2012 | imagessweetwateRcoUnty.


sweetwateR coUnty, wyoming

saddle UP
World’s Largest Rodeo is Coming in 2012

helP wanted
Job Market is Thriving

Roam Free
Adventurers have easy access to public land
sPonsoRed by the Rock sPRings chambeR oF commeRce

Infinity Power & Controls LLC
Infinity Power & Controls, LLC has been in business since 1999 serving the industrial, chemical, oil field, food service and automotive industries around the world. Infinity continues to meet the needs of our customers with products and services in compliance with ANSI, NEMA, OSHA, IEEE, MSHA, UL and IEC standards. By offering products and services which conform to the above standards, Infinity is prepared to assist its clients with the application, selection and service of all major components, including PLC and DCS specifications, programming and communications. Infinity is committed to helping its customers with their engineering and application needs. Infinity also offers product services and applications for all major component manufacturers of switchgear, transformers, electrical motors, AC and DC drives and Soft Starts. Infinity is proud to be a General Electric, Control Microsystems and Allen Bradley authorized OEM and distributor of Drives, PLCs and soft starts. Infinity Power & Controls is a UL 508 listed industrial control panel manufacturer.

Infinity has been working hand-in-hand with its customers to research and develop what has become the IgKnightorTM. The IgKnightorTM was developed to meet the industry’s needs for auto-ignition technology and temperature logging of BTEX, VOC, Line Heaters and Dehydrators. With increasingly strict DEQ requirements for flare monitoring systems in the ever-expanding natural gas field as well as a decrease in man hours, the IgKnightorTM was created. This system is paired with the InfiniFlameTM and InfiniFlareTM Burner Management Systems as a simple add-on. The IgKnightorTM package will safeguard operators from potentially hazardous situations allowing them a simple press of a button to start the system. Using temperature monitoring, the addition of the InfiniFlameTM recognizes the pilot’s flame, turning off the IgKnightorTM to conserve energy. In the event the pilot goes out, the temperature monitoring system reinitializes the IgKnightorTM with its automatic relighting capability. Infinity Power & Controls is your one-stop electrical and automation provider with over $500k in inventory and an experienced engineering, installation and manufacturing staff to meet your company’s control needs.

The InfiniFlareTM is Infinity’s patented and DEQ Approved Flare Monitoring Control System. 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.


We Specialize in Idea Conception, System Engineering, Ma

Where Quality Automation Is Our Specialty!
In 2009 Infinity designed and produced a Line Heater Control System, the InfiniFlameTM. This system enables the control and safeguard of vital production equipment including: BETX, Line Heaters and Dehydrators. Also, incorporated onto the design is on-site emergency shut off and problem recognition. The InfiniFlameTM options include: automatic ignition with the IgKnightorTM and alarm telemetry. As with most Infinity Power & Control products the concept of this design of the InfiniFlameTM and IgKnightorTM can be easily incorporated into your present control systems adding adaptability and versatility for multiple applications.

InfiniFlameTM is a patented and DEQ Approved Burner Monitoring and Control System. It is designed to safeguard equipment from volatile high heat situations and the venting of volatile organic carbons into the atmosphere. Using patented technology, it reduces harmful emissions to meet demanding environmental regulations. Our capabilities include but are not limited to: • A stand alone system with valve control, monitoring any burner unit, VOCs, BTEX, Dehydrators and Line Heaters • Built-in logging • Fail-safe shut downs for under and over temperature conditions, saving equipment and fuel gas while increasing efficiency. • Optional Ignition System The InfiniFlameTM offers continuous monitoring of the pilot, with values logged every 15 minutes. This information is stored in the memory of the controller. The history of up to 12,000 logs can be accessed on a first-in first-out basis for up to 125 days. Automatic re-light options are available.

ly Tested • DEQ Approved

anufacturing, Installation and Completion of Your Concept.


Your Imagination Is Your Only Control Limit!
Infinity prides themselves in using your company’s standards in the design and manufacturing of a solution for your company’s needs. Your imagination is your only control limit with Infinity Power & Controls!

A Solution Just for You!
Infinity’s staff includes engineers familiar with applications in automation and control systems. Infinity specializes in designs that best meet the needs of their customer. No matter what our customer’s standards are, the staff has an engineer that fits the need.

1701 Decora Dr. • Rock Springs, WY 82901 • (307) 362-6661 • (307) 362-6663 Fax E-mail: bruce@infinitypwr.com • www.infinitypwr.com

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.

Customer Service • Productivity • Environmental Awareness • Personal Development

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 www.fmc.jobs

Since 1998, MESSCO has proven to be a premier manufacturer of oilfield equipment and provider of oilfield services.

2012 edition | volUme 4

sweetwateR coUnty, wyoming

co nte nt s F e atu r e s


14 beeFed UP
Despite challenges, cattle and sheep still raised here


Roam FRee
Adventurers have easy access to public land


saddle UP
Sweetwater prepares to welcome thousands to world’s largest rodeo


Finding the easy way
Visitors and locals alike are finding Sweetwater County more accessible


calling it home
Population boom leads to new, varied housing options in Sweetwater County


lots oF helP wanted
Sweetwater County is a thriving job market


gRowing Places
Big firms, small businesses grow in Sweetwater County

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We service all oilfield, commercial, industrial and residential electrical work, and we are committed to service our customers with the upmost respect and professionalism. Project scopes include, start to finish electrical, remodels, additions in all electrical areas. Please call today for a detailed list of our extensive scope of work performed. Locally owned and operated for more than 25 years.

2212A Upland • Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 389-0985 • (307) 362-2736 Fax


sweetwateR coUnt y, w yoming
editoRial PRoject manageR MitCh Kline content diRectoR liSA BAttleS PRooFReading manageR RAVen Petty content cooRdinatoR JeSSiCA WAlKeR staFF wRiteR KeVin litWin coPy editoR Jill WyAtt contRibUting wRiteRs CARy eSteS, lAuRA hill, Joe MoRRiS, CARSon o’Shoney, KARen SChWARtzMAn, BetSy WilliAMS senioR gRaPhic designeRs lAuRA GAllAGheR, JAnine MARylAnD, KRiS Sexton, ViKKi WilliAMS gRaPhic designeRs RAChAel GeRRinGeR, tAyloR nunley senioR PhotogRaPheRs Jeff ADKinS, BRiAn McCoRD staFF PhotogRaPheRs toDD Bennett, Antony BoShieR coloR imaging technician AliSon hunteR senioR integRated media manageR DeShAun GooDRiCh ad PRodUction manageR KAtie MiDDenDoRf ad tRaFFic assistants KRyStin leMMon, PAtRiCiA MoiSAn chaiRman GReG thuRMAn PResident/PUblisheR BoB SChWARtzMAn execUtive vice PResident RAy lAnGen senioR v.P./sales toDD PotteR senioR v.P./oPeRations CASey heSteR senioR v.P./client develoPment Jeff heefneR senioR v.P./bUsiness develoPment SCott teMPleton senioR v.P./agRibUsiness PUblishing KiM holMBeRG v.P./bUsiness develoPment ChARleS fitzGiBBon v.P./exteRnal commUnications teRee CARutheRS v.P./visUal content MARK foReSteR v.P./content oPeRations nAtAShA loRenS v.P./tRavel PUblishing SuSAn ChAPPell v.P./sales heRB hARPeR, JAReK SWeKoSKy contRolleR ChRiS DuDley senioR accoUntant liSA oWenS accoUnts Payable cooRdinatoR MARiA McfARlAnD accoUnts Receivable cooRdinatoR DiAnA GuzMAn sales sUPPoRt cooRdinatoR Alex MARKS sales sUPPoRt PRoject manageR SARA quint i.t. diRectoR yAnCey BonD system administRatoR DAniel CAntRell web content manageR John hooD web PRoject manageR noy fonGnAly web designeR ii RiChARD SteVenS web develoPeR i yAMel hAll, nelS noSeWoRthy web accoUnt manageR lAuRen euBAnK PhotogRaPhy diRectoR JeffRey S. otto media technology diRectoR ChRiStinA CARDen media technology analysts BeCCA ARy, ChAnDRA BRADShAW aUdience develoPment diRectoR DeAnnA nelSon maRketing cReative diRectoR Keith hARRiS distRibUtion diRectoR GARy SMith execUtive secRetaRy KRiSty DunCAn hUman ResoURces manageR PeGGy BlAKe RecePtionist linDA BiShoP

d e pa r tm e nt s
10 almanac 38 biz briefs 39 chamber Report 41 economic Profile 43 local Flavor 44 arts & culture 47 sports & Recreation 48 education 51 health & wellness 54 image gallery 59 community Profile 63 through the lens

