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Fort Collins: Economy

Fort Collins: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Fort Collins' economy has been described as well-balanced, with a good mix of manufacturing and service-related businesses. Local business leaders claim that the city's economy is insulated from some of the ups and downs in the regional and the national economies by the "highly sophisticated and rapidly advancing technological progress" of the city's industries. Fort Collins has a strong manufacturing base; it is home to such firms as Hewlett Packard, WaterPik, Woodward, In-Situ, and Anheuser-Busch. The city has been experiencing low unemployment rates and a steady increase in household incomes, increasing purchasing power that can only further stimulate the local economy. A variety of high-tech companies have relocated to Fort Collins because of the resources of Colorado State University and its research facilities. New housing construction has added to the city's economic growth.

Items and goods produced: pharmaceuticals, electronic components and accessories, aircraft and parts, scientific instruments, measuring and controlling instruments, radio and TV equipment, industrial chemicals, engines, turbines, communications equipment

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

The city of Fort Collins has established an economic development policy that allows the rebate of use taxes paid by qualifying firms on qualifying equipment. On a case-by-case basis, the county will consider negotiating financial incentives, giving up to a 50 percent credit towards a company's personal property tax liability for up to four years. In 2004, the community created the Fort Collins Technology Incubator, acquiring 6,500 square feet of office space and transforming the 7 year old Fort Collins' "Virtual Incubator" into an incubator with walls. The technology incubator is a cluster of programs designed to nurture startup businesses. Incubator companies receive discounted business services from top-notch community resources, advisory groups, Colorado State University resources, and strategic planning counseling as well as idea sharing amongst other entrepreneurs.

The Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation supports existing employers and recruits new employers to the region. It assists local companies to grow and expand and, in partnership with Colorado State University, encourages technology transfer to nurture local start-up companies. Fort Collins can negotiate with new business facilities an incentive payment equal to not more than the amount of the increase in property tax liability over pre-enterprise zone levels; and a refund of local sales taxes on purchases of equipment, machinery, machine tools, or supplies used in the taxpayer's business in the Enterprise Zone.

State programs

Colorado's Enterprise Zone tax benefits offer incentives for private enterprise to expand and for new businesses to locate in economically distressed areas of the state. They include a three percent investment tax credit for equipment investment, a $500 job tax credit for hiring new employees in an enterprise zone, double job tax credits for agricultural processing, a $200 job tax credit for employer health insurance, research and development tax credits, credits for the rehabilitation of vacant buildings, and exemptions from state sales and use tax on the purchase of manufacturing and mining equipment.

Job training programs

The Colorado FIRST customized job training program assists employers in training new or current workers in permanent, non-seasonal jobs and custom designs job-specific training programs. FIRST provides financial assistance to eligible businesses for direct training costs including instructor wages, travel, and per diem allowances; development of curriculum and instruction materials; cost of essential training supplies, equipment and space; and training at the employer's location or at local community college or vocational schools. Employers who carry out a qualified job training program for their enterprise zone employees, or who participate in a school-to-work program with a local school, may be able to claim an income tax credit of 10 percent of their eligible training "investment." Front Range Community College and Colorado State University provide excellent employee training resources. Larimer County Employment and Training/Colorado Job Service offers comprehensive, coordinated employment and training services.

Development Projects

In 2004 In-Situ, Inc. a producer of environmental monitoring information and systems, chose Fort Collins as its headquarters and built a state-of-the-art office/manufacturing and multi-media training facility. In-Situ regularly introduces new water market innovations for patent and does business in more than 70 countries.

Economic Development Information: Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation, 2725 Rocky Mountain Avenue #410, Loveland, CO 80538; telephone (970)667-0905; fax (970)669-4680; email mfoley@ncedc.com

Commercial Shipping

Parcel service for Fort Collins is provided by Federal Express, Airport Express, Airborne, Burlington Air Express, Emery, United Parcel Service, Pony Express, 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 the Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Fort Collins' labor force has been described as young, well-educated, and energetic. Studies have indicated that many of the graduates of Colorado State University stay in the city.

