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Parker, Colorado and Other Suburbs of the Gold Rush

Updated on October 6, 2013

Pike's Peak Gold Rush

From the US National Archives.[circa 1858 - 1861]
From the US National Archives.[circa 1858 - 1861]

Gold Rush Towns

The Pike's Peak Gold Rush, later called the Colorado Gold Rush, occurred from 1858 - 1861 give or take a year or two. It brought many 10s of thousands of people to the Central Colorado area just south of Denver in search of fortunes in gold.

So many people immigrated to the lands south of Denver, that small unincorporated towns were established south of the Denver-Aurora area in order to handle some of the demand for lodgings, prospecting supplies, food and animal feed, and other goods and services. Farms and livestock ranches sprung up as people stayed on.

Three of these settlements have grown exponentially in the 1990s and 2000s. They have been named to the list of the 25 Best Places to Move for work in the US: Parker (#4), Highlands Ranch (#5), and Castle Rock (#20).

The Colorado Gold Rush brought gold seekers especially into area around 12 miles south of the Denver in the late 19th Century and even the early 20th Century as rumors of gold discoveries resurfaced. Highlands Ranch is particularly included in this phenomenon.

South of Denver, Castle Rock and Highlands Ranch lie in a kind of north-south business and residential corridor. Highlands Ranch was an actual stretch of ranch lands and Colorado farms during the Gold Rush and its residents traveled north to purchase supplies and other materials. Thus, agriculture, livestock, and gold prospecting formed the bulk of the local economies through the early 20th Century.

A Successful Planned Community

The Mission Viejo Company related to the Mission Viejo, California entity outside Los Angeles, bought Highlands Ranch in 1978 and sought to build a planned community there. Highlands Ranch supported 17,000 residents by 1991 after 13 years, but exploded to around 91,000 people during the 18 years to 2009. The Highlands Ranch Town Center is a major source of the suburb’s economy, covering over 160 acres in business and commercial enterprises.

Photo Credits: NASA
Photo Credits: NASA

Successful Tech Centers

Successful technology centers result in increases in local are businesses, new jobs, and new residents. The Denver Technological Center or DTC is one of these successful centers that incorporates public and private businesses and commercial concerns in the southeastern sector of the Denver-Aurora metro area, near Parker, Highlands Ranch, and Castle Rock. This center is nearly surrounded by I-25 between I-225 and State Highway 88, making it an easy commute from Parker and Highlands Ranch, and a bit further from Castle Rock to the south.

Some Denver Tech Center Businesses:

DTC is the origin site for Cable Television -- United Cablevision, United Artists Cable, and AT&T Broadband all began in this tech center. The center is a group of businesses located on the 105th Meridian of Longitude, where satellite communications are better than anywhere else on Earth.

NORAD infrastructure is located here, as well as important installations for the DIsh Network, Comcast, Direct TV, and others. Transportation around I-25 and I-225 has undergone copnstant upgrades to ensure that the DTC remains maximally productive.

Denver - Aurora Suburbs

show route and directions
A markerDenver CO -
Denver, CO, USA
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B markerAurora CO -
Aurora, CO, USA
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C markerParker CO -
Parker, CO, USA
get directions

D markerCastle Rock CO -
Castle Rock, CO, USA
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E markerHighlands Ranch CO -
Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
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Picke's Peak to the South, Denver to the Near North

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Pike's Peak, south of Parker CO.Denver CO
Pike's Peak, south of Parker CO.
Pike's Peak, south of Parker CO. | Source
Denver CO
Denver CO | Source

Top 15 Job Fast Growing Jobs Predicted for Denver-Aurora and Suburbs 2008 - 2018

  1. Personal and Home Care Aides
  2. Gaming Surveillance Officers and Gaming Investigators and Gaming Supervisors
  3. Skin Care Specialists – includes medical.
  4. Pharmacy Technicians
  5. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  6. Forensic Science Technicians
  7. Manicurists/Pedicurists
  8. Court Reporters
  9. Detectives and Criminal Investigators (CSIs)
  10. Medical Assistants
  11. Social Workers in Mental Health & Substance Abuse S
  12. Computer Applications Software Engineers
  13. Pharmacists
  14. Physical Therapist Assistants
  15. Cardiovascular Techs

Additional Fast-Growing Jobs

Quick growth is also expected in the following job titles, including some of the largest numbers of job openings from 2008 - 2018:

  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Nursing, Psychiatric, and Home Health Aides
  • Registered Nurses (RNs)

Increasing Numbers Of Jobs 2010 - 2014

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COMPARISONS: Actual Jobs Advrtised Increases

Job listings in this suburban region of Colorado (Unemployment Rate 2% lower than for the USA) increasedfrom 2009 through 2013 within 25 miles of Parker, including Castle Rock and Highland Ranch. Entries below in bold type match official employment projections above (2008 - 2018).

  • NOTE: In October 2013, over 85,400 job openings were advertised for this area.

Leading Employers as Job Listing Sources

Frequently hiring companies in this area include

  1. Raytheon
  2. Centura Health
  3. DISH Network
  4. AT&T
  5. Sierra Nevada Corporation
  6. Erickson
  7. Robert Half Finance & Accounting
  8. AppleOne
  9. EchoStar
  10. Centura Health-ServiceCenter

Castle Rock - Highland Ranch Corridor

Including Castle Rock, north though Highlands Ranch, the following 8 job titles encompass the majority of openings:

  1. Registered Nurses (RNs) - several specialties.
  2. Retail Sales Consultants
  3. Independent Beauty Consultant
  4. Senior Accountants
  5. Radio Frequency Engineers
  6. Patient Services Tech Specialists
  7. B2B Inside Sales Representative
  8. Retail Salespersons


Castle Rock Depot and Museum
Castle Rock Depot and Museum | Source

Leading Job Listers Between Parker-to-Denver

The companies that most frequently list job openings in this area include:

  1. Centura Health
  2. health One
  3. Halthcare Traveler - Travel Nurses and Others
  4. Deloitte
  5. Exempla Healthcare
  6. HCA - Healthcare
  7. Parker Adventist Hospital
  8. AppleOne
  9. Bae Systems
  10. CIGNA
  11. Arrow Electronics, Inc.
  12. Robert Half Finance & Accounting
  13. Sears, Roebuck and Co.
  14. Littleton Adventist Hospital
  15. Modis

Jobs Not In Castle Rock-Highlands Ranch

Job listed from Parker up to Denver-Aurora include the following leaders:

  1. All IT-related Engineers
  2. Registered Nurses (RNs) - (different sources than for Castle Rock-Highlands Ranch)
  3. Truck Drivers
  4. Truck Owner-Operators
  5. Administrative Assistants
  6. Senior Accountants
  7. Physical Therapists
  8. Patient Services Tech Specialists
  9. Occupational Therapists
  10. Daycare Teachers
  11. Salespersons
  12. Business Analysts
  13. Assistant Managers
  14. Service Technicians
  15. Loss Prevention Associates

Jobs Within in a 15-Mile Radius of Parker

Parker, Colorado lies to the east of the corridor formed by highways C-85 and I-25 running from Castle Rock north to Highlands Ranch. If you draw a circle with a 15-mile radius around Parker, you find a different mix of jobs available. Some of these openings are a bit to the east or west and south of Parker. A complete Hub about Parker CO and its employment forecasts and job listings appears at: Hot New Jobs Near Pike's Peak.

Higher Education Near Denver South Suburbs


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      Jayadev 8 years ago

      Great story i had read and a complete coverage from past era...