Boise: Recreation

views updated Jun 11 2018

Boise: Recreation


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 downtown area contains several historic points of interest. The Idaho State Capitol, erected in 1920, is a smaller version of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and is the only statehouse in America heated by natural geothermal energy. At the other end of Capitol Boulevard is the Boise Depot, constructed in 1925 and modeled after a Spanish mission. The station is surrounded by the beautiful Platt Gardens. Other historic sites in Boise include the Old Boise district and the Eighth Street Marketplace, two restored neighborhoods. The O'Farrell Cabin, the first structure built in Boise, is located in Military Reserve Park. The area surrounding Boise offers many attractions, including restored wild west towns like Idaho City and the Snake River Birds of Prey area. Other pleasurable activities are scenic mountain and canyon drives and tours of the local vineyards in Idaho's wine country.

Arts and Culture

The Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, a 2,030-seat facility located on the Boise State University campus, is the site of much of the city's cultural activity. The center hosts performances by the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra and Ballet Idaho as well as special events that range from rock concerts to touring Broadway productions. The city holds an annual Shakespearean festival, and several area theatrical groups perform throughout the year. Among them are the Boise Little Theater, the Idaho Theater for Youth, and the Stage Coach Theater.

The city is home to a number of museums and art galleries. The Idaho Historical Museum, located in Julia Davis Park, is a unique open-air museum that features an Old West saloon, a blacksmith's shop, and western and native American artifacts. The restored Idaho State Penitentiary (called the "Old Pen") now houses several museums, including the Idaho Transportation Museum and the Electricity Museum. The Idaho Black History Museum recently relocated from the former penitentiary to St. Paul Baptist Church in Julia Davis park; exhibits relate the importance of the African American culture to the heritage of Idaho and the nation. The Boise Art Museum, also in Julia Davis Park, contains a permanent collection of regional and national art; it also hosts a number of traveling exhibits each year. The Idaho Botanical Garden, featuring a variety of themed gardens, is adjacent to the "Old Pen." Other art galleries in the city include the Art Attack Gallery, Brown's Galleries, Gallery 601, and the Art Source Gallery.

Festivals and Holidays

A number of special events are scheduled in the Boise area throughout the year. Spring is celebrated with the Apple Blossom Festival; seven days of festivities include a rodeo, parade, carnival, festival, and crowning of the Apple Blossom Queen. The National Old Time Fiddlers' Contest takes place for seven days each June in nearby Weiser, Idaho, one hour northwest of Boise. The Boise River Festival, held the last full Thursday through Sunday in June, is a popular event. Summer also brings the Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic in late June; the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, featuring Shakespeare under the Stars; and the Western Idaho Fair, an old fashioned country fair that lasts for 10 days in August. Boise's Basque population, the largest concentration in North America, presents three days of cultural activities every July, including performances by the famous Oinkari Basque Dancers. Oktoberfest at the Idaho Botanical Garden includes music, dance, food and beverage.

Sports for the Spectator

The Boise Hawks, members of the Northwest League and affiliated with the Chicago Cubs, play baseball from mid-June through early September at Memorial Stadium. The Hawks won their sixth Northwest League Championship in 2004. The Idaho Sneakers, the state's only major league franchise, offer World TeamTennis action at Bank of America Centre, also the site for hockey action from the Idaho Steelheads of the East Coast Hockey League. In the community of Nampa, about 20 miles from Boise, basketball fans flock to watch the Idaho Stampede of the Continental Basketball Association.

A complete program of collegiate sports is offered at Boise State University, featuring a championship football team and a nationally recognized basketball team. Thoroughbred and harness racing, along with parimutuel wagering, are featured at Les Bois Race Track. Championship drag racing is held at Firebird Raceway. Fans of rodeo enjoy the famous Snake River Stampede in Nampa and the Caldwell Night Rodeo in Caldwell. Meridian Speedway offers drag racing and stock car racing. In women's sports action, there is the annual St. Luke's Women's Fitness Celebration, a run/walk event that ranks among the largest of its kind in the nation. The Nike Boise Open golf tournament is part of the PGA Tour.

