Monday, July 14, 2008


For the second time in a week, Gov. Bill Ritter is cheering another national honor for Colorado, this time Money magazine's naming ofFort Collins as the second-best place to live in America.
"It's extremely rewarding to see this type of national recognition for Colorado and our communities," Gov. Ritter said. "Fort Collins is one of Colorado's priceless gems. As home to Colorado State University, innovative businesses and an overall high quality of life, Fort Collinstruly deserves this honor."
The annual ranking of America's small cities will appear in the August issue of Money, which hits news stands July 21. An online version of the report was posted today. Here's what Money has to say about the 129,400-population Fort Collins:
"One of the first things you notice about this Rocky Mountain city is that practically every new road has a bike lane. Even the wheelless can get in on the action now that Fort Collins has a bike library: Residents and visitors can check out a bicycle for up to seven days, free.
"The city's Old Town historic district contains four microbreweries and more than two dozen restaurants. Bioscience and tech companies, including Agilent Technologies, Hewlett-Packard and Kodak, keep employment opportunities high. Colorado State University occupies a scenic spot in the middle of town. And the city just received a grant from the Department of Energy to start a solar-energy project downtown."
The magazine also cited award-winning health care at Poudre Valley Health System, high-quality public schools and a number of other amenities.
Highlands Ranch, population 102,600, finished 12th out of the top 100 cities ranked by Money. "Just 12 miles southeast of Denver, Highlands Ranch is a young unincorporated community – only 27 years old this year," the magazine wrote. "Though the area is still unincorporated – you might not find it on a map – community is strong here."
Cities with populations of 50,000 to 300,000 were rated on numerous factors, including income, housing prices, cost of living, economy, weather, crime, traffic, schools, quality of life and more.
Money magazine's ranking follows last week's report by CNBC that named Colorado one of the Top States for Business in America, putting Colorado at No. 5. CNBC praised Colorado's New Energy Economy, the state's business friendly climate and overall quality of life.
Last month, the Milken Institute ranked Colorado No. 3 in the country for its strong technology sector, citing the state's highly educated workforce and high percentage of scientists and engineers.