“Welcome To Fort Collins!”

This Relocation Guide was designed to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about Fort Collins. The information was compiled carefully; however, should it not provide adequate information for your relocation decision, please contact me for additional assistance.


Welcome To Fort Collins
Fort Collins Today
Did You Know . . . ?
Geography and Climate
High Altitude Cooking
Housing Overview
Apartment Selection
Colorado State University
Day Care and Preschools
Helping Children with a Move
Motor Vehicle Registration
Driver’s License
Voter Qualification and Registration
Law Enforcement
Miscellaneous Laws

Major Local and Area Employers
Cultural Activities & Points of Interest
Knowledge & Cultural Preservation
Things To Do For Teens
Medical Facilities
Senior Services
Hotels and Restaurants


tanderfcmap2.gif (15350 bytes)Fort Collins is a unique community. It is a place where sophisticated technology and research evolve, yet the spirit of the West can still be found. It is a community where residents care about one another. Each year well over a million dollars are raised for the United Way to fund local private service entities.

Fort Collins is a community that has a strong working relationship between the University and the City; a relationship that is crucial in order for Fort Collins to maintain an environment necessary for good business and good living.

The people of Fort Collins are committed to preserving our city’s beauty and economic stability for generations to come. It is a city-wide goal to keep Fort Collins a prime living location.

A sense of involvement thrives throughout our city. Everyone, whether a newcomer or not, has equal opportunity to participate in making Fort Collins all that it can be. We invite you to come and experience our city, enjoy our state, meet the people, and share in our wonderful natural resources.


The story of Fort Collins begins in the early winter of 1836, when a party of French trappers, proceeding northward along the Rocky Mountain foothills, found it necessary to lighten their load before pushing through a heavy snowstorm.

Planning to reclaim this part of the cargo later, they buried the excess supplies, principally gun powder. As the French words for “hide” and “powder” are “cache” and “poudre,” this spot, and later the nearby river and fertile valley, received the name “Cache la Poudre.” Antoine Janis, a young lad of twelve in the trapping party, returned eight years later to establish his frontier home near the present town of LaPorte.

The river could easily be crossed at LaPorte and, by 1862, it had become an important station on the Overland Stage route as well as a strategic trading post. An army camp was established and, in 1864, the campsite was named Camp Collins after Lieutenant Colonel William O. Collins of Fort Laramie. After a spring flood, they re-established their camp on higher ground and renamed it Fort Collins. The military fort was abandoned in March 1867, but the community remained and prospered. Fort Collins became the county seat of Larimer County and was incorporated in 1873.

Stories of gold and silver finds were reported regularly in the 1860s and 1870s, but even the legitimate finds failed to pan out as commercial ventures. Instead, Fort Collins built its economy around sandstone, granite, marble, and by the turn of the century, agriculture. In 1910, the first sugar beet factory was established and became instrumental in stimulating the growth of the whole county. Today, Fort Collins continues to be a steadily-growing city on the front range with a wide diversity of economic and social interests.


Fort Collins is surrounded by beautiful scenic views, an enjoyable climate and friendly people. Fort Collins is located along the banks of the Cache La Poudre River, the foothills to the west and the grasslands to the east.

Fort Collins’ nickname is “The Choice City.” It’s not only a choice location, but it gives plenty of choices for those seeking an active lifestyle. The Choice City generally has 300 days of full or partial sunshine a year. Winters are moderately cold and dry, with average January temperatures around 28 degrees. Summer temperatures are moderate and the low humidity keeps July and August averages in the mid-80 range. The summer nights usually bring soft breezes which make for easier sleeping. Despite the added sunshine and nice weather, Fort Collins growing season is approximately 150 days. Gardeners have from late April to late September to get their produce planted and harvested.

Fort Collins’ windy season is during March through May. Gusts average 15 mph and, in extreme conditions, can be as high as 120 mph. Residents also experience balmy breezes in the winter which raise the temperature as the wind descends over the mountains. These warm weather breezes are called “Chinooks” — an Indian term which means “snow eater.”

Parks, bike trails, open spaces, sunshine, mountain views, comfortable neighborhoods, education opportunities — these are a few of the amenities that make Fort Collins a wonderful place to live. It’s a city of over 140,000 people, but it’s a city where you can ride your bicycle all the way across town on paths and bike lanes. It’s a city where you can walk to a park within a few minutes from any neighborhood, and where you can breathe fresh mountain air just a few miles out of town.

Fort Collins has it all! You can ski in shorts, bike-ride, golf year ‘round, attend the Fort Collins Symphony or watch a college football game. Whatever brings you to Fort Collins, we hope you enjoy yourself and find this relocation guide informative.


POPULATION – (includes college population):

Average growth has been at 3% per year.


City of Fort Collins 29.3 years
Larimer County 32.98 years


High-tech industry has replaced yesterday’s mining and agriculture roots. Companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, Woodward Governor, Symbios Logic, ESAB North America, Anheuser-Busch and other major employers are scattered throughout the area. Colorado State University, the state’s land-grant educational institution, produces graduates from eight colleges. Colorado State is renowned for its engineering, biology and research programs.

More details on local and area employers


Today, Fort Collins attracts many new residents with its numerous outdoor recreational opportunities. Visitors find the 75 miles of bike trails, lanes and routes an irresistible addition to the many golf courses, parks and open spaces of the city. Only five miles west of Fort Collins is Horsetooth Reservoir which provides hiking, swimming, boating and watersport opportunities. Also close by, Poudre Canyon is one of the closest escapes to the mountains. Cross-country skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling, hiking, fishing and just plain enjoying the great outdoors are just some of the many recreational opportunities you can enjoy.