Images Sweetwater County 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 info@jnlcom.com. FoR moRe inFoRmation, contact: Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce 1897 Dewar Dr. • Rock Springs, Wy 82901 Phone: (307) 362-3771 • fax: (307) 362-3838 rockspringswyoming.net visit Images sweetwater County online at imagessweetwateRcoUnty.com ©Copyright 2011 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

on the coveR Killpecker Sand Dunes Photo by Brian McCord

Member Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce

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

please recycle this magazine

i M Ag e s s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y. C o M


What’s online imagessweetwatercounty.com

Photos & Videos
Visually explore Sweetwater County in our online photo and video galleries

2012 | imagessweetwateRcoUnty.com

sweetwateR coUnty, wyoming

saddle UP
World’s Largest Rodeo is Coming in 2012

helP wanted
Job Market is Thriving

Get the most up-to-date info on cost of living, top employers, schools, population demographics and more
Roam Free
Adventurers have easy access to public land
sPonsoRed by the Rock sPRings chambeR oF commeRce

liVing here
Learn the basics about local neighborhoods, schools and health care providers

digital magazine
Flip through the pages of this magazine and easily share articles using Facebook, Twitter or email.


Digital Edition
GRAZE Anatomy

sweetwater county in action


ohn Hay has ranching in his blood. He is a descendant of John W. Hay (1864-1907), who was one of Wyoming’s most successful livestock men. “Today, my family owns Blair & Hay Land and Livestock, plus Blair & Hay also has interest and ownership in Rock Springs Grazing Association,” Hay says. “RSGA has been around since 1907, when 200,000 to 300,000 sheep grazed the winter range in southwestern Wyoming. Now, there are about 50,000 to 70,000 sheep. A lot of ranchers have converted to cattle in recent years, but some continue to ranch sheep.” Sweetwater County’s documented agricultural history dates back to the early 1900s, when a land grant created a checkerboard concept, which still exists. The checkerboard refers to the way the land was divided, with every other tract being private, while the other staggered parcels are public and owned by the government. Present-day ranchers can utilize their private land for livestock grazing and access the government land for their herds at a cost. “I’m running about 2 million acres, and agriculture still plays a part in the local economy, but





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Welcome to Sweetwater County
An inTRoduCTion To The AReA’s peopLe, pLACes And evenTs

Getting Schooled
ever since it was established in the fall of 1959, Western Wyoming Community College has provided the area with a convenient and high-quality advanced education option. And 40 years later, it just keeps getting better. Recent distinctions include a ranking as one of the top Military-friendly Schools by G.I. Jobs, the premier magazine for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. on the artsier side, the show Unspoken, held in the Western Wyoming Community College’s Art Gallery from August 24 through Sept. 29, featured the work of two major artists. Works by Jennie Kiessling and leah hardy will be shown at the free exhibit.

one-stop Workout
Rock Springs residents have a place to play at the Rock Springs family Recreation Center. With everything from racquetball courts to an ice arena, along with a running track and weight rooms with exercise equipment, the center offers full-service fitness. ice skating lessons, swim lessons and tae Kwon Do are available, or for those who like to exercise in groups there are fitness classes, including zumba, yoga, spin classes, weight training, water exercise and more.

Drop a line
fancy some fish? then head to Rock Springs for the Burbot Bash, a fishing derby sponsored jointly by the Rock Springs, Green River and flaming Gorge chambers of commerce. Burbot, or ling cod, is an aggressive fish that has caused some concern in the flaming River Gorge by preying on native species and their eggs. the chambers came up with the Bash as a way to not only keep the Burbot population in check, but to learn more about the fish and its habits. the team that catches the biggest fish will receive $5,000 prize money, while the team that catches the most will receive $1,500. Prizes are also awarded to second and third place, as well as in the youth Division.


s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

Photo CouRteSy of BuRBot BASh CoMMittee

Sweet Sounds of Summer
Summer heats up in Sweetwater County with the flaming Gorge Days Concert series. held over three days in Green River, the series includes a golf tournament, live concerts and various other activities. family fun can be found at festival in the Park, held in evers Park, featuring free children’s entertainment including a giant slide, ocean bouncer and bouncy boxing. Also on the agenda is the annual parade, which had the theme of Beach Bummin’ Wyoming Style in 2011. And when the day winds down, the concert series starts up. for a $25 ticket, guests can enjoy performances by artists like Sawyer Brown, the l.A. Guns and ted nugent.

Rollin’ on the River
each year, the Green River, Wyoming, Chamber of Commerce throws a little party for the river. held in August, the River festival features a range of events that celebrate the town and the river that gave it its name. the event kicks off with the Cajun Shrimp Boil, a spicy shrimp feast that sells out every year. next up is the Great Duck Race and a night of fireworks, music and family fun. the Run With the horses marathon is earning a reputation in the running world with the addition of a 10k and draws participants from 33 states. other events and attractions include the lucky 13 horse Poker Run, the extreme trail Challenge, Biking on the Green, dog-fetching competitions and a microbeer garden.

outdoors Aplenty
The majestic Flaming gorge is framed by brilliantly colored cliffs that rise more than 1,500 feet high in places and centered around a large lake formed by a dam. some visitors are content to simply take in the magnificent scenery and wildlife, while others indulge in some of the best coldwater fishing in the nation. The Flaming gorge welcomes 2.5 million visitors a year and features a variety of water-based activities. More than 1,000 miles of hiking and biking trails wind through the area, covering areas of heavy forestation, high desert and rugged mountains. The impressive expanse recently was designated a national scenic Byway.

Photo CouRteSy of GReen RiVeR ChAMBeR

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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
Co n fe

(307) 875-5300
1055 Wild Horse Canyon Rd. • Green River www.greenriversuites.hamptoninn.com

re n ce Ro o m Ser vin s g up to 180 People

Wild Horse Canyon
Mon.-Fri. 5-10 p.m.

Join us … The Bar at

Fast Facts the Wild West Gets festive
take a step into the old wild west at the Western and Wild horse Art Show. the show aims to preserve Western heritage through art. now in its ninth year, the show features 22 artists from around the country and 12 artist booths. A portion of the proceeds support a local nonprofit public art project. for a more interactive experience, try Rock Springs’ international Day held in Bunning Park. the event celebrates the wide range of nationalities represented in Rock Springs with authentic ethnic food, beer and entertainment. Music throughout the day includes traditional folk dance, polka, Mexican music and Celtic rock. n Robert LeRoy parker, a.k.a. Butch Cassidy, got his nickname while working at a butcher shop in Rock springs. n incorporated cities and towns in sweetwater County are Bairoil, granger, green River, Rock springs, superior and Wamsutter.
Photo CouRteSy of RoCK SPRinGS inteRnAtionAl DAyS CoMMittee

n sweetwater County has more miles of still-visible pioneer historic trails than any other area in the united states. n Fish weighing more than 50 pounds have been hauled out of Flaming gorge Reservoir.

sweetwater county at a glance
PoPUlation (2010 estimate) Sweetwater County: 43,806 Rock Springs: 23,036 Green River: 12,515 location Sweetwater County is in southwest Wyoming, just north of the Wyoming, utah and Colorado state lines. beginnings Sweetwater County was organized in 1867. its county seat is Green River. 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 www.rockspringschamber.com

Gr ee



Farson Fontenelle
189 372





Creston Superior Point of Rocks Wamsutter
80 789

North Rock Springs

Granger Little America

Rock Springs Green River
430 Flaming Gorge Res.

Table Rock Bitter Creek


What’s online
Sweetwater County

Take a virtual tour of Sweetwater County, courtesy of our award-winning photographers, at imagessweetwatercounty.com.

