What's So Great About Colorado Springs?

Folks in Denver often look down on Colorado Springs. But should they? Not according to most of the responses to a vintage thread inspired by the question, "What's so great about Colorado Springs?" Check out a sampling of the photo-illustrated answers below. The conversation starter:
I've heard many stories about how life is great in Colorado Springs and I would like to know a little more on this. Among the things I've heard are this: 1. Great Climate 2. Friendly People 3. Space (not overcrowded) 4. The view (mountains) 5. Slow paced
You've heard right. Of course, I'm sure there are people that will disagree with some of the things.

It's important to point out that no matter where you live, you have to make your own happiness. You can either choose to live happy or live angry.

Colorado Springs is a great place to live if you choose to live happy. Sunny and very outdoorsy place to live.

I've lived all over the world for the last 22 years and decided on Colorado Springs 2 years ago. Our family couldn't be happier.

We especially like the fact that there is so much to do around here and that it is a relatively inexpensive place to live.

I am usually outside year-roud with my in the snow in the winter and hiking/camping in the summer. We just got back from a weekend of snowmobiling up in the mountains. What a riot!

During the summer, we like to go to baseball games (Rockies minor-league team here in town), car shows, camping, fishing, hiking and bbqing with the neighbors. We started neighborhood BBQ on Sunday night's during the we just rotate families. It usually takes place in front of the house in the driveway so all the kids can play and everyone feels invited. This is just one idea to make living enjoyable in your community.

Hope this helps!
You hit the nail on the head. Seriously, people around the Colorado forum (not all) poopoo C Springs for a variety of reasons but it really does come down to your own way of making a new place a home.

Same goes for the Denver area. I have heard it all "negative, negative, negative" when in fact if they weren't so dang negative and worked at it, they would find our state (or any other place) a good place for them to live.

I've lived in three metro areas in the state: Colorado Springs, Grand Junction (much smaller but got the "metro" designation while I was living there) and Denver. All have positives, all have negatives but I have liked all three. I wouldn't mind a smaller town, just because I would like to try something new but overall, it's in how you go about your daily life.

Of course, C Springs is my birthplace so I am a bit partial.
The main thing that's great about Colorado Springs is the big blue mountains, hills and plateaus. The landscape is so beautiful that many places in the United States can't touch. The climate is good too, dry weather but brutal cold winters.
Not overcrowded? I have to disagree on that one....

Have you ever tried to get off at the I-25/ Woodmen exchange during 5-6pm?

Better plan on eating dinner in the car....
I have to laugh at folks calling Academy and I-25 traffic bad even at rush hour. They obviously haven't lived in any large city on the East or West coast. I've had to slow down regularly during rush hour but only one time came to a standstill on I-25 in two years.

Mountain biking is great here as well. You can pick up a Colorado Springs Bike trail book at some bike shops. There are 80+ miles of bike trail within the city and many good mountain bike trails immediately outside the city. The Falcon Trail at the Academy was one of the top 10 rated mountain biking trails in the nation!

Good place for hunting here. Dove, pheasant, goose, wild pig, deer, elk, bear, prairie dog... You name your favorite and you can do it here.

The place is beautiful. Katherine Lee Bates was inspired and wrote "America the Beautiful" here.
I'd add a few more positives that were attractive to me: 6. Great thrift stores. With the proximity to three major military installations, military families get rid of lots of their stuff when they have to move. 7. Lots of ice rinks, including it being a major center to produce some of the best skaters in the world 8. The Olympic Training Center -- I met several athletes, and it was fun to watch their progress on TV, or just see them doing their sport around town, in the case of cycling. 9. Pike's Peak. I once took an out-of-town friend, who hadn't been impressed with much, up Pike's Peak. It was cloudy, but at the top, the clouds parted. He was impressed. 10. Balloon Fiesta (Great fun, at least once or twice.) 11. Exploring in the Mountains (probably #1 on my list). 12. Garden of the Gods (red rock formations) 13. Interesting neighboring towns, especially Manitou. 14. Reading of world leaders staying at the Broadmoor.
There's a fairly large African American community in the southeast and central parts of town. In the 80916 and 80910 African Americans account for about 20% of the population in those zip codes. I second what somebody else said though, The African American population is pretty spread out in the city. People always act like its all white on the Northeast side of town,but to me its not really like that I see people of all races.
Unlike many cities back East, Colorado Springs does not have racial enclaves. There aren't really any areas that are primarily of any one race, the whole city is pretty well mixed although not completely. One may generally note that the further north you go, the "whiter" it tends to be. But it is really pretty diverse, in significant part due to the military presence here. Diverse meaning a wide variety of races and ethnicities and a lot of intermarriage as well. As a school teacher, I see the diversity more visibly than some other people might. I don't think that most ethnic groups exist in truly large numbers to have a thriving culture, but the Hispanic community is probably an exception, as well as the older German and Korean communities. The Black community tends to have its strongest cultural presence through its churches.
1. Great Climate: If you like lots of sun, it's great. The first year is spent adapting to the low humidity. The winter conditions vary according to the altitude you're at, but I found that anywhere I'm at, the temp will swing broadly even in mid-winter.

2. Friendly People: I have found that it's better than the West Coast, but not much different than the West Coast. However, when you go south, there are a lot of soldiers. I feel more comfortable over there.

3. Space (not overcrowded): It's less crowded than other cities I've been. However, I think a lot of people are trying to live like they think you should in a big city: crazy driving, talking loud on the cell phone in public places, etc. I was in Old Colorado City a few weeks back and people were walking big dogs and other were roller blading... all on the narrow sidewalk.

When I think "overcrowded", I think "rude". If that's what you mean, I've found heavier crowded areas tend to have people who've developed respect for others (except on the West Coast). I don't think it's happened here yet despite the fact that it's crowded enough that you have to be near others.

4. The view (mountains): It's great.

5. Slow paced: Sort of. I think what I've found is that what is meant by "slow paced" isn't exactly the same as what us city slickers perceive it to be. I think for those who are accustomed to dealing with people in business relationships, you find that being slow paced is a little on the annoying side... It's as if folks out here put off decision making.

That's what I've seen.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts