Opinion: Bruneau Canyon Will Be Idaho’s Las Vegas By 2053
Expansion in Idaho is the one reality that no state residents want to think about, let alone talk about. Since we all know that the state is heading down that road at a rapid pace anyway, why shouldn't Idahoans reap more of the benefits?
How many southern Idahoans believe the influx of people moving to the state and buying up land and homes is going to peter out over the next decade if state residents continue to voice displeasure and complain about transplants over coffee in the morning and beers in the afternoon? Whether we want to admit it or not, we already know what the correct answer is.
I studied a map of Idaho very closely recently and tried to think like a land developer with gobs of money. I ran my finger down the map beginning in the north and ending in the southern part of the Gem State. While there is a great deal of land available in the panhandle, further development near cities like Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene would be met with vicious opposition due to the fact there are already close to a half million people living in the region.
Central Idaho, namely the counties of Idaho, Lemhi, Valley, and Adams are so rugged and sparsely populated that massive expansion projects wouldn't likely attract out-of-state tourism due to the long commute for wealthy individuals traveling from states like Nevada and California. So, that leaves the one region of southern Idaho that is big enough and the most geographically sensible to play host to vacationers looking to make Idaho their own playground for a few weeks out of the year.
The desert surrounding the Bruneau River Canyon is the hottest region of Idaho, which would attract retirees and some high-rollers who don't want to live too far from Las Vegas but still want a piece of the real estate action. Not to mention, the region isn't very far from the state's capital of Boise.
Build a bridge like the Perrine in Twin Falls to make commuting easier, throw up a few casinos and hotels, a college, an airport, and maybe a sports complex or stadium, and you've got Idaho's version of Sin City realistically by 2053. A professional hockey team in Idaho is long overdue if you ask me.