Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.
-Anonymous, Fort Collins, Colorado
The Best Thing About Fort Collins?
Water, water everywhere
Fort Collins offers a great climate for skiers, but boaters, paddle boarders and other water aficionados will love the Poudre River, the Horsetooth Reservoir and the many lakes sprinkled around town. Sure, there will be snow -- and plenty of it -- but that’s the case everywhere in Colorado. Fort Collins has the snow and water.
Point of view from a local on living here:
Fort Collins is definitely switching over to a more family-oriented area rather than the type of recreation-focused college town where you get people who have like two masters degrees tending bar because they want the time to mountain bike or raft or rock climb.
Mostly I think this is simply due to the cost of living here. It's gone up to the point that you need to be further along in your career to really afford to live here and enjoy it, especially if you want to own a home and/or have no roommates.
The reasons to live in Fort Collins would be that you want all the things you mentioned, but want to live in a more suburban environment, with more of the amenities of a city nearby as well as an actual big city not too far away.
The Worst Thing About Fort Collins?
Can get too hectic
As the home of Colorado State University, Fort Collins can get kind of loud. The school has a reputation as a party school, and that coupled with an increase in the city’s permanent population, gives it a more bustling, big city feel that represents a change for some residents. Still, CSU brings diversity, culture and energy to the city, and adds to its unique charm.
Here's how a local feels about living here:
Housing and Employment are still very tight and challenging. I think the Wikipedia article on Fort Collins lists the "big employers". If you work for them you can find some long term stability, but Fort Collins just doesn't have the same employment scene as a Denver or San Fran,etc (perhaps obviously). There's a pretty big valley still between blue-collar working service-jobs and white-collar Gov or big industry jobs.
Lifestyle of Fort Collins
Fort Collins is a great place to live. Many people work at the university or tech companies, who are just starting to put their stakes in the ground in Fort Collins. There’s plenty of green space, great city parks and fun places to shop like the boutique-filled Old Town. The cost of living is decent, and the politics tend toward the independent. Families will enjoy Huntington Hills and City Park, while younger people will like the area around the university.
Check out the calender of events to get a better sense of everything happening in Fort Collins: https://www.visitftcollins.com/events/
Why You Should Move Here Now?
Fort Collins is booming
Fort Collins is growing faster than the state of Colorado itself, at a rate of about 2% per year, partially due to an influx of tech companies. That means more jobs and more cash, and more money directed into the city coffers to go toward growth and improvements. It’s an exciting time.