Prineville Forges Through Tough Economic Times


According to Dale Keller, business development manager for the City of Prineville Railway, as the economy recovers and the Class I railroads again become congested, they will look to increase their capacity by increasing the velocity of their railroads to relieve congestion.

Prineville’s operating model emphasizes their preference to haul unit trains for long distances and discourages making multiple stops along their mainline to switch out smaller customers, especially in rural areas.

All of this is good news for the busy Freight Depot in Prineville. “We have learned that multi-use facilities like the Prineville Freight Depot will be the key to maintaining rail service in rural communities,” reported Keller.

The railway artery that first brought economic lifeblood to the heart of Crook County has been revitalized as a modern day engine of growth.

Facebook’s new data center has also put a positive face on the county. The economic impact of the data center has been noticeable in Crook County. Currently it  has 55 full time employees at the facility and the addition of a second building now under construction is likely to raise that number to 65. In addition, the second building will continue the influx of construction dollars to the area. Data Center Manager Ken Patchett commented, “Construction is the lifeblood in the area, without it we don’t have that foundational [economic]layer… for Facebook in Prineville, having continued construction year round is a fantastic thing.”

The path to educational opportunities in the Prineville area has become a whole lot more accessible after the unveiling of the Central Oregon Community College Crook County Open Campus in Prineville.

Executive Director for the Partnership to End Poverty, Scott Cooper, helped push the idea for an education and technology center when a Crook County judge said, “I look with a great deal of pride on the opening of this facility. It is an engine of change in a community poised for change. By investing in a skilled workforce and creating opportunity for local residents to remain competitive, Prineville and Crook County are positioning themselves for a new economy and a

new day.”


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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