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Old 02-17-2012, 03:27 PM
32 posts, read 38,580 times
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My family and I are in the process of relocating to Colorado. We visited Colorado this past fall and really liked what we saw. We are trying to decide between Fort Collins/Loveland and Colorado Springs, but are leaning towards FC/Loveland and have a few questions.

Does Fort Collins have a small town feel once you are living there? We are moving from a small town of 40,000 people where everyone knows everyone, you see people you know almost every time you go out to eat, everyone knows everyone's business, etc. There is also a 'good-ol-boy' feel to our town. We want to somewhat get away from this, but don't necessarily want the traffic/crime/etc. that comes with living in a larger city like Denver.

I have seen people on this website use the phrase "Stepford" to describe parts of FC...are there any parts that are more this way than others? We want to live in a nice, safe city as we have 2 small children, but we still want a somewhat rural feel to the overall area and we are excited about the outdoors opportunities close to FC (fishing, camping, biking, hiking), so an overall Stepford feel isn't what we are looking for.

We tend to be fiscally conservative and socially moderate; how would you describe the area? I have done a search, but have found mixed opinions on the political landscape. We tend to be "live and let live."

We have just started looking at housing and will be looking for houses in the $300k range on .25 - .5 acres. Basically, we want a little bit of space between our neighbors house and would like to either be close to the foothills or have a view of the mountains. Can you recommend some specific parts of FC that would fit this?

How often do you find yourself driving to Denver for things you can't find or do in the FC area?

Any feedback is much appreciated.

Last edited by hiapr; 02-17-2012 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:07 PM
Location: Northern Colorado
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Aside from the occasional trip to Denver to fly out of the airport, we may go to Denver 6-8 times a year. These Denver trips are usually to see a Rockies baseball game, Broadway productioon, or for a weekend getaway more than for something we don't have in Fort Collins. The Denver Zoo, natural history museum, amusement park, water park, or aquarium are some of the things we don't have in Fort Collins.

Fort Collins is large enough that you are not likely to run into people you know all of the time and that other people will not always know what you are doing. I moved away for a few years and when I came back 15 years ago, I was surprised at how few people I ran into around town that I knew.

Older parts of town will give you the larger lots with more space between the homes. Newer subdivisions tend to have smaller lots. The views of the mountains in Fort Collins are not that great. East of I-25 there are some pretty neat views, but then you are pretty far from the mountain fun. The mountain views are actually better in Loveland, and even better in Colorado Springs. Mountain access is pretty quick from anywhere west of College Avenue. Remember that the closer you live to the foothills, the longer it takes to get across town and access the freeway and Denver.

You should be happy with the live and let live mentality in this area. The town has a pretty wide range of political affiliations.

Any neighborhood can be "Stepford"-like if the resident does not make an effort to meet the neighbors. A lot of the experiences depend on the person relating the experience.

Good luck in your search,
Mike Weber
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:02 PM
Location: Nutmeg State
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Mike's info is pretty spot. I do remember running into many friends randomly in old town, although this was not surprising since it is such a hub for the city (esp. the norther half).

FoCo is actually a fairly divided city, so if you come back make sure you check out the Northern and Southern halves. They are fairly different, with the southern half being almost exclusively new construction, and a little more of that "stepford" feeling your heard people discribe. The northern half is pretty different, it's more diverse (both housing and people-wise), and older/more established. To me it always kind of felt like the bottom half of the city was a suburb, and the northern half was the real meat of the stand alone city.

There are a lot of things to do in FoCo, but it definitely isn't a metro. like Denver, so you will go there occasionally. If you really are into outdoor activities (like you say you are), you probably won't have to go to Denver that often because you're finding other things to do locally. A lot of previous complaints on this site came from people, who weren't really into outdoor things, and found FoCo kind of boring (it is not a huge city, so don't expect it to entertain you 24/7). That said, there is a great indie theater in town, a few decent theater groups, the Lincoln center, which draws great national speakers and acts, okay shopping, okay restaurants (I think they are better than most on this site give the city credit for), and great city parks and rec centers, a few small museums, CSU sports, and minor league hockey.
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