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gRaZe Anatomy
desPite challenges, cattle and sheeP still Raised heRe


s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

StoRy By kevin litwin PhotoGRAPhy By bRian mccoRd

ohn Hay has ranching in his blood. He is a descendant of John W. Hay (1864-1907), who was one of Wyoming’s most successful livestock men. “Today, my family owns Blair & Hay Land and Livestock, plus Blair & Hay also has interest and ownership in Rock Springs Grazing Association,” Hay says. “RSGA has been around since 1907, when 200,000 to 300,000 sheep grazed the winter range in southwestern Wyoming. Now, there are about 50,000 to 70,000 sheep. A lot of ranchers have converted to cattle in recent years, but some continue to ranch sheep.” Sweetwater County’s documented agricultural history dates back to the early 1900s, when a land grant created a checkerboard concept, which still exists. The checkerboard refers to the way the land was divided, with every other tract being private, while the other staggered parcels are public and owned by the government. Present-day ranchers can utilize their private land for livestock grazing and access the government land for their herds at a cost. “I’m running about 2 million acres, and agriculture still plays a part in the local economy, but
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By the numbers

Year the Rock Springs Grazing Association began

it’s really just cattle and sheep, along with the hay and grain that is grown to put up for livestock,” Hay says. “The ag industry still remains important, but is certainly nothing like it was in the early 1900s just after Wyoming was first settled.” sheep dip As for the sheep industry, it has decreased in recent times due to predation from wolves and bears, lack of sheep laborers and a reduced market demand for wool. Bill Taliaferro, owner of Green River Livestock, is the largest sheep rancher in Sweetwater County. “Lamb is a popular meat with the consuming public, so we are concentrating on our reproductive levels so we can produce 3,500 or 3,600 lambs out of every 2,500 ewes,” Taliaferro says. “We used to run 225,000 sheep every winter, but now we’re down to 50,000. It’s a tough business, but still a good business.” coal and trona Hay says in Sweetwater County, mineral extraction has far surpassed agriculture in

Number of sheep in southwestern Wyoming today

economic impact. “Coal, trona, fertilizer, oil and gas – those industries have changed the nature of our economy so that agriculture, although important to those involved in it, certainly doesn’t hold the weight it once did,” he says. “But there are still many positives associated with agriculture, including that Sweetwater County has enhanced and now accommodates more wildlife than [at] any time in its documented history.” wind in the Forecast As for supplementing agricultural income, Hay says ranchers are pondering allowing wind turbines to be erected on their private land, thereby adding income generated from leasing the land to renewable energy companies. “Not so much solar energy, but the interest in wind energy is increasing and there are experts looking into the feasibility of delving into such an industry here in Sweetwater County,” Hay says. “It’s still in the discussion stages. Time will tell if it comes about.”

Number of ewes that produce 3,500-3,600 lambs at Green River Livestock

Coal, trona, fertilizer, oil and gas play a large role in sweetwater County’s economy, although agriculture remains an important economic factor as well.


s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

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s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

Roam FRee
access to PUblic land is amaZing heRe
StoRy By kevin litwin PhotoGRAPhy By bRian mccoRd


weetwater County, Wyo., is made up of an amazing 10,500 square miles – the county is actually bigger than seven individual U.S. states. About 75 percent of the county’s land mass is public and open to anyone who wants to explore or access it, while the remaining 25 percent of land is private. But much of the private land is also open to the public. “A person walking, biking or riding through all this land won’t find fences or trespass signs,” says Lance Porter, Rock Springs field manager for the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management. “There is a roam-free kind of spirit in Sweetwater County.” Porter says visitors might not even realize they are trekking on private property because landowners have all agreed to keep

their land open and accessible. And there are many beautiful sights to see throughout Sweetwater County, including historic wagon trails that are still intact with more than 100 miles of wagon ruts still visible. Another popular attraction is Killpecker Sand Dunes, which is ideal for off-road vehicle enthusiasts and ATVers thanks to 13,000 acres open to off-road vehicle use. Then there are the White Mountain Petroglyphs that feature primitive rock formations and ancient drawings depicting elk, horses, teepees, buffalo and humans. is that a Pygmy Rabbit? There is also picturesque camping in the Wind River Range, plus viewing outdoor wonders like Boar’s Tusk, Castle Rock, Palisades, Expedition Island, Kissing Rocks and Tollgate Rock. Meanwhile, wildlife

Killpecker sand dunes is popular for riding ATvs and off-road vehicles.

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The Sweetwater Events Complex is proud to host the National High School Finals Rodeo and the Sweetwater County Fair – Wyoming’s Big Show.

National High School Finals Rodeo:
Dubbed the “Largest Rodeo in the World,” the National High School Finals Rodeo will hold 13 performances over seven days featuring nearly 1,500 contestants from 41 U.S. states and five provinces in Canada and Australia. In addition to the daily rodeo performances, the National High School Finals Rodeo at the Sweetwater Events Complex will also include an 80,000-square-foot tradeshow showcasing premier manufacturers of branded merchandise, a shooting sports competition with nearly 600 competitors, 1,250 campsites and an expected attendance of 100,000!

Sweetwater County Fair – Wyoming’s Big Show:
Each summer, The Big Show draws folks from hundreds of miles to Rock Springs and the Sweetwater County Events Complex. The Big Show delivers fun with rodeo action, family-friendly carnival rides, a wide variety of delicious dining options, evening concerts, and 4-H and livestock exhibits. Named the number one event in Wyoming by “Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine.” For more information on these, or any of our 300+ events, please visit our website: www.SweetwaterEvents.com

3320 Yellowstone Rd. Rock Springs, WY 82901 307-352-6789 www.SweetwaterEvents.com

here in southwestern Wyoming includes pronghorn antelope, pygmy rabbits, burrowing owls, desert elk and golden eagles. “Visitors can also access the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop Tour, which consists of gravel roads for about 24 miles that allow anyone to view wild mustangs in their natural habitat,” Porter says. “The self-guided tour begins and ends in either Rock Springs or Green River, and guided tours can also be arranged. By the way, maps are available to the public for $4 apiece at the BLM office that detail all recreation accessibility and possibilities throughout this entire region.” take your Pic John Partain is a Rock Springs native and professional photographer who has owned Outdoors Etc. gallery in Rock Springs for the past 10 years. The gallery features the largest display of Wyoming photography in the state, highlighting the wide open spaces, wild landscape, vistas, sunrises and wildlife. Partain says there are thousands of hidden treasures in the way of rock formations, plant life and wildlife in Sweetwater County to help fill out any photographer’s portfolio. “I have taken photos here that have become finalists in international photography contests, with two of my award-winning photos entitled Pine Canyon Storm and Hell’s Half Acre,” he says. “I love being a photographer in Sweetwater County, with much of undiscovered and unexplored America out here. The thousands of square miles of untouched, unfenced land – it’s all amazing.”

Jeff ADKinS

From top: Wild horses near Rock springs; Wildlife and nature photographer Marco Ruebeck gets some good shots in green River.

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s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

sweetwateR PRePaRes to welcome thoUsands to woRld’s laRgest Rodeo


StoRy By caRy estes

Photo CouRteSy of nhSRA/DAViD JenninGS PhotoGRAPhy

he National High School Finals Rodeo is coming to Rock Springs in 2012. And while this ain’t the first rodeo for the Sweetwater Events Complex, it’s definitely the largest. More than 1,500 contestants from 41 states, five Canadian provinces and Australia will participate in the competition. The event is scheduled for July 15-21, 2012, but most competitors and support personnel will arrive in town nearly a week early in order to prepare. All told, approximately 8,000 people are expected to descend on Sweetwater County, creating an economic impact of more than $8 million for a community of approximately 25,000 residents. “It’s a big deal, there’s no doubt about it,” says Larry Lloyd, executive director of the Sweetwater Events Complex. “This is the world’s largest rodeo. We’re going to have all those people filling up the hotel rooms and restaurants. It’s going to have a huge impact on us.”

a history with the sport The Sweetwater Events Complex is no stranger to bringing the rodeo to town. The facility hosts a variety of competitions every year, including barrel racing, horse shows and team roping.

national high school Finals Rodeo in sweetwater County

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Wait, there’s even more
Motor sports make their mark on the Sweetwater Events Complex, too. The facility hosts indoor and outdoor BMX and motocross races, as well as stock car races and a demolition derby. For more information about all the complex offers, visit the website at www.sweetwaterevents.com.


s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

changes and expansion Still, none of the past events at the Sweetwater Events Complex can match the size and scope of the National High School Finals Rodeo. As a result, big changes are under way at the facility, particularly in the expansion of the number of horse stalls and campsites. “We sit on about 450 acres and have quite a bit of infrastructure in place,” Lloyd says of the complex, which has a 1,500-seat arena, a 20,000-square-foot exhibition hall, a 42,000-square-foot agricultural complex and parking for more than 1,000 vehicles. “But when you’re talking about 13 performances over seven days, we have to make some changes to accommodate that. It’s quite an undertaking. We have some significant upgrades to do, and we’re on a full-court press to get those done.” It’s an investment that should pay off for quite some time. The NHSFR will return to Sweetwater County in 2013, and Rock Springs is now part of a three-city rotation in which each site hosts the finals for two consecutive years. “It’s a family-friendly event, and we’re excited about having it.” Lloyd says. “We’re eager to get them here and show what we can do.”

