Chris D. Hefty
10 Reasons to Stay and Live in Fort Collins, Colorado
Making Fort Collins, Colorado your home has many advantages. Located in the northern part of Colorado, this mid-sized city is located nearby to Denver and is situated next to the Colorado Fort Range of mountains. If you are planning on moving or are looking for somewhere different, here are 10 reasons why you should consider Fort Collins, Colorado.
- Award-Winning: Fort Collins was named by Money Magazine as the number one best place to live in the U.S. in 2006 and it received second place in 2006 and sixth place in 2010. Livability voted the city in the top quarter of its 100 best places to live in 2015. Other accolades include number three in College Ranker’s 50 Best College Towns to Live in Forever, number six in NerdWallet’s list of America’s Most Innovative Tech Hubs, a top ten city in the 2014 Digital Cities Survey, ninth best bike city by Bicycling Magazine in 2014, America’s Safest Driving City by Allstate Insurance in 2014, America’s Most Satisfied City byTime Magazine in 2014, and 2nd Best Place for Job Seekers in Colorado by NerdWallet in 2013 just to name a few.
- Low Crime Rate: According to City-Data.com, crime in Fort Collins is significantly lower than the national average and has been steadily dropping in terms of violent crime and property crime.
- Fresh Air: With 300 days of sunshine each year and a great climate as well as minimal pollution, the area offers some of the freshest air in the country.
- Recreational: With four distinct seasons and a lot of surrounding natural wonders, there is a lot to do outdoors. There are all types of recreational activities among the 600 acres of park area and 40,000 acres of natural area, including bicycling, boating, hiking, fishing, and rafting. The city has more than 20 miles of trails that are paved for safer walking and biking.
- Healthy: Larimer County, home to Fort Collins, is ranked the seventh-healthiest in the state of Colorado (http://www.ncedc.com/live-work/). Livability scores Fort Collins high on the healthy living scale with a significant number of residents that do not smoke, lead active lifestyles, and have a healthy weight. It was listed as the top ninth healthiest city in the country by Livability for its recreational opportunities, strong social support, and low cost of health care. The area also has five farmer’s markets that provide locally sourced, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Happy: The city’s design was modeled on Disneyland’s Main Street USA, which is known to be one of the happiest places on Earth. People may be happier here as well because it doesn’t take as much to make a good life as the cost of living is about ten percent than the national average (http://www.ncedc.com/live-work/). The city also has community projects to encourage strong neighborhood bonds and cohesion, including projects like community vegetable gardens, cleanup projects, and neighborhood watch programs. Time Magazine found that 94.9% of city residents feel satisfied with their lives and with Fort Collins as their hometown (http://time.com/59520/most-satisfied-city-fort-collins-colorado/).
- Opportunistic: There is a diverse mix of service-related, manufacturing, and information technology jobs available in and around Fort Collins. More jobs are located in nearby Denver. Companies in the area include numerous Fortune 500 firms, such as Anheuser-Busch, Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies and more. Besides these career paths, there are significant entrepreneurial opportunities to start your own business or operate businesses from your home, which the city of Fort Collins encourages. City Government continually provides updates on its plan to further develop the area in a smart and sustainable way, adding more job opportunities and encouraging entrepreneurialism.
- Cultural: It has a bustling cultural and arts scene, including local music, numerous festivals, many microbreweries, plays and musicals brought in by national touring companies, and even an orchestra. There is also a local theater company as well as fine arts museum and photography museum. For example, there is the Museum of Discovery, which offers hands-on learning and a 35-foot dome screen in its theater to show science and nature films. The city has an extensive library system as well to encourage reading and learning among its residents. The Fort Collins Museum also offers a lot of information about the area and town’s history. Numerous family-friendly activities are also within the area, making it a great place to start and grow a family.
- Smart: Fort Collins is a college town that offers many opportunities for learning. Besides being home to Colorado State University, there are many occupational and trade schools, community colleges, and research facilities. Beyond the higher education opportunities, there is acknowledged excellence among the regular school system, including top-rated charter schools, public schools, and private schools. Students perform anywhere from three to 19 percent higher than the statewide average and are above average on ACT and SAT college entrance exams plus more than 70 percent of students enroll in a college or university right after high school and 82 percent within three years. Forbes noted in 2014 that Colorado State University as one of the most entrepreneurial universities while the Department of Education found this university is high on the list of affordability and graduation rate (http://livability.com/co/fort-collins/real-estate/why-fort-collins-co-best-place-live-2015).
- Ecological: As with the entire state, Fort Collins is focused on ecology, environmentalism, and sustainability. FortZED is focused on becoming the world’s largest zero energy district and includes downtown Fort Collins and the Colorado State University campus. It offers smart grid and alternative energy sources to generate power for the area, making it one of the more environmentally friendly cities in the country. Additionally, much of the area has been designated as open land areas and been given status as a national, state, county, or city park or a national forest. Local colleges even offer degrees in clean energy technology, an emerging career field.
If you live here in Fort Collins, you probably know all these reasons; if you don’t, these are some pretty compelling reasons to make the move to our hometown. We’d love to have you!