The City of St. Charles is known as a family oriented community and the majority of residential properties in town are single family homes. Similar to national trends, projections show that the population is aging and in the future many more households will consist of single adults, empty nesters and other non-traditional family types.
Within a 5 minute drive of downtown St. Charles there is a significant affluent population, many of which own their own home. Within a 5-10 minute drive time population and household size increase, while median age, income, and household size remain relatively consistent. Within a 10-15 minute drive from downtown the population increases substantially, while continuing to be affluent.
The St. Charles area is a surprisingly successful visitor destination with more than 2,500 hotel rooms. Even if the less fully utilized Q Center and its 1,000 rooms are deducted, St Charles houses as many as 440,000 overnight guests a year assuming a 62% occupancy rate.
Recently there is a national resurgence in the popularity of walkable, urban areas offering an active lifestyle, not only in major urban areas, but also in suburban communities. People want to live in vibrant, active communities that are easy to get around with lots of things to do. St. Charles has a unique situation with a strong local identity, affluent population, abundant natural resources and amenities that is part of a major metropolitan area.
Nationally, the most popular activity is walking followed closely by jogging and biking. Swimming, fishing, and power boating are also very popular activities, although power boating is declining in popularity while kayaking, canoeing and rowing are increasing in popularity. These trends also appear to be true in St. Charles.
As St. Charles considers how to activate its riverfront it is apparent that there are great opportunities. Populations in affluent communities like St. Charles engage more often in athletic activities if the opportunity presents itself and is easily accessed. The river offers the ideal venue for activities including walking, bicycling, running and jogging all along the water’s edge and kayaking, canoeing, fishing and potentially swimming in the water.