Press "Enter" to skip to content

Zero to 40,000

Blue Lakes Blvd

Above, Twin Falls’s busiest, Blue Lakes Boulevard, a century ago/TF Library via Times News; below, Blue Lakes nowBlue Lakes Blvd

Twin Falls is taking some note, amid its substantial growth, of a population mark estimates now project: It is over 40,000 people. The Times News there is reflecting a little on that – is it good or bad, and does it make the community more a large small town or a smallish city?

What it is, of course, is a regional center – the main economic, cultural and governmental center of a large area, dominant about half way to Boise to west or Pocatello to the east – each of those cities being more than 100 miles away. It is, in other words, the center of the Magic Valley, the closest thing to an urban hub. It fits much the same role as a number of mostly larger cities around the Northwest – Yakima, Wenatchee, Idaho Falls, and maybe Bend or Walla Walla come to mind.

Some other parts of the Magic Valley haven’t been growing so much, and Twin Falls has been pulling from them – places like Gooding, Wendell, Shoshone, Buhl, and a string of smaller towns. While Twin Falls’ Blue Lakes Boulevard is as busy and franchise-full as comparable retail streets in much larger urban areas, many of the satellite small communities have been struggling. Some of those may look at the shot of Blue Lakes Boulevard from a century ago, and shudder rather than smile.

Share on Facebook