The I-70 Corridor
The 34 mile long I-70 Corridor region spanning the Arapahoe and Adams County line, extends from the eastern edge of the Denver metro area out towards Agate, Colorado in the east. The Chamber of Commerce serves the communities of Watkins, Bennett, Strasburg, Byers, Deer Trail and Agate.
Population & Growth
Home to almost 15,000 residents, the eastern I-70 Corridor is projected to grow to over 25,000 residents by the year 2035. In comparison, the Denver-Metropolitan Area currently boasts a population of over 2 million people.
The terrain is relatively flat with plateau-like land. The elevation is slightly higher than the Mile High City of Denver.
The climate is semi-arid with only about 15 inches of precipitation annually, allowing about 300 days of sunshine annually. The humidity is generally very low. Winters are usually mild with nice warm days throughout.
The location of the communities in the corridor along major highways I-70 and US 36, allow the residents to enjoy easy access to the additional services and employment opportunities of the Denver metro area located 35 miles to the west. In addition, Colorado Highway 79 provides access to the north and south areas of the corridor. Located in close proximity to the communities of the I-70 corridor are Denver International Airport (DIA) and Front Range Airport. Both airports continue to expand their services. Completing the list of transportation services available is the presence of rail lines. Union Pacific Railroad passes through each town.
Crop farming and livestock are major industries with the average farm occupying 948 acres. The Corridor also boasts more than 500 small, locally-owned businesses. Denver International Airport, approximately 25 miles to the northwest, is the first major airport to open in more than 20 years. The airport has generated numerous jobs, spurring long-term economic development for the entire region. Total employment in the I-70 Corridor has grown rapidly in the past few years, increasing an average 13% per year to a total employment level of about 2,500. There is a diverse mix of industries present in the corridor, with a concentration of employment in services, retail, utilities, transportation and construction. About ninety percent of the corridors businesses are small businesses with less than 10 employees. Roughly 38% of the corridor's businesses are those that are self-employed and only have a single employee. Slightly more than a dozen private companies and several governmental agencies employ more than 25 people in the area.
Each corridor town, with the exception of Watkins, has its own school district serving preschool through 12th grade students. Students from Watkins are in the Bennett School District. The schools are linked with fiber-optic facilities to provide cooperative learning opportunities for our students and citizens. College classes are also offered locally through Morgan Community College.
Corridor communities are protected by the cooperative efforts of the Adams County Sheriff's Department, the Arapahoe county Sheriff's Department and the Colorado State Patrol. Each town is also served by its own volunteer fire and rescue departments who also work cooperatively along the corridor.
Residents in our communites have access to a full service Fedrally funded medical clinic which is centrally located along the I-70 Corridor in Strasburg, Colorado. The Plains Medical Center www.pmchc.org provides general primary care services along with behavioral health care and is now home to a full service state of the art dental clinic. In addition, orthodontia services are available at Kohrs Orthodontics, located in Strasburg, Colorado.
Recreational activities are provided through three recreation districts, located in Bennett, Strasburg and Byers, as well as independent sports associations and other community organizations. The close proximity to the Denver Metropolitan Area and the mountains also provides an abundance of recreational and cultural opportunities.
Electricity is provided by either Xcel Energy or IREA. Natural gas and propane services are offered by serveral companies in the area.
Telecommunication services, including local and long distance telephone, fiber optic, T1 service and cellular or digital service are provide by several companies through out the corridor. Telephone companies include: Eastern Slope Rural Telephone Association, Inc., TDS, Bijou Telephone Cooperative Association, and Agate Mutual Telephone Cooperative Association.
Residents of the I-70 Corridor enjoy the advantage of living in a rural setting that offers many services, along with ease of accessbility to a major metropolitan area. Quality of life is the most important benefit the residents in the communities along the I-70 Corridor give as a reason for making this area their home.