Fort Collins is also endowed with indoor recreational facilities including the city’s ice skating rink, several community pools — both indoor and out, many large and small health clubs and the Colorado State University recreational center.

Although Fort Collins has dramatically changed from its historic roots of the 19th century, one quality has stood the test of time; Fort Collins’ unusually mild weather and sunny days. For avid recreators, Fort Collins’ weather is worth watching for!

More details on recreational activities

DID YOU KNOW . . . ??

  • CNN Money’s Best places to live named Fort Collins #1 in 2006 and #2 in 2008.
  • More than 60,000 Canadian geese winter in Fort Collins each year.
  • A Gold Medal Trout Route up Poudre Canyon provides excellent fishing. An average of 170,000 pounds of trout are harvested out of Larimer County waters each year.
  • The upper Poudre River was the filming sight for the first episode of “Centennial” as well as the filming sight for portions of the TV series “Walker: Texas Ranger.”
  • 75 miles of the upper Poudre River are protected by the Wild Scenic Rivers Act which preserves the natural character of the land.
  • During an average year, the sun shines in Fort Collins 296 days.
  • Colorado State University’s Moby Gym and Hughes Stadium are locations for numerous spectator sports. Colorado State is a Division 1 member of the Western Athletic Conference.
  • In the early 1900s, Fort Collins was known as the “Lamb Feeding Capital of the World”.
  • The world famous “Daddy of ‘Em All” Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo is held annually just 45 miles north of Fort Collins in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
  • The average relative humidity in Fort Collins in the summer is 30% and 43% in winter.
  • An hour’s drive south to Denver puts you amid NFL football action with the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium, NBA basketball competition with the Denver Nuggets at McNichols Arena, major league baseball with the Colorado Rockies at the new Coors Stadium, and NHL hockey action with the Colorado Avalanche.
  • In international circles, Fort Collins is fondly tagged “Poster City, USA” as we host the Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition bi-annually. It draws artwork from nearly 30 countries.
  • Horsetooth Reservoir gets its name from a particular rock formation overlooking the city that resembles a horse’s jaw with several large teeth jutting forward.
  • Fort Collins has a trolley car. It is a restored 1919 Burney Safety Car that sat in the Library Park for 26 years, where it eventually fell apart. After seven years of restoration work by the Fort Collins Municipal Railway Society, the trolley is now restored to its original condition. It runs from City Park down Mountain Avenue to Sherwood Street and back. The track on which it runs is part of the car’s original route.
  • The “A” on the foothills above Hughes Stadium was first painted in 1942 by students at Colorado Agricultural College and stood for the school’s nickname, “Aggies.” Students continue to periodically repaint the “A” as a way of maintaining the school’s tradition.


Fort Collins is located in northern Colorado, 65 miles north of Denver and 45 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming. The city sits at the base of the foothills, bordered on the east by the agricultural plains. The city presently covers an area of 35.5 square miles at an elevation of 5,004 feet above sea level.

If you like warm sunny days, low humidity and cool crisp nights, you’ll love the ideal four-season climate of Fort Collins! Here’s a summary of statistics:

Average days of sunshine: 296
Average yearly snowfall total: 14.47 inches
Average monthly temperatures range from 28 degrees in January to 73 degrees in July.
The relative humidity averages 30% in summer and 43% in winter.




The Fort Collins climate is ideal for gardening. The growing season is not exceptionally long — 150 days is the average frost-free period — but Colorado’s brilliant sunshine encourages crop growth and enables gardeners to produce all but the slowest vegetables.

The city is in hardiness Zone 5, which allows production of peaches, apricots and the hardier pears, as well as hardy grapes and most varieties of apples, berries and other small fruits.

Tender shrubs, trees and perennials can be grown in sheltered locations, although plants that demand highly acidic soil are difficult to grow. The average date of last killing freeze is April 22nd, and the first killing freeze in the fall averages September 22nd.


Most Garden Vegetables
Most Herbs
Red Delicious Apples
Yellow Delicious Apples
Cherry Trees
Regular Black Grapes
Stanley Plum Trees
Baby’s Breath
Bleeding Hearts
Columbine (State Flower)
Money Plants


All Norway Varieties Green Ash Cottonwood
Green Locust Burr Oak Some Maples
English Oak Red Oak Aspens



Despite its location in a semi-arid climate, Fort Collins is a lush oasis on the plains — the result of ample water diverted and stored from mountain spring runoff. Healthy adult trees line the city’s older neighborhoods and extensive landscaping accompanies new development. City Park is a model of the landscaping possibilities; the city has planted about 75 varieties of trees and shrubs, and offers a guide to all of them for the landscaping buff.

Development regulations prohibit the unnecessary destruction of existing trees. All new utility lines must be underground. City regulations also protect views of the mountains. In most parts of the city this preserves an uninterrupted panorama of Long’s Peak, the 14,255 foot centerpiece of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Both the Poudre River and Spring Creek are being developed as greenbelts. The city and CSU own extensive portions of the foothills west of town and intend to preserve them as open space.

An aerial view of Fort Collins would not confirm its semi-arid climate. There are about 25 lakes and ponds within the city, and 50 other impoundments on the plains around the city. Almost all are fed by diversions of snowmelt.

The city’s sign code strictly regulates the size and number of signs any business can erect, significantly reducing the “neon strip” effect evident in other urban areas.

When the sun sets over the mountains looming west of town, turning the sky to flame, Fort Collins residents remember daily why Fort Collins is “The Choice City.”

