mine in Green River produces trona, a mineral with a wide range of uses that is typically turned into soda ash. Green River has the world’s largest and purest deposits, and holds more than 50 billion tons of trona. Solvay Chemicals uses the substance to reduce acid gas emissions in industries ranging from electric power generation to cement manufacturing.

Business Spotlight Wyoming Machinery Wyoming Machinery sells a variety of new and used Caterpillar machinery and supports three of Wyoming’s major industries: mining, construction, and oil and gas.

Smith’s Grocery Store Smith’s, a grocery store and pharmacy, specializes in market-fresh food. Its Rock Springs location recently went through an 18,000-squarefoot expansion.

White Mountain Mall Rock Springs’ White Mountain Mall provides residents with plenty of places to shop. The mall features more than 40 stores, four restaurants, kiddie rides and a movie theater

Serving Southwest Wyoming and Northern Utah in Nine Communities WYOMING Rock Springs • Afton • Pinedale Alpine • Evanston • Kemmerer • Mountain View UTAH Morgan • Mountain Green

601 N. Front St. • Rock Springs, WY (307) 362-5601 • (800) 632-5601

Boot Barn Established over 30 years ago, Boot Barn has become one of the largest Western retailers in the world. In addition to boots, the store sells clothing, accessories, tack and more.

Bitter Creek Brewery The Bitter Creek Brewery opened in 1997 in downtown Rock Springs. Along with its popular microbrews, the brewery offers an exclusive wine list and full menu.

Check out more fun things to do in Sweetwater County at sweetwater-county.

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Business is Booming Top industries point the way for jobs, growth


ew houses, restaurants and businesses are all signs that Sweetwater County’s economy is robust. The area’s range of industries has been a key driver for job creation, stable home values and solid population growth, especially in young families.


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

Those industries include trona mining at Solvay Chemicals and similar companies, power generation at Rocky Mountain Power, energy production at Halliburton and phosphate manufacturing at J.R. Simplot Company’s Rock Springs facility. “It really helps to have such a diversity of industries here, because if one sector were to go down, there are other sectors to offset it,” says Dave Hanks, executive director of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce. “A lot of the same job skills that are required in one industry are the same as in others.” One of the largest employers in southwest Wyoming is Halliburton, which has about 850 employees at its Rock Springs facility. Halliburton is a major provider of products and services to the energy

industry, and the Rock Springs plant is responsible for performing product enhancement, cementing, completion tools and additional functions. Glass Act The area is also noted for having the world’s largest known deposit of trona, a mineral with a wide range of uses, and produces more than 17.6 million tons of it. The Green River plant for Solvay Chemicals, with approximately 450 employees, refines the trona into soda ash primarily for making glass. “We are the largest exporter of soda ash in the world,” says Ron Hughes, executive vice president and site manager for the Green River facility. “There’s a 90 percent chance that all the glass you come across throughout the country –

“It really helps to have such a diversity of industries here, because if one sector were to go down, there are other sectors to offset it.” Dave Hanks, executive director Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce

Solvay Chemicals’ plant in Green River refines trona into soda ash, which is typically used to make glass.

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Managers at Halliburton gather for a safety meeting. Halliburton is one of Sweetwater County’s largest employers with 850 workers at its Rock Springs plant.


Busine is Boomss ing







ew houses, restaurants and that Sweetwa ter County’ businesses are all signs area’s s economy is robust. The creation, stablerange of industries has been a key home values especially in young families and solid populati driver for job on growth, .

Those industries mining at Solvay include trona products and similar companiesChemicals and services to industry, and the energy , power generation the Rock Springs at Rocky Mountain plant is responsible Power, energy product enhanceme for performing Halliburton production at nt, cementing, and phosphate completion manufactur tools and additional ing at J.R. Simplot functions. Company’s Rock “It really helps Springs facility. GLASS ACT to have such diversity of a industries here, The area is because if one also noted the world’s for having largest down, there sector were to go are of trona, a mineral known deposit offset it,” says other sectors to with a wide range of uses, Dave Hanks, executive director and produces than more 17.6 of million tons Springs Chamber the Rock of it. The Rock Springs of Commerce lot of the same plant for Solvay job skills that . “A Chemicals, with required in are approximat one industry employees, ely 450 same as in are the refines others.” soda ash primarily the trona into One of the for making glass. largest employers southwest in Wyoming is “We are Halliburton which has about , soda ash the largest exporter of in the world,” its Rock Springs 850 employees at says Ron Hughes, executive facility. Halliburton is a major provider and site manager vice president of Springs facility. for the Rock “There’s a 90 Solvay Chemicals’


