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Fort Collins, Colorado
Downtown "Old Town" Fort Collins
Downtown "Old Town" Fort Collins
Flag of Fort Collins, Colorado
Flag
Location of Fort Collins in Larimer County, Colorado.
Location of Fort Collins in Larimer County, Colorado.
Coordinates: 40°33′33″N 105°4′41″W / 40.55917°N 105.07806°W / 40.55917; -105.07806Coordinates: 40°33′33″N 105°4′41″W / 40.55917°N 105.07806°W / 40.55917; -105.07806
CountryUnited States
StateColorado
CountyLarimer
Commissioned1864
IncorporatedFebruary 12, 1883[1]
Named forUnited States Army colonel William O. Collins
Government
 • TypeHome Rule Municipality[2]Fort Collins is a municipality in northern Colorado, which serves as the seat[2] of Larimer County.[7] Situated on the Cache La Poudre River along the Colorado Front Range, Fort Collins is located 56 mi (90 km) north of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. With a 2019 estimated population of 170,243,[5] it is the fourth most populous city in Colorado after Denver, Colorado Springs, and Aurora. Fort Collins is a midsize college city, home to Colorado State University and Front Range Community College's Larimer campus.

History

Fort Collins was founded as a military outpost of the United States Army in 1864. It succeeded a previous encampment, known as Camp Collins, on the Cache La Poudre River, near what is known today as Laporte. Camp Collins was erected during the Indian wars of the mid-1860s to protect the Overland mail route that had been recently relocated through the region. Travelers crossing the county on the Overland Trail would camp there, but a flood destroyed the camp in June 1864.[8] Afterward, the commander of the fort wrote to the commandant of Fort Laramie in southeast Wyoming, Colonel William O. Collins, suggesting that a site several miles farther down the river would make a good location for the fort. The post was manned originally by two companies of the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry and never had walls.[9]

Nineteenth-century bird's-eye view of Fort Collins
Fort Collins, facing west (1875)
Poudre Valley Bank, at Linden and Walnut, in Fort Collins (1908)

Settlers began arriving in the vicinity of the fort nearly immediately. The fort was decommissioned in 1867. The original fort site is now adjacent to the present historic "Old Town" portion of the city. The first school and church opened in 1866, and the town was platted in 1867. The civilian population of Fort Collins, led by local businessman Joseph Mason, led an effort to relocate the county seat to Fort Collins from LaPorte, and they were successful in 1868.[9]

The city's first population boom came in 1872, with the establishment of an agricultural colony. Hundreds of settlers arrived, developing lots just south of the original Old Town. Tension between new settlers and earlier inhabitants led to political divisions in the new town, which was incorporated in 1873. Although the Colorado Agricultural College was founded in 1870, the first classes were held in 1879.[10]

The 1880s saw the construction of a number of elegant homes and commercial buildings and the growth of a distinctive identity for Fort Collins. Stone quarrying, sugar-beet farming, and the slaughter of sheep were among the area's earliest industries. Beet tops, an industry supported by the college and its associated agricultural experiment station, proved to be an excellent and abundant food for local sheep,[11] and by the early 1900s the area was being referred to as the "Lamb feeding capital of the world". In 1901 the Great Western sugar processing plant was built in the neighboring city of Loveland.[12]<

Fort Collins was founded as a military outpost of the United States Army in 1864. It succeeded a previous encampment, known as Camp Collins, on the Cache La Poudre River, near what is known today as Laporte. Camp Collins was erected during the Indian wars of the mid-1860s to protect the Overland mail route that had been recently relocated through the region. Travelers crossing the county on the Overland Trail would camp there, but a flood destroyed the camp in June 1864.[8] Afterward, the commander of the fort wrote to the commandant of Fort Laramie in southeast Wyoming, Colonel William O. Collins, suggesting that a site several miles farther down the river would make a good location for the fort. The post was manned originally by two companies of the 11th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry and never had walls.[9]

