Anchorage is the home of 42 percent of the state's residents and is the commercial heart of south-central and western Alaska. When its brief modern history is considered—the town of Anchorage was founded in 1915 as a railroad construction headquarters—the fact that Anchorage stands as a sophisticated metropolis in the midst of rugged wilderness can be appreciated as a phenomenon.
Located in south-central Alaska in a wide valley, Anchorage is bordered on the west, north, and south by Knik Arm and Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet. The Chugach Mountains to the east have a general elevation of 4,000 to 5,000 feet, with peaks from 8,000 to 10,000 feet.
The Anchorage area was settled more than 6,000 years ago as a summer fishing camp for the Tanaina tribe. Until the seventeenth century it was under the dominance of the Pacific Eskimos; then in 1650 the Eskimos were defeated in battle by the Tanaina where Point Woronzof is now located on the shore of Knik Arm.
The municipality of Anchorage is administered by a mayor-assembly form of government, with the mayor and eleven assembly members elected to three-year terms.
While the U.S. economy has shown declines in recent years, Alaska's economy has shown a relatively stable growth of two percent annually.
The Anchorage School District prides itself on test scores that are better than state and national averages. The district's 50,000 students represent a diverse array of ethnic backgrounds.
Anchorage is a primary medical treatment center for the state of Alaska and is home to the two largest hospitals in the state, Providence Alaska Medical Center and Alaska Regional Hospital. The new $157 million 100-bed hospital on Elmendorf Air Force Base opened in 2001.
An ideal way to see the points of interest in downtown Anchorage is to take a walking tour. A circular route—beginning at Old City Hall, original seat of the municipal government, and ending two blocks away at the Pioneer Schoolhouse, the first school in Anchorage—provides a leisurely stroll through the city's history.
Anchorage is rapidly gaining distinction as a convention and meeting site. The city's downtown convention center is within walking distance of fine restaurants, unique shops, and world-class cultural events.
The majority of travelers come to Anchorage by plane, arriving at Anchorage International Airport, located ten minutes west of downtown. A major stop for transpolar flights, the airport is one of the busiest in the country and is served by more than 50 freight and passenger air carriers.
Anchorage has four commercial television stations. The city is also served by cable television and by fourteen AM and FM radio stations broadcasting a variety of formats such as adult contemporary, country, and broadcasts from National Public Radio and American Public Radio.
Fairbanks is the second-largest city in Alaska, the northern-most city in the United States, and one of only a few communities in the entire world where a concentration of people is living at such an extreme northern latitude. Despite being the trade, transportation, and cultural center of the Alaskan Interior, Fairbanks has maintained much of its frontier character.
Fairbanks is located in the Tanana Valley in the Interior of Alaska, 358 miles north of Anchorage and 125 miles south of the Arctic Circle. Significant changes in solar heat during the year produce a wide variation of temperatures from winter to summer.
Fairbanks was founded accidentally in 1901 by CaptainE. T.
Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB), similar to a county, is governed by an 11-member assembly and an elected mayor who is the chief executive officer. The mayor serves for three years as the executive and administrative officer of the city; elected council members serve for staggered three-year terms.
As Alaska's second largest city, Fairbanks is an important trading, transportation, military, regional service and supply center. City, borough, state and federal government services are located here.
Public elementary and secondary schools in Fairbanks are part of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District (FNSBSD), the second largest in the state. The district is administered by a nonpartisan, seven-member school board with three non-voting advisory members, which appoints a superintendent.
Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, the only civilian hospital in the region, serves 98,000 people in an area covering some 250,000 square miles. Operated by the Banner Health System, Fairbanks Memorial is a modern 142-bed facility that has been expanded and remodeled several times since its opening in 1972.
Fairbanks is rich in frontier history. One of the main attractions is Pioneer Park, a 44-acre historic theme park on the banks of the Chena River.
More than 12 hotels and more than 65 bed-and-breakfast properties in Fairbanks offer a combined total of 2,000 guest accommodations and a wide variety of meeting space. The largest meeting and exhibition facility is the Carlson Center, which features a 35,000-square-foot arena and several meeting rooms, for a combined total of 50,000 square feet of space that can accommodate more than 1,200 meeting participants, 200 trade show exhibits, or 4,000 people for a concert or sports event.
The Fairbanks International Airport is served by Alaska Airlines, Alaska Central Express, Cargolux Airlines International and Lufthansa. Alaska Airlines has regularly scheduled daily flights to Anchorage and Seattle.
Five television stations broadcast in Fairbanks; cable is available. Seventeen AM and FM radio stations broadcast in the Fairbanks metropolitan area, providing a variety of music, news, and information programming.
The city and borough of Juneau is one of Alaska's most popular tourist destinations and one of the state's most important ports. Juneau is unique in that it is accessible only by air and sea.
The city of Juneau is located on the mainland of southeastern Alaska's Panhandle on the narrow southeastern strip bordering the Canadian province of British Columbia, approximately 1,000 miles northwest of Seattle, Washington. Most of the city lies on the mainland of Alaska, although Douglas Island, which is connected by a bridge, is also part of Juneau.
In the late 1800s when gold prospecting began in the Gastineau Channel region, the area was a fishing ground for local Tlingit Native Americans. A mining engineer from Sitka, George Pilz, offered a reward to any local native chief who could show him the site of gold-bearing ore.
Juneau, a home-rule municipality, has a council-manager type of government formed via elections held every three years. In 1970 the city merged with the city of Douglas and other areas of the Juneau Borough to become the city and borough of Juneau.
Nearly half of Juneau's working population is employed by the federal, state, or local government. All state departments have offices in Juneau, including the Superior and District Courts.
Juneau's schools offer special programs for secondary school students, including the Project of Assisted Learning, an alternative approach; the Entrepreneurship Program, with an emphasis on vocational education; and special education programs for children with special needs. Due to Juneau's geographic location, the schools also offer programs focusing on the sea.
Juneau is served by Bartlett Memorial Hospital, a city-owned facility that began an extensive $40 million expansion project in 2005. Bartlett Memorial also operates the Juneau Recovery Hospital, a medical model facility for the detoxification and rehabilitation of persons with alcohol or other drug dependencies.
A good place for visitors to start exploring Juneau is at the Davis Log Cabin Visitor Center, which offers guides and maps. The Downtown Historic District of the city contains many buildings dating back to 1880 and has wider sidewalks reminiscent of the old boardwalks.
Centennial Hall Convention Center, just across the street from the waterfront, is three blocks away from the heart of Juneau's downtown with its shops and restaurants. Built in 1983, Centennial Hall has 7 meeting rooms ranging from 300 square feet to an 11,275-square-foot, column-free ballroom.
Juneau International Airport covers 80,000 square feet of land and is serviced daily by Alaska Airlines. The city is about a two-hour flight north from Seattle, or approximately a 90-minute flight southeast from Anchorage.
Juneau Empire is the city's daily newspaper and Inside Passage, the official newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Juneau, is produced biweekly from September through May and monthly from June to August.
Located along the fabled American highway, Route 66, Flagstaff is the largest city and regional center in northern Arizona. Known as "the Gateway to the Grand Canyon," it is the county seat for Coconino County, the second largest in the nation, with 12 million acres.
Flagstaff is located 146 miles due north of Phoenix, 150 miles west of Albuquerque, and 525 miles east of Los Angeles.
It is said that it is the springs that first drew people to the Flagstaff area of dry, northern Arizona. The Sinagua, Anasazi, and Cohonino tribes were the first to settle there.
Flagstaff has a council/manager form of government with a mayor and six council members elected at large. Mayoral elections are held every two years; council members serve four years, and elections are staggered every two years.
New scientific and high tech research and development industries have located to Flagstaff, broadening the economic base of tourism, government, education, and transportation, which replaced the lumber, railroad, and ranching eras.
The Flagstaff Unified School District is widely recognized as one of the finest in the Southwest. It offers a wide range of programs to meet the needs of students with diverse backgrounds, interests, and abilities.
Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) is Northern Arizona's regional referral medical facility and has the only Level II trauma center in the area. Prominent departments of Flagstaff Medical Center are The Heart Center, The Cancer Center, Imaging/Radiology, Sports Medicine Center of Northern Arizona, Women and Infants Center, and a Children's Health Department that recently moved into a new building.
Flagstaff, originally a railroad town, now houses its visitors center in the Tudor revival-style Santa Fe Station, where one can pick up maps for walking tours of the city. The Lowell Observatory, possibly the city's most famous structure, presents visitors with hands-on exhibits, historic displays, and a scenic campus located near downtown.
Flagstaff's largest conference hotel, with 248 guest rooms, is the Little America hotel. With 10,000 square feet of conference space, the facility can accommodate 360 people classroom style, 675 people theater style, and 460 people for banquets.
I-40, providing east-west coast access, runs through the center of Flagstaff. Access to the south is via I-17.
The city's daily newspaper, the Arizona Daily Sun, is published weekdays in the evenings and on Saturday and Sunday mornings. The Canyon Shopper is published weekly, and the Navajo-Hopi Observer serves the Native American peoples of northern Arizona.
Founded by Mormon agricultural pioneers, Mesa today is growing like a weed. Far enough from Phoenix to retain its small town feel yet near enough to the big city to encourage the growth of technological and manufacturing industries, Mesa has become more than a retirement community and has evolved into a tourist mecca in its own right.
Desert, mountains, water—somehow Mesa got it all. Located along a spit of the Sonoran Desert, Mesa is warm and arid every month of the year and enjoys the flora and fauna of the desert clime.
More than 2,000 years ago, Mesa's agricultural destiny was carved out by the Hohokam Indians who settled the area. The Hohokam were peaceful farmers who developed a sophisticated and effective network of irrigation canals that turned the arid land around Mesa into arable soil.
The city of Mesa has established a charter under which it operates, with citizens of the municipality electing a mayor and six district council members. Council members serve four-year terms; every two years, there is an election for three seats on the council.
The arid, warm climate of Mesa has made it a top-flight locale for aeronautical industries that range from manufacturing to educational. Boeing maintains a facility at Falcon Field Airport where flight control panels are created, tested, and installed in freighters.
The Mesa Public Schools System has come a long way from its pioneer farmer roots, when classes were taught in a shack made of cottonwood. These days, the emphasis is on preparing students to function in the new technology of the information age.
Mesa is home to four medical centers, three of which are part of the Phoenix-based Banner Health company. The Banner Mesa Medical Center (formerly Mesa Lutheran Hospital) has 258 acute care beds and 62 behavioral health and rehabilitation beds; this full-service community hospital offers acute care for adults, intensive and emergency care, pediatrics, labor and delivery, medical imaging, and surgery.
A tour of Mesa might best be started at the very beginning, at the Park of the Canals near the intersection of McKellips Road and Horne Street north of the downtown area. Visitors can see the innovative irrigation systems established by the original Hohokam Indian residents of Mesa, with the effectiveness of the canals demonstrated by the Brinton Desert Botanical Garden at the same location.
The Main Hall of the Mesa Convention Center offers 15,000 square feet of open space that can be used for trade show exhibits, banquets, dances, concerts and other events. An additional 4,000 square feet can be added by leaving the adjacent meeting rooms open to the Main Hall.
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is located approximately 12 miles to the west of Mesa and is served by 21 airlines that connect the East Valley area to 109 cities in the United States and around the world. Sky Harbor is a major hub for Southwest and America West airlines but also has services through airlines such as United, Delta Frontier, and Sun Country.
The Mesa area is served by The East Valley Tribune, which is delivered daily and is available online by subscription. Get Out, an affiliate of the daily paper, supplies dining and entertainment information for Mesa residents and tourists alike.
Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, is a study in contrasts. As the center of "the Valley of the Sun," the city has traditionally been associated with Old West myths, tourist resorts, and Sun Belt retirement communities.
Located in the Salt River Valley in the south central part of the state, Phoenix is situated on flat desert terrain, bordered by lakes and the Superstition Mountains to the east and surrounded by the Phoenix Mountain Preserve. The climate is warm, with low humidity.
The city of Phoenix stands on the site of a prehistoric settlement built by Native Americans, the Hohokam tribe, who had established a thriving culture but who vanished without a trace around 1450 A.D. Thought to be the ancestors of the Pima—"Hohokam" means "those who have gone" in Pima—the Hohokam had constructed a sophisticated system of irrigation canals, many of which are still in use today, that remain as evidence of their existence.
The capital of Arizona and the Maricopa County seat, Phoenix has a council-manager form of government. The eight council members serve staggered four-year terms, representing districts of the city, while the mayor is elected at large to a four-year term and also serves as a member of the council.
Manufacturing and tourism, traditionally the base of the city's economy, continue to be important to Phoenix. Major industrial products manufactured by companies located in the metropolitan area include aircraft parts, electronic equipment, agricultural chemicals, radios, air-conditioning equipment, leather goods, and native American crafts.
A total of 58 separate school districts serve the entire Maricopa County. The city of Phoenix is served by 16 separate public school districts, each with its own school board and superintendent.
Along with population growth in Phoenix has come an increased demand for health care services; meeting this need, the Phoenix medical community has become a major industry in the metropolitan area. More than 33,000 medical personnel are employed in the region.
A visitor to the Phoenix metropolitan area will find many sights and attractions, some of them related to frontier history and the natural beauty of Salt River Valley. A principal attraction in Phoenix since 1939 is the Desert Botanical Garden on 50 acres of Papago Park, containing 10,000 desert plants that represent half of the 1,800 existing species of cactus.