The sweetwater events Complex hosts motocross races (left) and the national high school Finals Rodeo (right) among many other events.

Photo CouRteSy of nhSRA/DAViD JenninGS PhotoGRAPhy

The Red Desert Roundup Rodeo has been a summer staple since 1978, attracting stars from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. And now, the Mountain States Rodeo Circuit is scheduled to hold its annual finals in Sweetwater County through 2015, an event projected to have an annual economic impact of more than $1 million. “We’re all rodeoed up. We understand everything it takes to put on these types of events,” Lloyd says.

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The new green River visitor Center includes a mini-museum of the area. Right: Fossilized Lake gosiute fish can be found at the visitors center.


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easy way
which also operates the visitors center. The attractive stone and stucco building greets tourists as they exit the interstate, and offers them a wealth of information, maps, friendly advice and an unparalleled view that echoes a Thomas Moran painting of the Palisades and Tollgate Rock. “We thought, ‘If we put a building in an attractive location, they will come’ – and they have,” says Janet Hartford, executive director of the Green River Chamber. “In July 2010, we had 608 people come through our office. In July 2011, we had 2,100 people.” Besides offering information, the center also boasts a minimuseum of sorts. Under its beamed ceiling, visitors can gaze at a 116-pound stuffed wolf, get their photos taken sitting in a Western saddle, touch and explore artifacts such as elk and deer hides, antlers

visitoRs and locals alike aRe Finding sweetwateR coUnty moRe accessible

StoRy By laURa hill | PhotoGRAPhy By bRian mccoRd

ith its dramatically beautiful landscapes and wealth of amenities and activities, Sweetwater County, Wyo., has long been a mecca for tourists, as well as a great place to live. The only problem: how to find all those good things in the area’s sprawling communities. Now, thanks to smart planning and partnerships between business and government, Sweetwater County is becoming friendlier and more accessible to its thousands of tourists, and locals are benefitting too. green River visitors welcome Following years of planning, a striking new visitors center opened in Green River in 2011. A joint effort by the Green River Chamber of Commerce and the City of Green River, the $750,000 center is home to the chamber,


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and fossils, or just gaze at the 360-degree panoramic view of the Kildeer Wetlands, the bluffs and the river corridor. Outside, they can meet Butch and Sundance, two yearling mustang colts who are part of the chamber’s partnership with the Federal Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Green River is also making the area’s many bike trails easier to use, coordinating efforts with major landowners, adding signage, and producing maps and informative brochures. Finding the way in Rock springs In Rock Springs, visitors and residents are both finding their way around much more easily as the first phase of an ambitious wayfinding project is completed. “Our community is not on a grid, and it can be very difficult to find things since we are so spread out,” says Jennissa Bartlett, executive director of Sweetwater County Travel & Tourism. “We have great facilities and amenities for a city this size, and with the number of people visiting here and moving here, it’s important that people be able to find them,” adds Dave Hanks, CEO of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce. A 2007 branding study determined that a way-finding system was a top priority, as well as informational kiosks and gateway signage at the entrances to town. A committee decided on 24 key attractions to lead people to. “Basically, we looked at the key things any city would have – city hall, the police department, museums, city parks, libraries – and then things tourists would be interested in, such as the wild horse loop, the petroglyphs and the sand dunes,” says Bartlet. The $270,000 initial phase, which includes 300 signs, will be completed in spring 2012. The entire six-phase project, Bartlett says, may be completed in three to five years.

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

• 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

green River visitor Center

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Calling it
StoRy By joe moRRis | PhotoGRAPhy By bRian mccoRd

people may buy houses, there will still be many who are looking for a place to rent.” senior-citizen Facility Flourishes Residents who put down roots for the long haul know that their golden years will be well occupied, thanks to facilities like The Young At Heart Senior Center, which has provided a wide variety of programs since opening in 1971, according to Jeanine Cox, executive director. “We’ve got prevention programs, home-delivered meals, caregivers, social activities … really we have the whole scope here,” Cox says. “And we’re adding all the time. Now, we’ve got the Baby Boomers aging, so we’re adding programs that keep people busy and dynamic. It’s not just a place to come sit, knit and play bingo!” Rock springs Planners think ahead There’s very little sitting done in municipal offices, either, as new master plans are being formulated to take Rock Springs and the surrounding area into the next couple of decades, says Jana McCarron, city planner. “The new plan will be completed in late 2011, and will help us see how we can handle the people coming in now, and the next group as well,” McCarron says. “We’re looking at where people are living, what roads and other infrastructure needs to be added, so that we can rewrite our zoning ordinances to reflect current and future needs. We want to make sure we have enough properly prepared space for the next boom, and the one after that as well.”

PoPUlation boom leads to new, vaRied hoUsing oPtions in sweetwateR coUnty

weetwater County natives know this is not just a great place to grow up, but also a perfect spot to put down permanent roots. And in recent years, others have learned that too. In the decade between 2000 and 2010, Sweetwater County grew to almost 44,000 residents, a population jump of about 16.5 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The county’s growth has come in large part from workers in the nearby oil fields, as well as the related company executives and other business operators who have flooded the area. That has led to the construction of lots of new single-family homes ranging in price from the low $100,000s all the way to $1 million-plus mansions. It has also meant strong growth in apartment communities, which cater to full-time residents, as well as workers who commute in for the workweek. multiple housing options At The Village at Silver Ridge, which opened in 2009, all 264 units in 11 buildings are leased – and there’s a waiting list, says Krista Anson, property manager. “We have a lot of people who come to Rock Springs to work, but we also have a lot of families, so all of our units are popular,” Anson says. “The oil field brings a lot of people here for work, and I think that’s going to keep the area growing.” That sentiment is echoed by Tim Creek, business manager at The Preserve at Rock Springs, a 15-month-old complex with 184 one-, two- and three-bedroom units. “We have a nice diversity of residents,” Creek says. “Rock Springs is really seeing a boom, and while some


The clubhouse at The village at silver Ridge, an apartment community in Rock springs

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helP wanted
sweetwateR coUnty is a thRiving job maRket
StoRy By betsy williams | PhotoGRAPhy By bRian mccoRd