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Most newcomers to the Front Range are often surprised to find that the decreased air pressure at high altitudes affects baking and makes cooking times longer, thereby making adjustments to low land elevation recipes mandatory. Hopefully, the following tips will take the guessing game out of baking and cooking at 5,000 feet:

Boiling liquids – Water boils at 200 ¡ F at this altitude which means a lower range top setting for a longer time. We suggest using more liquid and a lid to prevent scorching and evaporation.

Breads – You will notice dough rises much quicker at this altitude and flours are drier thus able to absorb more liquid in high, dry climates. Less flour is needed for proper consistency.

Cakes – There are no set modifications to cake recipes. Changes will depend on the type of cake and the relationship of the ingredients to each other. We suggest making small adjustments and working up until you find what works best for the cake you are baking.



Fort Collins is an especially attractive community with its parks and greenbelts, large trees, well-kept lawns, unusually wide streets and community landscaping. It even has landscaping requirements for parking lots!

For the newcomer relocating to Fort Collins, the city offers a wide variety of housing from which to select.

The single-family home in Fort Collins ranges in style from the more traditional ranch and two-story to multi-level and contemporary designs. Fort Collins offers such a wide variety of styles and price ranges that almost every taste and requirement is represented within the city and the surrounding areas.

The various subdivisions (new and old — there are over 100) in Fort Collins and the surrounding communities offer the buyer a wide variety of locations and lot sizes to choose from. Lot sizes typically range from the smaller “Planned Unit Development” (PUD) lots, to acreages of up to 40+ acres. Some subdivisions have their own swimming pool and tennis courts in addition to those found through out the City.

Fort Collins’ housing styles also vary according to vintage. In the “downtown” area (near CSU and the County Courthouse building), the homes are typically older Victorians with some dating back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. By contrast, there is no shortage of new construction, which is most predominantly found in the southeast and southwest areas of the City.

The following averages will generally reflect the Fort Collins housing market, with mortgage rates closely following national averages:




Fort Collins has a good supply of rentals. Due to CSU student populations, rentals are more readily available during the summer months and the end of the school year. Apartments can be rented for prices ranging from $450 – $1000 per month depending on size and location. Homes rent from $550 – $1,200 per month.




Poudre School District came into existence July 1, 1960, after taxpaying electors in Larimer County voted in favor of consolidating the county’s 30 school districts into three. The school districts’ names included an “R”, meaning “reorganized,” and a numerical designation: Poudre School District R-1 (Fort Collins area); Thompson R-2 (Loveland area); and Park R-3 (Estes Park area).

Poudre R-1 is one of the largest school districts in Colorado, covering an area of 1,856 square miles. The area of the school district is one and one-half times the size of Rhode Island. The district boundaries extend to the Continental Divide on the west, to the Weld County line on the east, to the Wyoming state border on the north, and to five miles south of Fort Collins. In total, the district educates more than 21,000 students.

Schools in the district include 26 elementary schools (K-6), 7 junior high schools (7-9), 3 high schools (10-12), 4 small schools in mountain areas (K-8), and Centennial Adult High School.

Contact a school!

Kindergarten classes are held at most elementary schools during the school year. To be eligible to enter kindergarten, a child must be five years old on or before September 15.

Accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools has been granted to all the high schools, junior high schools, and elementary schools. The district also is accredited by the Colorado Department of Education.

Special Needs of students are met through the Special Education Services Department which provides the services of psychologists, social workers, nurses, speech correctionists, and occupational therapists. Instruction is available for students with visual, hearing, emotional and perceptual handicaps. The program for educable mentally retarded students extends through high school and includes vocational training and a training home. Instruction also is available for homebound students. All schools provide counseling services.

Programs available include classes for the academically talented and gifted students, alternative junior and senior high school programs, vocational education for high school and post high school students at the Front Range Community College, cooperative work-study programs (high school), English Language Proficiency Program, Head Start Preschool, adult education and adult high school completion and a summer school for children of migrant farm workers.

Transportation by school bus is provided for elementary school children who live more than a mile from school; for junior high students living more than a mile and one-half from a school; and for high school students living in excess of two miles from school. Transportation in mountain area schools is provided by contracted vehicles.

Parents are an important part of the school system and their involvement is welcome and solicited. Each school has an elected Parent Advisory Board in addition to a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) or Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

Board of Education meetings are held regularly on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Administration Center. The meetings are open to the public. The seven Board members are elected at non-partisan elections in May of odd-numbered years. Their terms overlap. Board members serve without pay.

Financing of the school district comes primarily through state funds and local property taxes. The school district’s budgets are discussed and approved the board of education in public sessions. The operating budget for 1996-97 (or general fund budget): $107,515,638

There are several things to keep in mind when enrolling a child who is new to Poudre R-1 school district:

  • Parents are advised to call their local schools to schedule an appointment to register. New students to the district should bring a record of immunization, a copy of a birth certificate, a telephone number of someone to contact in an emergency, and the address of the child’s previous school if it is outside the PR-1 school district.
  • Physicals are recommended, but not required, at the kindergarten, 4th, 7th and 10th grade levels. A physical is required for students planning to participate in a sport in secondary schools.
  • Supplies needed for school vary by school and grade level. Parents should contact their school for the recommended supply list.
  • Students do not have to attend the school in their own neighborhood. Students can enroll in schools outside their attendance area if there is room at the school and parents agree to provide transportation. If interested, contact your schools for a “schools of choice” form.

If parents are uncertain about which school their children should attend, they are advised to call the Poudre R-1 Transportation office at 490-3577.


Operating budget for 1997-98 (or general fund budget): $107,515,638


Financing of the school district comes primarily through state funds and local property taxes. The school district’s budgets are discussed and approved by the board of public education in public sessions.


The community college is a two-year school offering associate degree programs, guaranteed transfer courses, vocational certificate programs, vocational programs for high school students, continuing education for adults and customized training for business and industry. As a part of the largest community college in Colorado, Front Range has about 3,500 students enrolled each semester. Front Range is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges & Secondary schools.

Office of Admissions
4616 South Shields
P.O. Box 2937
Fort Collins, CO 80526
(970) 226-2500 ext. 364


A private, nonprofit organization with a unique educational, training and workshop center for mentally and physically disabled.

General Office
301 East Skyway Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80526
(970) 226-2345



Colorado State University, the land-grant educational institution of Colorado, was established in 1870, six years before Colorado became a state. The University enrolls approximately 21,000 students, and there are over 100 buildings on the main campus of 833 acres.

The University’s instructional and research program is divided into eight colleges: agricultural sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences, business, engineering, forestry and natural resources, applied human sciences, natural sciences, and veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences. The college of Veterinary Medicine and Bio-Medical Sciences is rated one of the top three in the nation. Programs range from a bachelor’s degree in all areas to the doctoral degree in many subjects.

The Foothills campus occupies 2,200 acres of land two miles west of the city. It is the focus primarily for graduate education and research of various types, particularly in the biological and engineering sciences. The facilities accommodate the University, federal and private industrial research laboratories, and the Colorado State Forest Service Nursery.

The Division of Continuing Education at Colorado State University offers over 600 credit and noncredit courses each semester. Semester bulletins are available by calling 970-491-2176. If you need to talk to someone, call (970) 491-5288 or (970) 491-5288.

Further information on the University and programs may be obtained by writing to:

Public Relations Department
Colorado State University
271 Aylesworth Hall SW
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-6432

Link to CSU website



Remember even if you only lived in a home a few years, to a young child it is nearly their entire lifetime!

Show the children the new home and their new room prior to moving. If this is not possible, pictures or videos will help them visualize where they are going.

Assure children that you won’t forget their friends.

Make a scrap book of the old home and neighborhood.

Throw a good-bye party. At the party have their friends sign a tee shirt.

Have your children write good-bye letters and enclose their new address. You may wish to call the other children’s parents so they will encourage return letters.

When packing, give them their own box. They can decorate it so they know which one it is.

If you move far away buy postcards when you stop so they can remember the trip.

When unpacking, allow them to unpack their treasures then, have them play with the boxes while you unpack.

Start a scrap book for their new home. Include a diary of “My first…”

Visit their new school, park, church, etc….take a camera.

Help your children invite new friends over to the house.

Let them choose a new favorite restaurant. This will help them feel in control of their new world.

Encourage them to send letters about their new home to their friends.

Involve your children in groups, sports and activities like the ones they used to participate in.



Over 250 licensed children’s day care centers and homes exist in Fort Collins as well as an additional 400 in the outlying areas. The homes have been licensed according to the minimum rules and regulations of children’s day care homes; however, each facility should be evaluated in terms of the needs of the child and his or her family’s needs prior to placement.

Please contact the Larimer County Department of Social Services referral service at 498-6300 or the day care association referral service at 493-6411 for more information.





The City of Fort Collins has maintained a “Foothills Policy” in an attempt to preserve the natural beauty of the foothills and to serve as a backdrop to the community. The adoption of the Plan for Progress in 1967 was reinforced by the Open Space Plan, adopted in 1974, when Capital Improvement Program funds were identified as a source for public purchase of properties on the foothills.

In addition, the City and Larimer County have adopted land use policies and zoning regulations designed to equitably deal with development issues in the environmentally sensitive and important foothills area. According to the land use policies, Larimer County limits residential density to one dwelling unit per two acres while the City of Fort Collins will allow one dwelling unit per gross acre provided development is “clustered.” Both the City and County also have development design guidelines to preserve views and limit building on steep slopes.

Recycling In Fort Collins

All local trash hauling companies offer curbside recycling service. Call your trash hauler today and sign up to begin weekly residential recycling collection service. Materials collected at the curb include: newspaper, glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, and plastic #1 and #2 bottles. The haulers also provide recycling service for apartment complexes and commercial/industrial customers.

More details about Recycling Centers around town



TELEPHONE: Telephone service is provided by Qwest. Turn-around time for hookups usually takes about two business days. No deposit is required unless the customer has an unsatisfactory credit history. For telephone, service please contact: Qwest Communications (toll-free): 1-800 244-1111. Long distance service is provided by your choice of a number of national companies.

POWER: Within the city limits, Fort Collins is served by the Utilities Department of the city government. A nominal hookup charge will be added to the first month’s bill. One business day’s notice is required for all hookups.

GAS: Natural gas is distributed within the city of Fort Collins by Public Service Company of Colorado. A nominal hook-up charge will be added to the first month’s bill if the hook-ups are off. A lesser transfer fee will be added if hook-ups are on. No deposit is required and a minimum notice of two business days is required for service.

WATER & SEWER: The City of Fort Collins maintains a municipally-owned community water system. Monthly utility bills include water service. A nominal charge to turn water on or off may be added.

TRASH REMOVAL: Trash pickup is available through a number of private companies in Fort Collins. Please consult your Yellow Pages for a listing.

Contact a utility company!



MUNICIPAL: Fort Collins is a home rule city with a council/manager form of government. Nonpartisan council members are elected in April of odd-numbered years to serve staggered four-year terms. A mayor is elected annually from Council. For more information on the city manager and city council members, please contact:

City of Fort Collins
300 West Laporte
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 221-6500

COUNTY: Fort Collins is the county seat for Larimer County, which is administered by a three-member County Commission. Commissioners are elected at general elections in even-numbered years. All county offices are located in the city.

