Innovation is Brewing
Award-winning schools, exceptional outdoor amenities, a thriving arts scene and unique shops, restaurants and microbreweries frequently put Fort Collins at the top of “best places to live” lists. And the city’s business climate is just as strong. Collaboration between the private sector, Colorado State University and the city government drives innovation and economic growth – making it a desirable location for Fortune 500 companies and startups alike.
Major Industries & Employers
Known as a hub for innovation, research, and entrepreneurship, Fort Collins’ key industries include:
- Clean Energy
- Hardware & Software Technology
- Creative Industries
Quality of Life
Fort Collins features a historic and picturesque downtown, known by locals as Old Town, which served as the inspiration for Disneyland’s Main Street USA. Old Town offers an array of dining and shopping establishments, a bustling nightlife, a thriving arts scene and events such as concerts and festivals. Often dubbed “the Napa Valley of Colorado,” downtown Fort Collins is also home to nine award-winning breweries.
Fort Collins residents have active, healthy lifestyles due in part to the countless recreational options within reach. From nearby Rocky Mountain National Park and ski resorts, to Horsetooth Reservoir, to miles of trails, recreational paths, and all the parks and lakes in between, it is easy to see why Fort Collins residents are the most satisfied in the country.
Universities & Colleges
Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University, one of the premier research institutions in the nation, with annual research expenditures of more than $308 million. Access to the university is often the main reason many high-tech companies relocate to the city. Enrolling 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 150 programs, the university’s 583-acre main campus is located in central Fort Collins and often ranks among the greenest and most sustainable in the country. Eighty-nine percent of CSU graduates secure a job offer within 6 months of graduation.
Front Range Community College (FRCC) is a two-year college offering 27 associate degrees and 20 accredited programs at several campuses along the Front Range and in Northern Colorado. FRCC is the largest community college in Colorado. The main campus is in Fort Collins, and students enjoy ease of transfer into public four-year universities like Colorado State University.
Transfort provides affordable public bus transportation all over the city, and services include the MAX, the first rapid transit service in the Front Range. The MAX connects high activity and employment centers in the community from the South Transit Center to Midtown, CSU and downtown Fort Collins, and has a dedicated transit-only guideway. It is the largest infrastructure project in the community’s history.
The Fort Collins-Loveland Regional Airport serves an important role in providing private aircraft with easy access in and out of Northern Colorado.
Additionally, with more than 315 miles of bike routes and trails within city limits, biking is a primary means of transportation for many Fort Collins residents, and a form of recreation for most.
Nine federal labs and research facilities bolster innovation in Fort Collins:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Diseases (CDC-DVBD)
- Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA)
- Crops Research Laboratory (CRL)
- Department of the Interior North Central Climate Science Center (NC CSC)
- Natural Resources Research Center (NRRC)
- National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation
- Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service (ARS)
- U.S. Department of Agriculture – National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC)