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Old 04-14-2008, 07:21 AM
 
48 posts, read 224,262 times
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Hi,

I will be getting ready to retire in a few years and have narrowed my search down to Ft Collins and Colorado Springs (80920) district. If you had a choice which areas would you rather live in and why? I like to be outside and have a dog. My concerns are safety, a place for my dog to play, good medical care for both of us and access to organic stores (e,g, whole foods). Ability to pick up a part time job. All input is appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 04-14-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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I know Fort Collins has all you are looking for. I am also in law enforcement and Fort Collins is a safe area. We have our trouble makers here just like any other city but our crime rate is low for the size of our city. There are many dog parks and walking trails all over the city and it is close to places like Rocky Mountain National Park. As far as the medical care, you would be surrounded by great hospitals and Dr. There are three hospitals to choose from. We also have several organic stores. Many people will tell you that it is hard to find a good job here, but a part-time job for a retiree will not be a problem. It is more the high tech jobs that Fort Collins is lacking. I can not tell you much about the Springs except when I have been there it did not feel as upkept as Fort Collins is, but that is just my opinion. As far as crime rate goes I would say the Springs is higher than Fort Collins. You could probably confirm that by looking at the crime stats on this web site. I will say though that I have relatives that live there and they seem to like it.
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,351 posts, read 114,815,470 times
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My daughter has been doing a physical therapy clinical experience in COS. She lives in Denver, grew up in Louisville. She likes the proximity to hiking and such that COS affords, compared to Denver or even Louisville. It is much closer to the mtns. COS has a reputation as a right-wing religion center. My relatives there who are in real estate talk about people praying over their decisions, etc.

I don't know about Whole Foods, I would imagine they have a store in the Srpings. I think you could pick up a PT job in either town.
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:24 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 12,497,379 times
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Yes, there is a whole foods store in both Fort Collins (College and Prospect, University Mall area), and in Colorado Springs on North Academy. Both towns also have a Wild Oats and a Vitamin Cottage too. Fort Collins also offers Sunflower Market. I think Fort Collins has a co-op in Old Town and I believe there is something similar in Manitou Springs.

As for medical facilities: Fort Collins has a decent hospital, PVH, and there are several new medical facilities about 10 miles south in Loveland. Colorado Springs has a number of Hospitals, including a large new Medical facility on Woodmen and Powers.

Cost of Living will slightly favor Colorado Springs, which has always had lower cost of living than the Denver area and points north. However, salaries in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins both are notoriously low and jobs are notoriously scarce in both cases, compared to the Denver/Boulder area particularly. Financially, I think most people are better off economically in more expensive Denver than either of those two options, but of course you may be able to bring your work with you, or already have work in Colorado Springs or Fort Collins.

Colorado Springs has great views and access to the hiking and the mountains. It's simply the best the Front Range has to offer in that department, except for the fact that there are no large ski resorts nearby (those are all west of Denver). I think the only other towns on the Front Range that comes close in terms of views and access is Boulder or Golden. Boulder, I think, makes good use of what they have, and has some better facilities than Colorado Springs, but Colorado Springs has a view of Pike's Peak from virtually anywhere in town, has great rugged topography in town, plus being right up against the mountains; as much or more than Boulder. Fort Collins, like the Denver area, is convenient to the foothills, but not as close and the views are not nearly as spectacular. The terrain in town is flat in Fort Collins, meaning that to experience the mountains you're going to have to drive west of town.

Mountains aside, Fort Collins offers, I think, a better in-town experience than Colorado Springs. Both towns have experienced growth and are going through growing pains, but I think Fort Collins has maintained more of a sense of place than Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs is really running into some "big city" problems of gangs, drugs, and crime in areas that it has not experienced in the past, but of course doesn't have the amenities of a big city like Denver nor does it have lots of years of experience in dealing with such problems. It's experiencing a rough transition. Fort Collins does have a few of those problems as well, but in a much lesser degree. In Fort Collins, there's scarcely any part of town that could be considered ghetto or dangerous, that's not true of Colorado Springs. Of course, about 75% of Colorado Springs is perfectly fine, I should mention, but that would be true of about 98% of Fort Collins.

