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Old 04-15-2007, 04:40 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,168,811 times
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Yes, Samsavenger's detailed post is spot on.
I've picked on Boulder a bit in other threads, but not without reason: Sam's "trustafarian" is the right word for some of the hippie aristocracy in Boulder.
Rent is going to be a lot more expensive there.
I've lived in both places and much prefer Ft. Collins.
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,992 posts, read 98,847,978 times
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Default hoosierteacher

I have to disagree a bit with the Ft. Collins crowd. I do not know what Ft. Collins' "real economy" is; I think it is mostly CSU, and support for CSU. I know there are a few other businesses there, but even samsavenger is working in Boulder, instead of Ft. Collins, and probably not through choice. I think the main problem with traffic in Ft. Collins (and it is horrible on College Ave) is not the timing of the traffic lights, but too many cars. That is the problem with the traffic in Boulder, too. That said, it is true that people simply walk, or more dangerously, bike, in front of cars in Boudler. I have never seen that in Ft. Collins.

I have never lived in Ft. Collins, just visited. I don't really live in Boulder, either, but do live in Boulder County. Southern Bo. Co. in particular is pretty tied into Boulder, though less so than when we first came here in 1982. Boulder isn't really too happy that Louisville and Broomfield (now a separate coutny) have enough shopping, etc to sustain life w/o having to go to Boulder too much.

If you just want a mtn view, you can live almost anywhere along the Front Range. But if you're moving here for peace and quiet, and less stress, you need to think again. Every place has its stresses. There is a "keep up with the Joneses" mentality here about how much outdoor activites you are doing. I don't know if it's hard to find a home outside of Ft. Collins on a few acres. It would be impossible to find one with a few wooded acres outside of the mtns. I've been to Indiana and I know what you mean, but you won't find it in eastern Larimer County.
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Old 04-15-2007, 01:19 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,168,811 times
Reputation: 13176
Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
I have to disagree a bit with the Ft. Collins crowd. I do not know what Ft. Collins' "real economy" is; I think it is mostly CSU, and support for CSU.


If you just want a mtn view, you can live almost anywhere along the Front Range. But if you're moving here for peace and quiet, and less stress, you need to think again. Every place has its stresses. There is a "keep up with the Joneses" mentality here about how much outdoor activites you are doing.
Good points. Esp the "keeping up with the Joneses" thing.
I wonder if the brewery contributes at all to the local economy?
I guess it would just a bit, but not much. And there is Hewlett Packard.
When my kid was living in Ft Collins (he went to CSU) he drove to Windsor to work at a wineshop there.
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Old 04-15-2007, 06:40 PM
 
110 posts, read 433,666 times
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[quote=pittnurse70;580808]I have to disagree a bit with the Ft. Collins crowd. I do not know what Ft. Collins' "real economy" is; I think it is mostly CSU, and support for CSU. I know there are a few other businesses there, but even samsavenger is working in Boulder, instead of Ft. Collins, and probably not through choice.


I'm not sure what your point is that samsavenger is working in Boulder and probably not by choice. There are numerous reasons that people live in one town and work in another and it always has to do with some kind of choice.

CSU is the largest employer in Fort Collins but by no means the only large employer. Any city with 125,000 +/- provides for many jobs just to service that number of people. According to government statistics from the year 2003 over 58% of all employment in Fort Collins is made up of companies of 4 employees or less, so there is definitely many small business's in the town as well as the large companies.

That being said the largest employers and the number enployed include:

CSU-6,948
Poudre School District-3,732
Hewlett Packard-3,000
Poudre Valley Health-2,814
Agilent Technologies-2,800
City of Fort Collins-1,400
Larimer County-1,394
Advanced Energy-800
Mckee Medical Center-950

With a Feb. 2007 unemployment rate of just 3.8% with a balanced mix of large and small employers I think that the "real economy" of Fort Collins would be classified as strong by any standard.

One final comparison is the cost of living in Fort Collins is 6.7% above the national average and the cost of living in Boulder is 19.7% above the national average.

Boulder is in a pretty setting but Ft. Collins wins on most other accounts IMO.

Oh...one final point...I like the CSU homegrown working class football team that usually kicks the **** out of the highly recruited, much more heralded CU Buffs.

Go RAMS!!!!
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
115 posts, read 270,632 times
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Default Boulder vs. Ft. Collins

Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpshooter View Post
Boulder is more scenic and tends to have more to do, especially because of its proximity to denver and the mountains (it lies right up against them). Fort collins traffic is terrible. Fort collins isn't bad but isn't surronded by much except loveland which is a fair sized city. Boulder has a lot more cities surrounding it. Both are nice cities though but Boulder's has a few better qualities than FC.
Agreed - Boulder is prettier, nearer to larger mtns, much more to do. Housing is ridiculous, but you could possibly find something way north of Boulder, or near Longmont or in Lafayette or a few tons farther east. Ft. Collins has terrible traffic and a slightly wierd feeling to it, I don't know how to describe it. Glad to answer other questions.
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,992 posts, read 98,847,978 times
Reputation: 31412
Default Colometer

My point was if Ft. Collins had a "normal" economy, compared to Boulder, he would be working in Ft. Collins instead of driving 75 min each way to Boulder to work, and complaining about it.