Nineteenth-century bird's-eye view of Fort Collins
Fort Collins, facing west (1875)
Poudre Valley Bank, at Linden and Walnut, in Fort Collins (1908)

Settlers began arriving in the vicinity of the fort nearly immediately. The fort was decommissioned in 1867. The original fort site is now adjacent to the present historic "Old Town" portion of the city. The first school and church opened in 1866, and the town was platted in 1867. The civilian population of Fort Collins, led by local businessman Joseph Mason, led an effort to relocate the county seat to Fort Collins from LaPorte, and they were successful in 1868.[9]

The city's first population boom came in 1872, with the establishment of an agricultural colony. Hundreds of settlers arrived, developing lots just south of the original Old Town. Tension between new settlers and earlier inhabitants led to political divisions in the new town, which was incorporated in 1873. Although the Colorado Agricultural College was founded in 1870, the first classes were held in 1879.[10]

The 1880s saw the construction of a number of elegant homes and commercial buildings and the growth of a distinctive identity for Fort Collins. Stone quarrying, sugar-beet farming, and the slaughter of sheep were among the area's earliest industries. Beet tops, an industry supported by the college and its associated agricultural experiment station, proved to be an excellent and abundant food for local sheep,[11] and by the early 1900s the area was being referred to as the "Lamb feeding capital of the world". In 1901 the Great Western sugar processing plant was built in the neighboring city of Loveland.[12]

platted in 1867. The civilian population of Fort Collins, led by local businessman Joseph Mason, led an effort to relocate the county seat to Fort Collins from LaPorte, and they were successful in 1868.[9]

The city's first population boom came in 1872, with the establishment of an agricultural colony. Hundreds of settlers arrived, developing lots just south of the original Old Town. Tension between new settlers and earlier inhabitants led to political divisions in the new town, which was incorporated in 1873. Although the Colorado Agricultural College was founded in 1870, the first classes were held in 1879.[10]

The 1880s saw the construction of a number of elegant homes and commercial buildings and the growth of a distinctive identity for Fort Collins. Stone quarrying, sugar-beet farming, and the slaughter of sheep were among the area's earliest industries. Beet tops, an industry supported by the college and its associated agricultural experiment station, proved to be an excellent and abundant food for local sheep,[11] and by the early 1900s the area was being referred to as the "Lamb feeding capital of the world". In 1901 the Great Western sugar processing plant was built in the neighboring city of Loveland.[12]

The region in 1906

Although the city was affected by the Great Depression and simultaneous drought,[13] it nevertheless experienced slow and steady growth throughout the early part of the twentieth century.[14] During the decade following The city's first population boom came in 1872, with the establishment of an agricultural colony. Hundreds of settlers arrived, developing lots just south of the original Old Town. Tension between new settlers and earlier inhabitants led to political divisions in the new town, which was incorporated in 1873. Although the Colorado Agricultural College was founded in 1870, the first classes were held in 1879.[10]

The 1880s saw the construction of a number of elegant homes and commercial buildings and the growth of a distinctive identity for Fort Collins. Stone quarrying, sugar-beet farming, and the slaughter of sheep were among the area's earliest industries. Beet tops, an industry supported by the college and its associated agricultural experiment station, proved to be an excellent and abundant food for local sheep,[11] and by the early 1900s the area was being referred to as the "Lamb feeding capital of the world". In 1901 the Great Western sugar processing plant was built in the neighboring city of Loveland.[12]

Although the city was affected by the Great Depression and simultaneous drought,[13] it nevertheless experienced slow and steady growth throughout the early part of the twentieth century.[14] During the decade following World War II, the population doubled and an era of economic prosperity occurred. Old buildings were razed to make way for new, modern structures. Along with revitalization came many changes, including the closing of the Great Western sugar factory in 1955, and a new city charter, adopting a council-manager form of government in 1954.[15] Similarly, Colorado State University's enrollment doubled during the 1960s,[16] making it the city's primary economic force by the end of the century.

