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McCook, Nebraska

Community Definition and Identity

We define our community as the City of McCook including the city’s zoning of a two-mile extension beyond the city limit line for utility support and future growth opportunities. McCook is located at the intersections of Highway 83 going from North to South, a highway that goes from the Canadian border to the Mexico border and Highway 6 and 34, which is a well-traveled road that connects easily between Eastern Nebraska cities of Lincoln and Omaha, to Colorado including Denver and the Estes Park area. The closest towns of larger size are to the north by 75 miles, North Platte, population 24,110 and to the northeast by 105 miles, Kearney, population 33,520. McCook itself has a population of approximately 7,700 people. The McCook market area for retail and services is closer to 30,000-32,000 people.

McCook offers a regional trade center that is an excellent opportunity for families to live, work and play.  It is the perfect place to put down roots, raise a family, and retire.  The larger customer and resident base of the area supports the city to function as a much larger city than a normal town of 7,000 people.  McCook has experienced and is anticipated to continue on a slight decline for population.  The State of Nebraska population is growing slightly.

Outdoor recreation is woven into the fabric of western Nebraska rural communities like McCook.  Nature is never more than a few minutes away.  Numerous State Recreation Areas, Reservoirs, and Wildlife Management Areas throughout the area are great place for birding, camping, hunting and fishing. 

The Heritage Hills Golf course was opened in 1981 and in 1984 was rated one of Golf Digest’s “Best 75 Golf Courses”.  The course is of the highest quality of design, course conditioning, and value.

Whether you come to McCook for shopping, an overnight stay or a several day excursion for the whole family, we promise that it will be a memorable experience!  Enjoy the natural settings and outdoor adventures along the river, prairie lakes and walking trails.  Celebrate with us during our award-winning festivals, special events, and annual celebrations.  Stroll along our brick streets at your leisure while visiting our specialty shops and restaurants.  From pumpkins to cattle, our farms offer a glance of the Midwest lifestyle. 

Key Challenges and Advantages

Advantages Challenges
Decreasing population Leadership from all generations
Aging Population Wide array of offerings for residents
Attracting, recruiting, and retaining necessary qualified staff to a small rural community Hub for trade and multiple job opportunities
Agriculture Economy (dependent on changing prices and weather) Environment for Value added agriculture entrants
Rapid technology growth – lack of fiber Natural Resources – close lakes for fishing/camping and opportunities for hunting

Reputation for political history

McCook Community College student base

Community Service Groups – Optimists, Rotary, Lions, Habitat for Humanity

Geography being a regional hub used more being 70 to 100 miles from larger cities