Major employers in and near Boulder include: [36] [37]

University of Colorado (7,500)
IBM (4,500)
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (3,000 [38])
Level 3 Communications (2,500) [39]
National Institute of Standards and Technology and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (1,700 [40])
City of Boulder (1,600)
National Center for Atmospheric Research (1,100)
Tyco International, Tyco Healthcare Group, Valleylab division (1,000)
Amgen (750)
Lockheed Martin (450)
Celestial Seasonings (250)

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 04-15-2007 at 09:17 PM.. Reason: additional information
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Old 04-15-2007, 09:57 PM
 
942 posts, read 1,005,071 times
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Does Ft Collins have much in the way of bike or pedestrian type greenways around town, Is it a completely auto dependent type city, or does it have any walkable feel to it at all.
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Old 04-16-2007, 01:14 AM
 
16 posts, read 99,076 times
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I apologize for not having clarified further on the 'real economy' comment. What I meant was that the way in which people make money in Ft Collins is generally less dependent on aesthetics, tourism, etc in comparison to Boulder. If there were an economic depression, there would still be a demand for the majority of things that fort collins is focussed upon generating and consuming, while much of the industry in boulder would shrink dramatically. When faced with financial hardship, people will still drink beer, go to pubs, use computers, and require customer service for products... However they will no longer require colon hydrotherapy, reiki, overnight-shipped organic alfalfa sprouts from laos, zen meditation retreats, or the latest $300 hemp fiber hand-woven jeans. This is not exclusive though, Boulder does indeed share much of the solid tech, manufacturing, retail and education industry that fort collins does; IBM has a large campus outside of boulder afterall, and CU is a massive employer... it's mainly just that some people will pay big bucks to be in a 'cool, alternative' place like Boulder, and it's not necessarily for any other reason than that - that's really all I was saying.

As for working in boulder... My situation is an anomaly, it's under strange circumstances and it's somewhat temporary. I worked for a california based company in an obscure industry which had a facility in fort collins, they went bankrupt and closed up shop (through no fault of us in colorado :/), so a rival company based in boulder offered me a position.

It should however be noted that it is true that because of the higher cost of living in boulder, the jobs usually pay a bit more, but it seems roughly equivalent to housing, etc. Another aspect of employment in fort collins is that CSU generally attracts kids from around the state who are not exceptionally wealthy and therefore are more likely to work... whereas CU in boulder seems to attract kids from all across the country with families that can afford to pay exorbitant out of state tuition fees, and would never dream of expecting their kids to work to pay their way through college - This can sometimes mean that there are more entry level jobs in boulder. Boulders proximity to Denver also plays a part in the job availability... Many people in boulder seem to commute to denver and vise-versa. One other thing about boulder that should be noted is the 'bubble' effect... Because boulder is somewhat detached from the reality that the rest of the country shares, many eccentric people who live there grow an unbreakable affinity with it... It's been known for ex-professors and grad students to flip burgers at wendy's for a living in boulder simply because they do not want to leave and there is no work in their field of expertise.

I don't really want to participate in any sort of silly partisan fort collins/boulder rivalry... I simply want to give people a good idea of what most people seem to think of both places, seeing as that's what this thread is about, so let's stick to the topic.

As for the bike/pedestrian thing... Basically every street in fort collins has sidewalks, and basically no matter where you live, you're within 1/4 mile of a designated bike lane (special marked lanes on roads for cycle use only). Keep in mind that fort collins is geographically quite large, and you may find yourself commuting several miles within town. It's up to you if you want to bike that every day or not, and some people do... but most just drive. The two areas where you're most likely to find yourself working are old-town or the south side of town (usually harmony). Most major things in fort collins have a facility in both places, such as the library, bowling alley, medical offices, walmart, etc... lots of local restaurants and stores also mimic this.

The south side of fort collins is not very walkable at all, very auto-centric, but it can still easily be navigated on foot or bike... Old town is really the only part of fort collins that's really geared specifically for pedestrian use - cars come second there. Most of linden st is a pedestrian plaza, and it acts as a central point for that whole downtown area which is very pleasant to walk around. Most of the pubs are located in this part of town, as are the art galleries, book stores, coffee shops, a couple of the breweries, and lots of neat little places. A little further south in old town theres more of a college vibe... particularly at laurel+college and the streets around there... Lots of cheap grubbin' food, hookah bars, 24hr coffee joints, head shops... you know the deal. Once you get below prospect, the city kinda loses character and is much more sprawly... which generally = car oriented.