Sports for the Participant

Boise offers an abundance of outdoor activities. The area's 91 parks feature facilities for boating, tennis, golf, swimming, jogging, cycling, and other recreational activities. The Boise River, which runs through downtown Boise, is a popular spot for tubing, canoeing, and fishing; 16 acres on both sides of the river form the Boise River Greenbelt offering 25 miles of paved and graveled paths. Many area reservoirs offer a full range of water activities. Both day and night skiing can be enjoyed at Bogus Basin, a 45-minute drive from downtown Boise; five other ski areas are within a three-hour drive. The nearby mountains are favorite hiking, fishing, and camping locations, while the nearby Payette and Salmon Rivers are known worldwide by kayakers and rafters for their exciting white water.

Shopping and Dining

Old Boise and the Eighth Street Marketplace, two distinctive historical districts in Boise, have been converted into unique shopping areas. The Hyde Park district features a number of antique shops, and State Street marketplace is a group of specialty shops in a modern complex. Several shopping malls are open in the area, including Boise Towne Square, which offers more than 175 stores, and the Boise Factory Outlet Mall.

Dining opportunities in Boise are diverse and usually inexpensive. Cuisines range from simple yet filling Western fare to exotic international specialties such as Basque, Mexican, Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, and Vietnamese. Several elegant dining places feature French, Continental, and New American dishes.

Visitor Information: Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 2106, Boise, ID 83701; telephone (208)344-7777; toll-free (800)635-5240; fax (208)344-6236; email [email protected]

Boise: Economy

views updated Jun 11 2018

Boise: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

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. In addition to mining, farming and timber have played important roles in the development of the Boise economy.

The present economy has shifted away from its traditional sources towards a more diversified base. State government is one of the city's main employers, since Boise is the capital of Idaho. Boise ranks sixth in the nation for the number of corporate headquarters located in the city (in relation to its population base); corporate headquarters in the city include Albertson's, a supermarket chain; Boise Cascade wood and paper products; Morrison Knudsen, an engineering and construction firm; the J.R. Simplot Company with frozen foods, phosphates, and cattle; Micron Technology, which manufactures semiconductors; TJ International, with specialty building products; and Washington Group International. Several other major companies are headquartered or have major facilities in the area. Tourism is another large source of revenue for the Boise area. High technology industries are becoming an increasingly important sector, and the Army National Guard's Gowen Field also has an economic impact.

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

Boise State University provides various services for the business community through its Idaho Business and Economic Development Center, Boise Future Foundation, Center for Management Development, Simplot/Micron Instructional Technology Center, Small Business Development Center, and the College of Technology.

State programs

The state of Idaho encourages business development through low taxes, reasonable rates, and tax incentives such as job creation and investment credits and tax exemptions.

Job training programs

Several training schools are located in the Boise area.

Development Projects

Boise is working on three major ongoing urban renewal projects. The oldest project, called the Central renewal project, is focused on downtown Boise's core and has resulted in the vibrant downtown Boise visitors and residents see today. Ongoing funding of the Central project is planned for use in additional infrastructure, beautification and public arts projects. The River/Myrtle renewal project, also underway, is located south of downtown Boise. With a focus on attracting high-tech tenants, this urban renewal project is developing a technical infrastructure. The Westside renewal project encompasses 47 acres of downtown Boise. Renewal plans encompass a 25-year span with completion of all projects in 2025. The Westside project will bring multi-use development to downtown, including office, residential, retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, and hotels.

Economic Development Information: Boise Metro Area Economic Development Council (Shirl Boyce), 250 S. 5th St., Suite 800, Boise, ID 83702; telephone (208)472-5230, email [email protected]

Commercial Shipping

A Grant Thornton General Manufacturing Climates study ranked Idaho the best state in the nation for transportation because of its infrastructure and strategic location in the Pacific Northwest. Rail freight carriers serve the Boise metropolitan area via the Union Pacific Railroad. A variety of motor freight lines, air freight, package express companies, and air courier services are also part of Boise's commercial transportation industry.

Labor Force and Employment.

Boise's skilled work force is educated above the national average and it remains diverse because of a high percentage of immigration. Thirty-three percent of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher; the Boise metro area was ranked the seventh best place to do business in the nation by Forbes magazine in 2004.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Boise-Nampa metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of non-agricultural labor force: 241,600

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 17,100

manufacturing: 29,500

trade, transportation and utilities: 45,800

financial services: 12,900

information: 4,200

professional and business services: 34,700

educational and health services: 29,700

leisure and hospitality: 21,500

other services: 6,900

government: 38,800

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing (statewide): $13.72

Unemployment rate: 4.4% (February 2005)

Largest private employersNumber of employees
Micron Technology, Inc.9,500
St. Luke's Medical Center4,250
Hewlett-Packard Company4,000
Albertson's, Inc. (retail food chain)3,800
J.R. Simplot3,800

Cost of Living

Boise boasts rates for residential, commercial, and industrial electricity and natural gas that are among the lowest in the country.

The following is a summary of data regarding key cost of living factors for the Boise area.

2004 (4th Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 (4th Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 2.0% to 8.2%

State sales tax rate: 5.0%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 5%

Property tax rate: average 1.7% in 2004; ranges from 1 to 2.7%

Economic Information: Idaho Department of Commerce, 700 West State Street, PO Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0093; telephone (208)334-2470; toll-free (800)842-5858; fax (208)334-2631. Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, 250 South 5th Street, Boise, ID 83702; telephone (208)472-5200; fax (208)472-5201; email [email protected]

Boise: Education and Research

views updated May 21 2018

Boise: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

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. In 2004 the Boise School District received the Gold Medal Award presented by Expansion Management Magazine. Factors weighed included graduation rates and college board scores; the community's financial commitment to its children's education; student-teacher ratios, per-pupil expenditures and teachers salaries; and level of affluence and adult education in the district. The ranking places the Boise School District in the upper 16 percent of all districts nationwide; Boise is the only district with this award in the state of Idaho. The Boise School District boasts highly educated teachers, fifty percent of whom have mastersmore than double the state average.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Independent School District of Boise City #1 as of the 2001-2002 school year.

Total enrollment: 25,883

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 34

junior high schools: 8

senior high schools: 5

other: 2

Student/teacher ratio: elementary: 23.25:1; middle: 22.13:1; senior: 22.1:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $27,501

maximum: $60,744

Funding per pupil: Not available

There are 22 private and parochial schools with a total enrollment of nearly about 3,100 students in the Boise area.

Public Schools Information: Boise School District Public Information Specialist, 8169 W. Victory Rd., Boise ID 83709; telephone (208)338-3400; fax (208)338-3487

Colleges and Universities

Boise State University is the largest institution of higher learning in the state, with an enrollment of about 18,500 students. The university offers more than 190 programs, including an accredited Master's degree program in business administration, a construction management program, and an engineering program. The Simplot/Micron Technology Center, located on the university campus, has formed a partnership with the public and private sectors, designed to develop and present effective training programs. The facility contains state-of-the-art computer systems and video and audio production studios. Students in Boise may earn bachelors', masters', and doctoral degrees in civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering from the University of Idaho while attending classes on the Boise State campus, where the College of Technology has been in operation since 1990. Boise State University and the Boise community began planning for a community college in 2004; the campus will be dispersed through the city and serve diverse populations. The metropolitan area is also served by three private colleges: Albertson College of Idaho in Caldwell, Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, and Boise Bible College.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Boise Public Library serves the greater Boise area with a collection of more than 355,000 volumes, as well as newspapers and magazines, government documents, videos, CDs, cassette tapes, Kidpacks, books on tape, computer software, CD-ROM indexes, and microfilm. A branch is located at Boise Towne Square Mall and a bookmobile and personal delivery of materials to the homebound are available. The Idaho State Library contains more than 36,000 volumes; it also operates an extensive blind and physically handicapped service, providing more than 58,000 talking books as well as more than 5,000 large-print books. Boise State University's library holds more than 530,000 books and more than 6,000 newspaper and serial subscriptions. A number of smaller private, corporate, and special interest libraries are also located in the Boise metropolitan area. Research activities in such fields as technology, audio and video production, computers, and data processing are conducted at centers in the Boise area.