Fort Collins exhibits outstanding economic stability. In a 2002 report on the economic strength of U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSA), POLICOM Corporation ranked Fort Collins-Loveland as the eighth strongest economy in the nation. Economic strength is a combination of both the rate and consistency of growth, and the information is obtained by examining 25 years of data in 18 different categories in the economy.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Fort Collins-Loveland labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of non-agricultural labor force: 128,500

Number of workers employed in . . . construction and mining: 9,800

manufacturing: 14,700

trade, transportation and utilities: 21,800

information: 2,400

financial activities: 5,500

professional and business services: 14,200

educational and health services: 13,400

leisure and hospitality: 15,300

other services: 4,300

government: 27,000

Average hourly wage of production workers employed in manufacturing: $16.13

Unemployment rate: 5.0% (December 2004)

Largest county employers Number of employees
Colorado State University 6,948
Poudre School District 3,732
Hewlett Packard 3,000
Poudre Valley Health System 2,814
Agilent Technologies 2,800
Thompson School District 2,000
City of Fort Collins 1,400
Larimer County 1,394
McKee Medical Center 950
Advanced Energy 800

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Fort Collins metropolitan area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $213,900 (Greeley metro)

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 91.7 (Greeley metro) (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: 4.63%

State sales tax rate: 2.9%

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 3%

Property tax rate: The residential assessment rate for 2003-2004 is 7.96% of actual value based on market values as of June 30, 2002; reappraised every two years

Economic Information: Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation, 2725 Rocky Mountain Avenue #410, Loveland, CO 80538; telephone (970)667-0905; fax (970)669-4680; email mfoley@ncedc.com.

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Fort Collins: Recreation

Fort Collins: Recreation

Sightseeing

"Soapstone" Natural Area was acquired by the city in 2004. Covering more than 16,000 square miles, the area is known as an important archaeological site and is admired for its varied terrain. "Soapstone" will receive an official name and be open to the public in 2009.

More than 40 historic sites can be visited in the Fort Collins Area, and 26 of them are listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Tours of Avery House, a restored Victorian residence built by one of the city's prominent citizens, are offered year round. Visitors may also tour the two-story Strauss Cabin, which was built in 1864 by George Strauss and modeled after structures found in South Carolina. The Old Federal Building is a 1912 structure that housed the post office on its main floor for 60 years. The 1881 Spruce Hall on the campus of Colorado State University is the oldest complete building still standing on the campus. Ammons Hall, also on the campus, is a 1922 Italian Renaissance building that is still being used a women's physical education facility. Many other sites worth observing are on the Historic Buildings map available through the Fort Collins Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Beer enthusiasts and those merely curious will enjoy touring the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, which includes a visit with the famous Clydesdale horses and a trip to the sampling room. Several micro-breweries in town invite visitors to enjoy their variety of offerings. A metal menagerie of mythical and real creatures are on view at farmer/sculptor Bill Swets' dairy farm, known as the Swetsville Zoo. The zoo also has a miniature live steam railroad train and a display of antique farming equipment. Young and old enjoy hopping a ride aboard the Fort Collins Municipal Railway streetcar, which runs May to September, weather permitting.

Arts and Culture

The premier facility for the performing arts in Fort Collins is Lincoln Center, with its 1,180-seat performance hall, two theaters, and four exhibit galleries. The center hosts nearly 1,750 events each year, among them an annual season of Broadway shows, dance, and musical events. OpenStage Theater Company, a regional professional theater group, stages its seasons in the facility's 220-seat Mini-Theater. Based on the tradition of eighteenth-century salons, the 48-seat Bas Bleu Theater provides an intimate setting for poetry, plays, and musical performances. Good food and theater can be combined at the Carousel Dinner Theater, which presents dramas, comedies, and popular musicals. Colorado State University presents six plays each year at the school's Johnson Hall. Other theater groups in the city include the Debut Theater Company, Fort Collins Children's Theater, the Front Range Chamber Players, and OpenStage Theater. A variety of dance performances is offered by the Canyon Concert Ballet and Dance Connection. Several performing halls are located at Colorado State University.

Musical experiences in the city come in many forms, featuring such groups as the Larimer Chorale, Opera Fort Collins, and the Fort Collins Symphony. The primary visual arts center of the city is the PowerPlant Visual Arts Center, located in a renovated power plant. The Fort Collins Museum highlights the area's past, including a display of pre-Columbian Folsom points discovered at a major archaeological site in northern Larimer County. Other displays range from those of the Plains Indians to Fort Collins' beginnings as a trade and agricultural center. Experiences with hands-on science are available to youngsters at the Discovery Center Museum, with its opportunities for experimenting and testing scientific theories. Visitors can visit pioneer cabins and a one-room school house.

Festivals and Holidays

Fort Collins' festival season begins with its annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration downtown. The city's Hispanic community is honored at the Cinco De Mayo celebration, which features dancing, entertainment, and food. Patrons are invited to tap kegs of beer at June's Colorado Brewers' Festival downtown. Fireworks light the sky at City Park's annual Fourth of July Celebration. On Skookum Day, also in July, Fort Collins' history is re-enacted with demonstrations of blacksmithing, milking, quilting, branding, and weaving. August is enlivened by the Larimer County Fair, and by the New West Fest, featuring more than 300 booths, events, performances, evening concerts, and children's activities.

The city celebrates the harvest during Oktoberfest, and the holiday season is launched with Lincoln Center's Great Christmas Hall, with its juried art exhibit, homemade crafts, and decorated trees. In December, festivities include carolers and Christmas celebrations in Old Town, and the New Year is welcomed in with a community-wide celebration for the whole family called First Night.

Sports for the Spectator

Colorado State University students engage in a variety of sports competitions throughout the year. The CSU Rams are represented by both male and female teams in a variety of sports, including football, basketball, cross country, golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleball, and water polo.

Sports for the Participant

Fort Collins is home to a variety of walking, running, and bicycling events and tournaments. The Cache La Poudre River provides some of the finest fishing in the state. The city has more than 75 miles of designated bikeways through many natural areas in the city. Duffers may choose from six golf courses within the city limits. Lory State Park offers 2,400 acres for horseback riding, boating, hiking, and picnicking. The Edora Pool and Ice Center and Mulberry Pool feature swimming and exercise programs, as well as youth and adult hockey and public ice skating. The young or young at heart will enjoy skateboarding at Northside Azatlan Community Center, Edora Skateboard Park, and Fossil Creek Skateboard. In winter, Lory State Park's trails and rolling hills attract cross country skiers; tubing and sledding are also popular. Several renowned Colorado mountain ski resorts are within a few hours of Fort Collins. Rocky Mountain National Park offers scenic drives and hikes and is only one hour's drive away.

Shopping and Dining

Shopping in Fort Collins can involve browsing antique stores and flea markets or seeing the latest fashions at one of its major malls, such as Foothills Mall, The Square Shopping Center, or University Mall. At Historic Old Town, restored buildings filled with specialty shops, galleries, boutiques, and outdoor cafes beckon the visitor.

Visitor Information: Fort Collins Convention and Visitors Bureau, 3745 East Prospect Rd. #200, Fort Collins, CO 80525; toll-free (800)274-FORT; telephone (970)491-3388; fax (970)491-3389; email information@ftcollins.com

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Fort Collins: Education and Research

Fort Collins: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Poudre School District is led by a seven-member Board of Education committed to actively recruiting administrators and teachers displaying high standards of excellence. The school district is the second largest employer in Fort Collins.

