Centennial, Colorado

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Centennial, Colorado
Centennial Civic Center located on East Arapahoe Road
Centennial Civic Center located on East Arapahoe Road
Flag of Centennial, Colorado
Spirit of the Past
Centennial in Arapahoe County, Colorado.
Centennial is located in the United States
Centennial in the United States.
Coordinates: 39°35′26″N 104°52′09″W / 39.590568°N 104.869118°W / 39.590568; -104.869118Coordinates: 39°35′26″N 104°52′09″W / 39.590568°N 104.869118°W / 39.590568; -104.869118[2]
Country United States
State Colorado
CountyArapahoe County[1]
IncorporatedFebruary 7, 2001
 • TypeHome rule municipality[1]
 • MayorStephanie Piko
 • Total29.867 sq mi (77.355 km2)
 • Land29.721 sq mi (76.976 km2)
 • Water0.146 sq mi (0.379 km2)
Elevation5,830 ft (1,777 m)
 • Total108,418
 • Rank11th in Colorado
288th in the United States
 • Density3,648/sq mi (1,409/km2)
 • Metro
2,963,821 (19th)
 • CSA
3,623,560 (17th)
 • Front Range
Time zoneUTC−07:00 (MST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−06:00 (MDT)
ZIP Codes[5]
80015-80016, 80111-80112, 80121-80122,
80161 (PO Box)
Area code(s)Both 303 and 720
FIPS code08-12815

Centennial is a home rule municipality located in Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States.[1] The city population was 108,418 at the 2020 United States Census, making Centennial the 11th most populous municipality in Colorado.[3] Centennial is a part of the Denver–Aurora–Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Front Range Urban Corridor.


Centennial was formed on February 7, 2001, from portions of unincorporated Arapahoe County, including the former Castlewood and Southglenn census-designated places (CDPs).[6] The citizens of the area had voted to incorporate on September 12, 2000, choosing Centennial as the official name during the vote. The name reflects Colorado's admission to the Union as the 38th state in 1876, the centennial year of the United States Declaration of Independence.[7] The state of Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State".[7]

Incorporation was approved by 77% of the voters, and the population of the area at over 100,000 made it the largest incorporation in U.S. history as of its creation. The city was incorporated in large part to prevent further annexations of unincorporated areas by the city of Greenwood Village in an attempt to improve its tax base.[citation needed] The taxes generated from businesses in unincorporated portions of Arapahoe County funded the majority of the county's services, including road work. A number of court cases[specify] eventually established the right of incorporation to take precedence over the right of annexation.[citation needed]

The city was incorporated on a promise to keep city taxes at 1%. (One of the campaigns against incorporation appealed to voters to maintain the 3.8% sales tax of the unincorporated county.) According to the Centennial website, the current sales tax rate is two-and-a-half times the promised rate, at 2.5%.

Since the city is relatively new, some people in the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area do not yet recognize the area by the name "Centennial", especially since neighboring Aurora, Englewood and Littleton are the default place names assigned by the United States Postal Service for ZIP codes serving Centennial. Thus, mailing addresses designated as "Aurora", "Englewood" or "Littleton" may actually be located in Centennial. This causes considerable confusion, as Centennial and Englewood do not even share a boundary, while some portions of Centennial are surrounded by Aurora and vice versa.

In 2008, Centennial voters approved a referendum by approximately a 2-to-1 margin making Centennial a home rule city.[8]

Centennial Airport, formerly Arapahoe County Airport, lies adjacent to Centennial, but is located in unincorporated Arapahoe County. The airport is not named after the city, as it predates the city by over 30 years.


Centennial is roughly divided in half by Interstate 25, with most of its business and entertainment centers lying west of the highway. The city's boundaries are highly irregular and evocative of a gerrymander, particularly the overwhelmingly residential eastern portions of the city, which appear with Foxfield, portions of Aurora, and unincorporated areas as a distorted checkerboard on the city's map.[9]

Centennial has many hills, gullies and ravines, and its open spaces are usually accompanied by recreational trails and parks, including Dry Creek Dam, DeKoevend Park, the High line Canal Trail, Willow Creek Trail, as well as Big Dry Creek and Little Dry Creek Trails. Centennial hosts most native wildlife and is a good reflection of Colorado's front range ecosystem. Centennial has seen a boost in coyote populations in recent years, leading to resident education on how to deter coyotes from eating family pets.[10]

Centennial is located at 39°35'47" North, 104°50'38" West (39.5963, −104.8439).[11]

At the 2020 United States Census, the city had a total area of 19,115 acres (77.355 km2) including 94 acres (0.379 km2) of water.[3]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census

The city is approximately composed of 87.4% White, 4.8% Hispanic or Latino, 3.6% Asian, 2.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, and 0.3% from other races.

The median age is 37.2 years, in comparison to the 35.3-year national average. For every 100 females, there are 98 males.


National CineMedia and United Launch Alliance are among the companies based in Centennial. Blackjack Pizza was headquartered in Centennial.[12]

Top employers[edit]

According to Centennial's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[13] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer
1 Comcast
2 Arrow Electronics
3 United Healthcare
4 United Launch Alliance
5 OppenheimerFunds
6 Nordstrom Bank
7 Sierra Nevada Corporation
8 Zillow Group
9 S&P Global
10 SEAKR Engineering


Most of Centennial is within the territory of the Cherry Creek Public Schools while the western portion of the city in the territory of Littleton Public Schools.[14] Centennial is also served by a few private schools.

Private Elementary and Middle Schools

  • St. Thomas More Parish School
  • Highlands Baptist Academy
  • Shepherd of the Hills Christian School
  • Centennial Christian Academy
  • C.A.R.E. Middle School



Cathy Noon, mayor, signs the Buckley Air Force Base Partnership Steering Group charter on March 31, 2015.

The city is governed under the council-manager form of government[15] which limits the power of the city to levy and collect taxes. The city council has eight members. The Mayor and Council Members are all part-time officials who hold other full-time jobs.

City of Centennial Officials
Office Incumbent
Mayor Stephanie Piko
Council Members, District I Kathy Turley Candace Moon
Council Members, District II Carrie Penaloza Tammy Mauer
Council Members, District III Ken Lucas Mike Sutherland
Council Members, District IV Ron Weidman Marlo Alston
City Clerk Barb Setterlind
City Manager Matt Sturgeon

Points of interest[edit]

  • International Headquarters for Gamma Phi Beta sorority are located in Centennial. Gamma Phi Beta was the first women's organization to use the term "sorority".
  • Centennial was chosen in 2008 as the site of the first IKEA store in Colorado.[16] The IKEA Centennial location opened on July 27, 2011. It is the second-largest IKEA store in the United States.[17] IKEA Centennial was awarded the Project of the Year in 2011 by city of Centennial.[18]
  • Centennial is home to the headquarters of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA). NCBA also maintains an office in Washington, D.C.
  • Centennial is home to the headquarters of Arrow Electronics and the is the largest company headquartered in Colorado.[19]

Notable people[edit]

Notable individuals who were born in or have lived in Centennial include:

Surrounding municipalities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Active Colorado Municipalities". Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "2014 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Places". United States Census Bureau. July 1, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Decennial Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data". United States Census Bureau, United States Department of Commerce. August 12, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "ZIP Code Lookup". United States Postal Service. Archived from the original (JavaScript/HTML) on September 3, 2007. Retrieved September 5, 2007.
  6. ^ Wallace, Susan. "Centennial off to fast start". Denver Post. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Profile for Centennial, Colorado, CO". ePodunk. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  8. ^ Illescas, Carlos (June 11, 2008). "Centennial goes home rule". Denver Post.
  9. ^ "Centennial Map". open-centennial.opendata.arcgis.com. Retrieved 2020-12-04.
  10. ^ "CentennialColorado.com redirects to CentennialCo.gov". Centennialcolorado.com. Archived from the original on 13 December 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  12. ^ Home page. Blackjack Pizza. September 26, 2001. Retrieved on October 18, 2018. "9137 E Mineral Cr - Suite 100 Englewood CO 80112"
  13. ^ "Centennial, Colorado CAFR" (PDF). centennialco.gov. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Centennial Street Map - School Districts." (Archive) City of Centennial. Retrieved on December 13, 2013.
  15. ^ "City Manager's Office - City of Centennial". Centennialco.gov. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  16. ^ "Cbs4denver.com - IKEA Announces Plans for Colorado Store". Archived from the original on 2008-09-13. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  17. ^ "IKEA Centennial Home Furnishings - IKEA". Ikea.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". www.ourcoloradonews.com. Archived from the original on 29 December 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Arrow Electronics | 2022 Fortune 500". Fortune. Retrieved 2022-10-10.
  20. ^ "Sean Tufts Stats, News and Video - LB". NFL.com.
  21. ^ "Amy Barczuk". Boston Breakers. Archived from the original on 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  22. ^ "Madisen Beaty - Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  23. ^ "Kevin Gausman". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  24. ^ Associated Press (2010-09-29). "Sheriff: Broncos WR Kenny McKinley Found Dead". NPR. Archived from the original on September 21, 2010. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  25. ^ Goldstein, Richard (2007-11-10). "George Ratterman, Football Star and Sheriff, Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  26. ^ "Spencer Swalm's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  27. ^ "Jack Tate's Biography". Vote Smart. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  28. ^ "Ken Tribbett". Major League Soccer. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
  29. ^ "Tom Costello". LinkedIn.
  30. ^ "Student shooting suspect was targeting teacher, officials say". NBC News.

External links[edit]