Located in the heart of Wyoming, Casper's centralized location has played a significant role in its evolution from a frontier outpost to a thriving city that's home to more than 55,000 residents. Casper's historic North Platte River once was known as an impediment to early settlers traveling west on the Oregon, California, Pony Express and Mormon trails. Today, the river is one of numerous outdoor attractions that have made Casper a popular location for tourists. Casper's low cost of living and rustic ambiance have made Casper apartments for rent a popular choice for families looking for the amenities of a large metropolitan area without the crowds that come with big-city living.
Casper Mountain provides opportunities for outdoor recreation throughout the year, and locals frequent Hogadon Ski Area to enjoy skiing and snowboarding during the winter. Trails are frequented by hiking and mountain biking enthusiasts, and the mountain also features an archery range along with picnic and camping sites. Casper apartments are conveniently located near the North Platte River, which is a popular location for fishing rainbow and brown trout and hunting local game.
Casper is also a regional hub of culture and entertainment, featuring numerous museums such as the family-oriented Science Zone and Nicolaysen Art Museum. A thriving arts community includes entertainment provided by the Casper Children's Chorale, the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and Stage III Theatre, which host music, dance and theater performances.
Wyoming's attractive tax base has sparked commercial growth in Casper, and its local economy consists of a diverse mix of industries. The top industries in Natrona County include healthcare and social assistance, retail trade and local government. Natrona County Schools employs almost 3,000 people and is the largest employer in Natrona County. Other top employers include the City of Casper, Wyoming Medical Center and Key Energy Services.
Casper students are served by the only public school district in Natrona County, Natrona County Schools. It provides educational services to approximately 11,500 students in preschool through 12th grade. Casper College was established in 1945 as the first community college in Wyoming, and now serves approximately 5,000 students by offering degree and certificate programs along with vocational training and career support services. Campus buildings are spread throughout more than 200 acres at the foothills of Casper Mountain, and the college has become one of the most important cultural centers in Casper by providing live theater and sporting events. By maintaining partnerships with four-year universities in the region, Casper College provides students with the opportunity to pursue bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees. Because of financial support from Wyoming's tax base, tuition at Casper College is the lowest in the Western United States.
Wyoming does not collect personal, corporate or inventory taxes, which contributes to the low cost of living enjoyed by Casper residents. The Housing and Community Development Division provides affordable housing and community services to low- and medium-income residents of Casper. Vouchers and public housing are provided by the Casper Housing Authority. According to city-data.com, the median gross rent for Casper rentals was $613 in 2009.
Casper's Beartrap Summer Festival is an annual celebration of bluegrass music that attracts thousands of fans each year to see headlining performances from popular musicians. The festival hosts live acts from mid-morning until sundown, featuring a marketplace with arts, crafts, children's area and an open air food court. Performers conduct music workshops throughout the weekend festival, and Beartrap Meadow provides a picturesque setting for the event.
The Fort Caspar Museum features a renovated military post from 1865 at an important river crossing for pilgrims headed west. The museum includes exhibits on Plains Indians and early settlers, and offers educational programs to youth in the area.
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