Fort Collins, CO

Population: 157,251

Key findings

  • Fort Collins has a Livability Score of 75/100, which is considered excellent
  • Fort Collins crime rates are 20% lower than the Colorado average
  • Cost of living in Fort Collins is equal to the Colorado average
  • Fort Collins real estate prices are 8% higher than the Colorado average
  • Rental prices in Fort Collins are 6% higher than the Colorado average

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      Fort Collins, CO

      Those who are looking to enjoy all that Colorado has to offer without the hustle and bustle of Denver are moving north to Fort Collins at a rapid pace. Compared to Denver and other cities in the state, Fort Collins is an affordable alternative that offers many of the same amenities as larger cities in the states. Fort Collins is also a fun college town that is home to the Colorado State Rams. The population of the city is over 150,000 making it one of the most desirable and liveable small cities in the entire country.

      Folks who are just arriving in the city may quickly realize that it has a familiar look since the downtown area was actually inspired by Walt Disneyland. Craft beer lovers will also be right at home in Fort Collins since 70% of the state's beer is actually brewed in the city. Getting around town by bicycle is extremely popular and easy thanks to a vast network of interconnected trails that smart city planners have chosen to make a part of the city's development plans. If you are interested in public transit options to get you from one destination to the other, there is also RideTransfort bus service that runs along twenty or so routes on a daily basis.

      Fort Collins is known for its natural beauty, and several of the top attractions in the area highlight it for all to see. Day trips to Horsetooth Reservoir and Lory State Park are easy ways to get out and enjoy the 300 plus days of sun that Colorado is famous for. If you are looking to learn something with your young adventurers, you can visit the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery or the Horsetooth Mountain Visitors Center. Another great part about living in Fort Collins is that you are only an hour away from Denver and all of the attractions that are available in Denver's capital. If you want to take in a hockey game at the Pepsi Center or Major League Soccer at Mile High Field, it is very easy to do from the Fort Collins area.

      Otterbox, Hewlett Packard, and Anheuser-Busch are just a few of the large companies that offer employment to many citizens of Fort Collins. The university is also a major employer that offers competitive salaries and good benefits. Green and gold are the colors that you will see all over the city as the local community does a good job supporting the rams on the gridiron and the hardwood. If you and your family are looking to enjoy a great Colorado lifestyle and keep money in your pocket, Fort Collins is a smart choice that offers great housing and more.

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      Fort Collins Reviews

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      A horrible place to live

      If I had a time machine, maybe things would be different. We've lived in Fort Collins for 5 years now. Everything there is to do here is done. Rent, home prices and the cost of living are skyrocketing. The small town community vibe has been smashed and tossed aside by corporate greed. Developers are creeping in and ruining what used to be a nice town. The cool unique local businesses are having to close down at a rapid rate and are being replaced with the crappy, generic chain restaurants that saturate the rest of the country. Traffic and parking have become a pain in the ass. Interstate 25 is a friggin' nightmare. All the things you would want to do are at least two hours away.

      I would not recommend Fort Collins to anyone considering moving here. There are so many better cities in Colorado to live. South of Denver has much more to offer and more convenience.
      • 2 -1
      This city has declined significantly in the past 5 years-we are moving

      Rent rates went up 11% in the past year alone and have nearly doubled since we moved here 5 years ago. There have been so many news reports calling FC the best place to live-everyone is coming here. That combined with the legalization of marijuana, increasing out of state visitors, has made it a nightmare to go to any of our favorite places anymore-there are just too many people, no parking and everything is more expensive! This town has totally changed in the past few years!
      We loved it when we first got here a bigger city but with CSU occupying most of downtown it still had a small town sort of feel if you weren't near campus, especially in the summer when the college students are gone. There has been so much new construction the small town feel is gone. There are many festivals and downtown activities, an event nearly every weekend in the summer, but the population increase and weed smoking tourist explosion has made attending any event much more trouble than it's worth. Good luck if you forgot to check which roads will be closed for events and you can't get to work or your business appointment on time. Parking is a nightmare, so they put in some new transit options but they are sometimes so full you can't ride! Customer Service is terrible most everywhere you go as it is staffed by spoiled rich CO teenagers, snobby rich CO hipsters or college students with no work experience. We no longer go out to eat anymore, after so many bad experiences. Restaurants don't pay for quality workers, because they can hire college students who will work for cheap wages and free food and beer. I made the same amount of money at some of my jobs here as I did in the previous state I lived in, however the cost of living was almost 50% less there!!!
      At first we were impressed by the environmental awareness and green living, animal friendly parks and access to the foothills but the fast growth and attitudes of the people have ruined it. Fort Collins is now full of hipsters, not hippies! The difference-hipsters have a lot of money (inherited it) and are usually judgmental hypocrites. They talk a good game but are mostly faking it. The restaurants that say they serve organic, local food, are run by hipsters, are usually lying and overcharging just to make more profit (I worked in the industry). Businesses say they recycle and compost but most of the one's I've worked at, don't. If you stop at any stoplight when the temp is over 70 (most days from April to November) every single vehicle has their windows up and their air conditioning cranked, with bumper stickers that promote green living and saving the environment! Most people I've met never use public transportation, own 2 or more vehicles (even single people!) crank their home air conditioners 6 months/year and spend hundreds of dollars wasting water to make their grass pretty. It is also very very white. The only diversity I've seen is the international students who attend CSU. Most of the people we met when we first moved here have moved already, many to Denver as FC is becoming just as overrun and congested but at least the wages in Denver are much higher.
      Every type of recreation costs money! Every beach. mountain or hiking area is part of a state park and therefore you must usually pay a fee, even just to drive around for a bit in the area! I would only recommend this town to rich college students and housing developers. I would not recommend this to families-I stopped taking my kids downtown (teenagers) at night because it's just not safe-too many bars, college students and out of staters causing trouble.
      • 11 -4
      It's Fun and Sun in Ft. Collins, CO

      I travel through the city of Fort Collins, CO pretty regularly, at least once a year and more often 2-3 times, and usually stop and visit my sister-in-law when I'm there. Fort Collins is a really beautiful city which surprisingly doesn't get as much snow in the winter as you might think, and it's not too hot in the summer, either.

      In Ft. Collins, I generally stay at the Plaza Inn which has a pool, sauna, jacuzzi, and meeting rooms. The rooms are spacious and clean but a little outdated. The first time I stayed there, the pool was indoor and outdoor, you could actually swim through a hole in the wall to get to the other side.

      The city is easy to get around in. Roads are clearly marked and traffic is light. This really helps allow the quaint beauty of the town shine.

      I love to shop at Square Shopping Center! No matter what you are looking for, they have it! The best breakfast burritos I ever ate were at the shopping plaza. Even had my breakfast outdoors in the sun, nothing's better than a bacon, egg, cheese and potato burrito and a cup of coffee before starting the next leg of my journey. Kudos to Fort Collins!
      • 3 -12
      Reason for reporting
      Source: The Fort Collins, CO data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).