Lots of


n the hunt for a job? Then Sweetwater County, Wyo., should be your target. “Right now, we have about 600 jobs in the community that we are trying to fill,” says Dave Hanks, CEO of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce. Many are in energy-related fields that offer annual salaries of $100,000. Mining, oil and gas, and similar segments have been the traditional job creators in a region rich in mineral assets. While that’s still true, there are also job openings in health care, education, construction and retail. “We’re seeing a wide spectrum of job openings,” Hanks says. “We take that as a sign that our economy is growing and diversifying.” influx of new Residents The population is also growing. Rock Springs’ population is up 23 percent over the past decade, and the newcomers are younger. The latest U.S. Census figures indicate the average age in Rock Springs is 34 – compared with an average of 47 just a decade ago. These young families are enrolling their children in local schools, creating employment opportunities for teachers. Public schools in Rock Springs hired 55 new teachers for the 2011-12 school year. Hanks expects those numbers to continue to rise. “We’re seeing a real uptick in relocation to our area,” he says. “We’re now dealing with at least two requests for information every day. These are from people who have already made the decision to move here – people who have accepted jobs and are in the process of moving.” Unemployment is below 5 percent in Sweetwater County, but Hanks says that figure doesn’t tell the

whole story. “We are actually adding jobs, and that’s a positive economic indicator,” he says. “From August 2010 to August 2011, we added 1,000 jobs in our community. We’re gaining jobs, and we’re gaining population.” And there’s no end in sight. Future job market strong “The reason we expect this trend to continue for a while is that we have a lot of workers in several sectors who are reaching retirement age,” Hanks says. “Some of our industries tell us they expect up to 50 percent of their workforce to retire over the next few years.” Retirement is a factor in the future, agrees Jim Maxfield, human resources manager for Solvay Chemicals. He expects job opportunities to continue at Solvay, which operates a soda ash refinery in Rock Springs. “The last few years have been very good for the soda ash industry, but no one has a crystal ball. We hope we can maintain the current rate or even grow beyond that,” Maxfield says. “If business stays the same, we will go out recruiting as some of our workers retire.” Hanks says the large number of people transitioning into retirement provides some economic security for the region. “Even if productivity stayed flat – and we don’t expect that to happen – industries would still have to hire replacement workers to keep pace.” The new workers being added to the payroll of existing industry have a good example to follow, Maxfield says. “We’ve been fortunate to have a high caliber of people here locally that have been the essential ingredient making these companies successful.”


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halliburton, one of the world’s largest providers of products and services to the energy industry, is one of sweetwater County’s major employers.


$18 billion
Total revenue in 2010

Number of employees

Number of countries containing Halliburton facilities

Year the company was founded

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big FiRms, small bUsinesses gRow in sweetwateR coUnty

StoRy By betsy williams PhotoGRAPhy By bRian mccoRd

etail development is on the rise in Rock Springs and Sweetwater County. New projects have sprung up throughout the area, and a major heavy equipment firm is building its first new store in 20 years in Rock Springs. The retail projects, says Mike Yedinak, Rock Springs native and CEO of Commerce Bank, are signs that the local economy is moving beyond its “boom and bust” days and entering into a time of sustained growth. “We’ve seen huge investment by oil field services companies using Rock Springs as a staging area,” Yedinak says. “The companies have built and maintained regional offices in Sweetwater County, instead of


directing work here from remote locations in Texas and Oklahoma.” As a result, Yedinak says, people are putting down roots in Rock Springs. “We’ve seen the population go from 19,000 to 24,000 in the last decade,” he says. And those people are customers for retail and professional services, creating a regional trade population of nearly 50,000 for Sweetwater County businesses. commerce center on track Projects like the impressive Commerce Center put tenant businesses in a prime location to capture those customers. Anchored by Commerce Bank, the center offers more than 67,000 square feet of Class A office/condo space and another 57,500 square feet of retail

Commerce Bank, part of the new Commerce Center in Rock springs


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space fronting Dewar Street, the city’s main thoroughfare. Other tenants in the primary structure include accounting and financial management firms, an oil company, and a state senator. Two more of the Center’s planned five buildings are complete and occupied, and the fourth is under construction. Yedinak said the very existence of the new space may be prompting investment. “Sometimes when there is someplace for people to see that’s good quality space in a good

Flights and services have been added to the Rock springs-sweetwater County Airport due to the growth of the area.


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location, there may be some incentive to do something they would not have done otherwise,” he says. Tenants in Commerce Center space are divided evenly among existing businesses that opted to relocate and new businesses. Other recent light commercial retail projects attracting tenants include one on Power House Drive, two small strip malls south of Walmart and another on Dewar Drive. The refurbished Union Pacific office also houses retail and office space.

caterpillar dealer builds store Wyoming Machinery Company is also establishing a presence in the retail market in Rock Springs. The company, Wyoming’s premier Caterpillar dealer, is constructing a new, highly visible facility on Elk Street. The project is expected to be complete in summer 2012. Additional flights and services at the Rock Springs-Sweetwater County Airport also attest to the growth of the region, says Terry Doak, airport director of operations. “In the past year,

the airport has added a third daily Denver flight to a schedule that also includes two flights to Salt Lake City, Utah, and one daily flight to Gillette,” he says. airport earns grant Doak says expansion of the airport facility had been limited by the 75,000-gallon water tank due to fire codes. In 2011, the airport received a $1 million grant from the state for a 500,000-gallon water tank, which will allow for additional expansion.

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Biz Briefs
Businesses – BoTh LARge And sMALL – ThAT heLp deFine sWeeTWATeR CounTy’s eConoMiC CLiMATe

bUsiness at a glance

$900 million
annual retail sales

Retail sales per capita

$150 million
annual hotel and food sales

total number of firms
source: u.s. Census QuickFacts

Fotos by jenni Biz: Photography studio Buzz: Fotos by Jenni, owned by Jenni Knezovich, is a photography studio that specializes in photos of newborns, babies and children. Based in the Rock Springs area, Fotos by Jenni can be booked to photograph special events including weddings, as well as holiday photos and senior portraits. www.fotosbyjenni.com

boys & giRls clUb oF sweetwateR coUnty Biz: Youth organization Buzz: The Boys & Girls Club of Sweetwater County provides after-school programs for children ages six through 18, and strives to empower the area’s young people by encouraging them to be productive, caring and responsible individuals. (307) 389-2791

john bUnning tRansFeR Biz: Transportation company Buzz: Currently owned by Chris N. Bunning, the John Bunning Transfer Co. Inc. was founded in 1895 by the late Peter Christian Bunning. The company has stayed in the Bunning family for four generations, and continues to meet its customers’ heavy hauling needs. www.bunningtransfer.com 38
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Rocky moUntain PoweR sPoRts Biz: Power sporting goods store Buzz: Rocky Mountain Power Sports is Sweetwater County’s one-stop shop for outdoor adventurers. The store offers a variety of ATVs, such as snowmobiles, four-wheelers, jet skis, and more, and also provides auto repair services. Owned by Pete Leibee, the store has been in business for 13 years. (307) 362-6122


chamber report
ChAMBeR BACKs exTRACTion, WATeR issues
yoming is the largest producer of coal in the u.S., and also the largest producer of trona and uranium. it is the third largest natural gas producer and the fifth largest oil producer. land in Sweetwater County is 75 percent public, and the massive mineral extraction operations mostly take place on public land. they involve companies like fMC technologies, oCi, Solvay Chemicals, Rocky Mountain Power and Simplot Phosphates. But to use that public land, all extraction projects must have environmental impact statements prepared, plus must deal with drilling permits, mining permits and other legal issues. to help extraction companies through the regulations and paperwork processes, the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce has established an enterprise Committee. “these extraction companies have kind of a unique set of needs on the public land they work, so we formed this committee with representatives from the industries, along with a consultant who meets regularly with the u.S. Department of the interior’s Bureau of land Management,” says Don hartley, chairman of the enterprise Committee. “these extraction companies are vital to our growing economy, so the committee helps them through any processes they might encounter.”


ultimately extends to lake tahoe, lake Mead and all the way to Southern California and Mexico,” Green River Mayor hank Castillion says. “Water is a huge commodity in los Angeles, Phoenix, las Vegas and other cities in arid parts of the country, because they are using up their own water sources. they need more water,

and want to take it from the flaming Gorge national Recreation Area and use it for their own municipal water. the CPGR committee is totally against all this … We want to keep our water for environmental and recreational purposes, plus it will certainly impact our potential for future growth.” – Kevin Litwin

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

PRotect the gReen RiveR
Meanwhile, the Rock Springs Chamber has also formed a separate committee called Communities Protecting the Green River, or CPGR. that committee’s mission is to protect Wyoming’s portion of water in the Green River from cities and states that would love access to it. “We are at the top of the watershed for a river system that

