The area known as the Triangle lies in the heart of North Carolina. It was so named because of three close by cities that form a triad that house three of the main universities found in this state. They are Duke University in Durham, The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University in Raleigh. This is the heart of ACC country. The rivalry between the three local colleges, especially with basketball, is second to none. Even people who graduate from colleges outside of North Carolina and move here feel compelled to pick one of the three schools to root for. With the remarkable growth of the Triangle area over the past two decades, areas outside of these boundaries including eastern Wake County, parts of Johnston, Franklin and Granville Counties are now lumped in as well. Within the heart of the Triangle area can be found Research Triangle Park (RTP) and Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU).
Research Triangle Park
Founded in 1959, Research Triangle Park (RTP) is one of the most prominent high-tech research and development centers in the United States. Covering over 7,000 acres, it is the largest research park in U.S. and is home to some 200 companies employing 50,000 workers and 10,000 contractors. These include the second largest IBM operation in the world with 14,000 employees. Cisco Systems’ campus at RTP, with approximately 5000 employees is the second highest concentration of its’ employees outside of its’ Silicon Valley corporate headquarters. Other notable employers include Microsoft, Glaxo, Lenovo, Cree Inc., Red Hat and Verizon.
Raleigh-Durham International Airport occupies 5000 acres between RTP and Raleigh. It first opened on May 1,1943. RDU has direct flights to 38 domestic and international cities on 352 daily flights. In 2015, the number of passengers who traveled through the airport was just under 10 million.