Fort Collins gained a reputation as a very conservative city in the twentieth century, with a prohibition of alcoholic beverages, a contentious political issue in the town's early decades,[17] being retained from the late 1890s until student activism helped bring it to an end in 1969.[16] During that same period, civil rights activism and anti-war disturbances heightened tensions in the city, including the burning of several buildings on the CSU campus.[18]

During the late 20th century, Fort Collins expanded rapidly to the s

Fort Collins gained a reputation as a very conservative city in the twentieth century, with a prohibition of alcoholic beverages, a contentious political issue in the town's early decades,[17] being retained from the late 1890s until student activism helped bring it to an end in 1969.[16] During that same period, civil rights activism and anti-war disturbances heightened tensions in the city, including the burning of several buildings on the CSU campus.[18]

During the late 20th century, Fort Collins expanded rapidly to the south, adding new development, including several regional malls.[18] Management of city growth patterns became a political priority during the 1980s, as well as the revitalization of Fort Collins' Old Town with the creation of a Downtown Development Authority.[19] In late July 1997, the city experienced a flash flood after and during a 31-hour period when 10–14 in (250–360 mm) of rain fell. The rainfall was the heaviest on record for an urban area of Colorado.[20] Five people were killed and $5 million in damages were dealt to the city. The waters flooded Colorado State University's library and brought about $140 million in damages to the institution.[21]

Fort Collins is situated at the base of the Rocky Mountain foothills of the northern Front Range, approximately 60 miles (97 km) north of Denver, Colorado, and 45 miles (72 km) south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Elevation is 4,982 ft (1,519 m) above sea level. Geographic landmarks include Horsetooth Reservoir and Horsetooth Mountain—so named because of a tooth-shaped granite rock that dominates the city's western skyline. Longs Peak can also clearly be seen on a clear day to the southwest of the city.

The Cache La Poudre River and Spring Creek run through Fort Collins.

Cache La Poudre River and Spring Creek run through Fort Collins.

Located along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk), with four distinct seasons and low annual precipitation. Summers range from mild to hot, with low humidity and afternoon thunderstorms that frequently threaten but only occasionally deliver rain. Winters range from mild to moderately cold. The city receives much sunshine, with 300 days of sunshine per year and 19 days with 90° + weather. The average temperature in July, the warmest month, is 71 °F (22 °C). The average temperature in January, the coldest month, is 29 °F (−2 °C). Annual snowfall averages 59 inches (1.5 m), and can occur from early September through the end of May. Average precipitation overall is 15.9 inches (400 mm).

Climate data for Fort Collins, Colorado (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 73
(23)
76
(24)
81
(27)
89
(32)
97
(36)
102
(39)
103
(39)
fourth most populous city in Colorado and the 158th most populous city in the United States. The Census Bureau estimates that the city's population was 161,175 in 2015, the population of the Fort Collins-Loveland Metropolitan Statistical Area was 310,487 (151st most populous MSA), and the population of the Front Range Urban Corridor was 4,495,181.

As of the census[24] of 2000, there were 118,652 people, 45,882 households, and 25,785 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,549.3 people per square mile (984.4/km2). There were 47,755 housing units at an average density of 1,026.0 per square mile (396.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.4% White, 3.01% Black or African American, 0.60% Native American, 2.48% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 3.61% from other races, and 2.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.79% of the population.

There were 45,882 households, out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.8% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.5% under the age of 18, 22.1% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $64,459, and the median income for a family was $110,332. Males had a median income of $60,856 versus $48,385 for females. The per capita income for the city was $32,133. About 5.5% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

Major industries and commercial activity

Fort Collins' economy has a mix of manufacturing and service-related businesses. Fort Collins manufacturing includes Woodward Governor, Anheuser-Busch, and Otterbox. Many high-tech companies have relocated to Fort Collins because of the resources of Colorado State University and its research facilities. Hewlett Packard, Intel, AMD, Broadcom, Beckman Coulter, National Semiconductor, LSI, Microsoft, Rubicon Water and Pelco all have offices in Fort Collins. Other industries include clean energy, bioscience, and agri-tech businesses.

