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Fort Collins Facts


Old Town
  • Fort Collins was founded as a military fort in 1864 and referred to as "Camp Collins." The post was given the name in honor of Lt. Col. William 0. Collins, the popular commander of Ohio Cavalry troops whose headquarters were at Fort Laramie. Fort Collins was incorporated as a town in 1873.
  • Fort Collins is a home rule city with a Council/Manager form of government. The Council is made up of six district council members who are elected on a non-partisan basis for a four-year term and a Mayor who is elected at-large on a non-partisan basis for a two-year term.
  • This rapidly urbanizing community operates under a sophisticated and comprehensive development plan and is a full-service city.
  • Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University and an outstanding public school system.


Mountain Ave to Old Town
  • Fort Collins is nestled against the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and alongside the banks of the Cache La Poudre River.
  • The city lies approximately 5,000 feet above sea level.
  • Residents enjoy a moderate, four season climate with an average of 300 days of sunshine and 14.5 inches of precipitation a year.
  • July is the average warmest month (Avg. High 86°F - Avg. Low 57°F)
  • January is the average coolest month (Avg. High 42°F - Avg. Low 14°F)

Finances (Updated June 2013)

  • Fort Collins’ unemployment rate is 6.3 (December 2011, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • The City/State/County has a combined sales tax rate of 7.35 percent on general merchandise.
  • The City’s property tax rate is 9.797 mills.
  • The City’s biennial budget was accepted in November 2012.

General Population Characteristics

  • Fort Collins encompasses 55.83 square miles (2013) of area and has a total of 556 street miles (2013).
  • The current estimated number of housing units in Fort Collins is 61,728 (2013).
  • Fort Collins has a population of 151,330 (2013).
  • The average annual population growth rate is 1.6 percent (2013).
  • Median age is 29.1 years old, based on a five-year average (American Community Survey, 2007-2011).
  • Median household income is $51,446 (American Community Survey, 2007-2011).
  • Median family income is $74,313 (American Community Survey, 2007-2011).
  • Approximately 51.5% of the population has completed four or more years of college (American Community Survey, 2007-2011).

Services and Amenities

Museum of Discovery

Museum of Discovery

  • The City maintains more than 600 acres of parks, 40,000 acres of natural areas, 20 miles of off-street hike/ bike trails, three golf courses, a racquet center, three swimming pools, an ice rink and a community center.
  • Fort Collins supports multiple transportation options including 21 bus routes and 280+ miles of wide bike lanes, and 30+ miles of paved trails for pedestrians and bicycles.
  • The Lincoln Center is the City’s cultural arts center. Activities include professional theatre, dance, music, visual arts and children’s programs.
  • The Fort Collins Senior Center includes a pool, spa, gymnasium, track, billiards, crafts and a community media center/library.
  • The community library system ( includes the Main Public Library, Council Tree Library and the Harmony Library, a join-use facility shared with Front Range Community College. The public libraries provide youth programs, computer labs and resources and information for Spanish-speaking citizens.
  • The new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery will focus on creating meaningful opportunities for people of all ages to learn, reflect and have fun through hands-on and collections based experiences in science and culture.
  • Fort Collins provides electric and water utilities to residents. It has the second largest electric system in Colorado, with electric rates ranking the sixth lowest in the state and among the lowest in the nation. Fort Collins Utilities was also first in Colorado and among the first in the country to offer green energy to its customers. Fort Collins continually meets or surpasses all state and federal water quality standards.
  • The Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport is jointly owned by the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland. With over 1,100 acres and roughly 300 aircraft, the airport serves the private a corporate aviation needs of the Northern Front Range, as well as charter flights and flights for area collegiate football teams.