Community >> Fort Collins
Photos by Amber Widgery
Tucked away behind the Rocky Mountains, just south of the Wyoming state border, and just a short hour’s drive north of the state’s capital sits Fort Collins, Colorado. Fort Collins, estimated population of 135,000, is the fifth most populated city in Colorado, and is also the county seat of Larimer County.
Fort Collins started out in 1864 as an Army outpost, but reached a great population surge in 1872 as an agricultural colony. Over the years, it’s history includes the founding of Colorado Agricultural College (now Colorado State University) in 1870, it’s acknowledgement as the “lamb-feeding capital of the world in the early 1900’s, the life and death of the Great Western Sugar Factory, and it’s evolution into a family-oriented city with new developments in schools, shopping and entertainment.
Fort Collins sits at an elevation just above 5,000 above sea level—not quite one mile. The total area of the city equals 47 square miles, which continues to grow each year. Fort Collins averages 296 days of sunlight per year, with an average snowfall of 57 inches per year. The average winter temperature in January is 26 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average summer temperature in July reaches 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
A large portion of the culture in Fort Collins is attributed to the students at CSU. There is a lively night life in Old Town, with a plethora of restaurants, bars, theatres, and shopping to be found. There are also four microbreweries—New Belgium Brewery, Odell’s Brewery, Fort Collins Brewery and the Pateros Creek Brewing Co.
Fort Collins’ top industries include both manufacturing and service-related. The top manufacturers in Fort Collins are Hewlett-Packard, Woodward Governor, and Anheuser-Busch. Fort Collins’ top five employers include Colorado State University, Hewlett Packard, Poudre Valley Health Systems, Poudre School District, and Agilent Technologies. While home to many large corporations, Fort Collins also features a great display of local entrepreneurship with many local incentive programs.
It is home to the Colorado State Rams, as well as the Professional Inline Hockey Association’s Fort Collins Catz, and the Fort Collins Foxes, a collegiate summer baseball team.