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Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

Mission Viejo, CA
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Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

I'd like to hear from locals what the goods and bads are about living in Fort Collins. My wife and I are planning to move to Colorado soon. I know Fort Collins doesn't have a great job market; I know it has a nice downtown with some good restaurants. What about crime? Politics? Activities? Boredom? Just curious to hear some honest opinions about the place.

Colorado
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1. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

I love Ft. Collins, it is primarily a college town with a great atmosphere. don't go there looking for cultural diversity though, it has very little. Crime is low, not so sure about politics, TONS of activities -especially outdoor. If you're into hiking, camping, rafting, or any other outdoor activities, Ft. Collins is close to all of them. They have a great downtown bar scene there, and the New Belgium Brewery, which is really fun.

Mission Viejo, CA
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2. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

Thanks for the reply, cologirl. We actually drove to Ft. Collins last week. We're trying it out for a month and if I can land a job here (or in Loveland/Longmont) we'll stay.

My first bit of advice from someone was: change your license plates as soon as possible. Apparently my fellow Californians use their huge equity to run up the real estate prices here. I left California (and my relatives) because it's impossible for me to buy a house there. My concern is if this anti-Californian streak is strong enough it will hurt my job prospects. If so then we'll move on to another state.

So far we like the weather, the open spaces and activities, and the good restaurants. We haven't been here long enough to really judge anything. I'm going to give it another month or so.

Colorado
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3. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

I know what you're talking about with the anti-california sentiments, and to be completely honest, I have been guilty of some negative feelings myself. You do not seem to have the "better than everyone here" attitude that many associate with California, I'm sure you'll do just fine out here.

Good luck finding a job, the desirability of the area and multitude of recent graduates willing to work for less can make it tough to find employment, but if you are qualified and patient, I'm sure something will come along. What industry are you in?

Mission Viejo, CA
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4. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

I'm a Systems Administrator in the IT industry. There's plenty of jobs like that in and around Boulder it seems. Not so many in Fort Collins but they do exist.

I'm not sure what created the typical southern California Barbie-doll Mom who drives the $50,000 SUV. I used to just laugh at them with mild annoyance but I imagine they really stick out here. Maybe if I had bought a house in California and watched it appreciate $10,000 a week for several years, I might act differently too. I certianly hope not. :)

One thing I've noticed in Colorado is that people keep to themselves more. I've even had locals even tell me as much. I'm not sure if that means they are not as friendly but that's the impression I get from people I've met at stores and such. Is it a cultural thing that has always been that way, or?

Colorado
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5. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

Unfortunately, the number of those jobs in that area has decreased quite a bit. I'd recommend checking out HP, both in Loveland and Ft. Collins, they're doing some massive layoffs, but I do know a few departments are hiring. Boulder is also a good place to check, but that can be quite the commute. Another place to check would be the hospitals, in Loveland, Greeley and Ft. Collins. I'll ask around, as I still have quite a few friends in the area, but from what we've been hearing lately, it is slim pickins.

Generally, if you're nice to people up there, they'll be nice to you. Get to know your neighbors, I'm sure you'll find some good people. There is a lot of animosity towards people from California and Texas in general, but once people get to know you as an individual and not part of a very large group, I'm sure you'll be fine.

Arvada, Colorado
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6. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

Maybe you should consider Longmont. My husband is in IT and works in Boulder and we live in s.w. Longmont.

In all honesty I've always felt that the people here are more polite and friendly than anywhere else. I notice it more when we travel else where. I get so used to strangers saying hello, opening doors and cars letting you cross the street. I've not really had the experience of thinking people keep to themselves.

northern Colorado
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7. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

We live in Fort Collins and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it here. There is a good political mix with the more liberal (in general) population living near the campus and Old Town than anywhere else. No doubt, FC is part of the reason CO is a "Red State" but I don't feel any animosity being deep blue myself.

If you like the outdoors and/or college sports, you won't be bored although February can be cold, dry, and bleak here... great time to go back and visit family!

As far as jobs... check out CSU. There aren't a lot, but you may stumble on to something.

http://www.colostate.edu

I agree that you should check out Longmont as well - closer to better job prospects.

Good luck!

San Diego
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8. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

Hi MRWUMPUS,

I see that the last post was in May and thought maybe you have had some time to come to an assessment on what you think of Ft. Collins. My husband and I are in the same boat as you when it comes to living in California. Our entire family is here as well which makes committing to moving hard. We own a home here, but kill ourselves affording. We have a 2 year old and a baby coming in December, and we really want to stop struggling to afford living here. We are looking for a great kid-friendly neighborhood with other young families, good schools and athletic programs. After the last few months of being in the area, I am interested to hear what you think.

Mission Viejo, CA
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9. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

Well, after two months of not finding work in Fort Collins, we returned to California. It was a good decision. We ended up missing family far more than we expected. Plus, only after leaving California did we learn to appreciate it more.

Fort Collins was very pretty, but we didn't find the people as welcoming as we expected. The city is suffering growing pains and there is some obvious resentment among the natives. In fact almost without exception the only openly warm and friendly people we met in two months there were transplants from other states, even other countries. I don't say this out of bitterness, but simply to share my and my wife's experience. I'm sure missing our family and friends magnified the feeling, but there is no denying it. The culture there is just different, though some of it was college town attitude which is totally understandable.

Nearby Louisville was quite nice if you can afford housing in the upper 300s, and tolerate the traffic to Boulder. It was much more what we were looking for and was recently rated as the top place to raise a family.

So now I'm back in California (got a job in two weeks) paying $1,575 for a two-bedroom apartment and barely getting by. Perhaps in three years or so we'll try to escape again.

Indianapolis...
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10. Re: Goods and bads of living in Fort Collins?

I lived there for two and a half years and didn't understand the allure. I much preferred Southwestern CO. Glad to hear you appreciated life in CA better after living in Ft. C.