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Overview

Introduction to Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins is a Colorado city nestled along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, about 64 miles north of the state capital of Denver and 55 miles northeast of the city of Boulder. The city is the county seat of Larimer County. Located at the junction of Colorado State Highway 14 and U.S. Route 287, Fort Collins affords easy access to Interstate I-25 and is also close to U.S. Route 34. One of Colorado's most populous cities, Fort Collins is also a large college town and home to Colorado State University (CSU).

As its name suggests, Fort Collins began as an army post whose original name was "Camp Collins" in honor of Lt. Col. William O. Collins, the commander of Ohio Cavalry troops headquartered at Fort Laramie. A devastating flood virtually destroyed the original army post in 1864 and the present location of the city was chosen as the site of the new military reservation. The new post became known as Fort Collins, and although the fort was decommissioned in 1867, a new town soon emerged. The town of Fort Collins was officially incorporated in 1873 and another significant milestone was achieved six years later with the opening of Colorado Agricultural College, which would later become Colorado State University. Originally founded as Colorado's only land grant institution, CSU has today become a focal point of Fort Collins' culture and recreation, in addition to the city's largest employer.

Things to do in Fort Collins

Events and festivals are abundant in Fort Collins. The Historic Old Town District is the host site of the annual New West Fest, held every August, and also June's Colorado Brewer's Festival which draws tens of thousands annually and features beers from dozens of Colorado brewers. The city has a vibrant performing arts scene, with local groups including the Canyon Concert Ballet, the OpenStage Theatre Company, and the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra. A prominent cultural arts site is the Lincoln Center, one of the state's largest venues for professional theatre, music, dance, and visual arts. Other cultural sites in the city include the Fort Collins Museum, founded in 1941; and the Sweatsville Zoo, a sculpture park whose numerous exhibits are made entirely from scrap metal.

The cities of Denver and Boulder are less than an hour away from Fort Collins. Some of the attractions that can be found in these cities include the following:

  • Denver Zoo
  • Colorado Academy of Art
  • Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research
  • Denver Museum of Nature and Science
  • Boulder History Museum
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Denver Aquarium
  • Chautauqua Park and Theatre (Boulder)
  • Flagstaff Mountain and Summit Nature Center

Fort Collins boasts a lively sports scene, thanks to the presence of Colorado State University and its first-rate athletic teams. Originally nicknamed the Aggies, CSU's athletic teams are presently called the Rams and compete as NCAA Division I teams (I-A for football) in the Mountain West Conference. Rams football teams have won several conference championships and CSU teams have been highly competitive in other sports as well, including lacrosse, hockey, archery, and polo.

Professional sports can be found in the Denver metropolitan area, home of MLB's Colorado Rockies, the NFL's Denver Broncos, the NBA's Denver Nuggets, and the NHL's Colorado Avalanche. Other pro teams in Denver are soccer's Colorado Rapids (MLS), arena football's Colorado Crush (AFL), and lacrosse's Colorado Mammoth (NLL).

People

Total Population 153,292
Male Share of the Population 49.9%
Female Share of the Population 50.1%
Senior Citizens 9.4%
Employed Population 16+ 80,373
Age of the Population 29

Families

% of people married 41.7%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 52.5%
Median Earnings25+ $37,765
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $17,821
Median Earnings With High School Degree $27,140

Wealth

Median Family Income $78,765
% Above Poverty Level 81.4%
% Below Poverty Level 18.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 20 minutes
% Working from Home 6.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 10.6%
% Using Public Transportation 1.9%

Housing

People Living Alone 25.4%
Median Gross Rent $1,077
Median House Value $265,900

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 22.2%
US/American 0.1%
English 11.8%
Irish 13.8%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Fort Collins Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 58 miles N of Denver, Colorado
County Larimer
Metro Area Fort Collins - Loveland
Standard Zip Codes 80521, 80524, 80525, 80526, 80528
P.O. Box Zip Codes 80522, 80527
Company Zip Codes 80523, 80553
Phone Area Codes 970
Time Zone Mountain (-7 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 40.585
Longitude -105.083

Fort Collins Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station FORT COLLINS
Distance 0.1 miles
Jan Temp 15 to 42 F
Apr Temp 34 to 61 F
Jul Temp 57 to 86 F
Oct Temp 35 to 64 F
Annual Precip 15.8 inches
Station WATERDALE
Distance 12.6 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 42 F
Apr Temp 32 to 61 F
Jul Temp 54 to 87 F
Oct Temp 34 to 65 F
Annual Precip 17 inches
Station ESTES PARK
Distance 25.2 miles
Jan Temp 18 to 39 F
Apr Temp 27 to 53 F
Jul Temp 47 to 79 F
Oct Temp 31 to 59 F
Annual Precip 13.9 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Loveland 71,755 $70,223
Nunn 524 $58,125
Severance 3,448 $90,250
Timnath 1,204 $82,083
Wellington 6,934 $76,939
Windsor 20,455 $92,258

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Fort Collins Public Libraries

Library
Fort Collins Public Library
201 PETERSON STREET
Fort Collins, Colorado
(970) 221-6740
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Fort Collins Hospitals

POUDRE VALLEY HOSPITAL
(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
1024 S LEMAY AVE
(970) 495-7000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Westminster
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  • Diploma in Pastry Arts
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Boulder
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Programs
  • Heavy Equipment Operations Level Two Program
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Oklahoma City
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Programs
  • Business Administration (BS)
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  • Business Management & Accounting (AAS)
  • Students are issued a new laptop at the beginning of their programs.
  • All online services and study materials are available 24/7, with faculty available five days a week.
  • All programs available online, with the MBA program offered on campus in Salt Lake City.
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Our family of non-profit colleges admits students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.

Fort Collins High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

POUDRE HIGH SCHOOL
201 IMPALA DRIVE
970-416-6011
Serves 1,871 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 19.8

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL
1300 WEST SWALLOW ROAD
970-416-7023
Serves 1,849 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.9

FORT COLLINS HIGH SCHOOL
3400 LAMBKIN WAY
970-416-8021
Serves 1,642 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20.4

RIDGEVIEW CLASSICAL CHARTER SCHOOLS
1800 SOUTH LEMAY AVENUE
970-494-4620
A Charter School.
Serves 612 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.7

PIONEER CHARTER SCHOOL
1125 WEST DRAKE SUITE B-2
970-224-3562
A Charter School.
Serves 210 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 14.3

CENTENNIAL HIGH SCHOOL
330 EAST LAUREL STREET
970-221-2920
A Non-traditional School
Serves 123 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 8.2

FRONTIER HIGH SCHOOL
1225 REDWOOD DRIVE
970-225-6110
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 92 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 8.8

POUDRE TRANSITION CENTER
220 NORTH GRANT
970-490-3113
A Non-traditional School
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 48 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.2

PEAK ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM
2551 HAMPSHIRE ROAD
970-407-9830
A Non-traditional School
Serves 29 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 7.4

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