601 N. Front St. • Rock Springs, WY (307) 362-5601 • (800) 632-5601 www.1stbank-online.com

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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% l! igiTa D
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602 Broadway Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 362-3773 www.sweetwaterhsa.com

economic PRoFile
bUsiness climate
Mining, particularly of trona, is the major industry in Sweetwater County, and the railroad is still a major presence in the area. With the interstate, railroad, fiber optics and other important infrastructures, Rock Springs and Green River make ideal business locations. green River Chamber of Commerce 1155 W. flaming Gorge Way Green River, Wy 82935 (307) 875-5711 www.grchamber.com sweetwater County Travel & Tourism 404 n St., Ste. 304 Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 382-2538 www.tourwyoming.com Wyoming Business Council 1400 Dewar Dr., Suite 208A Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 389-0867 pat.robbins@wybusiness.org

Rock springs-sweetwater County Airport P.o. Box 1987 Rock Springs, Wy 82902 (307) 352-6880 www.rockspringsairport.com sTAR Transit 1471 Dewar Dr. Ste. 123 Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 382-7827 www.ridestartransit.com Wyoming department of Transportation (307) 777-4375 www.dot.state.wy.us



County sales Tax

4% 5%

state sales Tax

Total sales Tax

goveRnment oFFices
City of Rock springs 212 D St. Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 352-1500 www.rswy.net City of green River 50 east 2nd north Green River, Wy 82935 (307) 872-0599 www.cityofgreenriver.org

economic ResoURces
Rock springs Chamber of Commerce 1897 Dewar Dr. Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 362-3771 www.rockspringschamber.com

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, Flaming Gorge Harley Davidson, Vanity, Maurices, Samuel’s Jewelers 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 www.whitemountainmall.com www.facebook.com/whitemountainmall

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Chopsti x
As i a n B i s t r o

HOURS: MONDAY-SUNDAY 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m.
We use only top-quality products such as choice angus beef, ocean garden shrimp and pork tenderloin. Chopstix Asian Bistro won Sweetwater County’s Rock n’ River Chef Challenge. “#1 in appetizers and #1 in international cuisine.”

Chopstix AsiAn Bistro 1313 Dewar Dr. Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 382-9888

Full house 3550 W. Yellowstone Mills, WY 82604 (307) 265-0550

local flavor

Filling eats, sweet treats
LoCAL ResTAuRAnTs Keep FoLKs CoMing BACK FoR MoRe
ffering a diverse variety of restaurants, eateries and sweet shops sure to please even the pickiest customer, Sweetwater County is an excellent place to get your fill.


located inside the Best Western outlaw inn, the outlaw inn Restaurant has been a community favorite since 1966. Guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner, with popular menu items such as breakfast burritos, prime rib, fresh grilled fish and carrot cake available seven days a week. “our restaurant serves the best food, offers the best company and is known for the best service in Sweetwater County,” says Mark Anselmi, owner and general manager for more than 25 years. Santa fe Southwest Grill provides some of the best Mexican food in the area dating back to 1991. the restaurant’s menu features traditional items, such as enchiladas and burritos, as well as clever creations like navajo tacos and stuffed sopapillas. in addition, diners can enjoy salads, soups and complimentary homemade chips and salsa. offering Chinese cuisine, Wonderful house Restaurant has been a county staple for more than a decade. this eatery is open seven days a week and features daily lunch specials.

“the kolaches are knock-yoursocks-off good,” says Derek Johnson, co-owner of Cowboy Donuts. located just north of Rock Springs and commonly known as the home of the Big Cone, farson Mercantile is famous for its sizeable ice cream cones. More than 20 flavors are available daily, such

as mint chocolate chip, praline pecan, moose mania and sorbet. “People come from all over to try our ice cream,” says lauren Reed, who co-owns the farson Mercantile with Dustin eaton. Customers looking for more than dessert can enjoy pizza, sandwiches and soup, as well as coffee. – Jessica Walker

sWeets and treats
Catering to Sweetwater County’s early birds, Cowboy Donuts opens its doors at 4:45 a.m., Monday through Saturday. As the shop’s name indicates, fresh donuts are available, as well as coffee and kolaches, which are treats made of sweet, buttery, homemade bread, with meats and cheeses inside.
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6039-TR12260M_TGB_Livability.indd 1

3/22/10 11:40:09 AM

Arts & Culture

students in the Western Theatre program at Western Wyoming Community College perform Oklahoma.

truly attractive
ARTs And CuLTuRe CoMMuniTy ReMAins viBRAnT
he arts and culture scene in Sweetwater County deserves a standing ovation, with many artistic options and venues to choose from. they include the Western theatre program at Western Wyoming Community College, which teaches theatrical, musical theater and dance productions to small class sizes that enable students to get personal attention from professors. All members of the Western theatre faculty share a love for the stage, and students who work hard and enjoy show business are welcome and encouraged to enroll.


history’s mysteries
the arts and culture scene in Sweetwater County also extends to museums, including Sweetwater County historical Museum that fittingly is located in an old building listed on the national Register of historic Places. in addition, Rock Springs historical Museum is also open to curiosity seekers in an old 1894 building that originally served as the first Rock Springs City hall. Meanwhile, the Western Wyoming Community College natural history Museum is where visitors can see five life-sized replicas of dinosaurs. As for visual arts, Rock Springs

Community fine Arts Center houses permanent and changing displays, and also hosts its own share of performing arts programs year round. the center was started in 1966 and is a way for visitors of all ages to learn about art and culture. Sweetwater County is also book smart with nine library branches. Besides providing resources for anyone interested in Wyoming culture, many of the libraries additionally serve as venues for concerts and poetry slams.

have a Blast
for anyone who likes festivals


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Photo CouRteSy of WeSteRn WyoMinG CoMMunity ColleGe

clockwise from left: A sculpture titled Tattoo Man at the Rock springs Community Fine Arts Center; Rock springs Community Fine Arts Center; The symphonic band at Western Wyoming Community College

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and good times, Sweetwater County offers diversity in themes, food and plenty of things to do. Wyoming’s Big Show is Sweetwater County’s annual county fair that offers a carnival, contests, concerts and plenty of kids’ activities, while the annual River festival in Green River has everything from a Cajun shrimp boil to live music, horse runs, photography contests and free games for kids. to kick back and relax, there’s

the Blues n’ Brews festival in downtown Rock Springs with live bands and brewers providing the entertainment. if it’s rodeo action you want, the Red Desert Rodeo Roundup includes a 5K run, parade, golf tournament and, of course, rodeo events. And Bunning Park hosts the warm weather Rock Springs Concert in the Park series, with every free concert starting at 7 p.m. in genres such as polka, metal, country and bluegrass.

56 nationalities
international Day celebrates Rock Springs’ 56 nationalities each year with hourly entertainment, ethnic foods and more than 40 varieties of beer. Meanwhile, flaming Gorge Days is known as “Southwest Wyoming’s Weekend of fun,” held every June with events such as a golf tournament, concerts and more. – Raven Petty
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Photo CouRteSy of WeSteRn WyoMinG CoMMunity ColleGe

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Jeannie Earhart
“On the Move for You”
(307) 875-7590 tel (307) 870-5037 cell (307) 875-9374 fax jearhart@wyoming.com www.jearhart.com

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 www.integratedps.com/rock_springs/

We offer some of the lowest loan rates around with small-town, friendly service

Southwest Wyoming’s Community Credit Union
Green river 131 E. Railroad Ave. (307) 875-3044 rock SprinGS 301 2nd St. (307) 382-4321 www.grbasinfcu.org


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Sports & Recreation

the golf course at the Paul j. wataha complex in Rock springs

sweetwater in action
sWeeTWATeR CounTy oFFeRs ResidenTs A RAnge oF ReCReATion


ll kinds of action is happening in Wyoming’s wide open spaces. from national recreation areas to wildlife refuges, Sweetwater County offers a multitude of ways to take advantage of the outdoors.

established in 1965, the protected area includes Seedskadee national Wildlife Refuge and Cokeville Meadows national Wildlife Refuge. the refuge is home to birds, deer, moose, fox, fish and more.

