Sunday, July 1, 2012


Brighton, Colorado has a rich history of family farms and small businesses, which are both often referred to as the backbone of a community. In our celebration of Brighton’s birthday, we started with the family farms which have survived more than one generation in the area, but the history of Brighton includes much more.

Many early farmers found that Colorado farming was much more profitable than Colorado mining, and they worked together. The Farmers and Merchants Association of Adams County lobbied the Great Western Sugar Company to open a factory in Brighton which operated from 1917 until 1977. Today the Brighton Chamber of Commerce carries forward that rich history of business cooperation in the city. The very earliest business in what is now Brighton, would have been the early American Indians, who dealt in fur trading.

There was no PETA then, but of course there was no synthetic fleece either to keep people warm. Businesses then and now have met resident’s basic survival but also the “wants” of its customers, which have grown over the years from fresh cream and cheese to cell phones and electronic games. In 2012, many businesses are less brick and mortar and more on the internet and service related. Today King Soopers will deliver your groceries to your front door after you place your order online at their website.

Target and Walmart have websites that ship everything else you need. But there is still something magical about visiting a local shop with homemade goods to take you back in time. Local restaurants serve ethnic fare from Chinese, to Mexican, Italian, and German. Today’s Main Street Brighton, the entire downtown area, the Pavillions, Bridge Street, Bromley Lane, the Prairie Center, and Palizzi Marketplace all serve the community with such a wide selection of retail options, that Brighton today is a hub for several surrounding communities to shop, to be entertained, and to be envious of for sure. Brighton epitomizes perseverance.

Try, try again might be a way to describe it, but the city’s can do, never give up, keep on going attitude is evident everywhere. If a business doesn’t make it, you can be sure another one will pop right back up and be successful. Every business needs access to transportation and great infrastructure and in the early days, it was the South Platter River. Horses, covered wagons and stagecoaches were essential very early on.

Then the mighty railroad rolled into town in 1870. Today it is Highways 85, 76, and E470. In 2012 already not all cars are solely powered by gasoline, and many shoppers roll into Brighton with electric hybrid vehicles. Business is served well by the proximity to DIA (Denver International Airport) and the railroad still today. As you look west to the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, and east to the Great Plains, the view from Brighton is unlimited and its potential for business success is too.

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