For more information on county commissioners and other county offices please contact:

Larimer County Courthouse
200 West Oak Street
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 498-7000

STATE: Denver, located 65 miles directly south of Fort Collins, is the seat of government for the State of Colorado. The State Capitol building is located exactly one mile above sea level and is crowned with a golden dome reminding us of Colorado’s rich and colorful heritage.

For more information on state representatives and other state offices please contact:

State Capitol Building
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 866-2471



2009 MILL LEVY: Where you live within a county determines the taxing entities to which you will pay your taxes. Below are the tax entities applicable to most property in the city in 2007:

City of Fort Collins 9.797
Larimer County 22.517
Northern Colorado Water Conservancy 1.000
Poudre R-1 General Fund 40.178
School District Bonds 12.318
Health District of Northern Colorado 2.167
Larimer Pest Control .142
Total Mill Levy 88.119

Your property taxes are determined by multipling the tax rate (set by local government entities) by the assessed or taxable value of your property.

Assessed values are calculated by multiplying the actual value by 26.9% for all property except residential, which is currently assessed at 11.08% of its market value.
Actual Value x Assessed Rate = Assessed Value

Property taxes are calculated by multiplying the assessed value of your home by the mill levy.
Assessed Value x Mill Levy = Property Taxes

Colorado ranks 43rd in the nation in taxes on lower-valued residential property and 45th in taxes on higher-valued residential property. In 1983, taxes on a $100,000 home were roughly $1,680. Today, the taxes on a $100,000 home would average about $829.

Sales and use tax in Fort Collins is 6.8% on each dollar. Of this, 3 cents is a state sales tax (grocery and prescription medicine items are not taxed), 3 cents is a city sales tax (prescription medicines excluded) and .75 cents is a county sales tax. The Colorado State Income tax is 5% of gross income.



Any motor vehicle owned by a Colorado resident (determined as anyone employed in Colorado, anyone entering into or operating a business in Colorado, or anyone residing in Colorado continuously for a period of 90 days) must be properly registered in Colorado and must have Colorado license plates. Larimer County also requires that each vehicle be inspected for emissions, which can be done at almost any gas station. Proof of emissions testing must be presented at the time you register your vehicle.

To register your vehicle and obtain titles and plates please contact:

Motor Vehicle Registration
Larimer County Courthouse
200 West Oak Street
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 498-7878



Driver’s License Office
1121 West Prospect Road, Suite D
Fort Collins, CO 80526
(970) 223-3648

A free booklet is available for home study to assist you in reviewing Colorado driving rules and regulations. The fee for obtaining a Colorado Driver’s License is $15.00. To replace a lost or stolen license is $5.00 for the first replacement and $10.00 each time thereafter.



To vote in Colorado applicants must be:

18 years of age

a resident of Larimer County

registered at least 25 days prior to an election

a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization

For registration information, please contact:

Larimer County Clerk and Recorder
200 West Oak Street
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 498-7820
Colorado Department of Revenue
1121 W Prospect Rd
Fort Collins, CO 80526



There are five law enforcement agencies that patrol the Fort Collins area:

Fort Collins Police Department
300 Laporte Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 221-6540
(911for emergency)Larimer County Sheriff’s Department
P.O. Box 1190
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 498-5140
(911for emergency)Colorado State Patrol
(970) 484-4020
Colorado State University Police
(970) 491-6425Colorado Division of Wildlife
317 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526
970-484-2836Poudre Fire Authority
102 Remington
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 221-6581
(911 for emergency)



  • Drinking age is 21 years old for all alcoholic beverages, including 3.2% beer.
  • Children must always ride in an approved car seat and be buckled in if they are under four years of age and/or 40 pounds in weight.
  • Car insurance minimums are 25/50/15,000 and required coverages are for Liability, Uninsured Motorists and No-Fault Medical.
  • Right-hand turns on a red light are permissible after coming to a complete stop, unless otherwise marked.
  • Current auto emission stickers are required every two (2) years.
  • To obtain Colorado license plates, you will need your car title and/or current registration card.
  • Auto registration fee in Colorado is an ownership/license fee, plus a property tax. The property tax is based on the age of the auto and the price paid when it was purchased. Each year this property tax amount will decrease as your auto depreciates.
  • To obtain a Colorado Resident Hunting and/or Fishing License, you must be domiciled in the state of Colorado for six months (which means establishing your main residence, registering and licensing your car in Colorado, obtaining a Colorado driver’s license, and paying federal and state taxes from this main residence).
  • While driving your automobile, it is mandatory for the driver and front-seat passengers to be wearing seatbelts. Children under 16 must be wearing a seatbelt regardless of whether seated in front or back.
  • Colorado drivers are required by law to have insurance and to produce proof of their insurance coverage in the vehicle if stopped by a law officer.
  • ” The Chain Law,” when in effect, means your car must be equipped with tire chains, adequate snow tires, or be four-wheel drive with adequate snow tires. This law is called for mostly in the high country.
  • The City of Fort Collins has a “no-smoking” ordinance prohibiting smoking in public buildings.
  • All door-to-door solicitations are prohibited except those done by religious, political or nonprofit organizations. However, if a “No Solicitation” sign is clearly present, then religious, political or nonprofit organizations may not knock on the door.
  • Only motor vehicles and bicycles can use city streets. No scooters, skateboards, rollerblades, sleds, skis or “similar devices.”
  • 3-Unrelated Ordinance & Occupancy: Occupancy in a residential dwelling unit (single-family, duplex, and multifamily) is restricted to:
    – one family as defined below and not more than one additional person;
    – or two adults and their dependents, if any, and not more than one additional person.
    Family shall mean an individual living alone or any number of persons who are all related by blood, marriage, adoption, guardianship or other duly authorized custodial relationship, and who live together as a single housekeeping unit and share common living, sleeping, cooking and eating facilities

All dogs and cats must be currently vaccinated against rabies and wear current tags. Dogs and cats are not allowed to roam at large, but must be confined to a residence, fenced area, or tethered on the owner’s property. For more information, call CSU’s Veterinary Dept. at 491-7051.



