TWIN FALLS — Currently, the entire state of Idaho is experiencing a positive economic rebound over these past couple of months despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Sam Wolkenhauer, a Labor Economist at the Idaho Department of Labor, said, "The population still grew. So, the fact that we're a net growth state from a population perspective, that this is a place people want to be, that they want to move, gave us that nice shot in the arm and helped us rebound faster than other states."
The re-imagining and revitalization of downtown Twin, consistent building of subdivisions, and looking at potential further industrial growth for the city is what council members are focusing on to help Twin Falls expand.
These plans for further development could leave some residents to wonder who is coming to Twin and why?
According to Public Informations Coordinator Joshua Palmer, people are attracted to Twin Falls because of multiple reasons. For in-state movers, a lot of it is based on the accessibility to essential services like hospitals or airports.
For out of state buyers, the low cost of living compared to where they lived before is appealing. "They're able to sell a home from where they're at, probably in California, or Texas, or New York and come here, buy a home at a much lower cost and still have residual income," said Palmer.
What also makes this area an ideal home destination for so many is the diverse population, allowing people of all ages and backgrounds to feel comfortable.
Palmer said, "We have retirees. We have families. We have young adults, career professionals that are coming here from other places, so it's a real large walk of life."
The pandemic has played a crucial role in the increasing interest in this area for multiple reasons. Some people may move because COVID restrictions are less restrictive than in other parts of the country for some people. For others, it again can depend on the cost of living.
Somebody living in a massive metropolitan area where housing can be so expensive for a small space and are potentially out of work because of COVID, that person might view Idaho as a place where you get more bang for your buck.
According to Wolkenhauer, telecommuting opportunities and open spaces also contribute to people wanting to leave and move to Idaho. "The move to telework, telecommuting, Zoom... That's freed a lot of people to move back to a less crowded, kind of suburban area where they have more space. Because if you're going to be stuck at home for a year, you might as well have some space to yourself."