Public Library Information: Boise Public Library, 715 South Capitol Boulevard, Boise, ID 83702-7115; telephone (208)384-4076

Boise: History

views updated May 29 2018

Boise: History

Gold Brings Prospectors, Settlers

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. The spot was called "Les Bois," which means "wooded" in French, and thousands of emigrants passed through on their way to settle in Oregon. Gold was discovered in the area in 1862, bringing a number of prospectors, and the site became a convenient supply point for the mining camps in the mountains.

The U.S. Army constructed Fort Boise in 1863, and the town became the territorial capital in 1864, when it was also incorporated as a city. Several more gold strikes occurred in the next few years, and by1868 the town had more than four hundred permanent structures, more than half of which were residential. The Idaho Penitentiary was built in the town in 1870 and at one time or another housed many legendary western desperadoes.

Gold Dries Up; Irrigation Systems Bring Farms

After the gold boom ended, the population declined, and Boise faced an uphill battle for survival. The town was in an isolated location, far off the major lines of transportation, and the climate was too dry to support farming. A determined core of citizens set out to make the area livable by developing irrigation systems, planting crops, and mapping out a town with shady streets running along the river.

Boise approached the twentieth century as a remote place, reachable only by the difficult wagon trails. The city became the state capital when Idaho entered the Union, and the Capitol building was erected in 1920. A long struggle to obtain railway service finally succeeded when the elegant Union Pacific Depot (now the Boise Depot) was built in 1925. A number of dams and reservoirs were constructed in the years before World War II to improve the agricultural outlook and provide a water supply and hydroelectric power for the growing city.

During World War II the military became a strong presence in the Boise area when a flying and training base was established at Gowen Field. In the 1960s, a new city charter was drawn up, allowing the city to annex many of the suburban areas and doubling the population. The 21st century has brought continuing population growth due to Boise's desirable climate, urban renewal, job opportunities, quality of life, and favorable climate.

Historical Information: Idaho State Historical Society Library, Library and Archives Building, 450 North Fourth Street, Boise, ID 83702; telephone (208)334-3356; fax (208)334-3198; email archivist [email protected]

Boise: Population Profile

views updated May 23 2018

Boise: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 256,881

1990: 295,851

2000: 464,840

Percent change, 19902000: 45.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: Not reported

U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported

U.S. rank in 2000: 97th

City Residents

1980: 102,451

1990: 125,685

2000: 185,787

2003 estimate: 190,117

Percent change, 19902000: 37.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 162nd

U.S. rank in 1990: 145th (State rank: 1st)

U.S. rank in 2000: 105th (State rank: 1st)

Density: 2,913.1 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 171,204

Black or African American: 1,437

American Indian and Alaska Native: 1,300

Asian: 3,870

Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander: 302

Hispanic origin (may be of any race): 8,410 Other: 3,241

Percent of residents born in state: 43.2% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 13,116

Population 5 to 9 years old: 12,933

Population 10 to 14 years old: 13,029

Population 15 to 19 years old: 13,860

Population 20 to 24 years old: 15,920

Population 25 to 34 years old: 30,194

Population 35 to 44 years old: 29,837

Population 45 to 54 years old: 25,321

Population 55 to 59 years old: 7,618

Population 60 to 64 years old: 5,347

Population 65 to 74 years old: 8,830

Population 75 to 84 years old: 7,085

Population 85 years and over: 2,697

Median age: 32.8 years

Births (2002, Ada County)

Total number: 4,939

Deaths (2002, Ada County)

Total number: 1,881 (of which 32 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $22,696

