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Old 12-08-2016, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,534 posts, read 3,686,922 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prickly Pear View Post
I am the OP.

Yes but Seattle and Phoenix are the same size today. Phoenix usurped Denver in population. And I agree the AC helped a ton 100%. But there's also something known as heaters. If Tucson and Phoenix were near identical to Boise back in the day, then why didn't Boise get a population boom (by a significant amount) until recently? Denver and Phoenix are proof that harbor access isn't too much of a factor, especially given Phoenix's size I think.

So it's got to be something with resources I think.
Sorry, no disrespect to the OP Prickly Pear, sometimes I move too fast...

To respond to your question...Yes, resources, but also weather and many trying to escape dismal big city living in the 60's and 70's.
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Boston
432 posts, read 356,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
Sorry, no disrespect to the OP Prickly Pear, sometimes I move too fast...

To respond to your question...Yes, resources, but also weather and many trying to escape dismal big city living in the 60's and 70's.
I'm not sure why people keep saying weather. Both Boise and Cheyenne seem to have higher winter averages than Minneapolis, not to mention Cheyenne and Minneapolis see around the same amount of snowfall each year. Boise actually has a better climate than most of the midwest lol.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,079 posts, read 2,113,124 times
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So are we discussing early limitations or recent failures? I really don't think it is so simply as one, two, or even three issues as to why they aren't more populated. I think there are many different layers to it all that all build on the result.

There really is no reason why they shouldn't have taken off. The first transcontinental railroad went through Wyoming, not Colorado. Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho all granted women the right to vote decades before the rest of the country. All had fairly liberal policies around immigration, mining, and ranching. So obviously something there prevented or is preventing them from significant growth.

Greed, technology, promotion, perception, climate, politics, they all have a hand in it. Without getting into a westward expansionism history lesson, these three states lacked the correct amount of positive umph to really put them in the collective conscious of the east until after WW2. Even Arizona was a blip comparable to these three until after the war. Colorado and Utah excelled at self promotion and growth at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho did not.

Climate and weather, which seem to be a popular topic here, are indeed factors. While not the only thing, the wide variability of weather in the Rockies is a huge issue, IMO. What is often hard to impress on people not living in the Rocky Mtn west is how variable it really is. Its not just the cold, and not just the snow as there are any places with deeper cold and more snow. The inconsistentcy of the weather at altitude, made all Rocky Mtn states tough to deal with 100 years ago. The fact that you can have a string of 40-50* days for two weeks only to be hit by an arctic cold front that dumps 2 feet of snow in 24 hours with 60 mph winds that create -25* temps for a week straight and create drifts 20-30' deep made vintage and even modern, transportation very expensive to put in and maintain.
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Old 12-08-2016, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Seattle WA, USA
3,929 posts, read 2,213,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
The OP specifically asked "why didn't these areas boom earlier". I assume the OP was talking about the growth in the form of a historical perspective. While I agree, mining and railroads had a lot to do with it in places like Denver, the harbor access was just as important. Almost 100 years ago, in 1920, the biggest cities in the west by population were:

1. Los Angeles (577,00)
2. San Francisco (507,000)
3. Seattle (315,000)
4. Portland (258,000)
5. Denver (256,000)

Boise and Tucson were only about 21,000. Phoenix was around 29,000 in 1920, but showed 300+ percent growth in the 1960's. Both Tucson and Phoenix can thank the advent of AC for their rapid growth, among other reasons.
Spokane was another fairly large city back then too with a population of 104,437, but for some reason Spokane fell into a rut after the 60s, and didn't see any major growth until the 2000s. Spokane has always been much larger than Boise, but Boise overtook Spokane in this decade. I wonder how large Spokane would've been if it experienced the same boom that Boise did in the 80s, Spokane peeked at 181,608 in 1960, and only grew past this number in 2000 when it reached 195,629.
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Old 12-08-2016, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,534 posts, read 3,686,922 times
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Spokane...big railroad town in 1920, still is to some extent, but the rut you are referring to is real. One big industry in the Spokane area was the aluminum plant, not so much today. Spokane still benefits from the Fairchild military facility. It really is a nice town, especially when you explore the South Hill...very nice residential area, even some classic mansions!

However, downtown is stagnant. There have been no new highrises in downtown in the last 30 years. Macy's closed downtown. Yes, some effort into new downtown housing, but I don't know if it is enough.

Yet, the suburban areas are growing. What once was empty land in Spokane Valley is quickly filling in. When you drive from Idaho into Washington the Spokane suburban presence is immediate and impressive.

The north corridor project on 395 is almost completed, but the last leg to connect with I-90 is slow to come. Perhaps new funding is needed there, but it really needs to connect to the 90 to be effective.

But this is off-topic. Montana-Wyoming-Idaho continue to be sparsely populated. Yes, we can point to Couer d'Alene and Boise as up and coming population areas, but beyond those, it becomes a wide open area with smaller metros like Twin Falls, Idaho Falls/Pocatello, and that is about it. Yes, Idaho has set aside a huge wilderness area, but no cities would be built there anyway. Couer d'Alene is growing mainly due to Spokane. Idaho Falls and Pocatello are growing mainly due to LDS population stats, from both inside and outside. Boise is the only city that seems to have integral growth, as in developing from within, with some help from in-migration from CA, WA, and OR.

Last edited by pnwguy2; 12-08-2016 at 08:53 PM..
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Old 12-08-2016, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Downtown Phoenix, AZ
18,927 posts, read 6,856,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intheclouds1 View Post
I'm not sure why people keep saying weather. Both Boise and Cheyenne seem to have higher winter averages than Minneapolis, not to mention Cheyenne and Minneapolis see around the same amount of snowfall each year. Boise actually has a better climate than most of the midwest lol.
The Snake River Valley in Idaho (which includes Boise area) doesn't have the worst climate, due to being west of the Continental Divide and at lower elevation than most areas of the interior NW, Boise is only around 2,000 ft.

But Montana and Wyoming are a different ball of wax. The coldest night I've ever experienced was in Little America, WY at 7,000 ft last December, woke up at 3am to a temperature of -12F. And Interstate 80 through WY is always getting closed in the late fall thru early spring due to blizzards with high winds
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
5,534 posts, read 3,686,922 times
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Ha! Little America. Plenty of billboards...stopped for breakfast there, seemed to be something out of the 1950's. Perhaps they have renovated their rooms, don't know. But a very historical stop!
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:49 PM
 
Location: "The Dirty Irv" Irving, TX
2,808 posts, read 1,299,023 times
Reputation: 3204
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
Ha! Little America. Plenty of billboards...stopped for breakfast there, seemed to be something out of the 1950's. Perhaps they have renovated their rooms, don't know. But a very historical stop!
I always wanted to stop there growing up!
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:23 AM
 
2,727 posts, read 5,147,283 times
Reputation: 1938
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
Couer d'Alene is growing mainly due to Spokane.

I thought it was the other way...Spokane feeds off of Coeur d'Alene's place in the sun.
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Old 12-09-2016, 02:58 PM
 
3,402 posts, read 4,310,897 times
Reputation: 2403
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syringaloid View Post
I thought it was the other way...Spokane feeds off of Coeur d'Alene's place in the sun.
I live in Coeur d"Alene and agree with you. I don't think Spokane would have any growth if Coeur d'Alene wasn't so close.
As far as low population of Id, Wy and Mt, I think Wy and Mt is it's just to cold. Kinda the same for Pocatello and Idaho falls. Boise and North Idaho have been growing pretty strong in recent years.

Last edited by Zyngawf; 12-09-2016 at 03:03 PM.. Reason: wrong city
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