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.