Top 100 Places to Live
Idaho Falls Makes Top 100 Places to Live
Idaho Falls is the perfect location for people looking for a diverse opportunity to discover the wonders of Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks, the Craters of the Moon National Monument, or Henry's Fork of the Snake River just to name a few of the area's many attributes. It is a great location for the outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy some of the best skiing, camping, fishing, hiking and hunting that there is to offer.
Surrounding the city are farmlands that contain two crops most responsible for the area's agricultural industry which are the famous russet potatoes and world-class wheat. With a population around 50,000 people come and see why you will want to live in an area that is still part of America's unspoiled wilderness!
Come and enjoy the greenbelt along the falls in Idaho Falls, there are three public golf courses, a minor league baseball team, several small fitness clubs as well as the YMCA offer great fitness programs. With 'the best little zoo in the west', as well as entertainment with opera, the symphony, or drama there are diverse events sure to please everyone. It is also the location of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental laboratory which some of the nation¹s most difficult technical problems are worked on by engineers, scientists, chemists and physicists. It is the home of the largest concentration of technical professionals in the northern Rockies. Like the rest of the nation, the residents are being thrifty and cautious about the trickle effect of the national economy. Although Idaho Falls was somewhat affected by the economic downturn, the unemployment rate here remains low, especially in eastern Idaho.
The population here is still growing and the Falls still has some positive things in the works that have given the residents hope throughout the winter of uncertainty. The local economy has fared well throughout other hits on the national economy such as after 9/11. When the national economy and even other areas in the state were seeing escalating unemployment rates followed by declines in sales and services, especially higher tech, the Falls area weathered that storm with hardly any changes while some of Idaho¹s other large cities were more deeply affected and national numbers showed larger changes. Several factors that sustain this economy and give hope to the residents are diversification of jobs and industry makeup.
Historically dependent upon the Idaho National Laboratory, a nuclear research center, the City of Idaho Falls and economic developers realized that the community needed diversification and concentrated on bringing that about. The area is now more self-sustaining in many ways and not as dependent on national chains and variants that can be affected as the national economy goes through its dips.
As a whole, Idaho Falls residents have a very good work ethic and know the importance of loyalty and responsibility and the employers reap the benefits of this and have more stability in their employees and less turnover. The Idaho Falls area is a regional hub, pulling clients and customers from a nearly 100-mile radius for health/medical services and retail. This all helps the area to be stable and weather hard times without too much fluctuation.
There is opportunity for growth and entrepreneurship along with national chains and new developments here in the Falls. Developers have already started very nice professional business parks along Snake River, transforming the city and giving it hope of wonderful things to come. This has helped keep the consumer confidence strong even though this past several months has been hard as the area has experienced very few available jobs per the number of unemployed stemming from trickle down effect of the national economy and lower consumer confidence.
There is an incredible variety of housing available in the Idaho Falls area, running the gamut from mobile homes to mini mansions. Housing styles range from townhouses, single level, split levels, two- and three-story, finished basements, "one of a kinds", duplexes, apartments, condos, neighborhoods, horse property, city, farm/ranch, etc. Along with the single family units, the Idaho Falls area has a good number of 55+ condos and apartments as well as assisted living apartments and facilities, nursing care and a nursing homes.
The median price of a single family home or condo in 2007 was $142,505, the median price rose in 2008 to $159,900 and the current year to date for 2009 the median sale price dropped slightly to $154,000. Indeed, the market here is stable. For a city of its size, Idaho Falls offers a tremendous quality of life. If you want it, you can find it. There are franchise and unique restaurants, the Arts Council, the Symphony, Minor league Baseball, easy access to the National Parks, museums, golf courses, plays, outdoor recreation (summer and winter), rodeos and on and on. Idaho Falls has something for everyone!
Idaho Falls has an abundance of parks, m edical facilities and shopping. New elementary schools are opening and they are well located for housing areas as are the Jr. and Sr. High Schools. Nothing is more than a 10-minute drive from any housing area.
Locally, the City schools have been experiencing tremendous growth. While challenging, this growth also brings an abundance of new ideas and expertise that establishes this society as ever. Student achievement is at an all time high and continues to increase each year due to the efforts of tremendous classroom teachers and those who support them. Idaho Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) proficiency scores exceed both the state and national averages and continue to rise even with increasingly higher benchmarks. Bonneville School District, ranked as the seventh largest in Idaho, currently serves 9,600 students and employs approximately 1,300 classified and certified staff. Student instruction occurs at two pre-school and two developmental kindergarten programs, two all-day kindergarten programs, twelve K-6 elementary schools, two 7-8 middle schools, two comprehensive 9-12 high schools, alternative schools at both the middle and high school levels, a District-wide comprehensive special education program, and a satellite program at the Behavioral Health Center for qualifying students at all grade levels. Each school and program is fully accredited.
