Fort Collins is a bustling city home to great recreational activities, various cultural attractions, and a thriving nightlife scene. The town lies at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, 60 miles north of Denver International Airport.
Established in 1864 as a military fort known as “Camp Collins,” the community today is one of the fastest-growing in Colorado and the United States but still managed to preserve its small-town magic.
Known as the Choice City, the area is also known for its safety, livability, friendliness, and charm—after all, the Old Town Fort Collins-inspired Disneyland’s Main Street.
Despite its size, the metropolis is home to many restaurants and recreational facilities, all of which cater to the area’s enormous population, representing a wide range of cultural backgrounds.
Fort Collins has constantly ranked as one of the most significant locations to live in America. But is it suitable for you? Keep reading to know the pros and cons of living in this Colorado town.
List of Contents
Is Fort Collins a Good Place To Live In? – A Charming and Bustling University Town
The Good Side
The City Is the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado
Living in this city, you will find everything you need to quench your thirst as Fort Collins produces 70% of Colorado’s craft beer and 7% of the nation’s craft beer.
From King of Beers to Fat Tire, the town has 20 award-winning craft brewers, including Anheuser-Busch. If you live here, you can visit Anheuser-Busch to learn how to create Budweiser, see the Clydesdales, and learn about the oldest brewing company’s history.
Odell Brewing Company was the town’s first craft brewery and still produces award-winning beers like 90 Shilling Ale and 5 Barrel Pale Ale. You can go to their tasting room to try several excellent beers and experimental brews.
Visit CB & Potts or Coopersmith’s Pub & Brewing for delectable homemade food and even better beers if you want traditional American fare. This brewery even manufactures its root beer!
You can also visit the New Belgium Brewing Company, which makes the popular Fat Tire Amber Ale in the area, and check out one of the unique breweries in the business.
This company has garnered awards for its devotion to the environment and its excellent beers. The moment you enter their tasting area, you’ll realize that fun is the game’s name; if you’re lucky, you’ll get to ride the corkscrew slide after your tour.
It Serves as the Cultural Center of Northern Colorado
If you make this town your residence, you should prepare for an exciting journey into the world of arts and culture.
Fort Collins’ reputation as the cultural capital of Northern Colorado is well-deserved. With six live-theater stages in production throughout the year, a symphony orchestra, ballet troupe, and facilities that allow national touring plays and concerts, there’s always something intriguing happening in this city.
Old Town is home to a wide variety of boutiques and art galleries that showcase the work of regional artisans, photographers, and painters. If you live in the area, you will have the opportunity to talk to local artists at the monthly First Friday Art Walk.
Other venues in town include the Bas Bleu Theatre, which lies in a repurposed antique machine factory along the river, and the Lincoln Center, known to be the most prestigious arts theater in the area.
Living here, you’ll also find that the center could host a touring Broadway show every Friday night, an original drama by a local playwright, two or three art shows by local artists, and a fundraiser for a local non-profit.
As you can see, Fort Collins is the place to be if you want to enhance your lifestyle with elements of the arts and culture.
Fort Collins Is Home to Colorado State University
Access to outstanding education is paramount when relocating to a new city. And Fort Collins does have one thing to brag about: a top-notch educational system.
The Poudre School District is in charge of the administration of the town’s public schools. Private and charter schools, such as Ridgeview Classical Schools and Saint Joseph Catholic School, are also available.
Fort Collins is also home to Colorado State University (CSU) , the state’s second-largest university and one of the nation’s top-ranked institutions.
Other alternatives for post-secondary education are made available by the university, such as those provided by the for-profit IBMC College, which offers vocational education in various subjects, and the Front Range Community College.
It is the reason why this area’s educational system has a high ranking compared to others in the state. The ratio of teachers to pupils, enrollment rates, public school graduation rates, and, last but not least, the good reviews of parents and students also contribute to the excellent education in this metropolis.
The Place Is a Safe College Town
If you prioritize safety before moving to a new location, you have no reason to be concerned about moving to Fort Collins because it is often known as one of the safest areas in the country.
Although the overall crime rates here are 2% higher than the average for the nation, the rate of violent crimes in this area is 44% lower than the average for the country.
The community is also safer than 41% of American cities. If you live in this metropolis, you have a 1 in 42 chance of becoming a victim of some crime.
The Bad Side
It Gets Lots of Traffic
Living in Fort Collins has several drawbacks, including dealing with heavy traffic due to the city’s rapidly expanding economy.
Living in this area, you will encounter considerable traffic during peak hours due to many individuals going to work and some students going to school, particularly those attending CSU and other vocational training institutes.
Also, you won’t be able to enjoy the open highways on the weekends, either, because everyone is racing to get to their weekend activities.
Despite this, many plans exist to improve the town’s roads and traffic system to control traffic flow better. Also, the city is developing plans to widen existing bike lanes to handle more riders.
The City Has Erratic and Harsh Weather Conditions
Fort Collins’s climate is inconsistent, and the city’s weather can sometimes be unpredictable and severe.
