For the longest time, Twin Falls was known as the place where daredevil Evel Knievel tried jumping over the Snake River Canyon. That was then; this is now. Now known as the base jumping capital of the world, Twin Falls has embraced its popularity.
In this edition of "State of 208," Don Nelson shows us -- when it comes growth -- city leaders are proving slow and steady wins the race. Mayor Shawn Barigar is Twin Falls biggest cheerleader, but why wouldn't he be. He believes the benefit of their "steady as she goes" approach is the perfect formula for success.
And you don't have to look any further than old town Twin. Take, for example, Erin Rigel, the owner of Fashion 15 Below. For two years, she's dealt with the noise of progress. "There has been construction since we moved in, basically," says Erin, laughing. "I'll be honest, not to slander, I didn't come downtown often until the last few years. When I left Boise, I missed the downtown vibe. Twin Falls is headed in the right direction."
One of the captains helping steer the ship is Nathan Murray, the director of economic development. Murray can quote you statistics all day, but, at the end of the day, he knows it's the canyon that brings people in. "The attractiveness of Twin has been our location," says Murray. But he knows it takes more than beautiful vistas to build a sustainable town. "I think we're constrained in our growth by what we actually can build. There are just so many contractors. There's just so many transportation companies, so many people to fill those jobs."
Like Mayor Barigar says, when it comes to growth, it's slow and steady. "The benefit of that growth, we have new activities, new investment, new kinds of places to go shop, and work. And that's the positive you get from some of those inconveniences that take a little getting used to."
I'm sure I.B. Perrine, who is generally credited as the founder of Twin Falls, would be proud to cross the bridge named in his honor and relish what Twin Falls has become.