Higher education opportunities abound in Idaho Falls! The Center for Higher Education at University Place in Idaho Falls is a many faceted education opportunity offering certificates through advanced degrees. The Center is a collaborative effort between Idaho State University (ISU) and the University of Idaho, created for the benefit of local residents. Through a partnership between the two universities, students register for classes, pay fees, and receive financial aid under a joint system.
Situated along the scenic Snake River in the northwestern part of town, University Place is an excellent, accessible, and affordable option for students who choose to stay close to home. Offerings include undergraduate and graduate degrees, remedial courses, general education requirements, and professional development delivered on-site and via distance learning. More than 3,000 Idaho State University and University of Idaho students attend each semester. Students currently being served by the center include high school, place-bound non-traditional, Idaho National Laboratory employees, BYU-I transfers, graduate and professional development students. Over 500 course sections are taught throughout the day and evening. Ten telecommunication classrooms connect Idaho Falls with Twin Falls, Boise, Pocatello and Moscow for over 200 hours per week of distance learning opportunities. The two universities offer over 50 degrees. Associate, bachelor, masters, specialist, and doctoral degrees may all be completed through University of Idaho or Idaho State University at University Place in Idaho Falls.
Among the many remarkable green methods the City of Idaho Falls practices, conserving fuel and energy is of utmost importance. For instance, the department makes sure to conserve fuel and energy as much as possible by having more than one person per vehicle when large crews are required to work at one job site. Plus, vacant buildings that have no need for heating and lighting are turned off during the winter months. These are just a few green methods that the City has used to save time, preserve natural resources and save money.
The City also hosts numerous environmental fairs and festivals, along with educational activities, parades, holiday celebrations, farmers¹ markets, art shows, rodeos, music and performing arts and other family-friendly events and festivals. Thanks to the community¹s strong volunteerism, events have a high participation rate on both the attendance as well as organization side.
The volunteer base in Idaho Falls is quite diverse, and is comprised of people from all backgrounds, abilities and ages. The community is always ready to step up and assist in any way they can, and can be relied on for any of the numerous aspects of the tasks set before them.
Residents and visitors alike enjoy the City¹s incredible offering of arts, cultural and sporting events. Historically rich in culture and the arts, Idaho Falls is a mosaic of cultural attractions found within an easy walk of the downtown area. Discover the cultural renaissance that is shaping historic downtown Idaho Falls. Flourishing facilities include Willard Arts Center/colonial Theater, The Museum of Idaho, The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, Actors¹ repertory Theatre of Idaho and the Idaho Falls Public Library.
Founded in 1949, the Idaho Falls Symphony is a flagship of cultural life in eastern Idaho. Led by music director and conductor, Dr. George Adams, the orchestra today consists of approximately 100 amateur and professional musicians. The orchestra performs approximately eight subscription concerts per year with additional concerts throughout the region. The Idaho Falls Symphony Society supports, sponsors, and promotes the Eastern Idaho Youth Symphony.
Since its inception 25 years ago, Actors Repertory Theatre of Idaho (ARTI) has offered a yearly slate of plays ranging from established classics to cutting-edge comedy and drama from contemporary playwrights. Additionally, The Idaho Falls Arts Council, The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, and the Eagle Rock Art Guild all offer an array of art classes for a range of abilities. The Idaho Falls Youth Arts Center and Sounds Choir both present full musicals each year, as well as an array of educational Opportunities.
Situated on the picturesque Snake River, Idaho Falls combines big city features with small town charm. Recognizing the Snake River as the city¹s greatest visual community asset, the Idaho Falls Downtown Development Corporation along with the City of Idaho Falls, and community leaders are working together to develop a civic gathering place centered on the incredible Falls.
By creating a vibrant, safe, and friendly center filled with amenities for all ages, the Falls can be appreciated by even more residents and visitors. By creating a pedestrian friendly safe connection to Historic Downtown - which has a rather sophisticated cultural orientation with theater, symphony, museums, art shows, music events, and significant historic architecture - the riverfront project will further develop venues to advance the cultural district. Creating a vibrant Riverfront Plaza civic center will attract businesses, tourism and mixed-use development. The city realizes the importance of such a project to strengthen the local economy and revitalize the heart and soul of the community.