The following is a summary of data regarding Poudre School District #1 as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 24,891

Number of facilities elementary schools: 27

junior high/middle schools: 9

senior high schools: 4

other: 3 charter schools, 3 special program elementary schools, 1 alternative high school, 1 alternative junior high school, multiple early childhood and alternative secondary programs

Student/teacher ratio: 17:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $30,030

maximum: $70,839

Funding per pupil: $7,299

Public Schools Information: Support Services, Poudre School District, 2407 La Porte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Colleges and Universities

Colorado State University (CSU), with 24,700 students, is a land-grant institution that consists of 8 colleges and more than 150 programs of study. Founded in 1870, its campuses cover 5,612 acres in Larimer County, including the main campus, a foothills campus, an agricultural campus, and the Pingree Park mountain campus, which is the summer campus for natural resources education. CSU offers eight major degree programs including agricultural sciences, applied human sciences, liberal arts, business, engineering, natural resources, veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences, and natural sciences. CSU also offers a unique major called equine science in which prospective veterinarians or those pursing a career in equine production learn about the behavior, nutrition, management, reproductive management, disease management, and the training of horses. Front Range Community College (FRCC), the largest community college in Colorado with more than 23,000 students, grants associates degrees in arts, science, general studies, and applied science. The college offers 12 high school vocational programs, and more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The Larimer Campus of FRCC offers 175,000 square feet of space on 47 acres in Fort Collins as well as partnerships with Colorado State University, Poudre Valley Hospital, McKee Medical Center, Columbine Health Systems, Village Homes' Observatory Village, Microsoft, and Oracle.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Fort Collins Public Library was established in 1900, the sixth pubic library in the state. The library maintains the Gates Computer Learning Lab and, in partnership with Front Range Community College, the Harmony Library and Harmony Library Electronic Learning Center. The library also participates in innovative cooperative projects with the local school district and Colorado State University. The library holds nearly 400,000 items and has a special local history archive.

Wildlife is the focus of the special library at the Colorado Division of Wildlife, which has nearly 9,000 books. Special collections of the Colorado State University Library include agriculture, agricultural economics, biomedical science, engineering, hydrology, and natural resources.

Fort Collins has a great range of research institutes covering a myriad of subjects. Facilities are maintained by the Centers for Disease Control Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, the Colorado Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, the Colorado Water Resource Research Institute, and the Cooper Institute for Research in the Atmosphere. The Rocky Mountain Research Station conducts research on experimental forests, ranges, and water-sheds, and oversees research on more than 200 natural areas.

Colorado State University has a variety of research groups focusing on subjects such as animal reproduction, biotechnology, engineering, environmental toxicology, irrigation management, microscopy, nutrition, hydraulics, manufacturing, marrow transplantation, vehicle emissions, and solar energy.

Public Library Information: Fort Collins Public Library, 201 Peterson St., Fort Collins, CO 80524-2990; telephone (970)221-6742; fax (970)221-6687 (circulation)

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Fort Collins: History

Fort Collins: History

Travelers crossing the country on the Overland Trail often stopped at Camp Collins, which was established on the Cache La Poudre River in 1862. The camp was named for Colonel W. O. Collins, a commander of the eleventh Ohio Cavalry at Fort Laramie, Wyoming. The fort was built to protect the important trading post from attacks by native Americans. In 1864 a community grew around the fort and became a center of trading, shipping, and manufacturing. Fort Collins was incorporated in 1869.

As farmers settled in the outlying areas, other settlers began moving to the new town, where they opened stores, livery stables, and other businesses. The first buildings of the state agricultural college, located in Fort Collins by vote of the state legislature, were erected in the 1870s. By that time the town boasted a post office, a general store, a rooming house, a mill, and its first school house.

During the first half of the 1870s the town population began to dwindle due to the failure of the town's first bank, a grasshopper infiltration, and business problems. The economy was given a boost by the arrival of the Colorado Central Railroad later in the decade. Soon after, the development of irrigation canals brought water to the area, greatly expanding farming options. Barley, wheat, and oat growing were especially successful, as were the cultivation of sugar beets and alfalfa.