Another nice thing about fort collins (and most small colorado cities actually... including boulder) are the multi-use paved trails around city. Fort collins has an extensive system of great parks and open space areas which the trails wind through. The spring creek trail goes roughly east/west through the middle of fort collins for several miles, and for most of it you'd have no idea you were in a city. The poudre river trail is also really nice. The trails avoid the roads using tunnels or bridges, and connect some of the cities parks through the open space areas. There's a brand new bike/pedestrian transport corridor on mason st that bisects the town north/south right next to S. College.

Here's a detailed map of all the bike trails and multi-use paths in the city (PDF WARNING): http://www.fcgov.com/bicycling/pdf/bike_map_9_14_05.pdf

Fort collins is no new york city, so don't sell your car just yet. We could have a lot more in the way of public transport and stuff... but for right now, I think it's pretty good.

Hope that helped.
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Old 04-16-2007, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,992 posts, read 98,847,978 times
Reputation: 31412
Quote:
samsavenger;583854]I apologize for not having clarified further on the 'real economy' comment. What I meant was that the way in which people make money in Ft Collins is generally less dependent on aesthetics, tourism, etc in comparison to Boulder. If there were an economic depression, there would still be a demand for the majority of things that fort collins is focussed upon generating and consuming, while much of the industry in boulder would shrink dramatically. When faced with financial hardship, people will still drink beer, go to pubs, use computers, and require customer service for products... However they will no longer require colon hydrotherapy, reiki, overnight-shipped organic alfalfa sprouts from laos, zen meditation retreats, or the latest $300 hemp fiber hand-woven jeans. This is not exclusive though, Boulder does indeed share much of the solid tech, manufacturing, retail and education industry that fort collins does; IBM has a large campus outside of boulder afterall, and CU is a massive employer... it's mainly just that some people will pay big bucks to be in a 'cool, alternative' place like Boulder, and it's not necessarily for any other reason than that - that's really all I was saying.
I agree with the above. However, I do think most people in Boulder (who work) earn their money the "old fashioned" way, that is working to produce goods such as computer equipment or deliver services such as education, health care, computers, etc.


Quote:
Many people in boulder seem to commute to denver and vise-versa.
This is true. In fact, one of the main differences between Boulder and Ft. C is that Boulder is acutally part of metro Denver, although a lot of people in Bldr don't like to acknowledge that.

Quote:
One other thing about boulder that should be noted is the 'bubble' effect... Because boulder is somewhat detached from the reality that the rest of the country shares, many eccentric people who live there grow an unbreakable affinity with it... It's been known for ex-professors and grad students to flip burgers at wendy's for a living in boulder simply because they do not want to leave and there is no work in their field of expertise.
This is true of many college towns. It is probably even true of Ft. Collins.

Quote:
I don't really want to participate in any sort of silly partisan fort collins/boulder rivalry... I simply want to give people a good idea of what most people seem to think of both places, seeing as that's what this thread is about, so let's stick to the topic.
Neither do I. I have stated what I think the main difference is. I have never attended either college, so I don't have a good grip on the cultures of each. My younger daughter will be going to CU-Boulder next year, and she will be expected to work. My nephew went there and worked as well. Most of the people I know who go to CSU work.
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Old 04-16-2007, 07:53 PM
 
16 posts, read 99,076 times
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You're right... The majority of the people in Boulder are really nice and usually pretty down to earth, and their occupations/lives reflect that. It's just that these people - while still a majority at this present time - seem to be moving to likeminded places with lower housing prices (such as ft collins), and are being replaced by tie-dye millionaires with all kinds of ideas about how the 'new world' should work.

The fantastic thing about the majority of the front range area, is that it's full of open-minded, liberated, free-thinking individuals already (of course there are some exceptions, but that adds to the diversity of the place)... They don't need to be bought and imported here with hip boutiques, renovated victorian mansions and 'alternative' sandwich shops. When people talk about the 'liberal elite' in Boulder, it's not because they're flag sucking conservative ignoramuses who want cheney to run in '08 and hate anything that isn't fed to them by fox news... It's generally because they identify with the values that are now being traded as a commodity by a new class of people in boulder who've taken up the aesthetic with no substance underneath and have no time for anything 'less'.

All in all, boulder seems like a great place to 'find yourself', and there are plenty of unshowered individuals with dreadlocks to help you along the way, maybe even give you a foot massage in return for a hit of acid every so often if that's your thing... Ft Collins on the other hand is a great place if you already know who you are and what you want, and just want a great place to live, study and work. Two towns for two totally different purposes.
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