Phoenix is a popular gathering place for large and small groups that wish to conduct business in a pleasurable environment. Known for its resorts, Phoenix offers plentiful hotel space (about 10,000 rooms in the central city alone), a year-round warm climate, and a variety of leisure activities.
Located near downtown, the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is serviced by 23 airlines with direct flights from most cities in the United States and several locations abroad. More than 108,000 passengers are served on a daily basis, which is comparable to the Miami and San Francisco airports.
Phoenix is served by seven television stations and by two cable television companies. Twenty-six AM and FM radio stations, including Hispanic-language radio, also broadcast in Phoenix.
Scottsdale is a popular winter vacation mecca in the area of Arizona known as the "Valley of the Sun." A tiny farming community of 2,000 people covering only 1 square mile in 1951, Scottsdale has become a vibrant city of more than 200,000 residents encompassing nearly 200 square miles. Its many golf courses and resorts attract visitors from around the world.
Scottsdale is located in central Arizona, just northeast of Phoenix. With an area of more than 184.5 square miles, the distance between the most extreme northern and southern points in Scottsdale is 31 miles; the distance between the farthest east and west points in 11.5 miles.
Prior to its founding, the Scottsdale area was made up of barren desert lands, distinguished only by the intricate canals of the Hohokam Indians.
Scottsdale's government consists of a mayor and six city council members elected at large who serve staggered four-year terms. The council appoints a city manager, city clerk, city treasurer, city attorney, and city judge.
Tourism is Scottsdale's major industry and largest employer, providing jobs to 39 percent of the city's workers. Today, Scottsdale is home to more than 60 hotels and resorts with a combined total of more than 12,000 rooms.
The Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) consistently receives outstanding support from city voters. Its high school students rate highest in the state on the SAT and ACT tests.
Scottsdale offers the services of more than 1,000 doctors and has a full range of medical services available. The largest health care providers are Scottsdale Healthcare and Mayo Clinic Scottsdale.
Scottsdale celebrates the life of the West through a variety of attractions. Old Scottsdale hearkens back to pioneer days with its wooden sidewalks, blacksmith shop, mission, church, and the 1909 Little Red School House, now home to the Scottsdale Historical Society Museum.
El Zaribah Shrine Auditorium is a multiuse facility with a 12,000-square-foot ballroom, eight break-out rooms, and a stage that can be used for banquets, seminars, and trade shows. Many hotels and resorts provide meeting space within the city.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, located about 15 miles west of downtown Scottsdale, is served by 23 airlines with direct flights from most cities in the United States and several locations abroad. Scottsdale is served by Greyhound Bus Lines and by the Phoenix Transit System.
Although Scottsdale does not have any television or radio stations within its borders, television and radio stations do broadcast in Paradise Valley, and cable is available.
Traditionally known for its dry and sunny climate, Tucson is gaining a new reputation for high culture and high technology. With record increases in population, the city has become a Southwest center for opera, theater, ballet, symphony, and visual arts as well as the economic and industrial focal point of an area known as the "Silicon Desert." Consistently pleasant weather and a beautiful desert setting continue to make Tucson a popular tourist attraction.
Tucson is located in southeastern Arizona, 60 miles north of the Mexican border. Established in the valley of the Sonoran Desert, the city is surrounded by the Sierrita and Santa Rita mountain ranges to the south and the Rincon Mountains rising to 7,000 feet above sea level to the east.
Tucson is an extremely old settlement with a rich layering of history and pre-history. Archaeological excavations have revealed adobe huts, pit houses, and irrigation systems built by the Hohokam tribe who inhabited and farmed the area nearly 2,000 years ago.
Tucson, the seat of Pima County, has a council-manager form of government, with a seven-member council that includes the mayor. All are elected to a four-year term.
Copper mining has traditionally been a vital part of the city's economy; in 1976, for instance, one of every twenty Tucson residents was a copper miner. Seven years later, a combination of foreign competition and depressed copper prices forced a dramatic downturn in mining industries nationwide, with the result that only four-tenths of a percent of the working population was employed in mining by the mid 1980s.
Pima County has 17 school districts, of which Tucson Unified School District is the largest, with an enrollment approaching 61,000 students. All districts focus on building basic skills.
Tucson has long had a reputation for its healthful climate. For the past century its warm, dry air has attracted people suffering from such respiratory illnesses as asthma and tuberculosis.
The variety of things to do and see in Tucson extends from the heart of the city to the surrounding area. Three historic districts—El Presidio, Armory Park, and Barrio Historico—provide convenient focal points for a walking tour of downtown Tucson.
With an expanded convention center and with additional meeting facilities available in many of the more than 200 hotels and resorts, Tucson is emerging as a primary convention and meeting destination in the Southwest. Besides a consistently warm climate and a wealth of leisure activities, Tucson offers more than 16,000 hotel rooms in the metropolitan area.
Visitors arriving in Tucson by plane are greeted by the recently expanded Tucson International Airport, located a few miles south of the city. In January 2005 the airport completed a terminal expansion project allowing TIA to handle 7 million passengers in ticketing and baggage claim.
Tucson readers choose from among three daily newspapers: The Arizona Daily Star (every morning), the Tucson Citizen (Monday through Saturday evenings), and the business paper, the Daily Territorial. Desert Airman is a weekly newspaper for military personnel at Davis-Monthan U.S.
Contrary to popular notion, Anaheim is not a suburb of Los Angeles, but rather is the largest and wealthiest (with more than $1 billion in assets) of the 34 cities that comprise Orange County, and one of the fastest growing cities in California. A major entertainment mecca, Anaheim is one of the top convention sites and vacation destinations in the United States, with nearly 20,000 hotel rooms.
Anaheim is located approximately 27 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, 31 miles southeast of the Los Angeles International Airport, and 13 miles from the Pacific coast. The Santa Ana Mountains lie to Anaheim's east.
Anaheim was founded in 1857 by a group of German settlers who gave it the German name meaning "home by the river." The settlers were part of a group who first came to the United States during the German Revolution of 1848 and settled in San Francisco. Fifty members of that German community decided to move south when they learned about an abundance of cheap land that was once part of a Spanish land grant.
Anaheim has a council-manager form of government. The four members of the city council are elected to four-year terms in alternate slates every two years.
Tourism is the major industry in Anaheim. An ever-growing number of visitors has caused hotels, motels, restaurants, and retail centers to be built to meet their demands.
Anaheim is served by the Anaheim City School District, which operates the elementary schools, and the Anaheim Union High School District, which oversees the junior high and high schools. The city is noted for excellent schools offering a full array of learning programs from basic curriculum instruction to college preparation, athletics, and special education.
Anaheim has medical facilities sufficient to meet the needs of one of California's largest population centers. Area hospitals boast state-of-the-art facilities and top quality care.
Anaheim's crown jewel attraction is Disneyland, America's most popular theme park. Visitors can stroll through the park's eight "lands", which together offer more than 60 major rides, 50 shops, and 30 restaurants: futuristic Tomor-rowland provides an out-of-this-world atmosphere; Adventureland reproduces the exotic surroundings of Asia, the Middle East, and the South Seas; Frontierland is based on the Wild West; Fantasyland, with Sleeping Beauty's Castle and the It's a Small World ride, is the heart of Disneyland; Critter Country is home to cute woodland creatures; Main Street U.S.A.
The Anaheim Convention Center, a sparkling, glass-walled facility, completed a $177 million expansion and redesign in December 2000. The expansion enlarged the center by 40 percent to 1.6 million square feet.
The main artery running through Anaheim is the Santa Ana Freeway (Interstate 5), which also connects Los Angeles and San Diego. Interstate 5 links Anaheim with the Riverside Freeway, the Garden Grove Freeway, the Orange Freeway, and the Costa Mesa Freeway.
Anaheim is served by two television stations broadcasting from Orange County—a public broadcasting station and an independent station based in Irvine—as well as several stations based in Los Angeles. Cable television is also available.
The seat of Fresno County, Fresno is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of the San Joaquin Valley and the central California region. The city is the business and transportation hub for four separate agricultural regions in what has been called the agribusiness center of the world.
Fresno is located in the fertile San Joaquin Valley in the central part of California, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The terrain in Fresno is relatively flat, with a sharp rise to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains about 15 miles eastward.
Fresno means "ash tree" in Spanish, and it was the name given by early Spanish explorers to a stretch of white ash trees along the banks of the San Joaquin River. These explorers did not settle the region where Fresno is now located, however, because they considered it uninhabitable.
Fresno has a strong-mayor form of government, with seven council members and the mayor elected at large. A city manager is hired by the council.
Agriculture is the backbone of the Fresno area, employing nearly 20 percent of the workforce and providing more than $3.5 billion for the local economy. More jobs are tied into the agricultural industry than any other industry in the Freso area; estimates are that one in three jobs in all are related to agriculture.
The Fresno Unified School District is the fourth largest in California, with a 2004 budget of $869 million. A five-member, nonpartisan board of education hires a superintendent.
Eight hospitals operate in the city of Fresno, the three largest being Community Medical Center Fresno, St. Agnes Medical Center, and University Medical Center.
The 67-mile Blossom Trail offers arguably the best look at what makes the Fresno area unique, with a plunge into some of the most productive agricultural land in the world. The annual Blossom Trail kickoff comes each February, and motorists and hikers through the farm country can come upon stunning displays of blossoming peach, nectarine, plum, orange, and almond trees in full bloom.
The Fresno Convention and Conference Center is an award-winning complex covering five city blocks in the downtown district. It contains a 168,172-square-foot exhibit hall, a theater that seats 2,300 people, an 11,000-seat arena, and a 13,120 square-foot multi-use ballroom.
The Fresno Yosemite International Airport is served by 11 local and national air carriers and offers scheduled service to more than 25 of the nation's major cities.
One daily newspaper serves Fresno readers: The Fresno Bee. Fresno Business Journal is published weekly.
Los Angeles is the second largest city in the United States in terms of population and one of the largest in terms of area. It is the center of a five-county metropolitan area and is considered the prototype of the future metropolis—a city on the cutting edge of all of the advantages and the problems of large urban areas.
Los Angeles lies on a hilly coastal plain with the Pacific Ocean as its southern and western boundaries. The city stretches north to the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains and is bounded by the San Gabriel Mountains to the east.
The area around present-day Los Angeles was first explored by Europeans in 1769 when Gaspar de Portola and a group of missionaries camped on what is now called the Los Angeles River. Franciscans built Mission San Gabriel about 9 miles to the north in 1771.
The government of Los Angeles is a complex institution, with many departments operating independently of the central legislative and executive body. The fifteen-member city council and the mayor are elected to four-year terms, as are the city attorney and the controller.
California has always been known as an "incubator" of new ideas, new products and entrepreneurial spirit. Southern California has led the way in celebrating and nurturing that spirit.
The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is the country's second largest district, with a K–12 student enrollment of more than 746,800. Geographically, it encompasses 704 square miles, an area that includes the City of Los Angeles and all or parts of 28 other cities, as well as some unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles is the primary health care and treatment center for the southern California region. It is the second largest health care market in the country and is at the forefront of major changes taking place in the health care industry.
The immense size of Los Angeles and the innumerable activities offered by the city make its attractions seem limitless. Different sections of the city offer a wide range of sights and diversions, from the more than 40 miles of city-operated Pacific beaches in the west to the mountains in the east and the vast urban areas in between.
The major convention and meeting facility in Los Angeles is the Los Angeles Convention Center. Situated on 63 landscaped acres, the complex is centrally located within easy access of hotels, restaurants, nightlife, shops, recreational activities, and sightseeing attractions.
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), just west of the downtown area, is the fourth largest airport in the world in terms of passengers handled, and the airport is served by dozens of major airlines with thousands of flights each year. Nearby Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport is served by six major airlines.
Los Angeles readers are served by the morning Los Angeles Times. More than 100 foreign-language, special-interest, business, alternative, and neighborhood papers are published weekly in Los Angeles.
Monterey, the largest city on the Monterey Peninsula, is a beautiful seaside community with a vast array of recreational and cultural activities. Bustling with fashionable restaurants, shops, and nightspots, Monterey has preserved more of its history than any other California city.
Monterey is located on the Monterey Peninsula, which is 120 miles south of San Francisco, 60 miles south of San Jose, and 345 miles north of Los Angeles. The peninsula is bordered by Monterey Bay to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Carmel Bay to the south.
Native Americans known as the Esalen lived in the area of present-day Monterey from 500 B.C. to 500 A.D., and probably much longer.
Monterey operates with a council-city manager form of government. The policymaking branch of the city government, the city council, consists of five members: the mayor, elected to a two-year term, and four council members, elected to four-year terms.
Once a leading fishing and whaling port, Monterey county's economic mainstays now are tourism and the military. While tourism has always been a major component in the city's economy, it has become the dominant industry in the last 30 years, supporting more than one third of Monterey jobs.
The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District encompasses Monterey City schools as well as those of Marina, Fort Ord, Sand City, Seaside, and Del Rey Oaks. In addition to a well-rounded curriculum, the schools offer a gifted and talented program (GATE) for fourth and fifth grade students and an independent study program for motivated students who wish to study on their own.
Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula is a nonprofit system serving the Monterey Peninsula and surrounding communities with 17 locations that include outpatient facilities, satellite laboratories, mental health clinics, Breast Care Center, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Family Birth Center, Sleep Disorders Center, and two hospice facilities. The 172-bed Natividad Medical Center, an acute care hospital in nearby Salinas, is owned and operated by Monterey county and is affiliated with the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine.
