I had the displeasure of living near Fort Collins, Colorado for all of my life, which wasn’t always the greatest experience. Unfortunately, this town has many, many shortcomings. It is my great dishonor to go over these with you and share the experiences I had while being in that area.
By putting together some polls on Instagram and Facebook, and researching what others thought, I have accumulated some information and opinions from the locals themselves! Take what you will from this article, but it may be helpful in learning where to live and what works best for you.
17. High Elevation
Getting accumulated to the high elevation can be extremely difficult for most people who either come to visit or are moving to the Front Range area.
At almost a mile above sea level, the air is extremely thin and can be hard to breathe. Something called “altitude sickness” settles in quickly and you become lightheaded, queasy, and more prone to either pass out or throw up or both.
The best way to assuage this is to drink plenty of water and not take gulping breaths when readjusting to higher altitudes.
Of course, the farther up into the mountains you go the worse it will be. Simply take care to adjust and take things slow and enjoy the scenery.
16. Painfully Dry Climate
Colorado is practically a desert in every way.
Though it may look slightly more lush closer to the mountains, it turns brown in the blink of an eye. The west has zero humidity, which means there is no moisture trying to plump your skin. If you’re coming from the east, you’ll begin to feel a tightness in your skin after you wash your hands or shower.
Water-based moisturizers are great for trying to prevent the skin on your face from cracking and bleeding. Make sure to constantly have lotion on hand, it is vital to the survival of your hands.
15. Bipolar Weather
Speaking of being dry, the weather is about as bipolar as it gets.
If you’re worried about the blizzard occurring on Wednesday, don’t worry, it will be sunny and sixty degrees on Thursday. In the blink of an eye, you could be wearing shorts in January.
The weather apps are extremely unreliable in Colorado and don’t really mean anything. You don’t want to plan something too far in advance outdoors if you’re worried about what the weather will be like.
A highway can divide the weather just as easily as an argument. There are not necessarily seasons in Colorado, you never know exactly what you’re going to get or what to expect from day to day.
14. Stubborn Sports Fans
If you lived in any other state and fully uphold their titles, you don’t anymore. People in Colorado are extremely passionate about their sports teams.
Whether it’s the Broncos, the Avalanche hockey team, CSU Rams, or the Rockies baseball team, you support all of those teams now.
No matter how good or bad, which they are sometimes more of the latter than the former, they are. Natives are incredibly loyal and passionate about their sports, so try your best not to step on anyone’s toes.
13. Bull Testicles? A Revered Dish?
Apparently, Rocky Mountain Oysters don’t involve anything remotely near the ocean. I learned that one the hard way. Not entirely a family-friendly dish, but that is what Colorado is best known for.
Deep-fried bull testicles are served in a plastic food cradle. It is certainly something to try when visiting Colorado for the first time. There aren’t many exquisite restaurants or cuisine in Fort Collins, it’s all relatively simple when it comes to eating out.
In my experience, Fort Collins doesn’t have a lot to offer in the way of affordable restaurants, but rather simple foods such as Chipotle or Olive Garden.
There aren’t many people trying new things or branching out to make new things in Fort Collins just yet.
12. Everyone is Extremely Outdoorsy
If you have an extreme fear of the sun or don’t really enjoy exercising, Fort Collins probably isn’t the place for you.
Everyone here loves to hike and bike as much as they love Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Because it sits at the base of the Rockies, there are dozens upon dozens of trails available for locals and tourists to hike all day long. Some are free and some aren’t, it just depends if they are closer to a reserve or not.
Fort Collins is constantly growing, so driving can be an ordeal; most people enjoy walking or biking and enjoying the relatively balmy weather practically year-round.
Most people on the Front Range are either out hiking or skiing.
There are dozens of resorts, either in Keystone, Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, and so many, many more. It is what Colorado is known for and we pride ourselves on that apparently.
11. Locals Not Always the Kindest
It’s as if the locals can sense an intruder as soon as they enter the borders of their great state.
It’s easy to want to move to a new place that holds many adventures, but locals don’t always enjoy people who move into the suburbs or downtown of Fort Collins. You’ll stick out like a sore thumb if you don’t enjoy hiking, skiing, going to the local breweries, or attending music festivals downtown.
Being an adventurist is all part of living in Colorado and making new friends.
10. Tourist Trap
Because this city is can be so beautiful and alluring, sitting right beneath the Rocky Mountains, it becomes a type of tourist trap for those who are lured in by the breweries and expensive attractions.
There are plenty of places that cost a great deal of money to attend if you’re a large family looking to visit someplace beautiful. Skiing is extremely expensive and any resort is just as costly.
Hiking the trails is relatively free, and can be a lot of fun if you’re not looking to spend any money and enjoy the strange weather that comes with Colorado because it is ever-changing.
