Fort Collins IS the Best Place To Live
Fort Collins ranked #70 in Money Magazine's annual "Best Places to Live" article. The only surprise is the relatively low ranking, especially after being #1 on the list in 2006.
For me, Fort Collins is still comfortably at the number 1 spot. Since work brought me here in 2002, I have fallen in love with just about every aspect of life on the northern Front Range. When it comes to choosing a place to live, there are three main factors; work, people, and conditions.
When I say conditions, I refer to things like geography, climate and landscape of the area. How many people live there? How is the infrastructure? Are there recreation opportunities? Is there anything to do when work is finished?
The only reason I could imagine anyone complaining about the weather conditions in Fort Collins would be if they didn't like cold weather, or if they wanted to be on a beach. Beyond that, the climate is darn near
perfect. The fall, for many, is the best time to recreate in the thousands of acres of open space, parks and trails. The winters are generally pretty mild at this elevation, and the best winter recreation on the planet is just a few hours away . The summers are hot, but not Arizona hot and the spring is sublime. It always seems like there is more to do this year than there was last year.
When it comes to things like infrastructure, Fort Collins is in superb shape. The sidewalks are clean and the area is very nice.
The Northern Colorado community has not been immune to the economic conditions that have plagued the rest of the country recently, but has weathered the storm better than most. When it comesdown to whom is or is not employed, the community is very similar to the rest of the country. For some, a recession is a time to invest and in the past few years we have seen new businesses open and expansion of some big hitters in the area.
Once the conditions are discussed, it then becomes all about the people. What makes one town at the base of the Rocky Mountains better than another? The people. It is people who create organizations and events that, first and foremost, make sure that as many as possible have the basics needed to survive. I have never been in a more involved community. When it comes to charity and caring for the less fortunate, Fort Collins excels.
Beyond that, there are many efforts to take 'good' to 'great' in our community. Recent pushes to enhance the arts and music have been met with great enthusiasm. The idea of a new on campus stadium at Colorado State, the region's largest employer, is a look toward making things that much more awesome in near and long term futures. The City itself funds programs to attract people to the downtown area.
Yes, Fort Collins is one of the most beautiful places in America, with endless trails, bodies of water, mountains, and prairie to enjoy. The economy is good, the weather is great. But what really makes it one of the best places to live in America? We do, Fort Collins. We do.