Monterey's Cannery Row, popularized by the books of Nobel and Pulitzer award winner John Steinbeck, is one of America's most famous streets. Today Cannery Row features a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions, including American Tin Cannery Premium Outlets and A Taste of Monterey Wine Tasting Room.
Convention activity in Monterey is heaviest from early April through Thanksgiving. The Monterey Conference Center, with 58,000 square feet of meeting space, a 19,600-square-foot exhibit hall, a 1200-seat ballroom, and a 494-seat theater, hosts more than 220 events annually.
Direct access to Monterey is provided from San Jose and San Francisco via Highway 156 off State Route 101. Access from Los Angeles is achieved via State Route 101 and Highway 68.
Monterey's local daily newspaper is The Monterey County Herald. Monterey County Weekly covers news, art and entertainment.
The city of Oakland is known as the heart of the East Bay section of the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a heavily populated and industrialized belt that is home to about half the residents of the San Francisco-Oakland urban area.
Oakland lies at the center of the Pacific Coast between Canada and Mexico. It is located on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, and is connected to the city of San Francisco by the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
The first inhabitants of present-day Oakland were the Costanoans, peaceful tribes known for their basket making and the success of their hunting and gathering way of life.
Oakland has a strong-mayor form of government, with the mayor and eight council members elected to four-year terms. The mayor appoints a city administrator to carry out its policies.
Oakland's leading industries are business and health care services, transportation, food processing, light manufacturing, government, arts, culture, and entertainment. The Port of Oakland is one of the busiest ports in the world for container ships.
The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is the eleventh largest school district in the state. The district has a rich ethnic diversity with a little more than one-half African American students and the rest a mixture of Hispanic, white, combined Asian, and other students, including Native Americans.
Oakland's largest private, not-for-profit medical center is the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center with three campuses and two acute care hospitals in the Oakland region. The Medical Center was formed from the January 2000 merger of Summit Medical Center, Alta Bates Medical Center, and Sutter Health.
Historic buildings in Oakland include the Camron-Stanford House, a beautifully restored Victorian house on Lake Merritt. The Pardee Home Museum is an historical treasure in the heart of the Preservation Park Historical District.
The Oakland Convention Center/Marriott Oakland City Center complex is one of the first structures in California to house both a convention center and hotel. An atrium lobby joins the two-story convention center with the 483-room hotel.
Oakland can be reached from San Francisco by traveling east across the Bay Bridge via Interstate 80 and continuing south to Oakland on I-580 or I-980. Oakland International Airport is located only twelve minutes from downtown.
Oakland has one commercial network television station, a cable network, and an FM station. KTVU is the local Fox affiliate television station and KTOP is the government access cable channel.
The city of Riverside, located within one hour of the city of Los Angeles, began as the center for the navel orange-growing industry in the United States. Today the city has a large and diverse and economy, in addition to affordable housing; both qualities have made it attractive to employers and employees and have helped Riverside become the 11th largest city in California.
Riverside is located at the center of the Inland Empire area of Southern California, which is comprised of the western parts of the two counties that comprise the Riverside-San Bernardino area. Riverside is 10 miles south southwest of San Bernardino and 53 miles east of Los Angeles.
The first European visitors to the area of present-day Riverside were Captain Juan Bautista de Anza and his thirty-four seasoned soldiers, who arrived in the area from Arizona in 1774 in search of a land route to California. At that time the Valley of Paradise was inhabited by Native Americans, who lived in the niches in the rocky hills and foraged for food.
Riverside has a council-manager form of government. The seven-member council is comprised of persons elected for four-year terms from geographically designated wards.
Although Riverside's beginnings are steeped in agriculture, today the economy relies heavily on government, education, manufacturing, and retail; however, affordable land space and housing are attracting employees and skilled laborers to the city. The city's Development Department Activity Update for 2003/2004 shows that Riverside ranks number one in almost all economic measures among the 53 cities in the area, including largest number of businesses and total jobs.
The Riverside Unified School District and the Alvord Unified School District, which accommodates the southwestern part of the city and adjacent unincorporated areas, serve the city of Riverside.
Riverside Community Hospital, a growing critical care facility, is the largest hospital in western Riverside County with a total of 369 beds. In 2002 Riverside opened a $20 million Emergency Room and Trauma Center.
One of Riverside's most attractive sites, Victoria Avenue, was constructed in 1891-92. The 8.3 miles of divided street are planted with hedgerow roses, eucalyptus, palm, and crepe myrtle trees with a multipurpose trail.
Riverside Convention Center is located near downtown and has 45,000 square feet of multiuse space that can accommodate up to 2,000 people for special events. The Convention Center also has an outdoor, well-lit plaza available for open-air exhibits.
Ontario International Airport is located 18 miles northwest of Riverside, and serves the region with more than 11 commercial airlines. The city renovated the Riverside Airport to better serve small aircraft and business travelers.
No television stations are based in Riverside, but cable is available. Riverside has three AM radio stations featuring Hispanic and religious programming and three FM stations featuring contemporary hits, adult contemporary, and religious programming.
Sacramento, the capital of the state of California, began its life as a Gold Rush city when thousands of prospectors descended upon Captain John Sutter's settlement, New Helvetia, in hopes of striking the mother lode. Today Sacramento is a city of gracious tree-lined streets and, famous for flowers that bloom all year, it is known as the "Camellia Capital of the World." A significant percentage of the food that America consumes is produced in Sacramento, which is at the center of the fruitful Sacramento Valley.
Sacramento lies in the center of California's broad and fruitful Sacramento Valley, 72 miles northeast of San Francisco. Shielded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east, the California Coast ranges to the west, and the Siskiyou Mountains to the north, the city enjoys a mild climate for most of the year.
The Sacramento area was originally inhabited by the Nisenan, a branch of the Maidu, who lived in the valley for 10,000 years before white settlers arrived. Spanish soldiers from Mission San Jose, under the command of Lieutenant Gabriel Morago, discovered the Sacramento and American rivers in 1808.
Sacramento has a council-manager form of government. The council is comprised a mayor elected at large, and eight council members elected by district; all serve staggered four-year terms.
Sacramento began as a city rich from gold and railroad money. Productive mines still operate in the area, and the city remains an important transportation center.
The Sacramento City Unified School District, among the largest in the state, is Sacramento's primary school district and has a student enrollment of 52,850 in its 80 schools as of the 2002-2003 school year. Other districts in Sacramento are: Grant Joint Union High, with 12,682 students in 14 schools; Natomas Unified, 7,653 students in 10 schools; North Sacramento Elementary, 5,552 students in 11 schools; Robla Elementary, 2,323 students in 5 schools; Del Paso Heights, 2,155 students in 5 schools; and California Education Authority, 214 students in one school.
Sacramento is well served by medical care facilities. The acclaimed University of California at Davis Medical Center is located in Sacramento.
Sacramento is a river town, virtually created by the California Gold Rush. Along the bank of the Sacramento River is the Old Sacramento Historic Area, a 28-acre National Historic Landmark that attracts more than 5 million visitors annually.
The principal meeting place is the Sacramento Convention Center, located downtown. The complex contains three buildings: the 134,000 square foot Exhibit Hall can be divided into 5 areas and is equipped with risers to create arena seating for 6,500 people; the elegant 25,000-square-foot Ballroom, which can be divided into 10 meeting rooms, accommodates 1,500 people banquet-style or 2,500 theater-style; and the 11,200-square-foot Activity Building features 12 meeting rooms.
The Sacramento International Airport, 12 miles northwest of downtown, receives service from 13 major carriers and one commuter airline. Also in Sacramento, the Executive Airport serves private planes.
Sacramento offers one major daily newspaper, the morning The Sacramento Bee. Sacramento's second largest newspaper is the Sacramento News and Review, a weekly alternative paper.
San Diego, "the Birthplace of California," is a city of many guises. It is not only a major naval base and an important natural harbor, but it is also a top tourist attraction and resort area, a prominent high-technology, aerospace, and aviation production community, and a fertile agricultural area.
San Diego is just 20 miles north of Mexico, situated in the rolling hills and mesas that rise from the Pacific shore to join with the Laguna Mountains to the east. Its bay is one of the country's finest natural harbors.
Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the discoverer of California, sailed into what is now San Diego Bay and claimed the surrounding region for the King of Spain in 1542. The bay was named in 1602 by another Spanish explorer, Don Sebastian Viscaino.
San Diego uses a council-manager form of government, which it adopted in 1931. The mayor and eight council members are elected every four years, and they appoint the city manager.
San Diego's economy, once dominated by military and defense endeavors (now the city's second largest economic sector) is led by manufacturing, particularly in the areas of shipbuilding and repair, industrial machinery and computers, metals production, and the manufacture of toys and sporting goods. In 2002, manufacturing contributed $25 billion to the county's economy.
The San Diego Unified School District is the second largest school district in the state and eighth largest urban school district in the country. Its nonpartisan five-member board is elected every four years, and the superintendent is hired by the board.
The San Diego county medical community includes 26 accredited hospitals, with a total of more than 6,600 beds. The largest networks are ScrippsHealth and Sharp Healthcare, which maintain hospitals and walk-in clinics throughout the county.
San Diego and its surrounding communities offer a wide range of tourist attractions for every taste, from amusement parks to historic buildings and scenic wilderness.
The San Diego Convention Center, which doubled in size upon an expansion in 2001, is located downtown along San Diego Bay. The 1.7 million square foot facility features 615,701 square feet of exhibit space; 204,114 square feet of meeting space including two 40,000 square foot ballrooms; and 284,494 square feet of pre-function, lobby, and registration space.
San Diego International Airport Lindbergh Field is located 3 miles from downtown and provides major domestic and foreign air service from 18 passenger carriers and 6 cargo carriers. In 2004, 16 million passengers used the airport.
San Diego is served by The San Diego Union-Tribune, the result of the 1992 merger of the city's two dailies. Readers can choose from among a number of weekly, ethnic, and community papers as well, such as La Prensa San Diego, a weekly English/Spanish newspaper.
The term "melting pot" is used to describe many American cities and towns. This is indeed true for San Francisco, one of the few truly international cities in the United States.
San Francisco occupies the tip of a peninsula halfway up the coast of northern California, surrounded on three sides by bodies of water: the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate strait, and the San Francisco Bay. The city is laid out in a grid over some 40 hills, reaching heights of nearly 1,000 feet; this sometimes causes wide variations in temperature and sky conditions in different areas of town.
Because thick fog banks usually obscure the narrow entrance to the bay, the area where San Francisco now stands and the adjacent natural harbor remained undiscovered by seafaring adventurers for more than two hundred years after the original Spanish explorers found California. It was left to an overland expedition of Spanish soldiers from Mexico to stumble upon the bay by accident in 1769 while trying to reach Monterey.
The governments of the city and county of San Francisco are consolidated into one unit. San Francisco adopted a mayor-council form of government in 1932, with eleven council members elected at large to four-year terms.
Since the days of the Gold Rush, San Francisco has been an important financial center. Located halfway between London and Tokyo as well as between Seattle and San Diego, San Francisco is at the center of global business.
Founded in 1851, the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) was the first public school district established in California. The SFUSD is a multicultural, multilingual, major urban public school system in which ethnic and racial diversity is considered a strength.
The major public facility is the San Francisco General Hospital, a 580-bed acute care center that also serves as a regional teaching hospital. It is the largest acute inpatient and rehabilitation hospital for psychiatric patients in the city.
San Francisco contains so many interesting attractions in such a small area that visitors find something unique on almost any street. Most points of interest are within walking distance or a short ride away.
The city of San Francisco hosts more than a million meeting, convention, and trade show delegates annually. Convention planners come to San Francisco not only because of the attractions in the Bay Area, but also for the excellent facilities.
The San Francisco International Airport is the ninth busiest in the nation, handling more than 40 million passengers on more than 1,300 flights a day from more than 35 airlines. An efficient customs clearance, modern facilities, and computerized ground transportation information make the airport easy to use.
San Francisco is prominent in the publishing industry on both the regional and national levels. The city is served by two major daily newspapers, the morning San Francisco Chronicle and the evening San Francisco Examiner.
Once a quiet, medium-sized city at the center of a thriving agricultural area, San Jose was transformed in less than 30 years into a huge metropolis and a phenomenon in U.S. economic history.
San Jose is located in the Santa Clara Valley at the southern tip of San Francisco Bay, 48 miles south of San Francisco and 40 miles south of Oakland. The area is known as the Southern Peninsula.
San Jose was California's first civic settlement, founded in 1777 by Mexican colonists and named El Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe for St. Joseph and the Guadalupe River near the town site.
San Jose operates under a council-manager form of government. The eleven council members include the mayor; all serve four-year terms.
The rapid expansion of high-technology industries triggered uninterrupted growth in the Silicon Valley—San Jose and Santa Clara County—from the 1950s through the early 1980s. The 1985 recession, however, left a stagnant economy, pointing to a need to diversify the economic base of the area.
Fourteen school districts serve the population of San Jose, including the largest, San Jose Unified School District. News in 2005 was of the district's continuing budget difficulties, with the district facing a $9-11 million deficit for the 2005-2006 school year and a $11-13 million deficit for the following year.
HCA Healthcare Corp. owns two major hospitals in San Jose: the Regional Medical Center of San Jose has 204 licensed beds and serves about 45,000 patients annually in its Emergency Department; Good Samaritan Hospital is a general acute-care hospital with a licensed bed capacity of 422.
Most of the attractions in San Jose are related to the natural beauty of the area or to its historical past. Kelley Park is a popular site, offering a variety of diversions, including Happy Hollow Park and Zoo where visitors can enjoy family-oriented amusements and view wildlife in a 12-acre natural setting.
The principal convention and meeting place is the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. With a total of 425,000 square feet, the complex also contains the Center for the Performing Arts, Civic Auditorium, Parkside Hall, and Montgomery Theater.
The Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, located 10 minutes from downtown, is rated among the 31 busiest airports in the world, handling more than 11 million passengers annually; it is served by 12 airlines with more than 200 daily flights.
San Jose's daily newspaper is the San Jose Mercury News. The metropolitan area is also served by such publications as the weekly The Business Journal and the San Jose Post-Record, a daily legal newspaper.
Santa Ana, the seat of California's Orange County, is the center of an area known as "the Golden Corridor." Surrounded by the rich farmland of the Santa Ana Valley, the city is part of a megalopolis that includes several incorporated cities; among them are Anaheim, Buena Park, and Fullerton. It is close to both the Los Angeles metropolitan area to the northwest and the San Diego metropolitan area to the southeast along the Pacific Coast.
Santa Ana is located in the Santa Ana Valley in southwestern California. Situated on the Santa Ana River, it is near the Santa Ana Mountains and about 12 miles from the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
The valley in which Santa Ana is located was discovered in July 1769, during a Franciscan expedition led by Don Gaspar Portola. The explorers christened the valley Santa Ana in honor of Saint Anne, also giving the name Santa Ana to the river flowing through the valley.
In accordance with a charter adopted in 1952, Santa Ana operates under a council-manager form of government. The city is governed by a council consisting of six council members and an elected mayor.
Santa Ana boasts more than 13,000 in-city businesses; major industries include a mix of retail trade, service, and manufacturing firms.
The Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD), the largest in Orange County and fifth (2005) largest in the state, is administered by a five-member, nonpartisan board of education that appoints a superintendent.
Three general hospitals are located in Santa Ana. They offer a range of specialties such as cardiac rehabilitation and hospice care.
A major tourist attraction in Orange County is the historical district in downtown Santa Ana. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the 21-block area is among the largest such districts in the state of California.
A number of Santa Ana's 43 hotels and motels—which offer more than 3,000 rooms—provide conference and convention facilities. Among the major hotels with meeting rooms are Saddleback Inn, Compri, the Grand Plaza Hotel, and Quality Inn Suites.
Several airports are located in the Santa Ana metropolitan area. The John Wayne Airport, part of the Los Angeles hub, is 5 miles from downtown Santa Ana; it is served by 11 airlines and services 7.5 million passengers each year.
Thirteen television stations, one of them based in Santa Ana, serve the city; cable is available. Santa Ana receives broadcasts from more than 60 AM and FM radio stations; two FM stations broadcast there.
Boulder is sometimes called the "Athens of the West" in tribute to its dedication to education and the arts. The University of Colorado at Boulder and a host of private industries make the city one of America's leading science and research towns.
Boulder lies in a wide basin beneath Flagstaff Mountain just a few miles east of the continental divide and about 30 miles west of Denver. The large Arapahoe glacier provides water for a number of mountain streams that pass through Boulder, including Boulder Creek, which flows through the center of the city.
For centuries before the coming of European explorers, the area surrounding what is now Boulder was a favorite winter campsite for a number of Native American groups, including the Arapaho, Ute, Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, and Sioux. The area was rich in buffalo, elk, and antelope.
Boulder has a council-manager form of government with a nine-member council elected to two- or four-year terms. The council elects the mayor from among its number for a two-year term and appoints a city manager.
The predominant industries in the Boulder are science and technology related. Helped out by the research activity at the University of Colorado at Boulder, a large high-technology, electronic, and aerospace industry has developed in and around the city.
The Boulder Valley School District regulates the public schools in Boulder as well as the neighboring communities of Broomfield, Lafayette, Louisville, Mountain, Nederland, and Superior. The district's open enrollment policy enables students to enroll in a variety of schools, including focus or alternative schools.
Boulder Community Hospital is the largest health-care institution in the Boulder area. It is a full-service hospital with a 24-four-hour emergency room, an intensive care unit, a cardiac care unit, and a network of facilities that includes the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, Boulder Community Foothills Hospital, Community Medical Center (an urgent care facility), and the Miriam R.
A highlight of downtown Boulder is the 16-mile-long Boulder Creek Path, which runs along the creek through the center of the city. The banks of the creek have been restored to their natural state, parks and picnic areas have been formed—including the attractive Boulder Sculpture Park—and many small waterfalls along the way are perfect for kayaking and tubing.
Although lacking a full-fledged convention center, Boulder has a number of facilities offering meeting space. The Millennium Harvest House Boulder can accommodate small functions as well as up to 500 people on its outdoor pavilion and up to 600 in its Grand Ballroom.
The majority of air traffic comes through Denver International Airport, located 42 miles from Boulder and served by 23 passenger airlines. The new Northwest Parkway toll road connects the airport with Boulder, and costs $5.25 each way.
Boulder is served by two daily newspapers, the morning Daily Camera and the morning Colorado Daily. Boulder Weekly is a free, alternative newspaper, and the Boulder County Business Report focuses on economic, industrial, and business news every other week.
At the foot of Pikes Peak, the highest peak of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is a city surrounded by natural beauty that draws millions of visitors a year. Its municipal parks include the breathtaking Garden of the Gods, once sacred Native American tribal grounds.
Colorado Springs is located on a high, flat plain at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, in eastern central Colorado. To the east of the city are rolling prairie lands and to the north is Monument Divide.
The history of Colorado Springs is the history of two very different communities, one wild and rowdy, the other a model of controlled growth. The area was first discovered by settlers of European descent in 1806 when Zebulon Montgomery Pike came upon a mountain he named Pikes Peak and attempted to climb it.
Colorado Springs operates under a council-mayor form of government. Elections are held every four years for mayor, four council members-at-large, and four council members from the districts where they reside.
The economy of Colorado Springs is based primarily on the military installations in the area as well as on the aerospace and electronics industries and tourism. The military employs one fifth of the work force in the city.
In Colorado, school district boundaries are independent of city or other political boundaries. There are 15 public school districts within El Paso County; six districts of varying size serve urban areas of Colorado Springs.
The Colorado Springs metropolitan area is served by five major hospitals. Memorial Hospital, with 477 beds, was named in 2004 by ModernHealthcare as one of the nation's top 100 hospitals for cardiovascular care.
Colorado Springs is one of the premier vacation spots in the United States, the majestic natural beauty of Pikes Peak being a principal attraction. Visitors can venture up High Drive, a one-way road without guardrails, to see the spectacular vistas.
Since the turn of the century, Colorado Springs has drawn a steady flow of tourists; since the 1970s the city has made itself equally amenable to conventions and conferences, providing a number of meeting facilities. The Colorado Springs World Arena accommodates 8,000 people for general sessions and the exhibit floor offers 19,500 square feet of space or 180 booths.
The Colorado Springs Airport, located east of the city, is served by 8 major airlines, providing 110 daily flights to 13 cities. The airport sits on more than 7,200 acres with two parallel runways and one crosswind runway.
The major daily newspaper in Colorado Springs is the morning The Gazette. Weekly publications include The Colorado Springs Independent and the Colorado Springs Business Journal.
Denver, dubbed the Mile High City, is the commercial, financial, and transportation capital of the Rocky Mountain region. A concentration of federal government offices makes it the administrative center of this area as well.
Denver is situated in the high plains at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, which protect the city from severe winter weather. These mountains, reaching higher than 14,000 feet, are the dominant feature of the area.
For centuries, the mountains and plains of Colorado were used as hunting grounds by Native Americans, and eventually the more sophisticated, agricultural tribes like the Anasazi established villages. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish explored the region where Denver is now located, but no Europeans established permanent settlements until the mid-1800s, when gold was discovered at Pikes Peak.
The city and county of Denver share the same boundaries and operate under a government that performs both municipal and county functions. Denver's mayor council form of government invests its mayor, who is elected to a four-year term, with strong executive powers.
Following record economic and population growth in the 1950s, Denver weathered reversals tied to the fluctuating petroleum market in the 1970s and 1980s. By the late 1980s the city had taken measures toward establishing a diversified economic base.
The Denver Public School system is directed by a seven-member board of education that administers policy and establishes direction. The Denver public schools provide programs for slow and gifted learners, college preparation, and career training.
For years Denver has attracted those seeking to enjoy the respiratory benefits of the area's climate and mountain air. Today, Denver is the medical center of the Rocky Mountains, operating more than twenty-five major hospitals, many of which have earned national and international reputations as leading medical research and treatment facilities.
Denver offers attractions ranging from historic Western landmarks to modern amusement parks. Downtown, the Colorado State Capitol features a 24-carat gold-plated dome; the 13th step of its stairway is set at the altitude of exactly one mile above sea level.
The Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver is within walking distance of more than 5,000 hotel rooms, and within a 20-minute drive of nearly 12,000 others. The convention center, located along the river in the heart of downtown, contains more than 600,000 square feet of exhibit space, 100,000 square feet of meeting rooms, two ballrooms (including a 35,000 square foot ballroom and a 50,000 square foot ballroom), theater-style seating for 7,000 people, 1,000 covered parking spaces and state of the art multimedia facilities.
Denver International Airport is served by all major airlines with non-stop daily flights to 40 states. Amtrak provides passenger rail service with westbound passengers treated to a scenic route through the Rocky Mountains.
Denver readers are served by two major daily morning newspapers, The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News, as well as by many smaller neighborhood weeklies and a business weekly—The Denver Business Journal. Local magazines include Colorado Country Life, Colorado Legionnaire, Colorado Outdoors, and The Bloomsbury Review.
Fort Collins is located on the Cache la Poudre River at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The city's clean water and clean air make for a healthy environment.
Located at the western base of the "Front Range" of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins is about 65 miles north of Denver and 45 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The city lies along the banks of the Cache La Poudre River, and the Great Plains lie to the east.
Travelers crossing the country on the Overland Trail often stopped at Camp Collins, which was established on the Cache La Poudre River in 1862. The camp was named for Colonel W.
Fort Collins has a mayor-council form of government with six council persons who serve four-year terms, and a mayor who serves a two-year term.
Fort Collins' economy has been described as well-balanced, with a good mix of manufacturing and service-related businesses. Local business leaders claim that the city's economy is insulated from some of the ups and downs in the regional and the national economies by the "highly sophisticated and rapidly advancing technological progress" of the city's industries.
The Poudre School District is led by a seven-member Board of Education committed to actively recruiting administrators and teachers displaying high standards of excellence. The school district is the second largest employer in Fort Collins.
By virtue of the broad scope of medical services available, Fort Collins has become a regional health center. Poudre Valley Hospital has 295 beds, 19 surgical suites, and 23 critical care patient rooms; it is home to a regional heart center, a regional neurosciences center that cares for victims of head and back injury, stroke, spinal cord and nervous system diseases, and a regional orthopedic program.
"Soapstone" Natural Area was acquired by the city in 2004. Covering more than 16,000 square miles, the area is known as an important archaeological site and is admired for its varied terrain.
Fort Collins has nearly 2,000 hotel rooms, ranging from budget rooms to luxury suites. Colorado State University, in the heart of Fort Collins, has 50,000 square feet of convention facilities at its Lory Students Center.
Allegiant Air offers airplane service into Fort Collins/Loveland Airport. Denver International Airport, which is 25 miles to the south, is served by nearly 20 airlines.
The Fort Collins Coloradoan, which appears Monday through Sunday mornings, is the city's daily paper.
The city of Hilo is the main port of the island of Hawaii, the largest island in the chain. It is the business and government center of the island, as well as the shipping and service center of the various industries in the vicinity.
Hilo is located on Hilo Bay on the eastern side of the island of Hawaii, 216 miles southeast of Honolulu (on the island of Oahu). The area's topography is mostly sloping, from the tops of the scenic Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa mountains to the sea.
The city of Hilo has been a trading place from the time Hawaiian tribes came up the Wailuku River, which separated Hilo from Hamakua, and shouted out what goods they had to offer. In the 1800s, although Honolulu reigned supreme as the principal whaling base of the Pacific, Hilo came in third behind Koloa as alternative anchorages.
The Island of Hawaii has one governmental unit, the County of Hawaii. There is no formal government at the city or municipal level, although Hilo serves as the headquarters for all government activities on the Island.
Hilo has a diversified economy that includes agriculture, tourism, aquaculture, livestock, trade, education, and government.
Hawaii is the only state with a single, unified statewide school system, comprised of seven districts, one of which is the Hawaii District, which covers the island of Hawaii. An elected board of education formulates educational policy and supervises the public school system.
Hilo Medical Center is the city's primary hospital with 225 beds offering general medical, surgical and obstetric care, as well as emergency services. Other east Hawaii medical facilities include the Hale Hoola Hamakua long-term care facility in Honokaa and the Kau Critical Access Hospital in Pahala.
Hilo's quaint downtown contains wooden clapboard and stucco buildings with corrugated tin overhangs covering the sidewalks. A walk through town reveals flower and fruit stalls, fish markets, butcher shops, soda fountains, seed shops, and luncheonettes.
The county of Hawaii's Hoolulu Park Complex provides the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium, with 11,342 square feet that can accommodate 3,550 people theater-style, 1,000 people classroom-style, and 500 people banquet-style. The Conference Center at the University of Hawaii at Hilo can host groups as small as 25 and as large as 600, with reception facilities for 1000 people.
The county of Hawaii's airports are Hilo International and Kona International. There are frequent inter-island flights by Aloha Airlines, Island Air, Pacific Wings and Hawaiian Airlines, as well as flights to major U.S.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald is Hilo's daily morning paper.
Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii and the seat of Honolulu county, is a cosmopolitan city. Its name means "protected harbor," and it serves as the crossroads of the Pacific Ocean with ship and air connections to the U.S.
Honolulu as a city is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the area from Makapuu south of the Koolau Mountain range summit to the western edge of Halawa Valley.
Historians estimate that the first settlers, Polynesians, came to the Hawaiian Islands fifteen hundred years ago, with the last migration occurring around 750 A.D. By the time Westerners came to the islands, the Hawaiian people had developed a highly structured society composed of chiefs, who claimed the right of divine rule, and commoners, who worked the land and the sea.
The city of Honolulu and the county of Honolulu are administered jointly by a mayor-council form of government. The mayor and nine council members serve a four-year term.
Honolulu began its economic life in the mid-nineteenth century as a port for whalers; it was also a trade center for nations bordering the Pacific, dealing in such goods as sandalwood, whale oil, and fur. While markets for sandalwood and whale oil decreased, sugar and pineapple markets increased dramatically.
Hawaii is the only state with a single, unified statewide school system, comprised of seven districts, four on the island of Oahu and three on the neighbor islands. The four districts on Oahu are in the city and county of Honolulu; metropolitan Honolulu falls in the Honolulu District.
The city and county of Honolulu is served by eight major hospitals. The Queen's Medical Center in downtown Honolulu is the largest private hospital in the state, with 505 acute care beds and 28 sub-acute care beds.
The beauty of Honolulu's natural surroundings, its fascinating mix of cultures, and its unique layering of history offer much for the visitor to see and do. Honolulu abounds in the exotic flora and fauna of a semitropical island.
Honolulu's principal meeting facility is the beautiful four-story Hawaii Convention Center, which offers a 200,000-square-foot ground floor exhibition hall; a second floor exclusively for parking with 700 parking stalls; a third floor with 107,426 square feet of meeting room space that can be configured into 47 meeting rooms; and a grand ballroom and rooftop garden on the fourth floor. Inside, a $2 million Hawaiian art collection with paintings of volcanoes, mountains, ocean, waterfalls, taro, and fishponds are displayed alongside images of Hawaiian royalty, gods, and myths; above, soaring rooftop canopies recall images of Polynesian sailing canoes.
Isolated from the mainland, Honolulu is reached primarily by plane. Honolulu International Airport, a major center for Pacific air travel, is served by 31 domestic and foreign airlines as well as inter-island carriers.
Eleven commercial television stations and one public station broadcast from Honolulu; cable service is also available. Thirty-five FM and AM radio stations broadcast in Honolulu; several offer multilingual programming.
Boise, the capital of Idaho and the largest city in the state, is the commercial, financial, and cultural center of the northern Rockies region. Known as the "City of Trees," Boise is among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation.
Boise is situated in a wide river valley at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The Boise River runs out of a canyon to the south and through the center of the city, joining the Snake River about 40 miles to the north.
In 1834 the Hudson's Bay Company founded a trading post for wagon trains along the Oregon Trail on the Snake River northwest of Boise's present site. The region that is now Boise was originally a small forested area along the Boise River, an oasis in the arid northwestern mountains.
Boise has been led by a mayor-council form of government since the adoption of a new city charter in 1961. The council is comprised of six part-time members, elected to four-year terms.
Boise began as a supply and service center for the mining camps in the nearby mountains. It continues today as an important commercial hub for smaller towns and agricultural establishments in the northern Rockies.
The Independent School District of Boise City #1 is the city's public elementary and secondary school system. The largest district in the state, it is administered by a seven-member, nonpartisan board of trustees that appoints a superintendent.
The Boise medical community offers 6 hospitals, 750 licensed physicians, and more than 1,200 hospital beds. The major hospitals in Boise are Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, an acute-care facility featuring a regional trauma center; and Saint Luke's Regional Medical Center.
The best way to see Boise is on the popular Tour Train, a replica of an 1890s steam-powered locomotive that originates in Julia Davis Park and takes an hour-long trip through the city's historic neighborhoods and the central business district. Other attractions in the park include Zoo Boise, the Memorial Rose Garden, and an outdoor bandshell where summer concerts are performed.
The Boise Center on the Grove offers a total of 50,000 square feet of meeting space, and features a glass-fronted 8,500-square-foot lobby; a 7,000-square-foot auditorium that will seat more than 300 people; and a 25,000-square-foot central meeting space. About 1,000 hotel rooms are within walking distance of the Boise Center.
The Boise Air Terminal, located a few miles south of downtown, is served by 12 major national and regional airlines with 90 daily departures and 88 arrivals.
Boise is served by one daily newspaper, The Idaho Statesman, and two weekly papers. Locally-published magazines focus on religion, families, wildlife, farming, and sheep and cattle growing.
Nampa, the second-largest city in Idaho, was established in the late 1800s as a result of the completion of the Oregon Short Line railroad. Although the origins of the name Nampa are unknown, it is believed to be a Shoshoni Indian word meaning "moccasin," or "footprint." Once highly dependent on agricultural production, the city's economy has become more diverse and now also relies on manufacturing.
Located in the heart of Idaho's Treasure Valley, or "Banana Belt," Nampa enjoys a mild climate year-round. Its high desert location is bordered to the north by the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains and to the south by the Owyhee Mountains.
Although Native American tribes had settled in Idaho for hundreds of years, little human settlement occurred in the area that is now Nampa until the late 1800s. Settlement in Nampa began in 1883, a direct result of the completion of the Oregon Short Line Railroad.
Nampa operates under a mayor-council form of government. The mayor is elected at large every four years; the four council members serve staggered four year terms.
Historically, Nampa has been known as a strong agricultural base. Canyon County produces more than 90 percent of the world's sweet corn seed, and is also a leader in the production of livestock, dairy, and alfalfa.
Nampa School District 131 (NSD) is the third largest school district in the state of Idaho. More than 13,000 students attend the district's elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as two alternative high schools.
Mercy Medical Center, the only hospital within Nampa city limits, is a private hospital affiliated with the Catholic church. Founded in 1917 by the Sisters of Mercy, the hospital has grown to include two medical campuses in Nampa.
Visitors to Nampa enjoy a wealth of activities and recreational opportunities. Museums that celebrate Nampa's heritage, year-round outdoor activities, and a variety of shopping and dining experiences help make Nampa a great place to work and live.
The Nampa Civic Center is Idaho's second largest full-service convention and performing arts center. With 42,500 square feet of space, the Civic Center hosts more than 750 events each year.
The nearby Boise City Airport provides air service to 23 U.S. cities.
The Idaho Press-Tribune is published in Nampa and serves the Canyon County market. Published daily in the morning, the paper also maintains an Internet presence on its website.
Billings is the largest city in Montana and the commercial, cultural, and industrial center of a large region of the northern Rocky Mountains. Known as the "Magic City," Billings has grown phenomenally since its founding in 1882, until 1970 doubling in size every 30 years.
Billings is located in southern Montana in the fertile Yellowstone River valley, with mountains on three sides. The Yellowstone River flows along the eastern boundary of the city.
For thousands of years before the coming of European settlers, the site of present-day Billings was hunted by migratory peoples. Traces of their camps and elaborate cave drawings have been discovered and preserved at many sites in the region.
Billings has a mayor-council form of government with ten council members elected to a four-year term. Until the 1995 election the mayor was elected to a two-year term; the mayor now serves a four-year term.
Agriculture has been one of the leading economic forces in Billings since its founding, and it continues to play a major role today. Because of extensive irrigation, the Yellowstone Valley and the northern Great Plains are some of the nation's most fertile agricultural regions.
The Billings Public Schools District is governed by a nine-member School Board, which appoints a superintendent. With more than 15,000 students, it is the largest district in Montana.
Billings provides the main medical services for a four-state area, with state-of-the-art equipment and highly skilled personnel. The community is served by nearly 500 physicians and dentists.
Downtown Billings contains the Billings Historical District, a renovated area that consists of most of the original business district. The Castle Corner is a replica of the Potter Palmer Mansion in Chicago, an interesting structure modeled after English castles.
The primary meeting facility in Billings is MetraPark, a multipurpose major event center located on the Rimrocks overlooking downtown. MetraPark features a 30,000-square-foot arena in addition to an exhibition space totaling more than 200,000 square feet with 10 break-out rooms.
Billings Logan International Airport is only 2 miles from the downtown district and serves most of eastern Montana and northern Wyoming with more than 50 flights daily from major airlines and regional carriers. America West, Big Sky, Delta, Horizon, Northwest, Skywest, Frontier, and United all service Billings with planes as large as 757s.
Billings has one major daily newspaper, The Billings Gazette (morning). Weekly papers focusing on business, agriculture, and general news include Agri-News, Montana Farmer, and Western Livestock Reporter.
Once dependent almost solely on the mining industry—in the early 1900s it was called "the richest hill on earth" because of the valuable ores that lay beneath it—Butte, like many older American cities, is in the midst of a transition toward a more diversified economy. With easy access to western and midwestern markets, Butte is one of the west's major transportation hubs; the city is also moving into enterprises related to energy research and high-altitude sports training.
Butte is located in Summit Valley in the heart of the Rocky Mountains on the west slope of the Continental Divide in southwestern Montana. Silver Bow Creek, part of the Columbia River system—and called Clark Fork outside the city—runs through Butte.
The area surrounding Butte's present location remained uninhabited before gold was discovered in 1864 in Silver Bow Creek. Native Americans and explorers passed through the region, but found no attractions for permanent settlement until two prospectors detected placer deposits in the creek; they named the site the Missoula lode.
The governments of the city of Butte and Silver Bow County are combined and are administered by a Chief Executive and council. The twelve council members and the Chief Executive all serve four-year terms.
Since Butte's founding during a gold boom, its principal industry has been mining. From the mid-1880s to the 1980s, Butte produced an estimated $22 billion in minerals mined.
The public elementary and secondary school system in Butte is Butte School District #1. The district is overseen by an eight-member elected school board and is administered by a superintendent appointed by the board.
The chief medical provider for the Butte-Silver Bow area is the St. James Healthcare system, part of the Montana region of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, which also has operations in Billings and Miles City.
In 2002 Butte was one of only 12 towns in America to be named a distinctive destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A popular Trolley Tour takes visitors to all the key sights—Old No.
The Butte Civic Center, accessible to about 1,300 hotel and motel rooms and bed and breakfast inns in the metropolitan area, is a prime meeting facility both in the city and in the Northwest. Located in close proximity to major population centers, the complex offers a range of facilities for large and small group functions and sporting and recreational events.
The Bert Mooney Airport is served by Alaska Airlines, Sky West, Horizon Air, and Delta Airlines. Most flights connect in Salt Lake City or through Bozeman/Seattle.
In 2003 Bresnan Communications bought the rights to Butte cable television and invested several million dollars to upgrade the number of channels available and to bring high-speed internet to Butte citizens. Viewers have access to ABC, CBS, and NBC television broadcasts.
Helena, known as the "City of Gold," lies at the heart of the Rocky Mountains in a fertile region with rolling hills. On the outskirts of the city lies the giant Helena National Forest, which provides spectacular scenery and many opportunities for outdoor activities.
Helena is located in west-central Montana in the foothills of the Big Belt Mountains on the eastern slope of the Continental Divide, 48 miles north-northeast of Butte, Montana. Helena is located midway between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks and fertile valleys lie to the north and east.
Archaeological evidence shows that native Americans inhabited the valley in which greater Helena is situated more than 12,000 years ago. Although never serving as the permanent home of any particular tribe, the valley was a crossover area for Salish, Crow, Bannock, and Blackfeet tribal members.
Helena, the capital of Montana and the seat of Lewis & Clark County, has a city charter form of government. The mayor and four commissioners are elected to the city commission, each serving four-year terms.
For many years Helena has enjoyed a record of economic stability. It serves as a major governmental center for the county, state, and federal government.
Helena Public Schools states that its mission is to challenge and empower each student to become a competent, productive, responsible, caring citizen. Nearly half of the teachers have a master's degree or beyond, while 42 percent have one to three years of education beyond a bachelor's degree.
Helena citizens have the service of two local hospitals. St.
The focal point of sightseeing in Helena is the 17-block Historic Downtown District. In this part of town is found a mix of retail stores, galleries, lodging, restaurants, historic buildings, and entertainment centers.
Most conferences in Helena are held at one of the following three facilities. The Best Western Helena Great Northern Hotel offers sleeping accommodations in 101 rooms and a convention capacity of 600 people.
Interstate 15 runs along the east side of Helena, northward toward Great Falls and southward toward Butte. It intersects with U.S.
One private television station broadcasts from Helena, and there is one local cable company. The city has four local FM radio stations and three AM stations.
Carson City, Nevada's state capital, is also a year-round vacation destination offering a wide variety of recreational activities. Long called the "hub of the Sierras," the city's distinct character was molded by the industries that dominated the area in the late 1800s—logging, mining, and the railroad.
Carson City is located in northwestern Nevada in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range. It lies 30 miles south of Reno, Nevada in the Carson River Valley near Lake Tahoe, which is 14 miles to the west.
For nearly 4,000 years before the coming of white settlers, the Washoe Indians occupied the land along the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range that borders Nevada and California. In 1851 a group of prospectors decided to look for gold in the area that is now Carson City.
The city and county of Carson, Nevada, have been coextensive since 1969, when the city merged with what was formerly Ormsby County to form a consolidated municipality. The city is governed by a mayor and a four-member board of supervisors, all elected to serve overlapping four-year terms.
Carson City has a growing and diverse economy, with a population that increased by 64 percent between 1980 and 2000. It is the regional retail and commercial center for northwestern Nevada, which is devoted to irrigated farming, livestock raising, and mining of silver and other minerals.
Carson High School is one of the top-rated schools in Nevada. Since 1999 it has shared in a $5 million joint-use project with Western Nevada Community College named the Jim Randolph High-Tech Center.
The 128-bed Carson-Tahoe Hospital is the city's not-for-profit community hospital that employs over 185 physicians in 25 different specialties. The facility includes a Life Stress Center featuring in- and out-patient psychiatric and addiction services, a 24-hour emergency room that is northern Nevada's designated trauma center, state-of-the-art diagnostic facilities, nutritional counseling, wellness programs, and a cardiac care center along with a separate rehabilitation and physical therapy facility.
The Carson City Chamber of Commerce provides an illustrated map with details about various local historic sites.
Carson City has a variety of meeting and convention facilities. The 31,020-square-foot Pony Express Pavilion can accommodate up to 3,000 people and offers table, theater, or bleacher-style seating.
The Carson City Airport does not provide commercial services, but Reno-Cannon International Airport, just 30 miles to the north of Carson City, is served by many major airlines. Carson City is located at the intersection of U.S.
The Nevada Appeal–Carson City Edition is the daily newspaper. Nevada Magazine, a bimonthly which carries feature stories on events and people in the state, is also published in Carson City.
Henderson, Nevada was pronounced a "city of destiny" by then-president John F. Kennedy while on a visit to Southern Nevada during his brief time in office.
Henderson sits at the southern rim of the Las Vegas Valley. At an elevation of 1,940 feet above sea level, the city is only 7 miles southeast of Las Vegas and about midway between Las Vegas and Boulder City (home of the Hoover Dam).
Spanish explorers moved through Southern Nevada in the early 1800s, discovering and naming Las Vegas as a stop on their way to California. Mormon missionaries established a settlement and built a fort in 1855 in Las Vegas but didn't stay long.
The city of Henderson received its charter only relatively recently, in 1965. The mayor and city council have legislative power of the city through the charter; the city manager is charged with executive duties and general administration of the city.
For most of Henderson's short history, the city has been a manufacturing center. Though its beginnings were fast and furious as a magnesium producer for World War II efforts, Henderson's economy today has diversified.
The Clark County School District serves about 250,000 students in all of Clark County—a 7,927 square mile section of Nevada—which includes the city of Henderson. Schools in the entire district total 186 elementary, 51 middle, 38 high schools, 28 alternative schools, and 8 special schools or programs.
St. Rose Dominican Hospitals operates three medical campuses, with the Rose de Lima Campus and the Siena Campus both in Henderson.
Less than 20 miles southeast of Henderson is the Hoover Dam. A National Historic Landmark, and recognized as one of America's Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the dam entertains more than a million visitors and tour-goers annually.
The Henderson Convention Center offers 10,080 square feet of column-free exhibition space, 3,765 square feet of meeting rooms, and a 500 square foot pre-function area. The center accommodates 1,000 people theater-style, 600 banquet-style, and 450 classroom-style.
McCarran International Airport serves Henderson, Las Vegas, and all of Clark County and southern Nevada. In April 2005 the airport debuted its $125 million expansion, consisting of an 11-gate wing that will allow the airport to handle an additional 3.1 million passengers annually.
Henderson's only newspaper is the Henderson Home News, published weekly. The Showbiz Weekly is published in Henderson and covers local entertainment in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is unique among U.S. cities.
Las Vegas is located in the center of Vegas Valley, a desert region of about 600 square miles, which is surrounded by the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Spring Mountains. The seasons are hot, windy, and dry, with desert conditions and maximum temperatures of 100 degrees F during the summer; because of the mountains, however, summer nights are cool.
Las Vegas was discovered by Spanish explorers, who gave the site its name—meaning "meadows"—because of the verdant grassland fed by natural aquifers. Las Vegas served as a watering place on the Spanish trail to California.
Las Vegas has a council-manager form of government. The five council members and the mayor are elected to four-year terms.
Tourism drives the economy in Las Vegas, with 37 million people visiting the city each year. According to the University of Nevada's Center for Business and Economic Research Center, the figure for visitor spending in 2004 was a staggering $33.7 billion.
The Clark County School District is divided into five regions and educates about 250,000 students in the entirety of Clark County with a total of 186 elementary, 51 middle, 38 high schools, 28 alternative schools, and 8 special schools or programs. Las Vegas proper is served by the district's Southeast Region.
Among the 11 major hospitals serving the area is the Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center. With about 700 beds and 1,400 physicians, it maintains a 145-bed children's hospital along with centers for renal transplants, sleep disorders, and epilepsy.
Most people visit Las Vegas to see shows featuring world-famous entertainers and to try their luck at the gaming tables. But the city offers much more to see and do.
Las Vegas is among the nation's foremost meeting destinations, with convention trade being one of the city's major industries. Las Vegas hosted more than 5.7 million convention and meeting participants in 2004, which had an economic impact of more than $6.8 billion.
Seemingly isolated in the middle of the desert, Las Vegas is, in fact, easily accessible. McCarran International Airport, located 5 miles south of the business district, is the 6th busiest airport in the United States; in 2005 the airport unveiled its new, $125 million expansion, an 11-gate wing that is expected to allow the airport to handle an addition 3.1 million passengers annually.
The major daily newspaper is the Las Vegas Review-Journal, a morning paper. Las Vegas Sentinel-Voice is a weekly African American community newspaper, and the Sun is a general weekly community newspaper.
Reno is known as "The Biggest Little City in the World" because of its outstanding western hospitality, fine dining, entertaining stage shows, top-name performers, history, culture, and 24-hour gaming excitement. The region also offers a wide variety of outdoor recreation including golf and skiing.
Reno is located at the western border of Nevada—in a valley known as the Truckee Meadows—about 20 miles east of the Sierra Nevada mountains and Lake Tahoe, the second largest alpine lake in the world. The Truckee River passes between Reno and its sister city, Sparks.
Reno's history began when Charles William Fuller arrived in the Truckee Meadows in 1859 and occupied a piece of land on the south bank of the Truckee River. By early 1860, he had constructed a bridge and small hotel, and the place was known as Fuller's Crossing.
Reno operates under a mayor-city council-city manager form of government. The seven council members and the mayor, who appoint a city manager, all serve a four-year term.
Tourism is the major industry in the Reno area. The hotel and casino industry attracts more than five million visitors annually and adds over $4 billion to the local economy each year.
Reno is part of the Washoe County School District. The district is governed by a board of trustees that consists of seven nonpartisan members.
Three major hospitals serve Reno, including Washoe Medical Center, recipient of the 2002 American Alliance of Healthcare Providers "Facility of Choice" that features a cardiac rehabilitation center, a trauma center, and has more than 500 beds; the 380-bed St. Mary's Regional Medical Center; and Northern Nevada Medical Center.
Downtown Reno glitters with brightly-lit casinos and 24-hour entertainment. In the middle of it all stands the city's best-known symbol, the Reno Arch.
In the heart of downtown the two-floor Reno Events Center, estimated at $65 million, is slated to open in December 2005 with an overall size of 118,000 square feet—56,000 of it being floor space. In July 2002 the Reno-Sparks Convention Center completed an extensive expansion costing more than $100 million that provides convention and meeting planners with a modern, high-tech facility.
The Reno/Tahoe International Airport (RTIA) is located three miles south of downtown Reno. The airport handles about 14,000 arriving and departing passengers on about 90 commercial flights per day from 11 major airlines, and is an international Port of Entry.
Five commercial television stations are based in Reno; a variety of channels are available from the local cable system. Twenty-three radio stations broadcast from the Reno/Tahoe area.
Surrounded by natural beauty, Albuquerque is at the center of Native American pueblo country in New Mexico, the "Land of Enchantment." The state's largest city, Albuquerque retains deep roots in the past and simultaneously stands on the cutting edge of the future. The original Spanish town was built on the site of the oldest farming civilization in North America; modern Albuquerque is the focal point of the "Rio Grande Research Corridor," one of the nation's primary space-research complexes.
Albuquerque is situated in the middle of the Rio Grande valley. To the east of the city are the Sandia and Manzano mountains; to the west are five volcanic cones that mark the beginning of high plateau country.
The region surrounding present-day Albuquerque was home to several groups of Native American peoples, including "Sandia Man," who lived there and hunted mastodon during the ice age 25,000 years ago. Albuquerque was later inhabited by the ancient Anasazi Indians.
Albuquerque operates under a mayor-council form of government, with a full-time mayor, nine council members—all of whom serve four-year terms—and a chief administrative officer, who is appointed by the mayor. The city is the seat of Bernalillo County.
The largest city in New Mexico, Albuquerque is also its economic center; it accounts for nearly half of the state's economic activity. Part of its success can be attributed to a diverse economic base consisting of government, services, trade, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and research and development.
The Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) system, 34th largest in the nation as of the 2001–2002 school year, is administered by a nonpartisan, seven-member school board and a superintendency team.
In the 1920s Albuquerque, like many other cities in the Southwest, became a mecca for people suffering from respiratory diseases and allergies who seek relief in the warm, dry climate. Today, advanced medical care is available at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, which encompasses the following patient facilities: UNM Hospital, New Mexico's only Level 1 Trauma Center; Carrie Tingley Hospital for pediatric rehabilitation and orthopaedics; UNM Children's Hospital, currently undergoing a $239 million, 476,555-square-foot expansion scheduled for completion in 2007; UNM Cancer Research & Treatment Center, New Mexico's only academic center for cancer treatment; UNM Psychiatric Center; and UNM Children's Psychiatric Hospital.
Albuquerque's unique mixture of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo heritages provides visitors with a variety of activities. Albuquerque's spiritual heart is Old Town, dating to the city's founding in 1706, where an arts community flourishes.
As the economic and industrial heart of New Mexico, and as a city known for its commitment to the past and to the future, Albuquerque is an ideal meeting place for conferences and conventions. Albuquerque's unique ethnic heritage and spectacular setting, plus its generous meeting facilities and hotels providing 14,000 guest rooms, promote the mixing of business with pleasure.
Albuquerque is a designated Port of Entry into the United States. When arriving in Albuquerque by plane, visitors are greeted by the Albuquerque International Sunport terminal, which introduces them to local art and pueblo architecture.
Ten television stations, including affiliates for the major commercial networks and public television, serve metropolitan Albuquerque. Cable television is available by subscription.
Las Cruces, Spanish for "city of crosses," is located in the Mesilla Valley, a wonderfully varied area of forests, river valley, and vast desert. The seat of Dona Ana County, the city is near White Sands Missile Range, where the first atomic bomb was tested.
Las Cruces is located 45 miles from the Mexican border and 40 miles northwest of El Paso, Texas. Bordered by the Organ Mountains in the east and the legendary Rio Grande on the west, Las Cruces is located in the heart of the fertile Mesilla Valley.
Before the first human inhabitants, the area around Las Cruces was populated by a teeming variety of reptiles and amphibians, who left many fossils when the great inland sea that once covered southern New Mexico retreated 600 million years ago.
Las Cruces has a council-manager form of government with six council members elected by district serving staggered terms. Both the mayor and the council members serve four year terms.
Like many other sunbelt communities, Las Cruces' economy is booming. The city is the fastest-growing metro area in New Mexico and among the top 10 in the United States.
Las Cruces Public Schools is the state's second largest school district and the third-largest employer in Dona Ana County. Specialized programs include a Bilingual Education Program geared to English proficiency and academic and ultimately career success.
Las Cruces has three medical facilities serving its health care needs. Memorial Medical Center (MMC) recently signed a 40-year, $150 million dollar agreement with Province Healthcare, which will enable it to add 99 private rooms to its 286-bed acute care facility.
A popular attraction is the monument and white crosses which mark the graves of the travelers from Taos who were ambushed and killed by Apaches in 1830, and for which the city is purported to be named. White Sands Missile Range displays missiles and weapons at its visitor's center.
The Las Cruces Hilton has 203 rooms and nearly 6,500 square feet of convention and meeting facilities, including a 5,000 square foot Grand Ballroom and smaller executive conference rooms. The Best Western Mesilla Valley Inn is the second largest hotel with 170 rooms, and six conference rooms that can accommodate from 16 to 400 people.
Interstate 10, which is a direct route to Phoenix, Los Angeles, Houston, and Dallas, and Interstate 25, which is the direct route to Albuquerque and Denver, traverse the city's south end. U.S.
Las Cruces is served by the Sun-News, which is published every morning, and the Las Cruces Bulletin, a community newspaper that comes out each Thursday. Locally published magazines include New Mexico Farm and Ranch, a monthly covering equipment, techniques, and laws affecting the farming industry in New Mexico.
Founded before Massachusetts's Plymouth Colony and the second oldest city in the United States, Santa Fe is a cultural center for the Southwest. The Santa Fe Opera is known throughout the world, and the city is a gathering place for writers and artists.
Santa Fe is located in the northern Rio Grande Valley at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains. Situated in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range, the city has a nearby pine forest.