According to the city's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[25] the top employers are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Colorado State University 7,829
2 Poudre R-1 School District 4,394
3 Poudre Valley Hospital (UCHealth) 4,288
4 City of Fort Collins 1,992
5 Larimer County 1,855
6 Broadcom Inc. 1,244
7 Woodward, Inc. 1,201
8 Employment Solutions 868
9 Otter Products, LLC 826
10 Colorado Department of Agriculture 789

Regional economic development partners include the City of Fort Collins Economic Health Office, Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation, Small Business Development Center, and Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative (RMI2).

Retail

The city's major shopping mall is The Shops at Foothills.

Sustainability programs

FortZED was a zero energy district encompassing the Downtown area of Fort Collins and the main campus of Colorado State University.[26] The district's public-private partnerships employed smart grid and renewable energy technologies to manage the local use and supply of energy. FortZED relied upon energy demand management techniques to encourage use of energy at the most efficient times.

Federal, state, and local funding made the project a reality. The U.S. Department of Energy contributed $6.3 million and the Colorado Department of Local Affairs provided $778,000. Locally, private companies and foundations committed nearly $8 million.

The program ended in 2017 after a majority of its projects had been completed.[27]

Arts and culture

The 2004 Colorado Brewers Festival in Fort Collins
Fort Collins historic district

Much of Fort Collins's culture is centered around the students of Colorado State University. The city provides school year residences for its large college-age population; there is a local music circuit which is influenced by the college town atmosphere and is home to a number of well known microbreweries. The Downtown Business Association hosts a number of small and large festivals each year in the historic Downtown district, including Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest in late summer, which features local cuisine, music, and businesses. The Fort Collins Lincoln Center is home to the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra and regularly attracts national touring companies of Broadway plays.

Brewing and cycling figure in local culture. The Colorado Brewer's Festival is held in late June annually in Fort Collins. The festival features beers from as many as 45 brewers from the state of Colorado and averages around 30,000 attendees. New Belgium Brewing Company hosts the Tour de Fat which draws over 20,000 people riding bikes and dressing in costume.

The Colorado Marathon is a yearly event running down the Poudre Canyon and finishing in downtown Fort Collins. The FORTitude 10K run, a partner running event of the Bolder Boulder, is held on Labor Day each year. The Horsetooth Half Marathon has been a fixture of the local running scene since 1973.[28]

The Fort Collins Museum, established in 1941, is a regional center focusing on the culture and history of Fort Collins and the surrounding area. The Fort Collins Museum houses over 30,000 artifacts and features temporary and permanent exhibits, on-going educational programs and events, and is home to four historic structures located in the outdoor Heritage Courtyard.

The arts are represented by The Center for Fine Art Photography, University Center for the Arts, Fort Collins Museum of Art (FCMOA), the Arts Incubator of the Rockies (AIR), and the Bas Bleu Theatre Company.

Parks and recreation

The Gardens on Spring Creek is an 18-acre (7.3 ha) botanical garden. The site includes several themed gardens ranging from a children's garden to a rock garden, to several themed demonstration gardens.[29]

There are also many parks in Fort Collins including community parks and neighborhood parks, totaling 875 acres (354 ha) of developed park areas.As of the census[24] of 2000, there were 118,652 people, 45,882 households, and 25,785 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,549.3 people per square mile (984.4/km2). There were 47,755 housing units at an average density of 1,026.0 per square mile (396.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.4% White, 3.01% Black or African American, 0.60% Native American, 2.48% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 3.61% from other races, and 2.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.79% of the population.

There were 45,882 households, out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.9% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.8% were non-families. 26.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 5.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 21.5% under the age of 18, 22.1% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $64,459, and the median income for a family was $110,332. Males had a median income of $60,856 versus $48,385 for females. The per capita income for the city was $32,133. About 5.5% of families and 14.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 5.8% of those age 65 or over.