Median household income: $42,432

Total households: 74,609

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 4,934

$10,000 to $14,999: 4,072

$15,000 to $24,999: 10,405

$25,000 to $34,999: 10,351

$35,000 to $49,999: 13,439

$50,000 to $74,999: 15,537

$75,000 to $99,999: 7,759

$100,000 to $149,999: 5,313

$150,000 to $199,999: 1,328

$200,000 or more: 1,471

Percent of families below poverty level: 5.9% (41.8% of which were female householder families with related children under 5)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 8,748


views updated May 18 2018


Boise: Introduction
Boise: Geography and Climate
Boise: History
Boise: Population Profile
Boise: Municipal Government
Boise: Economy
Boise: Education and Research
Boise: Health Care
Boise: Recreation
Boise: Convention Facilities
Boise: Transportation
Boise: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1834 (incorporated, 1864)

Head Official: Mayor David H. Bieter (D) (since 2004)

City Population

1980: 102,451

1990: 126,685

2000: 185,787

2003 estimate: 190,117

Percent change, 19902000: 37.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 162nd

U.S. rank in 1990: 145th

U.S. rank in 2000: 105th

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 256,881

1990: 295,851

2000: 464,840

Percent change, 19902000: 45.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: Not reported U.S. rank in 2000: 97th

Area: 63.8 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 2,842 feet above sea level

Average Annual Precipitation: 12.11 inches of rain, 20.9 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Services, agriculture, government, manufacturing, high-technology

Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (February 2005)

Per Capita Income: $22,696 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 8,748

Major Colleges and Universities: Boise State University, University of Idaho-Boise Center

Daily Newspaper: The Idaho Statesman

Boise: Communications

views updated Jun 11 2018

Boise: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

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.

Television and Radio

Two commercial television stations and one cable network broadcast from Boise. Nineteen AM and FM radio stations serve the Boise area with a diverse blend of music, news, and information.

Media Information: The Idaho Statesman, 1200 North Curtis Road, PO Box 40, Boise, ID 83706; email pcarson

Boise Online

Boise Area Chamber home page. Available

Boise Convention & Visitors Bureau home page. Available

Boise Public Library home page. Available

Boise School District home page. Available

City of Boise home page. Available

Idaho Data Center home page. Available

Idaho State Library home page.

The Idaho Statesman home page. Available www.idaho

Boise: Health Care

views updated May 18 2018

Boise: Health Care

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. St Luke's was the recipient of the Consumer Chose Award for excellence, designating it as Idaho's preferred hospital; the hospital provides general treatment, specialty care, and surgical services, as well as neonatal and pediatric intensive care. The newest facility is the 29 million dollar Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital (opened in 2001), which specializes in rehabilitation services in the areas of audiology, brain injury, cardio-pulmonary, orthopedics, pediatrics and stroke/neurology. The Veterans Administration Medical Center, a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Washington School of Medicine, offers general care, and outpatient, mental health, and substance abuse clinics. Also located in Boise are Treasure Valley Hospital for patients needing surgery, Mountain States Tumor Institute, and 11 nursing homes.

Boise: Geography and Climate

views updated May 29 2018

Boise: Geography and Climate

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. The climate is tempered year-round by air from the Pacific Ocean. Summers are dry with hot periods that rarely last more than a few days; autumn weather is usually ideal. Winter storms produce much of the yearly precipitation; cold spells are common, but warm Chinook winds (moist air from the Pacific) bring periods of mild weather. Low humidity is raised slightly by agricultural irrigation.

Area: 63.8 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 2,842 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 29.9° F; August, 72.2° F; annual average (mean): 50.9° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 12.11 inches of rain, 20.9 inches of snow

Boise: Convention Facilities

views updated May 18 2018

Boise: Convention Facilities

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. Other facilities include Boise State University's Taco Bell Arena, which seats up to 13,000 spectators and has 17,472 square feet of open floor space. The Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, also on the Boise State campus, has a 2,000 seat main hall and two teaching/studying halls. The Nampa Civic Center in nearby Nampa offers banquet seating for up to 1,200 people, a 648-seat auditorium and more than 42,000 square feet of convention space. There are more than 4,600 hotel rooms in Boise; most of the major hotels provide meeting, banquet, and ballroom facilities.

Convention Information: Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 2106, Boise, ID 83701; telephone (208)344-7777; toll-free (800)635-5240; fax (208)344-6236; email [email protected]

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