If you are from a place with high humidity levels, you should prepare to consume more water than usual and put on more sunscreen than you ever have before because the weather will be scorching and dry. July is the warmest month, with average daytime temperatures of 87℉.
When you live here, the springtime can bring rain and snow, while the fall can bring warm temperatures followed by snowfall.
Wildfires, floods in the summer or fall, and blizzards in the winter are the most significant types of weather and natural disasters you are likely to experience in this town. Also, intense storms accompanied by abundant lightning and high winds are becoming more frequent due to climate change.
You can find that the first few days here are challenging for you due to the weather, as symptoms such as headaches, nausea, exhaustion, and insomnia are all possible.
However, this isn’t something that solely applies to you. Even locals are affected by this, but the good thing is it is somehow tolerable.
What Is the Cost of Living in Fort Collins? – A Fairly Priced Colorado City
The Good Side
Fort Collins Has a Moderately Low Cost of Living
Living expenses in Fort Collins are within reach for most people’s budgets.
When you live here, you’ll notice that the prices of things like utilities, transportation, medical care, groceries, and other goods and services are, on average, more affordable than in other places.
The city’s fantastic social amenities and high quality of life contribute to its cost of living being 18.3% more than the average cost in the United States. However, compared to adjacent Colorado towns such as Denver, the cost of living in this area is far lower.
The considerable increase in the cost of housing is the most crucial factor that led to the spike. Other than housing, the remaining components of the cost of living are below the national average.
On the other hand, there are residential districts that are further from the city center that is less expensive and offer flats at prices that are friendlier to one’s wallet.
Before relocating here, evaluating your spending plan and resources is essential to determine whether you can afford this stunning metropolis.
The Bad Side
The City’s Real Estate Market Is Extremely Expensive
Due to the high demand for housing brought on by greater mobility and migration into the area, property values in Fort Collins have continued to rise.
The town’s real estate market is now known as the market with the highest percentage of stability and growth in the state of Colorado, and it is also known to be one of the best in the United States.
The average property price in the metropolis is $487,800, double the national average. However, larger homes on larger lots might cost over $1 million or even more.
If you’d instead rent than buy, one-bedroom apartments start at around $750 and go up. There are also a lot of flats with one bedroom that go for $1,500 per month.
The growing number of job opportunities in the region is likely to blame for the region’s skyrocketing housing prices.
Therefore, regardless of whether you intend to buy or rent, you must be financially prepared to make significant investments. It is an inevitable reality, but if you want to save money, you could choose to go outside the state.
Why Work in Fort Collins? – A City With a Well-balanced Economy
The Good Side
The City’s Economy Is Thriving
The economy in Fort Collins is booming, and it does not experience the highs and lows typical in other communities.
As a center for innovation, which drives many of the city’s target businesses, many engineering opportunities are available in the bioscience, technology, and energy industries.
Also, this region is home to several enterprises that concentrate on creating software, data mapping, and computer programming, all of which contribute to its substantial number of available computer-related jobs.
Several high-tech companies have recently migrated to the city to leverage the research facilities at Colorado State University, the area’s largest employer, which accounts for about 7,000 jobs.
If beer is your beverage of choice, Anheuser-Busch, one of the largest beer producers in Colorado, might be the place to try your luck in the brewing sector.
Tourism and hospitality are two of Fort Collins’ most lucrative industries, largely thanks to the city’s exceptional quality of life and breathtaking natural settings. This industry opens up opportunities for people to work in customer service at various independently owned shops, restaurants, and galleries.
Therefore, if you want to live and work in a city with a robust economy, this metropolis is the place for you.
It Offers Tremendous Employment Prospects
Fort Collins offers a remarkable variety of work possibilities as one of the cities in the United States with the lowest unemployment rate.
The unemployment rate in this town is 5.6%, which is lower than the average of 6.2% found across the nation. The city’s job market has grown by 3.5% over the past year. It also anticipates a potential employment growth of 51.8% over the next decade, more significant than the US average of 35%.
Advanced Energy Industries Inc., Banner Health, First National Bank, Hewlett-Packard, The Group, Inc., and Xcel Energy Co. are some of the leading employers you should consider when you search for a career in this bustling metropolis.
The Bad Side
Fort Collins Job Market Is Highly Competitive
As Fort Collins continues to experience significant population growth year after year, competition is increasing, which is a deal breaker for some individuals.
Finding a job in this city might be challenging because the local economy is thriving, and thousands of people are moving here.
On the other hand, if you are committed to calling this location home, then doing so is a wise decision. However, it would be best if you get ready for a lot of employment rivalry in the neighborhood.
Fort Collins is a pleasant place to settle down and make your home. It offers a low cost of living, a lovely environment, and several work options. Despite these benefits, it is crucial to keep in mind the negatives of being a resident of this area.
Before making any decisions, remember to carefully examine the pros and cons of living in Fort Collins, Colorado.