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Thornton is one of Colorado's largest cities and among the fastest-growing communities in the nation. Located about 10 miles northeast of Denver, Thornton is considered a large suburb of the state capital. It attracts a diverse population with its convenient amenities, plentiful parks and a variety of recreational facilities.
The History of Thornton
Thornton is a bit of an oddity when compared to many areas of the American West, because it was never the settling grounds of Native Americans. It was also never a railroad stop, industrial base or anything else of note until 1953. Before this time, it was entirely an agricultural-based town with a very small population of just a few thousand people.
But in 1953, that all changed. Local businessman Sam Hoffman purchased the land that's now Thornton and implemented a plan to populate the area, making it one of the first planned communities in Colorado. His plan was unique in that it was the first in the area to offer full municipal services like trash collection, parks and recreation, funded by just one tax levy. The following year, the Thornton Community Association was created to support the community's development, and 1,200 homes were completed by 1955. By 1956, Thornton had earned its official incorporation as a city. Since then, the population rapidly ballooned from about 11,000 in 1960 to what it is today.
Living in Thornton
Within the city limits of Thornton, there are several major employers across various industries, including education, government, retail, high-tech and communications. You'll find the largest employer by far to be Adams 12 Five Star Schools, providing thousands of education, administrative and support positions. The city of Thornton and North Suburban Medical Center are also major employers in the area, followed closely by major retailers Walmart, King Soopers, American Furniture Warehouse and The Home Depot.
As far as entertainment, Thornton's proximity to great outdoors activities includes hiking, skiing, golf, disc golf and mountain biking. The city is also within a short distance to many professional sports venues, music, nightlife and restaurants. Plus, despite its low temperatures and potential for snow in the winter, Thornton still gets over 300 sunny days a year.
Thornton is part of the Adams 12 Five Star School District, just one of five towns within the district. If you're looking for private or charter education, Adams County has over 20 campuses to choose from, with about half of these schools having some sort of religious affiliation.
Resources for Moving to Thornton
Here are a few handy resources that can help you make the move to Thornton:
- Utilities: The city of Thornton oversees residential water and sewer services. Your specific location in Thornton will determine your energy provider, with the primary companies being Xcel Energy and United Power.
- Garbage and Recycling: Trash and recyclables are collected on a regular basis for most residents of Thornton. You can also take advantage of waste disposal resources like composting classes, yard waste disposal and electronics recycling.
- Transportation: Park-n-Ride stations and a Regional Transportation District commuter line provide the main form of public transportation.
Despite its close location to Denver, Thornton provides housing at a much more affordable price than its big city neighbor. There are a variety of new construction communities as well as already established neighborhoods, so you can find a home that fits your needs. The rental market also offers plenty of options, ranging from compact studio apartments to spacious units with up to three bedrooms.