The 1880s saw the construction of a number of elegant homes and commercial buildings. Beet tops proved to be excellent and abundant food for local sheep, and by the early 1900s the area was being referred to as "Lamb feeding capital of the world." In 1903 the Great Western sugar processing plant was built in the city.

Fort Collins gained a reputation as a very conservative city in the twentieth century, with prohibition of alcoholic beverages being retained from the late 1890s until 1969. Although the city was affected by the Great Depression, it nevertheless experienced slow and steady growth throughout the early part of the twentieth century. During the middle of the century the population of the city doubled, and an era of economic prosperity occurred. Old buildings were razed to make way for new, modern structures. By the 1960s, though, citizens had formed a group to preserve and restore the older buildings that add such beauty and character to the city. The Fort Collins Historical Society was formed in 1974 to encourage the preservation of historic buildings and documents, and to provide educational opportunities for people to learn about the city's past.

Today's Fort Collins offers a rich mix of history with the cultural interest of a university town and an attractiveness to new, higher-tech businesses; add to that the plethora of outdoor activities and beauty offered in and around the city. When in 2003 Men's Journal magazine was choosing America's best places to live, it looked for cities with small town familiarity, outdoor activities, cultural amenities, and active lifestyle. Fort Collins fit the description admirably.

Historical Information: Fort Collins Public Library, Local History Collection, 201 Peterson Street, Fort Collins, CO 80524; telephone (970)221-6688

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Fort Collins: Population Profile

Fort Collins: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 149,184

1990: 186,136

2000: 251,494

Percent change, 19902000: 35.1%

U.S. rank in 1990: 166th

U.S. rank in 2000: 142nd

City Residents

1980: 64,092

1990: 87,491

2000: 118,652

2003 estimate: 125,740

Percent change, 19902000: 33.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 301st

U.S. rank in 1990: 240th (state rank: 7th)

U.S. rank in 2000: 206th (state rank: 5th)

Density: 2,549.3 people per square mile (in 2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 106,347

Black or African American: 1,213

American Indian and Alaska Native: 715

Asian: 2,948

Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander: 143

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 10,402

Other: 4,281

Percent of residents born in state: 36.2% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 7,001

Population 5 to 9 years old: 7,047

Population 10 to 14 years old: 7,317

Population 15 to 19 years old: 11,305

Population 20 to 24 years old: 19,036

Population 25 to 29 years old: 20,107

Population 35 to 44 years old: 17,285

Population 45 to 54 years old: 13,855

Population 55 to 59 years old: 3,783

Population 60 to 64 years old: 2,586

Population 65 to 74 years old: 4,544

Population 75 to 84 years old: 3,412

Population 85 years and over: 1,374

Median age: 28.2 years (2000)

Births (2003, Larimer County)

Total number: 3,500

Deaths (2003, Larimer County)

Total number: 1,545 (of which, 23 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $22,133

Median household income: $44,459

Total households: 45,882

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 3,903

$10,000 to $14,999: 2,814

$15,000 to $24,999: 5,877

$25,000 to $34,999: 5,438

$35,000 to $49,999: 7,409

$50,000 to $74,999: 9,031

$75,000 to $99,999: 5,614

$100,000 to $149,999: 3,826

$150,000 to $199,999: 997

$200,000 or more: 860

Percent of families below poverty level: 5.5% (46.1% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 5,371

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Fort Collins: Communications

Fort Collins: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The Fort Collins Coloradoan, which appears Monday through Sunday mornings, is the city's daily paper.

The Fort Collins Weekly serves Larimer and Weld Counties. The bimonthly Northern Colorado Business Report, reports on the growing business market in Northern Colorado with an increasing emphasis on high-tech and e-business.

