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At 5,000 feet above sea level on Colorado's northern Front Range, between the high plains to the east and the Rocky Mountains to the west is the town of Hudson, Colorado. Located 30 minutes northeast of Denver, the town continues the processes of reinventing. Initially a railroad way stop, Hudson became an agricultural community. Today, Hudson continues to evolve into a commercial trade center.
Since 2000, Hudson's population has increased 64 percent to 2,600. The town occupies 2.3 square miles. Strategically located along Interstate 76, with expanded water, wastewater and transportation systems, Hudson "stands ready for future growth."
In 1863, the Union Pacific railroad built a depot and watering station where the town is now located. A post office started to serve the area in 1883. In 1887 the Hudson Land and Improvement Company purchased land from the railroad and began promoting Hudson as "a booming young city full of promise and enterprise." Plans called for Hudson to be four times larger than it is today.
Those overly ambitious plans did not materialize. Had it not been for the railroad the town would not have survived. In 1907 an Irrigation District was formed to efficiently utilize the waters of the South Platte River. By 1913 newly opened irrigation canals attracted fifty Oklahoma farmers who established farms in Hudson. The Town was incorporated the following year.
Hudson became a successful farming community. However with mechanization, farms became larger and agricultural jobs declined. Recognizing the challenge, town fathers built infrastructure seeking to diversity the local economy and attract new businesses. As a result, today many businesses, including a privately-owned correctional facility, help to support the town and continue to spur growth.
Hudson's most well known enterprise is The Pepper Pod. Not considered a 'fancy' restaurant, the Pod has been in continuous operation since 1913. Once known as the "Oasis on the Plains," its reputation was built on bison. Buffalo is no longer on the regular menu. The Pod's current chef is a graduate of the Culinary institute of America. Tourists also come to the area for The Animal Sanctuary located in nearby Keenesburg. Many stay at Hudson's Best Western Hotel.
The cost of living in Hudson is slightly above the national average as is the median household income. The average house costs $185,000. The town's population is diverse, 27 percent Hispanic and 9 percent Native Americans. A total of 78 percent of adults over the age of 25 have a high school diploma and 9 percent have finished college.
An elected board of trustees oversees the local government. The Hudson Fire Protection District serves an area of 96.5 squares miles with 19 paid and 12 volunteer firefighters. The Town's Marshall Office supplies police services. There is a public library. The nearest hospital facilities are 11 miles from Hudson.
Colorado's entrant in the Visit 17 Hudsons in 2017 Challenge is 1,315 miles west of Hudson, Ohio. It is the 3rd farthest in distance, but just minutes from the nearby Denver International Airport. For information about the Challenge, stop by the Visitor Center and Gift Shop located in Town Hall, 27 E. Main St., or sign onto destinationhudson.com.