Business Assistance:Chamber of Commerce
225 South Meldrum Street
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 482-3746
Economic Development:Fort Collins Economic Development Corporation
225 South Meldrum
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 221-0861
Consumer Protection:Better Business Bureau
1730 South College Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 484-1348
Tourist and Visitor information:Convention and Visitor’s Bureau
420 South Howes, Suite 101
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 482-5821

Link to Disability Resource Services



Diverse business and industry, coupled with a major university, government and agricultural interests, form the basis of Fort Collins’ economy.

Because Fort Collins is a university town, the percentage of people with four years or more of college is well above the national average. This makes the employment situation in Fort Collins extremely competitive and the wage scale somewhat lower than other areas of Colorado.

Some statistics are:



(# of Employees in parentheses)

Colorado State University (6,694)
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-1101
Under & Post-Graduate University
Super Wal-Mart (230)
250 W. 65th St.
Loveland, CO 80538
(970) 223-0715
Retail Department Store
Poudre School District R-1 (3,000)
2407 Laporte Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 482-7420
Public Schools
The Coloradoan (255)
1212 Riverside Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 493-6397
Daily Newspaper
Kodak Colorado (2,100)
9952 Eastman Park Drive
Windsor, CO 80550
(970) 686-7611
Photographic Materials
Forney Industries (162)
1830 Laporte Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 482-7271
Generators, Welding Supplies
Hewlett-Packard (3,200)
3404 East Harmony Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 229-3800
Electronic Data Processing Equipment
First National Bank (300)
205 West Oak Street
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 482-4861
Poudre Valley Hospital (2,326)
1024 Lemay Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 495-7000
Full Range Health Services
Qwest (227)
124 West Magnolia
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Telephone Utility
Woodward Governor (1000)
1000 East Drake Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 482-5811
Speed Controls
Platte River Power Authority (175)
2000 East Horsetooth Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 226-4000
Supplier-Owned Electric Utility
Larimer County (1,200)
200 West Oak Street
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 498-7000
County Government
Hilton (149)
425 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80526
(970) 482-2626
City of Fort Collins (1,045)
300 West Laporte Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 221-6500
City Government
Fort Collins Marriott (190)
350 East Horsetooth Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 226-5200
LSI Logic (480)
2001 Danfield Court
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 223-5100
Develops and markets semiconductors
Front Range Community College (300)
P.O. Box 270490
Fort Collins, CO 80522
(970) 226-2500
Adult Education
Teledyne Water Pik (918)
1730 East Prospect Road
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 484-1352
Dental Hygiene Appliances
Spring Creek Health Care (178)
1000 East Stuart Street
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 482-5712
Health Services for Seniors
Anheuser-Busch (721)
2351 Busch Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 490-4500
National Semiconductor (139)
4800 Wheaton Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 226-0500
Electrical Equipment Supplies & Manufacturing
The Neenan CO. (136)
2290 E. Prospect
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 493-8747
Architects, Engineers and Construction
Innovative Companies (133)
4401 Innovation Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 223-7779
Commercial & Residential Cabinetry, Manufacturing
Advanced Energy (600)
1625 Prospect Parkway
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 221-4670
Semiconductor Power
For additional information on the Fort Collins employment situation please contact:

Larimer County Employment and Training
3842 South Mason
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 223-2470

A list of private employment agencies that can assist you in a job search is available upon request.



Fort Collins’ merchants offer a wide variety of quality products. To assist you with your shopping needs, we suggest the following list of shopping areas and their locations:


  • Foothills Fashion Mall
    215 East Foothills Parkway
    Major department stores, restaurants and over 120 specialty shops.
  • The Square
    3500 South College Avenue
    Department stores, restaurants and specialty shops.
  • University Mall
    2211 South College Avenue
    Department stores, large grocery store, restaurants and drug store, movie theater and specialty shops.
  • Promenade Shops At Centerra
    I-25 & Hwy. 34
    Over 60 shops including the major department stores, restaurants, and a movie theater.


Arbor Plaza, 4601 S. Mason St.
Campus West, Shields & Elizabeth
Cedarwood Plaza, Taft Hill & Elizabeth
Choice Center, Prospect & College
Cimarron Plaza, Shields & Drake
Cottonwood Corners, South College Avenue & Horsetooth
Cottonwood Plaza, 1415 North College
Crystal Gardens, 3307 South College
Downtown (Heart of Fort Collins), College & Mountain
Drake Crossing, Drake & Taft Hill
Foothills East, 344 East Foothills Parkway
Foothills Plaza, Corner of East Monroe & College
Fountainhead, 4020 South College
Harmony Market, 1000 E. Harmony
Midtown Merchants, College & Laurel Street
Oakridge Center, one block south of Harmony on Lemay.
Old Town Square, Between Mountain and Walnut streets
Opera Galleria, 123 N. College Ave.
Overland Trail Shops, 3333 Highway 287

Also, there is an outlet mall and Centerra with over 100 shops located at the intersection of Interstate 25 and Highway 34, less than 15 minutes from Fort Collins.



