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Why Simantel Loves Peoria, IL

Photo credit: Big Picture Initiative

Simantel knows Peoria is a very special place. Not only were we born here some 40-ish years ago, but we’ve stuck around ever since. We are proud to call Peoria home, and we’ve never considered leaving. Not even once.

For many years, Peoria has been one of those “best-kept secrets.” Only now… the secret is getting out.

A recent study from U.S. News & World Report ranks Peoria as one of the best places to live in Illinois (second only to Moline-Rock Island) – and among the top 100 in the entire country. Not only did Peoria rank higher than much larger cities in Illinois (like Chicago), it also bested the likes of New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Seattle and Phoenix.

Wow, right?

We’re not the only ones who have taken notice. A steady march of transplants have been streaming in from all over the country over the past year – attracted by our amazing supply of homes, astonishingly low cost of living and rich roster of amenities.

So, what do you know about this place called Peoria? Why has Simantel called Peoria home for all these years? Let’s dive into (just a few of) the reasons.

Peoria is the Ultimate Blend

Quality of life is a tricky thing to measure. While there’s no magic formula we can all agree on, there are certainly some telltale signs.

A strong economy. Affordable housing. Access to healthcare and education. Check, check, check and check.

Things to do. Places to go. And convenient ways to get around. Check. Check. And check!

Peoria is strategically located on the Illinois River, surrounded by natural resources and some of the world’s richest farmland. It’s why the earliest settlers came here in the first place. Four hundred-plus years later, the river remains our greatest asset and our resources have grown exponentially – providing even more reasons to stay.

Peoria offers the ultimate blend of urban and rural, city and country, high-brow and low-brow, and just about everything in between. It’s a unique balance that sets us apart. It’s why the old phrase, “Will it play in Peoria?”, continues to have staying power. It’s why Peoria is a four-time All-America City – the only city in Illinois that can make that claim.

Peoria is Family-Friendly

From our Native American heritage to our stint as “Whiskey Capital of the World,” Peoria’s fascinating history is woven into our DNA. Our park district is the largest in the state, with a sprawling network of parks and trails. We’ve got orchestras and ballets, an impressive theater community, and an extensive array of public art.

Peoria’s gorgeous riverfront is a hotspot for festivals and concerts, and our vibrant downtown offers a range of options for urban living. From professional sports teams and world-class museums to eclectic restaurants and Fortune 100 employers, Peoria offers everything you’d expect from a much larger city… and so much more.

Commutes here are short and sweet. Our residents are engaged in the community, and it’s easy to get involved. We’re family-friendly and typically well-mannered. (Fun fact: for many years Peoria was a perennial contender for the “most polite city in America.”) Our diverse blend of cultures is a competitive advantage and a point of pride.

Despite its size, Peoria has that small-town feel that can’t be faked. Coupled with big-city amenities, it’s a formidable match for any other place on earth.

But more than anything, it’s the people that make Peoria so special.

Peoria is Full of Talent, Passion and Just…Nice People

Peorians are a diverse bunch, and we never want to traffic in stereotypes. That said, we know from experience that they are some of the finest humans on the planet. No matter what industry, you’ll find that strong midwestern work ethic in Peoria. Time and time again, “the people” are cited as the leading reason Simantel is such a great place to work. That is the case whether they’re onsite in our Peoria office or working remotely from one of 16 states around the country.

Numerous Simantelites have relocated to Peoria in order to take part in this feast of riches. Born and raised in California, Drew Pacheco moved here in 2021 to join Simantel as a web developer:

“Peoria’s reputation of being a kind, grounded, hard-working city is very much true, and Simantel is the perfect encapsulation of that. An eclectic group of genuinely nice people all working together towards a common goal. The community vibes are strong here.”

We’ve also learned that our remote workers enjoy visiting Peoria just as much as we enjoy living here. Simantel Vice President Abby Bell resides in Texas but travels to Peoria often for work.

“Peoria has been my home away from home for almost 10 years! It’s the city life, without being too big or overwhelming. I love the cultural aspects of the city, but most of all it’s people. It may be the Midwest work ethic or the Simantel heart, but the people here are my people.”


Peoria is One of the Best Places to Live in the Country

There’s just something about a river city that can’t be beat. Here at Simantel, all we have to do is look outside our window to get a glimpse of that river. It’s our North Star – a consistent presence, a daily reminder of our good fortune, a flowing beacon of hometown pride.

It’s no secret that Simantel loves Peoria. And we’ve long known that Peoria is one of the best places to live in the country. Now the rest of the country is catching on – and we’re here for it!

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