Southern California Logistics Airport
The famous Spanish and Mojave trails that led settlers through California wound their way through Barstow. . First named "Waterman" when the railroads came to the valley, Barstow was renamed in 1886 after the 10th president of the Santa Fe Railroad, William Barstow Strong.
Today, complete rail, truck, bus, air and highway systems identify Barstow as a California transportation center and a potential manufacturing and industrial center.
Like the Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads, the interstate highway systems have favored the Barstow area. East-west traffic is carried on Interstate 40, which begins in Barstow, and state Highway 58, which ends in Barstow and connects with 1-40.
Interstate 15, one of the state's busiest highways, connects Los Angeles with Las Vegas and continues north to Salt Lake City. It carries more than 800,000 vehicles a month through Barstow.
These intersecting highways have made Barstow a natural location for the trucking industry.
"We are a very truck friendly town," said Jeanette Hayhurst, Barstow's economic development coordinator. "And we want to continue to expand on what we have."
Several truck stops within the city accommodate thousands of independent truckers each month as they purchase fuel and "lay over" to match their schedules with Los Angeles markets.
Yellow Freight Systems Inc. operates a 200-door freight distribution center at Interstate 15 and Lenwood Road.
Barstow/Daggett Airport, located 16 miles east of the city between I-15 and 1-40, is a large facility with expansion planned for the future. The industrial development and transportation potential of this airport will make it a major economic resource for Barstow and the surrounding area.
Also expanding is the Santa Fe Railroad, which will be offering 50 more diesel repair jobs during the summer.
"We have more jobs than we do people," Hayhurst said. "So we're looking for more economic development."
Hayhurst said another part of Barstow's plan is to develop more,, active tourism.
"We used to be just a gas stop. More than 50 million travelers drive through Barstow a year. We've found that at least 20% of them stop," she said.
The city's general plan includes the Lenwood specific plan, which adapts itself to the future industrial and commercial potential.
TMs area has prime potential for uses related to the transportation and travel industry.
The National Training Center, Fort Irwin and Marine Corps Logistic Base are not only major contributors to the area, they represent a challenge for additional economic development.
Barstow's retail shopping facilities have experienced major growth, with the expansion of the Factory Outlet Mall and the newly constructed Tanger Factory Outlet at the Lenwood Road and 1-15 interchange.
Barstow is also the solar capital of the world with the LUZ solar plant projects producing commercial energy at facilities near Daggett, Kramer Junction and Harper Dry Lake.
HISTORY STILL ALIVE
Barstow is a geographic center for San Bernardino County's extensive mining industry. Mining is the county's largest industry in terms of dollar value.
Ninety percent of the rare elements needed in the production of television equipment are mined in the High Desert, as are gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, borate, hectorite, platinum, molybdenum, bentonite, lime, salt, tale, cement and a variety of commercial rock. "We have a lot of history," Hayhurst said. "For California, we're an old community - still having mining, cattle grazing and railroads."
Slated for winter, the city Will annex approximately 700 acres into the city limits. Located east of Barstow, this annexation will increase the amount of industrial zoned sites available within the city.
Also on the docket will be the addition of new tenants into major shopping centers.
Sears will open a 9,675-squarefoot store and the Department of Motor Vehicles will occupy a 3,600 square foot space at the Barstow Road Center; Factory Merchants Mail is preparing for the opening of Adidas in a 4,524-square-foot outlet store.
"It's our turn," Hayhurst said. "We've had a tough go these last 25 years, but we're on the rise again. When folks do an analysis of the High Desert cities, they say Barstow is the 'sleeping tiger.' Well, everything is right and ready - it's going to break soon." *
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