For the outdoor-minded and the adventuresome spirit, the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains offers Fort Collins residents a wide variety of recreational opportunities. Not only does the city itself provide numerous recreational activities, but Fort Collins is situated such that it is in close proximity to major state recreational areas.

Within Fort Collins, City Park offers a nine-hole golf course, a public outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, two baseball diamonds, picnic area, a playground, Sheldon Lake for fishing and boat rides, a fitness trail, and over 100 acres of open space. Several private golfing and boating clubs offer additional opportunity for those sports. Rolland Moore park is also popular with Fort Collins residents, featuring a softball complex, tennis & racquetball courts, soccer fields, picnic shelters, bike paths and grassy fields. Edora Park (home to EPIC) is widely known for its winter sledding hills, but also offers ball fields, horseshoe pits and Frisbee golf for the summertime.

Mulberry Pool offers a 25 yard by 30 yard indoor pool, a large shallow water play area, spa and spectator seating.

Lee Martinez Park has tennis courts, basketball courts, softball fields, natural areas and bike/equestrian trails. Adjacent to Lee Martinez Park is The Farm offering a 12-acre domestic farm with animals, museum and gift shop. Featured are pony rides, hay rides and tours.

Fort Collins’ newest recreational facility is the Edora Pool and Ice Center (EPIC), which houses a regulation ice-skating rink. Skating lessons, hockey leagues and open skating are available throughout the year. Also housed in the center is a 10-lane Olympic-size swimming pool with a wading pool for children. The entire facility offers the residents of Fort Collins an additional indoor recreational opportunity.

Fort Collins solidified its place among the nation’s most bicycle friendly communities when the League of American Bicyclists announced Fort Collins achieved Gold Level designation in the Bicycle Friendly Community program. Click the map to the right to download a complete map or Fort Collins bike trails.

Other city-wide recreational facilities include:

  • 30 public parks
  • 56 public and private tennis courts
  • 3 public swimming pools
  • 2 roller skating rinks
  • 16 baseball diamonds/football fields
  • 3 area lakes open to boating
  • 2 bowling alleys
  • 6 golf courses
  • 3 private racquetball centers
  • 24 horseshoe courts
  • 20 miles of off-street bike trails
  • 764 acres of open space, including 8 fishing ponds
  • 1 ice-skating rink
  • 13 health/fitness centers

Many Fort Collins residents enjoy attending numerous athletic events at Colorado State University and at local public schools.

At the western edge of the city, scenic Horsetooth Reservoir offers 3,900 acres of prime fishing, water skiing, boating, picnicking, hiking, rock-climbing, biking, horseback riding and camping opportunities.

Nine miles northwest of Fort Collins is the starting point of “Colorado’s Trout Route” along the Poudre Canyon River. The Poudre Canyon and River provide a magnificent outdoor experience for everyone from the camera bug to the mountain climber.

Lory State Park is just 22 short miles west of Fort Collins. The park offers excellent hiking, horseback riding, mountain bike trails, a cross-country jumping course and wildlife and wildflower viewing. For guided nature walks and information, call 493-1623.

Horsetooth Mountain Park, which dominates the horizon to the west, covers 2,100 acres and has 23 miles of trails. Hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking are popular activities. The park also adjoins Lory State Park on the north.

Carter Lake is 2,100 acres and is used for boating, swimming, camping and sightseeing.

Major park and wilderness areas within a short drive of Fort Collins are:

  • Rocky Mountain National Park, with 405 square miles of spectacular mountain scenery, 586-1399, ask for information.
  • The nationally known Rawah Wilderness Area, with 26,674 acres of forest and mountain lands.
  • The 612,000 acre Roosevelt National Forest, 493-1100.
  • Boyd Lake State Park offers a 1,700 acre lake and 200 acres for camping, picnicking and other recreation. Call 226-6641 for more information.
  • Estes Park 1-800-44ESTES

For ski enthusiasts, there are 32 downhill resorts and many cross-country areas around the state. The ski season starts the weekend after Thanksgiving and normally runs through spring. For a complete guide to Colorado ski areas, contact Colorado Ski Country USA, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1440, Denver, CO, 80202, or call (303) 837-0793.


The Lincoln Center, a multi-use visual and performing arts center built in 1978, has several galleries, outdoor sculpture park and two performance theaters. It has become a landmark facility providing a home for many Fort Collins-based organizations, including the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, the Foothills Civic Theater, CSU Art Series, OpenStage Theater, Larimer Chorale, Children’s Theater and the Canyon Concert Ballet. Additionally, it offers facilities and meeting rooms for conferences, conventions and seminars, and an exhibit hall capable of accommodating a variety of programs. Call 221-6735 for more information.

The One West Contemporary Arts Center is located in a former 1911 Italian Renaissance post office building at College Avenue and Oak Street. One West Contemporary is a regional contemporary visual arts center with two galleries, a gift shop, an art school, a conference room and an art library. Hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Please call 482-2787 for more information.

The Fort Collins Balloon Festival and Colorado State University Athletics draw national attention every fall, but magnificent weather and beautiful settings encourage year-round special events. Thousands of local residents and visitors enthusiastically attend the Sunset Concert series, the Community Fair and fireworks on July 4th, ethnic street festivals, the University’s International Week, along with their film and lecture series each year.

One of the newest community activities is the New West Fest. The New West Fest is a community-wide festival which celebrates the history, progress and spirit of Fort Collins. Usually held the third weekend in August, the New West Fest brings dozens of activities, special events and performances together for three days of festivity. For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at 482-3746. To volunteer, call 221-FEST (221-3378).