Fort Collins' economy has a mix of manufacturing and service-related businesses. Fort Collins manufacturing includes Woodward Governor, Anheuser-Busch, and Otterbox. Many high-tech companies have relocated to Fort Collins because of the resources of Colorado State University and its research facilities. Hewlett Packard, Intel, AMD, Broadcom, Beckman Coulter, National Semiconductor, LSI, Microsoft, Rubicon Water and Pelco all have offices in Fort Collins. Other industries include clean energy, bioscience, and agri-tech businesses.

According to the city's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[25] the top employers are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Colorado State University 7,829
2 Poudre R-1 School District 4,394
3 Poudre Valley Hospital ([25] the top employers are:

Regional economic development partners include the City of Fort Collins Economic Health Office, Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation, Small Business Development Center, and Rocky Mountain Innovation Initiative (RMI2).

Retail

The city's major shopping mall is The Shops at Foothills.

Sustainability programs

FortZED was a zero energy district encompassing the Downtown area of Fort Collins and the main campus of Colorado State University.[26] The district's public-private partnerships employed smart grid and renewable energy technologies to manage the local use and supply of energy. FortZED relied upon energy demand management techniques to encourage use of energy at the most efficient times.

Federal, state,

The city's major shopping mall is The Shops at Foothills.

Sustainability programs

Fort Collins's downtown streets form a grid with Interstate 25 running north and south on the east side of the city. Many of the streets are named after the town's founders.[44] U.S. Highway 287The city's former general aviation airport, known as Fort Collins Downtown Airport (3V5), opened in 1966 and closed in 2006.[43]

Fort Collins's downtown streets form a grid with Interstate 25 running north and south on the east side of the city. Many of the streets are named after the town's founders.[44] U.S. Highway 287 becomes College Avenue inside the city and is the busiest street; It runs north and south, effectively bisecting the city, and serving as the east–west meridian, while Mountain Avenue is the north–south. SH 14 runs concurrent with US 287 at the northern city limit to Jefferson Street, running southeast along Jefferson (later turning into Riverside Avenue), then turning east onto Mulberry Street where it goes east out of the city after an interchange with Interstate 25.

Transit and taxi

Parcel service for Fort Collins is provided by FedEx, Airport Express, DHL, Burlington Air Express, UPS, and Purolator. Fort Collins has two-day rail freight access to the West Coast or the East Coast and has eight motor freight carriers. Many local industrial sites have rail freight spur service. The city is served by Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads.

Facilities

  • NIST time signal transmitters WWV and WWVB are near the city[57

    Fort Collins is known along with Marceline, Missouri as one of the towns that inspired the design of Main Street, U.S.A. inside the main entrance of the many "Disneyland"-style parks run by The Walt Disney Company around the world.[61]

    Fort Collins was the setting of the infamous balloon boy hoax of October 15, 2009.[62]

    Acclaim

    • In 2006, Money ranked Fort Collins as the best place to live in America.[63]
    • In 2011, Allstate Insurance listed Fort Collins as "America's Safest Driving City" in their annual "Best Drivers Report".[64]
    • In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS Money Watch.[65]
    • In 2015, Fort Collins ranked No. 10 on Forbes' list of the Best Places for Business and Careers.[66]
    • In 2017, Fort Collins ranked No. 4 on Forbes' list of the 25 Happiest Cities in America.[67]

    See also

    References

    1. ^ "Colorado Municipal Incorporations". State of Colorado, Department of Personnel & Administration, Colorado State Archives. December 1, 2004. Archived from the original on December 2, 2010. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
    2. ^ a b "Active Colorado Municipalities". State of Colorado, Department of Local Affairs. Archived from the original on December 12, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
    3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
    4. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
    5. ^ a b c "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved May 21, 2020.balloon boy hoax of October 15, 2009.[62]