Boise's rising profile

 - Idaho Statesman

Edition Date: 11/25/06

High praise from national magazines, lightning-fast growth and an influx of out-of-state real estate speculators indicate Boise’s greatness is no longer a secret.

But people who live here still get the small-town feel that has been attracting all the outside attention. In 2006, Boise was named the No. 8 best place to live (Money magazine) and the fourth best walking city in the country (Prevention magazine). National Geographic Adventure magazine said Boise is the “last great place in the American West — where housing remains affordable, Western culture still thrives and access to the nation’s wildest state begins within city limits.”

And four Idaho communities landed on the Men’s Journal list of the 50 best places to live in April 2006: Boise, McCall, Sandpoint and Last Chance.

Men’s Journal also singled out Boise as one of four “adventure cities” along with Tucson, Ariz., Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., and Memphis, Tenn.

And it’s no wonder. Boise’s 200,000 residents enjoy world-class outdoor recreation.

The Boise River features trout fishing in the heart of downtown. The Greenbelt path along the river connects parks, downtown, neighborhoods and surrounding cities. Boise is the gateway to recreation throughout Idaho, including skiing, snowboarding, whitewater rafting, kayaking, hunting, fishing, backpacking and camping.

Boise is Idaho’s capital, the largest city in the state and home to Boise State University, the state’s largest college with more than 18,500 students.

Boise’s growing metropolitan area boasts about 600,000 people. The city boomed in the 1990s as the high-tech industry expanded.

The city’s largest private employer is Micron Technology, a leading provider of semiconductor products. Other national and international corporations with offices in Boise include the J.R. Simplot Co. and Hewlett-Packard. The future of the corporate headquarters of the grocery chain Albertsons remains uncertain since the company was sold to SuperValu Inc.

Dave Bieter is Boise’s mayor. (For more information on Boise’s city government and services, visit the city’s Web site at

Boise also is the Treasure Valley’s cultural hub. The city is home to the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, Boise Art Museum, the Idaho Black History Museum, Ballet Idaho, Boise Philharmonic, Gene Harris Jazz Festival, the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and the Idaho Historical Museum.