In 1993, Money said Rochester was bustling yet bucolic, radiating a cosmopolitan style without big-city ills. It was a leader in the region when it came to job growth, with plenty of start-up capital flowing, especially to medical-technology firms that fed off the Mayo Clinic. The clinic remains a powerhouse with more than 15,000 employees, and it continues to be a medical pioneer. Its executive-health program brings a five-star clientele of CEOs and celebrities to town, and that has spawned a growing service sector, including a brand-new International Hotel, to tend to their needs.
That's a plus, considering that IBM, which employed 7,600 in 1993, has cut its Rochester ranks to just 4,400 today. Housing in Rochester remains surprisingly affordable, and the lush green space that attracts so many people to the city has been maintained and preserved. Still, growth has its downside, namely clogged roadways and hints of sprawl.
Biggest development since 1999: Construction is under way on Rochester's first state college, and a $30 million, 10-story BioScience Center should be completed by 2009.