CSU – The university library contains 1.5 million volumes, and is especially strong in CSU’s areas of expertise: agriculture, forestry, engineering and other technical disciplines. CSU faculty, staff, students and their families enjoy full library privileges, as well as any Colorado resident over 18 years old. (970) 491-6190

Fort Collins – The city library is located close to downtown in its own park. The library contains about 192,000 volumes, has 43,000 registered borrowers, circulates a half million materials a year and is used by 5,000 people a week. The reference library is exceptional for a facility its size and special programs include films, children’s story hours and a Great Decisions discussion group. Library privileges are free to city and county residents. (970) 221-6740

Link to the Fort Collins Public Library


The Fort Collins Museum – an historic, 80-year-old building itself – is also in Library Park. It provides a representative display of the area’s past, from pre-Columbian artifacts and displays on the Plains Indians to the city’s beginnings as a trade and agricultural center. The museum includes an exceptional display of Folsom points found in northern Larimer County at a major pre-Columbian site. Examples of pioneer cabins and a one-room schoolhouse are preserved next to the museum. For more information, call 221-6738.


“What do you do for entertainment around here?” is an easy question to answer in Northern Colorado. It just depends what you’re in to…you’ll find it in Fort Collins, Denver or the surrounding area.

Spend time exploring Northern Colorado or enjoy a weekend in Denver… events at the Performing Arts Center, museums, and shopping at the 16th Street Mall. In the summer months, Elitch Gardens provides an amusement park along with evening entertainment, and northern Denver offers a waterpark called “Waterworld” for children young and old.


Here are some ideas for keeping energetic teenagers entertained! Teens


The local source of health care services in Fort Collins is Poudre Valley Hospital, a 250-bed medical center serving patients from a three-state area, rated 5th in the Western U.S. At present, there are over 200 physicians providing care in general practice, dentistry, optometry and chiropractic health.
For physician referral contact:Larimer County Medical Society
1024 South Lemay Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 495-7151
For information regarding the hospital contact:Poudre Valley Hospital
Department of Public Affairs
1024 South Lemay Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 495-7000Medical Center Of The Rockies
2500 Rocky Mountain Avenue
Loveland, CO 80538
(970) 624-2500
For the mentally and physically disabled, a comprehensive therapeutic learning and training environment is provided at: Foothills Gateway Rehabilitation Center
301 Skyway Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 226-2345
Senior Citizens may wish to contact:Larimer County Department of Human Development
1525 Blue Spruce Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 498-6800
Personalized health and fitness guidelines are available at:LifeLab
1100 East Elizabeth
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 221-3317
For general information on Veterans Administration and services call toll-free 1-800-332-6742, or contact:V.A. Hospital
1055 Clermont
Denver, CO 80220
(303) 399-8020
Full service psychiatric and chemical dependency services for adults, children and adolescents are available at:Mountain Crest Hospital
4601 Corbett Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80525
(970) 225-9191Larimer Mental Health
525 West Oak
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 498-7610


There are over 100 places of worship in Fort Collins representing virtually all denominations and offering a wide range of activities. Special fellowships are available for Colorado State University students.


Click here for a list ofWorship





For a 68-page complete guide to services for senior citizens in Larimer County, contact:

Larimer County Department of Human Development
25 Blue Spruce Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 498-6800

For more information regarding activities, events and volunteer opportunities, also contact:

The Senior Center
1200 Raintree
Fort Collins, CO 80526
(970) 221-6644
Downtown Community Center
101 Remington
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 221-6645




Fort Collins Coloradoan (daily)
1300 Riverside Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80524
(970) 224-4000
Fort Collins Forum (weekly)
120 W. Olive St. suite 209
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 493-8870
American Classifieds
1229 East Mulberry
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 493-2560
The Collegian (seasonal student newspaper)
Colorado State University
Lory Student Center
Fort Collins, CO 80523
(970) 491-7941

Also available by subscription or at newstands are the major Denver papers including The Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News and USA Today.






Seven radio stations broadcast locally in the Fort Collins area, with many others received. Formats range from country and western, rock and roll to classical and jazz.


Fort Collins receives KWGN, KCNC-NBC, KGWN-CBS, KRMA-PBS, KMGH-CBS, KUSA-ABC, KBDI-PBS and KDVR-FOX stations from Denver. We are also serviced within city limits by cable television.

For information on cable/dish hook-ups and rates, please contact:

If you are inside the city limits, call:Comcast
1201 University Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80521
(970) 493-7400
If you are outside the city limits, call:US Cable
413 North U.S. Highway 287
LaPorte, CO 80535
(970) 221-1678



AIRLINES: Over 900 flights per day are handled at Denver’s International Airport 65 miles south of Fort Collins. Limousine and bus service is available at regular daily intervals between Fort Collins and the airport terminal. Call Airport Express Service, (970) 482-0505.

Locally, Fort Collins is served by two small airports handling only commercial and charter flights.

Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport
(970) 667-6645

BUS SYSTEM: Bus service is available both within the City of Fort Collins and between cities. The Fort Collins Transfort is the local transportation system providing bus service Monday through Saturday. Intercity bus service is provided by Greyhound/Trailways Bus Lines with major connections in Cheyenne, Wyoming and Denver, Colorado.




There are over 20 hotels and motels, including two convention center hotels and five bed and breakfast inns in Fort Collins for a total of 1,708 available rooms. Most accommodations are located on the two major arteries, Highway 14 (Mulberry Street) and Highway 287 (College Avenue) which intersect near downtown.

A wide assortment of restaurants and cafes for every taste are available within a short distance of wherever you stay.



If you would like to contribute any information to this Guide, offer your suggestions, comments or know of any links that would be useful, please contact me. I will be updating the Guide on a regular basis and your input would be appreciated.

Thanks, Terry Anderson Email: [email protected]