Center features an olympic-sized swimming pool. the Rock Springs family Recreation Center has everything from racquetball courts to an ice arena and the Sweetwater events Complex features competition for motocross.

paul J. Wataha complex
for full fitness service, Rock Springs residents head to the Paul J. Wataha Complex & Golf Course. the complex is complete with three softball fields and a baseball field, where numerous adult and youth leagues play tournaments. inside the complex guests will find services including exercise, yoga, kick boxing, swimming, pool, weights and personal training.

range oF recreation
other recreation options in the area include the Ashley national forest, with 1,384,132 acres to explore and tours of the open areas across White Mountain are available to the public. the parks department in Sweetwater County oversees 12 county parks, including Sweetwater Aero-Modelers, Arrowhead Springs, Bicentennial, Big Sandy and more. the county also offers plenty of recreation complexes. the Rock Springs Civic Center provides a 56-foot-long climbing wall with routes that change daily, while the Green River Recreation

neW additions
Rock Springs’ oldest park has a few modern additions. What used to be the Get n’ Go Super Wash was recently renovated to become Bunning Park’s new grand entryway. As the only park located downtown, Bunning’s new entrance will include accessible parking for visitors. Bunning Park is home to Sweetwater County’s Concert in the Park series, which runs each summer from June through August. Additionally in nearby farson, a new $3 million dollar community center is in the works. – Carson O’Shoney and Karen Schwartzman
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seedskadee national WildliFe reFuge
for a quick getaway, Seedskadee provides a refuge for both wildlife and residents.

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schools of thought
CounTy is hoMe To exCeLLenT eduCATion opTions
esidents in Sweetwater County have multiple choices for selecting top education options. on the collegiate scene, Western Wyoming Community College has been around since 1959 when 40 students originally enrolled, and today there are 5,000 students. there is an extended campus center in Green River along with the main campus in Rock Springs, and the main campus recently added a diesel mechanics laboratory for automotive students to learn how to better operate diagnostic devices. WWCC also works closely with many local companies to offer training that relates directly to jobs, especially in the area’s flourishing mineral extraction


industry. Related training programs at the college include welding technology, plant operations, oil and gas technology, mining maintenance, compression technology and heavy equipment maintenance, with salaries in those fields often starting at $30,000$40,000 and quickly increasing. yearly tuition at WWCC only averages less than $2,000, and taking into account living expenses and financial aid, the average total net cost of attending Western Wyoming Community College is about $4,700 per year.

transferable courses that students can take at Western Wyoming Community College. those classes include agriculture, biology, business, elementary education, engineering, foreign language, health sciences and marketing.

We’re no. 1
for grades K-12, Sweetwater County Schools District no. 1 is headquartered in Rock Springs and oversees all public schools within Rock Springs, farson/eden Valley and Wamsutter. enrollment is nearly 5,000 students and there are seven elementary, four middle schools and three high schools, including a new Rock Springs Junior high. there is also a new Pilot Butte elementary School serving grades 5-6, and a new

uW at WWcc
At the university of Wyominglaramie, the state university is a three-hour drive from Rock Springs but uW also offers several


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western wyoming community college

Sage elementary School serving grades 1-4.

eight in green river
Sweetwater County Schools District no. 2 is in Green River and also includes all public schools in the outlying communities of Granger and McKinnon. the district has 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 (in fontenelle).

catholic and Baptist
As for private schools, the two in Sweetwater County are 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. – Kevin Litwin
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StAff Photo


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

• • • • • • • •

Allergy Cardiology Ear, Nose & Throat Emergency Medicine Family Practice General Surgery Internal Medicine Nephrology

• • • • • • • •

Obstetrics & Gynecology Orthopedics Pediatrics Plastic Surgery Podiatry Psychiatry Radiology Urology

• • • • • • • •

Audiology Bio-Medical Engineering Cardiac Rehabilitation Cardio/Respiratory Dialysis Intensive Care Laboratory Labor & Delivery

Medical Imaging – CAT Scan – Mammography – MRI – Nuclear – Ultrasound • Nutrition Services • Pharmacy • Physical Therapy • Sleep Disorder Lab • ICU

Your LocaL, muLti-speciaLtY cLinic!
General Surgery • Ear, Nose & Throat • Pediatrics • Family Practice Internal Medicine • Psychiatry • Nephrology

Call us to schedule an appointment: (307) 352-8125
1204 Hilltop Dr. • Suites 107-109 • Rock Springs, WY 82901


health & Wellness

care close to home
AReA hospiTALs AiM To pRovide ConvenienCe, quALiTy CARe
weetwater County residents enjoy convenient access to hospitals and care centers, and no longer have to travel far for diagnostic services, which increases the area’s quality health-care options.


memorial hospital oF sWeetWater county
Memorial hospital of Sweetwater County, Wyoming’s first hospital, gives residents plenty of health-care services including cardio rehabilitation, dialysis, emergency care, obstetrics, physical therapy, surgical services, and more. Serving a 100-mile radius, the not-for-profit hospital provides 99 beds and supplies emergency services to more than

24,000 individuals a year. Memorial hospital is one of the only hospitals in the state that has a fully integrated electronic health record. Recent renovations and additions include a $52 million construction project that added 54,000 square feet to the 64,000-square-foot existing structure. Patients can enjoy an expanded obstetrics unit, complete with additional private rooms, as well as whirlpool tubs in labor delivery rooms and family nurseries.

sage vieW care center
Part of the nationally recognized Kindred healthcare inc., Sage View Care Center provides 24-hour skilled nursing

for short-term rehabilitative care, as well as long-term care in a home-like environment that allows for independence and ensures the highest quality medical care. Sage View patients can enjoy such amenities as hush-no-rush dining, free Wi-fi, spa bathing, an on-site beauty shop, pet visits and a secure outdoor courtyard with raised garden planters. in addition, residents may participate in an assortment of activities that are tailored to their individual interests and abilities. Some of these activities include bingo, gardening, arts and crafts, educational opportunities, music, movies, various church services, exercise classes, scheduled outings and much more.
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Jeff ADKinS


Deborah Bassett – Program Manager Dina Porter – Outreach Specialist

Assisting Sweetwater, Sublette, Teton, Lincoln and Uinta County citizens with all areas of cancer control and prevention • Public education and awareness about cancer risk factors and prevention at health fairs, Relay for Life events, chamber meetings, and other events where information and presentations are desired • Assistance enrolling in state-funded cancer screening programs (breast, cervical and colorectal) • Promotion of early detection of cancers • Sun Safe Outdoor Worker and Sun Safe Schools materials • Healthy Hunter program materials
Wyoming Cancer Resource Services is funded by the Wyoming Department of Health, Comprehensive Cancer Control Program

1013 W. Cheyenne Dr. • Evanston, WY 82930 307.789.8771 • Toll Free: 877.789.8771 • Fax: 307.789.8806 http://cancerresourceswy.com/aboutus.aspx FIND US ON FACEBOOK!

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

http://club.anytimefitness.com/clubs/rockspringswy 52

s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

health & Wellness

sage view Care Center

Sage View accommodates 82 residents, and also offers an Alzheimer’s Special Care unit with 12 beds that serves individuals with dementia. Fortune magazine has rated Kindred healthcare inc. one of the World’s Most Admired Companies for 2009, 2010 and 2011.

neW Frontier imaging
new frontier imaging, which opened in January 2011, offers state-of-the-art health technologies that were previously unavailable to Sweetwater County and southern Wyoming residents. Some of the new additions include u Arm x-Ray equipment from Ge, CAt scan services, ultrasound and women’s services such as digital mammography, bone density scanning and breast MRi. A woman’s center is on site to ensure quality comfort while

receiving diagnostic services. the center was established due to a growing need of imaging services in the area. Residents will no longer have to travel to other cities to receive care, and the facility’s location is close to other physicians who can send patients to the center as needed. this enables a comfortable and convenient environment for both staff and patients.

access to physicians and physician’s assistants, and additional staff members. the Castle Rock Ambulance Service provides emergency services seven days a week, 24-hours a day and is comprised of state certified emergency Medical technicians.

the villa
the Villa gives elderly residents an alternative to typical apartment life and employs a professional nursing staff available 24-hours a day to provide residents with convenient care. Residents can choose from furnished or unfurnished apartments and can enjoy sun rooms, activity areas, a dining room and a community living room. for a full list of available services, visit the Villa’s website. – Jessica Walker
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castle rock hospital district
this hospital district includes the Castle Rock Medical Center, Castle Rock Ambulance Service and the Villa, a personal care center for the elderly. the Castle Rock Medical Center supplies community members with a family practice clinic, wellness and rehabilitation services and radiology with

BRiAn M c CoRD


image Gallery

A rock formation in Green River Photo by Brian McCord


s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

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image Gallery

Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area Staff Photo


s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

The John Wesley Powell statue at the Sweetwater County Historical Museum Photo by Brian McCord

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Top 10

Cities to Defy Death


Rock Springs made the list.

