The Tri-Lakes area enjoys a thriving commercial, light industrial and retail area, with a diverse range of businesses of varying sizes and trade – many of which have been in the community for 20 years. The region hosts everything from manufacturers and retailers to professional services, technology firms and the military.
With an ideal location near Colorado Springs, local government that encourages business, an active Economic Development Corporation and a dynamic Chamber, businesses in Tri-Lakes enjoy continued success.
The U.S. Air Force Academy, the Air Force’s premier institution for developing leaders of character, is among the area’s top employers. The academy greatly influences the area with its commerce, employment and culture. As the training ground for tomorrow’s Air Force officers, the scenic 18,000-acre campus doubles as a university and boot camp. Each year approximately 10,000 men and women vie for the 1,000 slots available for entering freshmen. Approximately 4,000 cadets attend the academy, with more than 42,000 cadets graduating since the academy’s inception.
Many inactive and retired military personnel live in and around Tri-Lakes. They contribute to the economy and character of the area. The academy has become a well-known landmark of Colorado Springs and a contributor to the quality of life shared by all in the Pikes Peak region.
The military has maintained a strong presence in Colorado Springs since the 1940s. Fort Carson, the Mountain Post, sits just south of Colorado Springs and is one of the world’s finest military training locations. It’s the headquarters for the 7th Infantry Division in charge of training National Guard personnel and houses the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 2nd Infantry Division and the 4th Infantry Division. Today, many of our military personnel stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan are deployed from Fort Carson.
Peterson Air Force Base, established in 1942 and commonly known as “Pete Field,” is home to the Air Force Space Command and the 21st Space Wing. The 21st is the Air Force’s only organization that provides missile warning and space control to unified commanders and combat forces worldwide. Peterson AFB also hosts the North American Aerospace Defense Command, U.S. Northern Command and Army Strategic Command, as well as the 302nd Airlift Wing (Reserve) and additional tenant units, including the 100th Missile Defense Brigade.
Cheyenne Mountain, known as the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, is the central collection and coordination center for worldwide systems of satellites, radars and sensors that provide early warnings of any missile, air or space threats to North America. A unique 4.5-acre underground city, it hosts four commands: North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).
NORAD provides aerospace warning radar protection and surveillance for the U.S. and Canada. Aerospace warning includes the monitoring of manmade objects in space, and the detection, validation and warning of attack against North America; whether by aircraft, missiles or space vehicles, utilizing mutual support arrangements with other commands. Aerospace control includes ensuring air sovereignty and air defense of the airspace of Canada and the U.S.
Schriever Air Force Base, located 12 miles east of Colorado Springs, is a satellite control facility that stands as one of the newest bases in the country. Formerly Falcon AFB, it is home to the 50th Space Wing responsible for the operations and support of more than 170 Department of Defense satellites. The Space Innovation and Development Center, 310th Space Group and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization’s Joint National Integration Center and other tenant units are also housed at Schriever Air Force Base.