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Boom-Towns of America – We Are Ranked 39th! 

Seven Economic Drivers That Will Keep Clark County Growing…

Clark County continues to thrive and provide for a great foundation of investment in commercial property. SmartAsset, a national financial planning education website, recently ranked Vancouver as the 39th Fastest Growing City in the U.S! While we see the West and South dominating the top 50, we had plenty of company in the Eastern portions of Oregon, Washington and Idaho. From Bend to Walla-Walla, Pasco to Boise, Nampa and Meridian. 

For your consideration, we would like to share seven economic development engines that can ensure our momentum remains on the positive side over the next two decades; 

Ports of Vancouver, Camas/Washougal & Ridgefield

We are very blessed to have three thriving Port Districts. The Port of Vancouver located on the Columbia River, generates over $3.8 billion in annual economic activity, and as such, may be the largest economic development engine in Southwest Washington. Port of Camas/Washougal has a 300-acre Industrial Park that is home to more than 40 businesses, a marina, and an airport. They have had significant impacts on waterfront revitalization over the past decade, with even more on the horizon. The Port of Ridgefield has also lead efforts with an Industrial Park, created in the 1990’s, located just West of I-5 with their own waterfront revitalization plans in progress. 

Washington State University – Vancouver

Established by the Washington Legislature in 1989, the Washington State University Vancouver Campus is 351-acres and serves as a focal point in Southwest Washington’s higher education landscape.  WSUV offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral Degrees in more than 40 fields. Current enrollment is just shy of 2,400 students, with total alumni over 17,000 graduates; 92% of whom remain in the area. There are plans underway to add Residence Halls to help attract more freshman applicants.

Clark College

Clark College is Southwest Washington’s largest public education institution, offering open enrollment that provides an affordable education to over 9,300 students. The main campus sits on the 101-acre beautiful Central Park located in the heart of Vancouver. The college’s Non-Credit Community and Continuing Education Programs offer corporate and continuing-education classes. Clark College has collaborated on partnerships with many regional colleges, universities and technical institutions, allowing students to apply credits earned toward their Bachelor’s Degrees. The Columbia Tech Center Campus serves East County, with Boschma Farms being it’s North 70-acre Campus located in Ridgefield. Boschma Farms is currently under construction to include 6-acres of commercial development and programs including Advanced Manufacturing, with a current budget of more than $53 million.

 A New I-5 Bridge

The aging Interstate 5 Bridge is Washington’s major North-South route to Oregon and, understandably, a new bridge is needed. Our future will require improved freight mobility and a more seismically resilient structure to maintain our regional ties with Oregon. There is a bi-state effort engaged in a process of creating a design, timeline and funding plan. The project is expected to be a $7.5 billion dollar investment in our region.

Portland International Airport

Located just South of Vancouver, the Portland International Airport is the leading air transport hub for Southwest Washington and Oregon. It is also one of the top 20 busiest airports in the United States and hosts the world’s longest runway at 11,000 feet. With close proximity to both Vancouver and Portland, the airport is a natural hub for air travelers and for the region’s growing aviation industry. The airport offers a wide range of services for passengers, including a variety of restaurants, on-site hotels, and business services. Clark County’s proximity to PDX has netted us numerous positive decisions by national and international businesses who have located here. 

Tourism Destinations: Ilani, Mt. St. Helens, Fort Vancouver, Vancouver Waterfront 

One of the leading economic engines in Clark County is tourism The region’s natural beauty and abundance of recreational opportunities make Clark County one of the Northwest’s most popular tourist destinations. Beautiful natural places such as Mt. St. Helens, the Columbia River Gorge and Fort Vancouver are all drawing increasing numbers of tourists. The Ilani Resort Casino is a 368,000-foot facility that has created a significant tourism attraction in North Calrk County. Offering over 15 restaurants, 30,000 square feet of convention space, drawing over 4 million visitors annually, and employing almost 1,200 people. Vancouver’s Gateway Waterfront Project has become both a local attraction and magnet for regional, national and international visitors. Visit Vancouver is the regional tourism office that has been a steady presence in marketing the area since the 1990s. 

Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC)

The Columbia River Economic Development Council is a collaboration of public agencies and private enterprise to advance economic growth in the Pacific Northwest. Founded in the 1980’s CREDC has been a foundational piece to building the consistent economic momentum we see today in Clark County. In summary, their accomplishments in 2022:


  • 122 Unique Business Retention, Expansion and Support Engagements

  • 68 Total Active Pipeline Projects

  • 40 New Recruitment, Retention, Expansion and Growth Projects

  • 6 Business Recruitments

  • 6 Business Expansions

  • $551.7 million in Capital Investment

  • 890 New & Retained Jobs



Clark County is one of the most dynamic economic areas in the Northwest, and the nation. These seven economic engines each continue to provide jobs, expanding investment and leadership to enhance economic vitality, and create thriving communities.  All this provides a solid base for maintaining and increasing the value of commercial real estate in Clark County as an investment vehicle.



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