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“It really helps to have such a diversity of industri es here, because if one sector were to go down, are other sectors there to offset it.” DAVE HANKS, EXECUTIVE ROCK SPRINGS DIRECTOR CHAMBER OF COMMERC E

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digital magazine Read it online or on your tablet and quickly share articles with friends.


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

windshield glass, plate glass for windows, shot glasses, whatever – comes out of the Green River basin.” Other companies in the Green River basin involved in trona mining are FMC Wyoming Corp., OCI and Tata Chemicals. Though it doesn’t have the number of employees of Halliburton or Solvay Chemicals, the Rock Springs location for the J.R. Simplot Company of Boise, Idaho, has nevertheless been a key player in Sweetwater County’s economy for nearly 30 years. The fertilizing manufacturing plant has

just begun expansion that will lead to a 30 percent increase in production. “We’ve continued to be able to sell and ship everything that’s made,” says Eric Schillie, plant manager for Simplot in Rock Springs. “The sales group out of Boise continues to ask for more and more.” The future for these industries looks promising, as the workforce in Sweetwater County grows and gets younger, Hanks says. The population increased by 23.7 percent from 2000 to 2010,

and the average age dropped from around 47 in 2003-04 to 32 today. “Lots of young people are moving in,” Hanks says. “One reason is because there are a lot of jobs. Also, there is a huge block of baby boomers approaching retirement age or already there, and these industries need to replace them. They’re hiring workers 35 and younger. We’ll continue to see that for several more years.”  by John McBryde  by staff photographer Brian McCord

Can you imagine … a world without children?

We Can’t.

Call 1-800-996-4100 to help.

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Sweetwater Television Company is a locally owned and operated company that has provided economical and reliable cable television services to Sweetwater County residents since 1956. Dedicated to providing a quality product and excellent service, the company employs the latest technology to provide customers with digital television, high-definition television, broadband Internet and voip phone service. Sweetwater Television also maintains an office in Green River under Green River Television.

100%al! T Digi


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

602 Broadway Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 362-3773

business: Chamber Report

Mastering the Website Chamber makes major software upgrade The Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce gets more than 3 million annual hits to its website, with about 60,000 unique visitors to the site each year. It is the most visited website in the county. Even with that high traffic volume, the chamber decided in June 2012 to update its site with freshened pages and more individual business information to assist its 600 members. It did so by installing software from ChamberMaster. “Posting job openings by our member businesses is a popular aspect of this new service, especially with more people moving to this area all the time,” says Dave Hanks, Rock Springs Chamber CEO. Much More Streamlined Rock Springs Chamber Office Coordinator Katie Yedinak says there were problems in the past with sending emails and other communications to members from the former website, so the ChamberMaster software has combined all databases into one. “We were sometimes doing the same things two or three times, and the old system had everything on one computer. We were in trouble if the system crashed,” Yedinak says. “This software is server-based, so we can bring up information out in the field if we happen to be visiting a chamber member; it is much more streamlined for keeping all our records and activities current.” Chamber Public Relations Director Johno Green says the website is also more interactive for members. “Each chamber member is listed under Business Directory and has a page devoted to their company or organization,” Green says.

How Many Referrals? Hanks says whenever he talks with chamber members, the ChamberMaster software allows him to pull up report histories to see what kind of information the Rock Springs Chamber has conveyed to the public about that individual business.

