Fort Collins is located near the Cache La Poudre River along the Front Range. According to the 2010 census, the population of Fort Collins was 143, 986. The only Colorado cities with higher population were Aurora, Colorado Springs and Denver. Colorado State University is located in Fort Collins. According to Money Magazine, Fort Collins was named best place to live in the United States in 2006. Fort Collins received this ranking due to great schools, low crime, good jobs in a high-tech economy and fantastic outdoor life. In 2008 Fort Collins was ranked #2 and #6 in 2010. According to CBS Money Watch, in 2012 Fort Collins was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S.
Geography & Climate
Fort Collins is located at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills. It is approximately 65 miles north of Denver and 45 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The elevation is 5,003 feet above sea level. A few local landmarks include Horsetooth Reservoir and Horsetooth Mountain. Horsetooth mountain is named because of a tooth-shaped rock that is easily visible from many locations in the city. There are four distinct seasons. The city experiences approximately 300 days of sunshine per year.
Much of the Fort Collins culture is centered on the Colorado State University students. There are many festivals each year hosted by The Downtown Business Association. These are held in historic Downtown Fort Collins. Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, in late summer, is a very popular attraction. Fort Collins Lincoln Center is home to the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra and attracts national touring companies of Broadway plays. Many microbreweries are located in Fort Collins due to the thriving beer culture. The largest brewer in the world, Anheuser-Busch, also has a brewery northeast of city near I-25. Annually, in June, the Colorado Brewer’s Festival is held in Fort Collins. Tour de Fat, hosted by New Belgium Brewery, draws over 20,000 people riding bikes and dressing in costume. The Colorado Marathon is an annual event running down the Poudre Valley and finishing in Downtown Fort Collins. The Fort Collins Museum, established in 1941, focuses on the culture and history of Fort Collins and the surrounding area. Click HERE for more information on things to do in Fort Collins.
K-12 public education is provided through Poudre School District It is also the second-largest employer in Fort Collins after Colorado State University. Fort Collins has four major high schools and several charter schools with Middle School and High School grades. Colorado State University heads up the choices in higher education. Front Range Community College also maintains a campus in the city, and grants Associate’s degrees in arts, science, general studies and applied science.
Fort Collins’ economy has a mix of manufacturing and service-related businesses. Fort Collins manufacturing includes Woodward Governor, Anheuser-Busch, and Otterbox. The top 5 largest employers of Fort Collins residents in 2010 were the following: 1. Colorado State University 2. Hewlett Packard 3. Poudre Valley Health System 4. Poudre School District 5. Agilent
Denver International Airport, which is 70 miles to the south, is served by nearly twenty airlines. The City bus system, known as Transfort, operates more than a dozen routes throughout Fort Collins Monday through Saturday, except major holidays. Bicycling is a popular and viable means of transportation in Fort Collins. There are more than 280 miles of designated bikeways in Fort Collins, including on street designated bike lanes, and the Spring Creek and Poudre River Trails, both paved. In 2013 the league of American Bicyclists designated Fort Collins as a Platinum-level Bicycle Friendly Community – one of four in the United States.
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Other exciting things to do in Fort Collins: Downtown Fort Collins Events