During prehistoric times a village built by the Tano tribe stood on the site now occupied by Santa Fe. Evidence from the Tano culture, uncovered in the few ruins left by Spanish settlers, indicates that civilization existed on the site as far back as 1050 to 1150 A.D.
Santa Fe operates under a council-mayor, city-manager form of government, administered by an eight-member council and a mayor who are elected to four-year terms. Santa Fe is the seat of Santa Fe County and, as the state capital, the site of meetings of the State Legislature.
Santa Fe's economy has been based largely on tourism and state government. As capitol of New Mexico, the government is the largest employer in the area.
The Santa Fe Public Schools system is the third largest district in the state of New Mexico. It is administered by a five-member, nonpartisan board of education that establishes educational policies and appoints a superintendent.
Santa Fe's St. Vincent Regional Medical Center is the largest medical center in Northern New Mexico, and has the region's only Level III Trauma Center.
Santa Fe's historic downtown plaza, once the terminus of the Santa Fe Trail, has been a center of activity in Santa Fe since the city's founding. The plaza area is full of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and museums.
The principal meeting facility in Santa Fe is Sweeney Convention Center, located downtown within easy access of the historical district, cultural attractions, shopping, restaurants, and more than 1,500 hotel and motel rooms. Sweeney Convention Center has 22,000 square feet of space for exhibitions, banquets, and meetings.
The major airport closest to Santa Fe is Albuquerque International Sunport, 65 minutes away. Shuttle companies offer transportation between the airport and Santa Fe.
Santa Fe's major daily newspaper is The Santa Fe New Mexican, the oldest newspaper in the West. The weekly Santa Fe Reporter is published on Wednesdays.
Eugene is Oregon's second largest city and the seat of Lane County. Together with Springfield it is also the second largest metropolitan area in the state.
Eugene is located in the center of western Oregon, about 100 miles south of Portland and halfway between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains in the broad Willamette River valley. Temperatures are usually moderate throughout the year, with most rainfall occurring from October to May.
A site near present-day Eugene was settled in 1846 by Eugene F. Skinner at the base of a mountain peak called Yapo-ah by the Calapooya tribe.
Eugene operates under a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members elected in non-partisan elections for four years. Half the council is elected every two years.
Lumber is the largest industry in the Eugene area, where a number of manufacturing concerns produce lumber and wood products. The region is the nation's largest producer of softwood lumber and plywood products, although weak prices in the early 2000s have hurt the industry somewhat.
Oregon Schools were rated fifth best in the nation by the Midwestern Research Institute. Eugene is home to three school districts, with the largest being Eugene School District 4J, which is the fourth largest in Oregon.
Two major hospitals serve Eugene. The largest is Sacred Heart General Hospital, with 432 beds and 57 intensive care units.
Eugene's Willamette River banks are lined with miles of paths and a number of picnic areas and scenic parks, including the 5-acre Owen Memorial Rose Garden. The Hendricks Park Rhododendron Garden features more than 6,000 rhododendrons and azaleas.
The Lane County Convention Center/Fairgrounds in Eugene offers a convention center, an equestrian and livestock pavilion, a state-of-the-art ice arena, 2,500 parking spaces, and full catering service. Other Eugene venues include the City Conference Center, the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, the Florence Events Center in Florence, Oregon, the Valley River Inn and Convention Center, and the McKenzie River Conference Center.
Eugene Airport is located 9 miles north of Eugene by Interstate 5, and is served by 4 major air carriers on 30 flights daily. Amtrak provides passenger rail service north to Vancouver on the Amtrak Cascades Line, and south to Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight.
Eugene is served by one daily morning newspaper, The Register-Guard (Oregon's second-largest daily), Eugene Weekly, a Thursday paper presenting arts and entertainment information along with news, and by several smaller neighborhood and special-interest weekly newspapers. The University of Oregon publishes the Oregon Daily Emerald.
Portland, known as the "City of Roses," is the result of both chance and planning. Having obtained its name by the flip of a coin, the city is today the model of a metropolitan area that has been effectively integrated with its environment through controlled growth and development.
Located 110 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Portland lies between two mountain ranges, the Cascade Range to the east and the lower Coast Range to the west, in the Willamette River valley, one of the world's most fertile river valleys. The city is divided by the Willamette River, which flows into the Columbia River just to the north.
The area surrounding present-day Portland was originally inhabited by the Multnomah and Clackamas tribes, who had established several villages by the 1830s. Most of these people died from smallpox epidemics and other diseases.
Portland is the last large city in the United States to operate under a commission form of government, with five council members, including the mayor, elected to staggered four-year terms. Each member casts an equal vote in council and each undertakes administrative responsibilities for a group of city bureaus.
Early in its history, Portland's economy was based on the Columbia and Willamette rivers and their access to the Pacific Ocean. The town was a supply hub for area farming communities and a regional shipping center.
Portland is served by five school districts. The Portland Public School District, the largest in the state of Oregon, is governed by a nonpartisan, seven-member board that appoints a superintendent.
Portland is the center for health care in the state of Oregon, with major hospitals collaborating to offer quality care at a moderate cost. Playing a prominent role is the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), which includes the University Hospital and Doernbecher Children's Hospital as well as the Casey Eye Institute, the Child Development and Rehabilitation Center, 9 primary care clinics, more than 150 specialty clinics, and dental clinics.
Portland offers sightseeing attractions both in the city itself and in the surrounding area. A walking tour of downtown encompasses two separate national historical districts, including the largest preserved example of nineteenth-century cast iron architecture in the West, and a number of other nineteenth-century landmarks intermixed with distinctive modern buildings.
The Oregon Convention Center, located in the center of downtown along the Willamette River, contains a total of nearly one million square feet of enclosed space, with 255,000 square feet of exhibit space, 50 meeting rooms, two grand ballrooms, and an 800-space parking garage. In 2003, the Oregon Convention Center completed a major expansion that doubled the center's size.
Portland's airport, Portland International Airport (PDX), is one of the fastest-growing major airports on the West Coast, with more 17 commercial carriers offering daily nonstop flights from Portland to various destinations; the airport served more than 13 million passengers in 2004. The airport is 9 miles east of the central city, a 15-minute car ride.
Portland's major daily newspaper, The Oregonian, has been in publication since the 1850s. The paper's affiliated website provides news and local coverage online as well as archives to past stories.
Salem is the capital of Oregon and the third largest city in the state. Situated in the middle of a large, fertile agricultural region, host to a booming wine industry in the Willamette Valley, and known as the "Cherry City," Salem is the processing and transportation center for the surrounding area.
Salem is located about 60 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in the Willamette Valley and about halfway between Portland and Eugene. The Willamette River flows on the western edge of the central city.
The site of present-day Salem was called "Chemeketa" by the Calapooya tribe. The word means "meeting" or "resting place," and the tribe used the region for many years in that capacity.
Salem operates under a council-manager form of government with eight council members elected to four-year terms by wards; the mayor serves for two years and is elected at-large. The council hires the city manager.
The major industry in Salem, as the state's capital and county seat of Marion County, is government, where state, local, and federal governments employ 28 percent of Salem's workers. Trade, transportation and utilities comprise 16 percent; education and health services make up 13 percent; and professional and business services make up a further 10 percent of jobs in the metropolitan area (in 2003).
The Salem-Keizer Public Schools is the second largest school district in the state. It is governed by a seven-member, nonpartisan school board that appoints the superintendent.
Salem Hospital, with 454 beds, is the major health-care facility in the city, providing a wide range of services in several locations. Salem Hospital's service area includes Marion, Polk, and portions of Yamhill counties.
The State Capitol building in downtown Salem is constructed of white marble and features a 22-foot bronze and gold leaf statue, "The Oregon Pioneer." Willson Park, next to the Capitol, contains the Waite Fountain, a replica of the Liberty Bell, and a gazebo for open-air concerts. Bush's Pasture Park is a large park near the Willamette River and downtown Salem that features the Bush House, a Victorian mansion; historic Deepwood House and Gardens, a 5.5-acre estate built in the Queen Anne style; Bush Barn Art Center; and Bush Conservatory.
There are numerous options when pondering where to meet and stay in Oregon's capital city. The new Salem Convention Center, which opened in 2005, has 29,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space in 14 rooms, and is attached to the all-suite Phoenix Grand Hotel.
Airport shuttles make round trips from Portland International Airport, 61 miles from Salem. Interstate 5, the major West Coast interstate highway, and Interstate 84, for destinations to the east, run through Salem.
Two television stations broadcast from Salem: PAX and WB affiliates. Salem is also served by a number of stations broadcasting from Portland, Oregon, as well as cable television.
Provo is the commercial center and county seat of Utah County, and one of the fastest growing areas in the nation. A high-technology mecca, the Provo area is home to one of the largest concentrations of computer software companies in the nation after California's Silicon Valley.
Provo is located in Utah Valley, 38 miles south of Salt Lake City, 263 miles northeast of St. George, and 80 miles south of Ogden.
Two Franciscan friars, Francisco Dominguez and Silvestre de Escalante, were the first Spaniards to visit the area that makes up present-day Utah County. They arrived in the area from Santa Fe, New Mexico, in search of a direct route to Monterey, California.
Provo has a council-mayor form of government with a mandatory chief administrative officer. Seven members make up the Provo Municipal Council; five representing municipal districts and two city-wide representatives.
The Provo-Orem area has a diverse economy with every employment sector well represented. The area is home to the second largest concentration of software technologies companies in the United States and has the third largest concentration of high-technology companies.
In addition to educating students from kindergarten to grade twelve, the Provo School District assists students in pre-school and latch-key programs, as well as through programs for the physically challenged. In addition to the traditional schools, Provo has one school for children with physical and emotional challenges too severe for mainstreaming.
The Provo/Orem area is served by three major hospitals—Utah Valley Regional Medical Center (UVRMC) in Provo, Orem Community Hospital in Orem, and Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem. UVRMC is a 330-bed tertiary and acute care facility.
The Provo/Orem area is one of the most scenic in the country. Visitors can view the breathtaking Bridal Veil Falls from the Provo Canyon floor.
The cities of Provo and Orem have two major conference facilities and one special events center. The Provo Marriott Hotel and Conference Center has 21 meeting rooms for a total of more than 28,000 square feet, and 330 sleeping rooms, including more than 100 suites.
Provo/Orem is intersected by U.S. Highways 50, 89, 91, and 189, as well as by Interstate 15.
Provo has three AM and one FM radio station that encompass religion, music, talk, and public broadcasting, and a television station on the campus of Brigham Young University.
Salt Lake City is the state capital and largest city in Utah. Founded in 1847 by religious leader Brigham Young, the city is the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).
Salt Lake City is bounded on three sides by mountain ranges and on the northwest by the Great Salt Lake. The Jordan River flows just to the west of the downtown district.
For thousands of years, the inhabitants of the northern Utah region were hunter-gatherers. Artifacts dating as far back as 12,000 years have been found in caves near the Great Salt Lake.
Salt Lake City has a council-mayor form of government with the mayor elected at large. The mayor and seven council members serve a four-year term.
Salt Lake City was originally a farming community; it also depended on mining until the early 1980s when foreign competition began to erode profits from that industry. Today it has grown into a diverse economic region.
The Salt Lake City School District is sixth-largest in Utah. It's mission is to advocate for all students, provide education of the highest quality, and prepare students for opportunities in the future.
Utah boasts some of the healthiest people in the country. In 2003 the state was ranked third-healthiest in the U.S.
Downtown Salt Lake City boasts a number of popular attractions. The State Capitol with its spectacular copper-clad dome is located on Capitol Hill, which offers a view of the city and surrounding area.
The Salt Palace Convention Center, located in the center of the downtown district, is the city's major convention facility. It features 365,000 square feet of exhibit space, a 45,000-square-foot ballroom, and 53 meeting rooms.
The Salt Lake International Airport offers 972 daily flights on 16 airlines, and is located just minutes from downtown Salt Lake City. In 2004 the airport served 18.3 million customers.
Salt Lake City is served by two major daily newspapers, The Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News. The Latter-Day Saints publish three titles: Church News, a weekly newspaper; The Friend, a magazine for children aged three to eleven; and New Era, a magazine for teens.
Bellingham, a coastal city built around the deep water harbor of Bellingham Bay, is set against the backdrop of the Cascade Mountains. Bellingham is the last major city before the coast of Washington state meets the border of Canada.
Bellingham is the seat of Whatcom County, the most northwestern county in the United States. The city is located 90 miles north of Seattle, 50 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia, and 20 miles from the Canadian border at Baline.
Long before the coming of Europeans, ancestors of local Bellingham tribes—the Lummi, the Nooksack, and the Semiahmoo—established camps along the bay as part of the great migration over the land bridge that once extended from Asia to North America. Salmon from the surrounding waters was their dietary mainstay, supplemented by roots, berries, and shellfish.
Bellingham has a mayor-council form of government. Six council members serve four-year terms and a seventh council member serves a two-year term as a council person-at-large.
The year 2001 delivered a number of blows to Bellingham's economy. Georgia-Pacific Corp.
The Bellingham School District offers special programs for disabled students, those with learning disabilities, and exceptionally capable students. The schools have computers and related technology in every classroom.
The people of Bellingham are served by St. Joseph's Hospital, which has 253 beds across two campuses.
Bellingham's museums are devoted to an array of topics. The Whatcom Museum of History & Art, located in downtown Bellingham, is comprised of four buildings, each with its own theme: the 1892 Old City Hall, Whatcom Children's Museum, Syre Education Center, and Arco Exhibits Building.
Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, located in nearby Lynden, offers more than 70,000 square feet of meeting space in eight rooms, the largest of which can seat 5,000 people. Within the city of Bellingham, the Mt.
Bellingham is located along western America's Interstate-5 corridor, nearly equidistant from Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. State Routes 11, 539, 542, and 544 form a highway grid that covers most of the interior of western Whatcom County, linking with I-5 near Bellingham.
Bellingham's daily paper is The Bellingham Herald, which appears every morning. The Western Front is published twice-weekly from fall to spring by students of Western Washington University.
Olympia, Washington's capital, is a city rich in history and natural beauty. Known for its spectacular view of the Olympic Mountains, the city serves as the gateway to Olympic National Park and headquarters for the Olympic National Forest.
Olympia sits on a low flat at the southern end of Puget Sound on the shores of Budd Inlet's two bays, between Seattle and the Olympic Mountains to the north, Mt. Rainier to the northeast, and Mt.
Before British Captain George Vancouver sailed into Puget Sound Bay in 1791 and made the first known European contact with the native tribes, the Nisqually, Duwamish, Suquamish, and Puyallup Indians hunted, gathered, and fished in the region where Olympia now stands. The United States and Great Britain jointly controlled the region until the boundary between U.S.
Olympia has a council-manager form of government. Power lies with the council, which sets policy and makes budgetary decisions.
The city's early development was based on its port facilities and lumber-based industries, and later oyster farming and dairying. Following World War II, Olympia served as a major service center for lumber communities west of Thurston County, while the Port of Olympia remained a major transportation center for shipping logs and finished lumber.
One of the oldest districts in the state of Washington, the Olympia School District was founded in 1852, nearly 40 years before Washington statehood. The district offers five alternative programs for students in elementary, middle, or high school grades.
Olympia has two hospitals and functions as the regional medical center for five surrounding counties. The Providence Health System operates the 390-bed Providence St.
Located on the Olympic Peninsula, nearby Olympic National Park encompasses the Olympic Mountains and Pacific Ocean beaches. Beautiful Olympic National Forest, which surrounds the park, is the site of three rain forests.
Thurston County offers more than 1,650 hotel rooms and over 100,000 square feet of meeting space. The Thurston County Fairgrounds, located in Olympia, features three buildings including the Thurston Expo Center, which was completed in July 2002.
Olympia can be approached from the east by Interstate 5. In the center of the city, Interstate 5 turns southward.
The Olympian is the city's daily newspaper. Three monthly newspapers published locally are The Thurston-Mason Senior News, Washington State Grange News, an agricultural paper, and Works in Progress, a community newspaper.
Little more than a century ago, Seattle—nicknamed "The Emerald City"—was a pioneer outpost and a quiet lumbering town. Transformed by the Yukon gold rush into a thriving metropolis, Seattle has become the transportation, manufacturing, commercial, and services hub for the Pacific Northwest as well as the largest urban area north of San Francisco, California.
Seattle is situated on a series of hills in a lowland area on Puget Sound's eastern shore between the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascade Mountains to the east. Westerly air currents from the ocean and the shielding effects of the Cascade range produce a mild and moderately moist climate, with warm winters and cool summers.
The original inhabitants of the region surrounding the site of present-day Seattle were the Suquamish tribe. Their chief, Sealth, befriended a group of Illinois farmers who settled in the area in 1851.
Seattle operates under a mayor-council form of government. The mayor is elected to a four-year term; the nine council members, elected at large, serve staggered four-year terms.
While Seattle has in the past been largely dependent on the aerospace industry (it is the headquarters of the Boeing Company, the world's largest aerospace firm), the city's diverse economy is also based on the manufacture of transportation equipment and forest products as well as food processing and advanced technology in computer software, biotechnology, electronics, medical equipment, and environmental engineering. In 2003 Corbis, one of the world's leading providers of digital images, moved its headquarters to downtown Seattle.
Seattle Public Schools is the largest district in the state. The system is administered by a nonpartisan, seven-member school board that appoints a superintendent.
With a national reputation for its diagnostic and treatment facilities, which include more free clinics than in any other West Coast city, Seattle-King County is the health care center for the Pacific Northwest. The metropolitan area offers 26 general acute-care and five special purpose centers providing thousands of beds and physicians.
Seattle is consistently ranked among the top U.S. tourist destinations.
The Washington State Convention and Trade Center is the city's major meeting and conference facility. The facility currently offers 54 meeting rooms and ballrooms totaling approximately 105,000 square feet of space, and exhibit space totaling 205,700 square feet.
Air travelers to Seattle are served by the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac), the sixteenth busiest commercial airport in the United States. The airport is currently being upgraded with a new runway that will enable aircraft to land in any weather conditions.
Seattle's major daily newspapers are the evening The Seattle Times and the morning Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Seattle is also the headquarters for several weekly, biweekly, or monthly publications appealing to ethnic groups, such as Northwest Asian Weekly, and Korea Central Daily.
Spokane is the commercial and cultural hub of a large area known as the "Inland Empire" or the "Inland Northwest," a rich agricultural region. The picturesque beauty of its surroundings makes the city an attractive vacation spot, and population and economic growth have brought many metropolitan amenities to the once quiet, out-of-the-way town.
Spokane is located near the eastern border of Washington, about 20 miles from Idaho and 110 miles south of the Canadian border. The city lies on the eastern edge of the Columbia Basin, a wide sloping plain that rises sharply to the east towards the Rocky Mountains.
For years before the coming of European explorers, the land around the present-day city was settled by the Spokane tribe. Explorers and trappers passed through the area, but no settlements were built until 1810, when Finan McDonald and Joco Finlay built a trading post called Spokane House at the junction of the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers.
Spokane's mayor-council form of government formerly elected a mayor and six other council members to four-year terms; the council employed a city manager for the day-today operation of the city. In 1999 Spokane voters adopted a strong-mayor form of government, eliminating the city manager position.
Natural resources have traditionally provided much of the economic activity for the Spokane area, a major center for the timber, agriculture, and mining industries in the region. A number of manufacturing companies have located in Spokane, drawn by the easy access to raw materials.
Spokane School District Number 81, representing all city schools, is the second largest in the state. Students' test scores are consistently above the national average, and over 70 percent of teachers hold master's degrees.
Six major hospitals are located in Spokane, four of which are full service facilities. The city is the center of specialized care for the entire Inland Northwest area, offering an expert team of cardiac surgeons and more than 18,500 health care professionals, including more than 900 physicians.
Riverfront Park, the site of Expo '74, is a 100-acre urban park that has been developed into a collection of cultural and recreational attractions including a theater, art gallery, a skating rink, an antique carousel composed of 54 hand-carved horses, a train, and an exciting gondola ride over Spokane Falls. The park also features a historic 1909 carousel.
The Spokane Convention Center is located on the banks of the Spokane River in the downtown district. The facility consists of 58,000 square feet of convention and banquet space along with 20,000 square feet of storage space.
The Spokane International Airport is a multimillion-dollar complex located a few minutes from the downtown area and served by ten major airlines and three air cargo carriers. The city is also served by three commercial bus lines and by Amtrak.
Spokane readers are served by one daily newspaper, The Spokesman-Review, which presents a special entertainment section on Friday. Journal of Business is among the biweekly business journals published in the city.
Tacoma's name is derived from the Native American word "Tahoma," meaning "Mother of the Waters," referring to the shadow of Mt. Rainier that looms over the city.
Situated on Commencement Bay, an inlet of Puget Sound, Tacoma lies at the foot of Mt. Rainier in the Puyallup River valley, bordered by mountains.
The first people to live in the Puyallup Valley on the shore of Commencement Bay were the Nisqually and Puyallup Native American tribes. Captain George Vancouver was the first person of European descent to explore the area when, in 1792, he sailed his ship up Puget Sound and named Mt.
Tacoma's council-manager form of government provides for the election of nine city council members—a mayor, five members serving districts, and three at-large members. All serve four-year terms.
Named one of "America's Most Livable Communities" in 2004 by national nonprofit organization Partners for Livable Communities, Tacoma has attracted companies of all sizes. In recent years, more than a hundred high-technology businesses have relocated, opened, or expanded in the area.
Tacoma School District #10, the third largest system in the state, is administered by a five-member, nonpartisan school board that selects the superintendent.
Tacoma's health care community has been nationally recognized in specialized areas, including cancer treatment, kidney dialysis, and burn care, as well as in cardiac care and pediatrics. The 320-bed St.
Tacoma offers the sightseer a variety of diversions. The city is bordered by miles of waterfront parks and beaches.
November 2004 marked the completion of a new downtown convention center. The 200,000-square-foot facility is adjacent to the 319-room Sheraton and the new 162-room Marriott Courtyard, which is scheduled for completion in 2005.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) is a modern facility with an underground monorail. The airport is located 18 miles north of the city.
Four television stations are based in Tacoma; because of the city's proximity to Seattle, broadcasts from Seattle television stations are also received in the metropolitan area. More than 30 AM and FM radio stations serve Tacoma with music, news, and special interest programming.
In the days of the Wild West and Manifest Destiny, all roads led to Casper—the city was sited at the nexus of a number of important trails of the time, including the Oregon Trail, the Pony Express route, the Mormon Trail, the Bozeman Trail, the California Trail, and the Bridger Trail. Today the nexus is more that of the past as represented by traditional agriculture coupled with the future of energy and conservation.
At almost a mile above sea level, Casper rests at the foot of Casper Mountain and follows the contours of the North Platte River. With the Laramie Mountain Range of the Rocky Mountains to the west and the Wyoming plains to the east, Casper has been uniquely situated between natural resources for energy and outdoor adventure exploration on the one hand and agricultural endeavors on the other.
Before there were people, there was the river—the North Platte River begins its meandering journey in the mountains near Casper, running east across the Great Plains to merge with its sister river, the South Platte, to become simply the Platte River. Water, mountains, and plains were a lure from the beginning; evidence of human occupation dates back more than 12,000 years with the Clovis peoples, followed by the Folsom and the Eden Valley peoples.
The City of Casper operates under a Council-Manager form of government; in staggered elections, the city's three wards each elect three representatives from the citizenry residing in that ward. All legislative authority resides within the nine-member council.
In 2004, Forbes magazine named Casper one of the nation's "Top 25 Best Small Places for Business" based on the comparatively low costs of operating in the Casper area. The city's central location and proximity to a wealth of natural resources has attracted mining and petroleum exploration industries to the area.
The Natrona County School District serves students not just in Casper but also the communities of Midwest, Edgerton, Mills, Evansville, Bar Nunn, Alcova, Mountain View, and Powder River. The school district emphasizes site-based decision making in schools of choice, a system that allows parents to enroll students in any school without regard to location.
The Wyoming Medical Center in Casper serves the Natrona County area and also draws patients from rural communities of greater distances. The state's largest medical facility is licensed for 206 beds after undergoing a significant expansion in 2001, which added a new emergency department and trauma center.
A sightseeing tour of Casper would start where the town started—at the convergence of the multiple travel routes to the West. The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center accurately portrays the experiences of emigrants who traversed the Oregon, California, Mormon, Bridger, Bozeman, and Pony Express Trails.
The Casper Events Center was constructed on a hill at the north end of the city and its massive maroon roof is visible from practically all points in Casper. The arena is shaped like a horseshoe, with a 28,200 square foot main floor that can hold up to 154 exhibition booths.
Natrona County International Airport (NCIA) is Wyoming's largest airport and is located at the geographic center of the state. Four regional carriers provide service through NCIA, including Delta, Sky West, United, and Northwest Airlines.
Casper's daily paper is the Casper Star Tribune, delivered mornings and providing comprehensive coverage of international, national, regional, and local news stories. A special insert on Saturdays conveys community events and special features.
Cheyenne, the capital of Wyoming, began as a railroad town and, during the height of the colorful cattle days, became the wealthiest city in the world. Cheyenne has retained its Western frontier traditions while keeping pace with the twenty-first century.
Surrounded by rolling prairie, Cheyenne is located between the North and South Platte rivers. The Laramie Mountains 30 miles west of the city form a ridge that is part of the Rocky Mountain range and that significantly influences local temperature and weather.
The region where present-day Cheyenne stands was originally occupied by a Native American Plains tribe in the Algonquian linguistic family. The townsite was initially a campsite for the U.S.
Cheyenne operates under a mayor-council form of government; the nine council members and the mayor serve four-year terms. The nine council members represent three city wards and serve staggered four-year terms.
Cheyenne's economy is based mainly on light manufacturing, agriculture, the military and government, tourism, services, and transportation. Cattle- and sheep-raising continue to be important in the region, yet the economy of Cheyenne has become diversified with the development of industries such as fertilizer processing plants.
Public elementary and secondary schools in Cheyenne are part of Laramie County School District #1 (LCSD1). The district, the largest in the state, is administered by a seven-member Board of Trustees and a superintendent.
Cheyenne is a regional healthcare center. Major facilities are United Medical Center (UMC) East and West, with a combined total of 198 beds.
Cheyenne features several sites that recall the city's past. The Tivoli Building, which houses the Chamber of Commerce, was completed in 1892.
Cheyenne offers four convention facilities accommodating a combined total of 3,110 persons. More than 2,000 hotel and motel rooms are located in the Cheyenne area.
The major routes into Cheyenne are Interstate 25, which runs north and south contiguous with U.S. 85 and 87; east-west I-80; and U.S.
One television station affiliated with a major network broadcasts from Cheyenne. The city also receives four stations from Denver and Casper; cable is available.