“For example, I can access how many times we have referred people to their business, how many times we have contacted the business by email or social media and how many times that business has participated in our scheduled events,” he says.  by Kevin Litwin

Rock Springs – Sweetwater County Airport Gateway to the World

(800) 221-1212

(800) 241-6522

Daily, non-stop flights: Denver, CO Salt Lake City, UT Gillette, WY

Skywest Airlines (307) 382-0028

Free parking Quick check-in Avis Rental Car (307) 362-5599 Hertz Rental Car (307) 362-3262 The Aviator Bistro (307) 352-6880 Airport located east of Rock Springs off Interstate 80, Exit 111, Hwy. 370 (307) 352-6880 •

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Licensed & Insured 24-Hour Emergency Service Free Sewer Camera Inspection

Green River Rock Springs Rawlins Evanston Bridger Valley

Specializing in Underground Sewer and Water Line Repair and Replacement

307.871.4782 THE NAME TO KNOW WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO THE WIRE. The IPS Rocks Springs Regional Service Center is part of a coast-to-coast network, delivering reliability for the area’s leading mining, power generation, metals, aggregate and cement companies.

839 Elk St. • Rock Springs, WY 82901 866.256.4798 (24/7) • 307.362.6697

Visit Our adVertisers 1st Bank

High Country Realty

Aaron’s Plumbing Inc.

Infinity Power & Controls

Active Realty

Integrated Power Services

All Star Real Estate

JFC Engineers Surveyors

Anytime Fitness rock-springs-wy-82901

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County

Sweetwater Cable TV

Communication Technologies Inc.

Messco – A Moneyhun Company

Sweetwater County Child Development Center

Mountain West Storage

Sweetwater Events Complex

Donaldson Medical Clinic

New Frontier Imaging LLC

The O.T. Sports Bar


OCI Wyoming LP

Vaughns Plumbing & Heating

Green River Basin FCU

QEP Resources

Hampton Inn & Suites – Green River

Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce

Western Wyoming Community College

Cruel Jacks Deer Trail Assisted Living


S w e e t wat e r C o u n t y

Rock Springs – Sweetwater County Airport Rocky Mountain Power Shell Oil Company Solvay Chemicals

White Mountain Mall

economic profile Taxes

1% County Sales Tax

4% State Sales Tax

education level  High School Graduate


 Associate Degree  Bachelor’s Degree  Master’s Degree


$900M Annual Retail Sales

$150M Annual Hotel and Food Sales


household income  $50,000-74,000  $30,000-49,999  $29,000 and under

Total Sales Tax


Top Employers


 FMC Wyoming Corp., Halliburton


 General Chemical Industrial Products, Sweetwater County School District No. 1


 Bridger Coal Company, OCI, Solvay Chemicals, PacifiCorp

Total Number of Firms

Rock SpringsSweetwater County Airport

Home of tHe BeSt SeAt IN tHe HoUSe! 15 Flat-Screen TVs • Dart Machines • Pool Tables Air Hockey Game • Hunting Game Karaoke Every Thursday Night Great Menu • Daily Specials • To-Go Orders Children Under 21 Allowed Until 7 p.m.

Living green starts from the ground up. Living green is making sure the air in your home is healthy for your family to breathe. Test your home for radon and build radon-resistant. It's easy. That's living healthy and green.

Just call 866-730-green or visit

Mon.-Tue. 4 p.m.-2 a.m.

Sat. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Wed.-Fri. 11 a.m.-2 a.m.

Sun. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

95 E. Railroad Ave. • Green River, WY 82935 307-875-4299 • Find us on and watch for specials.

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Ad Index

55 1ST Bank

C2 Infinity Power & Controls

62 Aaron’s Plumbing Inc.

62 Integrated Power Services

21 Active Realty

49 JFC Engineers Surveyors

62 All Star Real Estate

44 Anytime Fitness

42 Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County

47 Communication Technologies Inc.

2 Messco – A Moneyhun Company

32 Cruel Jacks

23 Deer Trail Assisted Living

45 Donaldson Medical Clinic


37 Mountain West Storage

40 New Frontier Imaging LLC

8 OCI Wyoming LP

60 QEP Resources C3 Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce

21 Green River Basin FCU

6 Hampton Inn & Suites – Green River

61 Rock Springs – Sweetwater County Airport

14 Rocky Mountain Power

62 High Country Realty

Ad Index (cont.)