However, more often than not it’s a little costly to go to places in town. Because most of the edges of Colorado are more rural, Fort Collins is a hub of activity and regulates its prices because of people’s desire to visit.
9. Far Too Many Microbreweries
It is certainly one thing to have new microbreweries pop up so that others can try new combinations, but Fort Collins and the outlining cities are overcrowded with the number of microbreweries popping up.
It’s understandable that others what to make their own way into the community, but it might be a little overdone now. There are over four hundred established breweries in Colorado alone.
In fact, here is a website with the list of all of the breweries in Fort Collins that you can attend if you’re looking for new brews to try if you’re planning on trying Fort Collins on for size.
8. Sad Homeless Situation
Unfortunately, the homeless situation in Fort Collins is ever-growing. There are currently more than five hundred people permanently displaced from their homes just in Fort Collins alone.
There are many soup kitchens and shelters in Fort Collins, which are constantly looking for more volunteers and money to help support those who can’t help themselves. Fort Collins is trying to tackle this issue but hasn’t been entirely successful in helping the less fortunate.
There’s a great word document that puts together the number of homeless and what is being done to help them.
7. Constantly Growing
Fort Collins is an attraction for many tourists, but most end up wanting to stay, which begins the process of over-crowded and over-populated areas. Fort Collins used to be a slow junction for people to come to and visit.
However, that is no longer the case, and Fort Collins is out-growing its own borders every second. The number of “cookie cutter” homes being built every few minutes is entirely outrageous.
Fort Collins, Denver, Loveland, and many of the Front Range cities have simply bled into each other and have become an enormous metropolitan area too big for its own britches.
6. D.I.A. is Ridiculously Busy
When your parents told you to be ready two hours before your plane took off, be prepared to be ready maybe four hours in advance on the weekdays at D.I.A.
It’s one of the largest airports in the United States and probably won’t stop growing for another decade. It’s getting checked in and going through security that will absolutely ruin your day.
Because Fort Collins is getting bigger, and so are the surrounding cities, D.I.A. is constantly under construction for some reason or another. Either they’re adding more terminals or expanding the baggage claim, D.I.A. is a mess of tarps and lean-tos.
You’ll want to arrive early simply because you don’t know if your floor is going to be available or if you’ll have to go up and down the floors to find the right terminal. It may never stop expanding and changing, but who knows.
5. Legalization of Marijuana
This one can go both ways for any individual, but for the sake of the argument, it definitely has its negatives.
Legalizing marijuana hasn’t necessarily been all bad, but it does pose some problems with driving and skipping work on April 20th.
Driving while impaired has not necessarily stopped, as in 2016 there were over seventy accidents caused by marijuana-impaired drivers. That number has gone up, of course, and many have been fatal over recent years.
No matter what your view is on legalization, it is important to be careful when using marijuana.
4. The Worst Drivers
Most people have driven across the country, and seen the varying levels of how well people can drive, but there is nothing compared to what Colorado has to offer in terrible drivers.
Colorado ranks fifteenth in the nation for some of the worst drivers, roadways, and fatalities. Unfortunately, this statistic keeps increasing because of the growing rate of the Front Range.
In personal experience, not many people use their blinkers, and will simply push you into another lane and cause an accident. Rush hour lasts from roughly three in the afternoon until well after seven.
Most people are incredibly impatient and drive fast.
You either adjust quickly or spend lots of money on tickets and fixing your car. Any time there is bad weather, no one appears to have an inkling as to what they are doing.
3. Fairly High Crime Rate
One in thirty-eight people will become a victim of crime in Fort Collins.
This town is actually rated high on the FBI’s list of cities that are not safe to live in. Out of most of the cities in Colorado, over 70% of Fort Collins is dangerous and experiences more crime than most other places in Colorado.
You will notice that lots of the homes and businesses have bars on their windows and cages on the doors because of this high rate of crime.
It’s better safe than sorry to not visit the poorer parts of Fort Collins, let alone live there.
2. Terrible Job Market
There are lots of jobs created constantly every year in Colorado; however, there are roughly 80,000 people moving to Colorado every year on average.
There are not enough jobs to keep up with the number of people moving in at such a high volume so quickly. The job market is not growing quickly enough in larger cities such as Fort Collins and Denver, where there should be lots of stable jobs available for permanent residents.
At 9.2%, it is well above the nation’s average and poses a threat to those wanting to move to the Front Range.
1. Outrageous Cost of Living
Overall, the average cost of living in Fort Collins is outrageous.
The average cost of a home is around $389,000! That is standard, usually two beds and one bath. The cost of food is over the nation’s average overall cost.
Transportation is close to the national average and is still expensive to go anywhere with the cost of gas averaging around $3.25 for unleaded. Eating out can be extremely expensive at any restaurant.
The influx of people has drastically increased the prices of everything in and around the Fort Collins area.
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