Television and Radio

No television stations broadcast from Fort Collins, but service is available from surrounding communities. Two AM, six FM, and the CSU student-run radio stations serve the city with a variety of programming including public radio, news/talk, adult contemporary, and alternative music formats.

Media Information: The Fort Collins Coloradoan, PO Box 1577, Fort Collins, CO 80524; telephone (970)493-6397

Fort Collins Online

City of Fort Collins Home Page. Available fcgov.com

Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, Labor Market Information. Available www.coworkforce.com

Coloradoan Available www.coloradoan.com

Fort Collins Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available www.ftcollins.com

Fort Collins Public Library. Available fcgov.com/library

Larimer County. Available www.co.larimer.co.us

Northern Colorado Economic Development Corporation. Available www.ncedc.com

Selected Bibliography

Fleming, Barbara Allbrandt, Fort Collins, A Pictorial History (Virginia Beach, VA: Donning, 1992)

Fort Collins Friends of the Library, comp. Talking About Fort Collins: Selections from Oral Histories (Fort Collins: City of Fort Collins, 1992)

Horan, Bob, Colorado Front Range Bouldering: Fort Collins (Evergreen, Colo.: Chockstone Press, 1995)

Swanson, Evadine Burris, Fort Collins Yesterdays (Fort Collins: G & H Morgan, 1993)

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Fort Collins

Fort Collins

Fort Collins: Introduction
Fort Collins: Geography and Climate
Fort Collins: History
Fort Collins: Population Profile
Fort Collins: Municipal Government
Fort Collins: Economy
Fort Collins: Education and Research
Fort Collins: Health Care
Fort Collins: Recreation
Fort Collins: Convention Facilities
Fort Collins: Transportation
Fort Collins: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1862 (incorporated 1869)

Head Official: Mayor Doug Hutchinson (R) (since 2005)

City Population

1980: 64,092

1990: 87,491

2000: 118,652

2003 estimate: 125,740

Percent change, 19902000: 33.5%

U.S. rank in 1990: 230th (State rank: 7th)

U.S. rank in 2000: 206th (State rank: 5th)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 149,184

1990: 186,136 (MSA)

2000: 251,494 (MSA)

Percent change, 19902000: 35.1%

U.S. rank in 1990: 166th

U.S. rank in 2000: 142nd

Area: 47 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 5,003 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 47.9° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 15 inches of rain; 55 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: services, trade, government, manufacturing

Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (December 2004)

Per Capita Income: $22,133 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 5,371

Major Colleges and Universities: Colorado State University, Front Range Community College

Daily Newspaper: Fort Collins Coloradoan

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Fort Collins: Convention Facilities

Fort Collins: Convention Facilities

Fort Collins has nearly 2,000 hotel rooms, ranging from budget rooms to luxury suites. Colorado State University, in the heart of Fort Collins, has 50,000 square feet of convention facilities at its Lory Students Center. The center can accommodate meetings, receptions, and banquets for up to 1,100 people. Other convention facilities include 10 auditoriums with accommodations for up to 400 in the Clark Building, a total of 4,400 beds in the residence halls, dining facilities in each residence hall, and an arena that seats 6,000. Lory's main ballroom has 12,728 square feet of space. The Pingree Park Conference Center offers seven meeting rooms, two dorms and seven cabins on its 1,200 acre campus. Campus lodging is available late May through mid-August.

The Holiday Inn at University Park, with 259 rooms, offers nearly 20,000 square feet of convention space that can accommodate 1,300 people for a banquet. There are several facilities around the city that can handle small group meetings.

Convention Information: Fort Collins Convention and Visitors Bureau, 3745 East Prospect Rd. #200, Fort Collins, CO 80525; telephone 1-800-274-FORT, (970)491-3388; fax (970)491-3389; email information@fortcollins.com

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Fort Collins: Health Care

Fort Collins: Health Care

By virtue of the broad scope of medical services available, Fort Collins has become a regional health center. Poudre Valley Hospital has 295 beds, 19 surgical suites, and 23 critical care patient rooms; it is home to a regional heart center, a regional neurosciences center that cares for victims of head and back injury, stroke, spinal cord and nervous system diseases, and a regional orthopedic program. The hospital also offers a surgery center, oncology unit, regional wound care center, a 24-hour emergency department, adult and adolescent psychiatric programs, and a breast diagnostic center. The hospital has a birthing center and Level II nursery, and offers an off-site comprehensive homecare program, home infusion therapy, and comprehensive rehabilitation programs. Poudre Valley Health System added a new ambulatory care center and medical office building (the Harmony Campus) and a mental health and substance abuse facility (Mountain Crest Behavioral Health Center) on the south side of Fort Collins in the spring of 2000 and broke ground on a cardiac and trauma care center (Medical Center of Rockies) in nearby Loveland in March 2004.

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Fort Collins: Transportation

Fort Collins: Transportation

Approaching the City

Allegiant Air offers airplane service into Fort Collins/Loveland Airport. Denver International Airport, which is 25 miles to the south, is served by nearly 20 airlines. Fort Collins can be approached from Denver by car via Interstate25. Greyhound offers bus service into the city.

Traveling in the City

Fort Collins' downtown streets form a grid with Interstate 25 running north and south on the east side of the city. U.S. Highway 287 runs east and west in the northwest sector of the city. Transfort, Fort Collins' local bus transportation system, provides 16 routes and operates daily. Alternative transportation is encouraged in the city; bicycle commuters benefit from city incentives and excellent bike paths through town. Maps for a walking tour of the historic downtown district can be obtained from the Downtown Business Association.

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Fort Collins: Geography and Climate

Fort Collins: Geography and Climate

Located at the western base of the "Front Range" of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins is about 65 miles north of Denver and 45 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The city lies along the banks of the Cache La Poudre River, and the Great Plains lie to the east.

Fort Collins lies in a semi-arid region and experiences four seasons. The city has 300 days per year with sunshine, and the average summer high temperature is 85 degrees. Annual snowfall averages 55 inches, and the snow generally melts within a few days.

Area: 47 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 5,003 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 57.2° F; July, 71.2° F; average annual temperature, 47.9° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 15 inches of rain; 55 inches of snow

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Fort Collins

Fort Collins, city (1990 pop. 87,758), seat of Larimer co., N Colo., on the Cache la Poudre River, at the foot of the Rocky Mts., inc. as a city 1883. The area was settled in 1864 around a fortification built to protect a strategic trading post; the city itself was named for the military commander there. Fort Collins is a trading, shipping, and processing center of a rich agricultural area that produces grain and sugar beets. Lamb and other livestock are also raised. Diversified manufacturing adds to the economy, and tourism is important. Colorado State Univ. is in Fort Collins. Nearby are the Roosevelt National Forest, Rocky Mountain National Park, and several dams of the Colorado–Big Thompson project.

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Fort Collins: Introduction

Fort Collins: Introduction

Fort Collins is located on the Cache la Poudre River at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. The city's clean water and clean air make for a healthy environment. Fort Collins boasts a very active cultural scene, which is enhanced by events offered at Colorado State University. The surrounding countryside has breathtaking cliffs, clear skies, and beautiful lakes and waterfallsnature at its best. The city consistently appears on lists of the best places to live in the United States, and in May 2003 it was chosen as one of America's best places to live by Men's Journal magazine.

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Fort Collins: Municipal Government

Fort Collins: Municipal Government

Fort Collins has a mayor-council form of government with six council persons who serve four-year terms, and a mayor who serves a two-year term.

Head Official: Mayor Doug Hutchinson (R) (since 2005)

Total Number of City Employees: 1,400 (2004)

City Information: City of Fort Collins, 300 LaPorte Avenue, PO Box 580, Fort Collins, CO 80522-0580; telephone (970)221-6500

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