Best places to do business: Fort Collins places 5th, Denver 9th on Forbes list

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Another day, another list on which Colorado finishes in impressive fashion. This time its the Forbes roster of the best places for business, and this square state placed two communities in the top ten: Fort Collins at fifth, Denver at ninth.

Here's Forbes' rationale for the strong performance.

Forbes lists Fort Collins' major industries as "clean energy" and "bio-science," its cost of living at 6.2 percent below the national average -- and its unemployment rate at a modest 6.7 percent. Moreover, the city has done well on other lists from the publication: No. 12 in education, No. 31 in job growth and No. 67 in the cost of doing business.

The mag's Fort Collins profile reads like so:

Fort Collins is a large college town, home to Colorado State University. Many high-tech companies including Hewlett Packard, Intel, AMD, Amago, among others, have relocated to Fort Collins to take advantage of the resources of CSU and its research facilities. Up and coming industries within the area include clean energy, bioscience, and agri-tech businesses. The large college-age population supports the local music circuit and a number of well known microbreweries, which give the city its college-town atmosphere. The Downtown Business Association hosts a number of large festivals each year in the historic Downtown district, including the NewWestFest in late summer, which features local cuisine, music, and businesses. The Fort Collins Lincoln Center is home to the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra and regularly attracts national touring companies of Broadway plays.

Denver's no slouch, either, even if the cost of living comes in at 2.9 percent above the national average. According to Forbes, the city's major industries are "aerospace," "telecommunications" and "technology" -- specialties that may account for Denver having placed seventh on the most-wired cities roster in 2010. Other listy accomplishments at Forbes: the tenth safest city in 2010, the 13th best city for singles, the 19th in education, the 50th in job growth and the 130th in the cost of doing business.

The Forbes profile:

Denver 's relatively central location makes it a natural location as a distribution hub for the American west, while also supporting a number of growing industries in technology and telecommunications. Its location just east of the mineral-rich Rocky Mountain range encouraged mining and energy companies to spring up in the area, making the energy industry another staple of Denver's economy. Denver is home to many nationally recognized museums, including a new wing for the Denver Art Museum, the second largest performing arts center in the nation after Lincoln Center in New York City and bustling neighborhoods such as LoDo (lower downtown), filled with art galleries, restaurants, bars and clubs. Because of its proximity to the mountains, and generally sunny weather, Denver has gained a reputation as being a very active, outdoor oriented city.

Sounds great. We're stoked to live here now -- but that's nothing new.

More from our Things to Do archive: "50 reasons we're glad we live in Denver and not the United States."

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