Another thing about Fort Collins is CSU versus UCCS/CC. While UCCS is a decent option to study, as is CC, Fort Collins really benefits from having one of the largest state universities in the state -- it gives the town a cultural footprint that smaller UCCS and CC simply can't offer. It also means having undergraduates running all over town, but I think the energy that a major university provides to Fort Collins is valuable.

As for the comment of religious people in Colorado Springs, actually I found Fort Collins fairly religious as well, at least among the family set. Colorado Springs is unusually conservative for a city its size (as you'd expect in a town with no less than five major military facilities), particularly as you move out of the town's historic core in central and western Springs and Manitou Springs. The northern "suburban" part of town is known for being particularly Republican, although to be fair, it's no more a Republican Stronghold than the south Denver suburbs are. It is true that the town has a number of churches and religious organizations that have clustered together, but I personally understand that the religious angle is overstated somewhat, particularly by the Denver media. If you're a political liberal, you may be unhappy, and should probably stick to the liberal pockets of Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City, but other than that I think the religious angle is overplayed. Fort Collins, for its part, is hardly liberal (except for the CSU community, of course), but it is probably a bit more moderate politically than the Springs, so I think both conservatives and liberals could be happy there.

So, I think that both are good options, like most things it kind of depends on what you're looking for. The main disadvantage that both towns suffer from is that they have more limited economies that the Denver area, which means fewer jobs and lower salaries. You may find that jobs may lead you away from both and into the Denver area.
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,351 posts, read 114,815,470 times
Reputation: 35920
The OP is looking for a place to retire and work at a part-time job. S/he is not looking to work full time or go to school. I really think the health/medical facilities are better in COS than Ft. Collins. For one thing, COS is considerably larger, and size is important in health care. Of course, both cities are close to Denver, the "mecca" of health care facilities in CO.

I said COS has a reputation as a right-wing religious center. Focus on the Family is headquartered there. The Christian schools are surrounded by portable classrooms, showing great demand. I think it's something anyone considering the city should know. My relatives down there don't go to church at all, to the best of my knowledge. So one doesn't have to be relgious there, but the presence is all around you.

Ft. Collins had a brou-ha-ha (sp?) last December over allowable "holiday" decorations. The city comissioned a committee, chaired by a member of the ACLU, to write up a policy. There were to be no colored lights (apparently thought by some to be symbols of Christianity), or red bows or garland (ditto) on city property. The proposal was voted down by city council. So the atheist community has its voice there.
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:00 PM
 
423 posts, read 1,887,038 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
The OP is looking for a place to retire and work at a part-time job. S/he is not looking to work full time or go to school. I really think the health/medical facilities are better in COS than Ft. Collins. For one thing, COS is considerably larger, and size is important in health care. Of course, both cities are close to Denver, the "mecca" of health care facilities in CO.

I said COS has a reputation as a right-wing religious center. Focus on the Family is headquartered there. The Christian schools are surrounded by portable classrooms, showing great demand. I think it's something anyone considering the city should know. My relatives down there don't go to church at all, to the best of my knowledge. So one doesn't have to be relgious there, but the presence is all around you.

Ft. Collins had a brou-ha-ha (sp?) last December over allowable "holiday" decorations. The city comissioned a committee, chaired by a member of the ACLU, to write up a policy. There were to be no colored lights (apparently thought by some to be symbols of Christianity), or red bows or garland (ditto) on city property. The proposal was voted down by city council. So the atheist community has its voice there.
I would disagree on a couple of things. The first is the medical facilities. A level 2 trauma center/hospital was just built in Loveland that is state of the art. My wife sees the care that is provided in our area hospitals first hand everyday as she works in the medical field.

The second thing is the Christmas light story. Yes it was a big deal but the people in Fort Collins stepped up and fought the issue which is what convinced city counsel to vote against it. So the christians had a big say in stopping that even though the atheist community may have started the battle.
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,351 posts, read 114,815,470 times
Reputation: 35920
I for one am glad they didn't pass that nonsense. It showed the authors don't know much about Christianity, really. White lights, which they wanted exclusively, are actually a sign of Christianity. Our church has a tree with exclusively white lights. Red bows and garland are from the druids. But who knew?

I was just pointing out some contrasts between the two cities in re: religion.
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