4 Shell Oil Company

59 Solvay Chemicals

60 Sweetwater Cable TV

44 Sweetwater County Child Development Center

24 Sweetwater Events Complex

63 The O.T. Sports Bar

37 Vaughns Plumbing & Heating

1 Western Wyoming Community College

23 White Mountain Mall

Diversification is our Strength

Sweetwater County is # 1 in trona prod in the U.S. N uction inety percent of all natural worldwide co trona mes from Sw eetwater Cou nty.

most second nth e h t s e uc eve g prod e U.S. and s in m o y th W U.S. l gas in in the il natura o t s mo

Wyoming is #1 in coal production in the U.S.

Western Wyoming Community College is ranked 15th in the nation in terms of value and education.

t #1 l Distric o o h c S y nt upil. ater Cou 8 1 p er p Sweetw ,4 14 $ s sp e n d Sweetwater County provides mor e than 10,425.30 square miles of land, and 75 per cent of the land is open to the public. Sweetwate r County is larger than seven states (in terms of are a).

t power e larges s. h t is t n er Pla awatt ger Pow 11.6 meg Jim Brid Wyoming at 23 plant in


One of the lowest tax structures in the nation with no state income tax or corporate income tax.

the Future

Our Green River, Wyoming plant is the world’s largest trona mine and producer of natural soda ash. FMC values the safety and health of its employees. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. At FMC, no job we do is worth risking the safety of one of our employees. Safety is a shared responsibility at FMC.

SAFETY Customer Service • Productivity • Environmental Awareness • Personal Development

LEADERSHIP Our mining and processing facilities are prime examples of our use of innovative technologies to maintain quality and efficiency.

P.O. Box 872 Green River, WY 82935 307.875.2580

• A true historic city with 56 nationalities, offering cultural diversity • The most populated and fastest growing city in Southwest Wyoming • Located on a major transportation corridor including Interstate 80, major flyways and Union Pacific Railroad • Offers an incredible number of amenities and services all contributing to an exceptional quality of life • Access point to unique off-road and water recreation resources • Abundant natural resources are the backbone for a strong economy 212 D St. • Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 352-1500 • No matter where residents hail from, Rock Springs quickly becomes home; comfortable but challenging, quiet but stimulating. We love it here and think you would too. Come see us.

• A leader in the nation’s energy production • Two-wheel capital of Wyoming • Hub of motor sports recreation • The premium health care provider in Sweetwater County

• Beautiful parks, pathways and Greenbelt trails • Public art sculptures grace the community • Offering numerous services, amenities and outstanding quality of life 50 E. 2nd N. • Green River, WY 82935 (307) 875-0500 • Green River is an oasis in the high desert country offering great quality of life blended with friendly Western attitude … everyone welcome and treated as a neighbor and friend. Unique shopping surrounded by history and stunning vistas … wildlife minutes away.

• Origin of the Powell Expedition • West entrance of the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Loop Tour and portal to the Flaming Gorge Recreation Area

Green River … Fish It … Float It … Live It!

• Create a strong local economy • Promote the community • Provide networking opportunities and business contacts 1897 Dewar Dr. • Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 362-3771 • (800) GO-DUNES The Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to enhancing Sweetwater County’s quality of life and economic vitality through a cooperative Sweetwater County.

• Represent business to government • Engage in political action

Bringing businesses and communities together

Sweetwater County consists of 10,480 square miles of land, 75% of which is public land. The multiple uses of this land creates opportunity for everyone: • High-paying, high-quality jobs • Worldwide energy and minerals production 80 W. Flaming Gorge Way • Green River, WY 82935 (307) 872-3970 • Sweetwater County, Wyoming is … open space. As the eighth largest county in the U.S. (larger than six states) Sweetwater County is a diverse high desert playground suspended between the Wind River Mountains in the north and the Uinta Mountains to the south. The landscape isn’t the only thing to brag about, Sweetwater County boasts a vibrant economy that funds world-class schools and shares the environment with industry and unparalleled outdoor opportunity.

• World-class outdoor recreation – fishing on the Green River, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, hunting, hiking, sightseeing, photography and OHV • High-quality transportation networks – regional airport, railway system and interstate highway • Well-funded, equipped and staffed public school system, including a leading community college • High-quality regional health care • A great place to live and raise a family

Livabillity Sweetwater County, WY 2013  
Livabillity Sweetwater County, WY 2013  

Sweetwater County in southwestern Wyoming is home to 10,500 square miles of high desert adventure and offers excellent recreation opportunit...