Top 10 Cities to Defy Death
See more Top 10 lists at Livability.com.

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

commUnity PRoFile
Rock Springs is the largest city in Sweetwater County, and the second largest, Green River, is the county seat. Sweetwater County is home to 10,500 square miles of high desert adventure and offers excellent recreation opportunities, affordable housing and a variety of cultural activities.

cost oF living


$60,792 $749

Median household income


Median Rent for a Two-Bedroom Apartment


hoUsehold inFo


19 and under





83° F
July high Temperature

55 and over marItaL status

16 minutes
Median Travel Time to Work

8° F
January Low Temperature


use public Transportation to Work

Annual Rain Fall (vs. national Annual Rain Fall of 37”)


drive/Carpool to Work
This seCTion is sponsoRed By

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

“Committed to Your Success”
JFC is proud to support the growth of Sweetwater County through our professional services.

1515 Ninth St. • Rock Springs, WY • (307) 362-7519

Visit our website at www.jfc-wyo.com.

i M Ag e s s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y. C o M


ABRAxAS School of Cosmetology
Arts & Sciences LLC
Cosmetology, Manicurist, Hairstylist & Wax Technician Full client services including hair extensions Services supervised by licensed instructor 410 Broadway Rock Springs, WY 82901 (307) 382-5449 Whether you are looking to buy or thinking of selling your home, please give “Debs Team” a call to help you with all your real estate needs.

Debbie Gibbs
CRS, GRI, CDPE Associate Broker 307-389-2490

The Civilized Way to Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Erin Terrill
Sales Associate 307-389-3925

1993 Dewar Dr., Suite 2 Rock Springs, WY 82901 www.debbiegibbs.com
Partners in Recreation with Ashley National Forest

Fine dining, luxury cabins and a whole world of recreation
(435) 889-3759 redcanyonlodge.com


s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

nUmbeRs to know
sweetwater County Clerk’s office 80 West flaming Gorge Way Green River, Wy 82935 (307) 872-6400 sweetwater County Treasurer 80 W. flaming Gorge Way Ste. 139 Green River, Wy 82935 (307) 872-6380 meDICaL FaCILItIes Memorial hospital of sweetwater County 1200 College Dr. Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 362-3711, (307) 875-7730 www.sweetwater medicalcenter.com Castle Rock Medical Center 1400 uinta Dr. Green River, Wy 82935 (307) 872-4590 www.crhd.org

arts anD CuLture Community Fine Arts Center 400 C St. Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 362-6212 www.cfac4art.com Rock springs historical Museum 201 B St. Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 362-3138 www.rswy.net sweetwater County historical Museum 3 e. flaming Gorge Way Green River, Wy 82935 (307) 872-6435 www.sweetwatermuseum.org WWCC natural history Museum 2500 College Dr. Rock Springs, Wy 82902 (307) 382-1600

reCreatIon aCtIVItIes Flaming gorge national Recreation Area Ashley national Forest 1450 uinta Dr. Green River, Wy 82935 (307) 875-2871 www.fs.fed.us green River Recreation Center 1775 hitching Post Dr. Green River, Wy 82935 (307) 872-0511 www.cityofgreenriver.org Rock springs Civic Center 410 n St. Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 352-1420 Rock springs Family Recreation Center 3900 Sweetwater Drive Rock Springs, Wy 82901 (307) 352-1440 www.rswy.net

1st Bank www.1stbank-online.com Abraxas School of Cosmetology Active Realty www.jearhart.com Anytime Fitness http://club.anytimefitness.com/clubs/ rockspringswy/ BP America www.bp.com Cameron www.c-a-m.com/camserv Chopstix Asian Bistro Communication Technologies Inc. www.comtechradio.com Deer Trail Assisted Living www.deertrailassistedliving.com Encana www.encana.com Evergreen Electric FMC www.fmc.com Green River Basin FCU www.grbasinfcu.org Hampton Inn & Suites Green River www.greenriversuites.hamptoninn.com Infinity Power & Controls www.infinitypwr.com Integrated Power Services www.ips.com JFC Engineers Surveyors www.jfc-wyo.com Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County www.sweetwatermedicalcenter.com Messco – A Moneyhun Company www.messco.com Mountain West Storage www.mountainweststorage.com QEP Resources Inc. www.qepres.com Red Canyon Lodge www.redcanyonlodge.com Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce www.rockspringschamber.com Rock Springs National Bank www.rsnb.com Rocky Mountain Power www.rockymountainpower.net Sage View Care Center www.kindredhealthcare.com Shell Oil Company www.shell.us/naturalgas Solvay Chemicals www.solvaychemicals.us Sweetwater Cable TV www.sweetwaterhsa.com Sweetwater Events Complex www.sweetwaterevents.com Taco Time www.tacotime.com The Real Estate Pros www.debbiegibbs.com Vaughns Plumbing & Heating www.vaughnsplumbingandheating.com Western Wyoming Community College www.wwcc.wy.edu White Mountain Mall www.whitemountainmall.com Wyoming Cancer Resource Services www.cancerresourceswy.com/aboutus.aspx Wyoming Land Title Company www.firstam.com/title-wy/sweetwater

visit our

i M Ag e s s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y. C o M


Look ma! No liens!

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 familyowned company, we believe in dependable service and doing the job right the first time – that’s our tradition. 415 N. CeNter St. • roCk SPriNgS, WY • (307) 362-7550 WWW.VAugHNSPlumbiNgANdHeAtiNg.Com

Wyoming Land Title Company for your title insurance and real estate closing

Wyoming Land Title Company
First American Title Insurance Company
95 E. Flaming Gorge Way Green River, WY 82935 (307) 875-6700 (307) 362-6770


s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y

through the lens

get the story Behind the photo
now that you’ve experienced Sweetwater County through our photos, see it through the eyes of our photographers. Visit throughthelensjci.com to view our exclusive photographers’ blog documenting what all went in to capturing those perfect moments.

From our photo Blog: sWeetWater county
August 28, 2011 — i spent last week shooting the upcoming Images Sweetwater County magazine. this is a beautiful part of the country with vast open areas, beautiful landscapes and amazing rock formations like Boar’s tusk and Pilot Butte. the Killpecker Sand Dunes is the second largest active sand dune field in the world and is a hot spot for 4-wheeling and off-roading.
PoSteD By BRiAn McCoRD

more online
See more favorite photos and read the stories behind the shots at throughthelensjci.com.

trona mining

Flaming gorge nat’l Recreation area
i M Ag e s s W e e T WAT e R C o u n T y. C o M


Ad Index
39 1st Bank 60 aBraxas school of cosmetology 46 active realty 52 anytime fitness 6 BP america c4 cameron 42 choPstix asian Bistro 49 communication technologies inc. 52 Deer trail assisteD living 46 encana 4 evergreen electric 1 fmc 46 green river Basin fcu 12 hamPton inn anD suites green river c2 infinity Power & controls 46 integrateD Power services 59 Jfc engineers surveyors 50 memorial hosPital of sweetwater county 2 messco – a moneyhun comPany 29 mountain west storage 40 QeP resources inc. 60 reD canyon loDge c3 rock sPrings chamBer of commerce 62 rock sPrings national Bank 25 rocky mountain Power

Ad Index (cont.)
42 sage view care center 28 shell oil comPany 37 solvay chemicals 40 sweetwater caBle tv 20 sweetwater events comPlex 7 taco time 60 the real estate Pros 62 vaughns PlumBing & heating 8 western wyoming community college 41 white mountain mall 52 wyoming cancer resource services 62 wyoming lanD title comPany

Growing Sweetwater County …


Building the Future

• 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 • www.rswy.net
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 • www.cityofgreenriver.org
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 www.rockspringschamber.com
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 • www.sweet.wy.us
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