The Community: The City of Fort Collins sits nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains alongside the banks of the Cache La Poudre River. At 5,000 feet in elevation, residents enjoy a moderate, four-season climate, with an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. With 174,800 residents, Fort Collins is Colorado’s fourth-largest city and spans 57 square miles. With the 20 year growth projection, the City of Fort Collins is expected to reach 255,000 residents.
The first people who hunted in this region arrived approximately 11,000 years ago, and Northern Colorado remains an integral part of the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute Nations. European-American trappers and traders arrived by the early 1800s but rarely established permanent settlements. Gold and silver discoveries in the Colorado mountains in the mid-1800s and the prospect of land for farming and ranching attracted people from eastern cities and across the globe to the Colorado Territory, including what would become the town of Fort Collins; an agricultural colony that emerged from its founding days as a military fort. The expansion included the sugar beet industry's growth..., which brought new residents whose descendants still live here today, including Mexican-American families from southern Colorado, New Mexico, and northern Mexico, as well as Germans from Russia. Since 1879, Fort Collins has been the home of the state’s land grant institution, Colorado State University, which currently enrolls 34,000 students. Along with the university, the city’s major high-tech and manufacturing companies and breweries attract new residents from all over the country and world. The community’s overall social diversity continues to grow.
There are abundant outdoor recreation opportunities available to the many residents who enjoy healthy lifestyles. The nearby Horsetooth Reservoir is a key attraction, as is the Cache La Poudre-North Park Scenic Byway. The Downtown district provides many venues for live music, shopping, dining, and nightlife within the city. Fort Collins is widely considered the Craft Beer Capital of Colorado. The City has a strong appreciation for arts, culture, and entertainment. Various national organizations and magazines recognize Fort Collins as one of the best places to live in the nation.