Why Millennials Are Moving to Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is growing fast, and there's a long list of reasons why young people are flocking here.

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Colorado Springs CO
Photo Courtesy of VisitCOS.com

Located at the edge of the majestic Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is experiencing a surge in growth as millennials head to the area for a better life. Once overshadowed by Denver, its neighbor 70 miles to the north, this mountain-town-turned-thriving-city is finally garnering some much-deserved attention of its own. 

For those who value a healthy work-life balance that includes indulging in epic outdoor activities and enjoying satisfying professional endeavors in the same day — every day — Olympic City USA is the place to be. 

Young entrepreneurs, tech professionals, artists and outdoor enthusiasts all find what they want in Colorado’s second largest city. And if you think it’s impossible to have all of the above and affordability in a hometown, think again. Colorado Springs delivers the following perks to young residents at a surprisingly accessible price point:

CO

Courtesy of Jasen Miller under a CC 2.0 license.

Exhilarating Outdoor Recreation

In Colorado Springs, kicking off the workday with a hike or bike ride through towering red rock formations and lush vegetation is commonplace. With 7,000 acres of open space for hiking and biking, 230 miles of bike trails, 160 miles of park trails and 105 miles of urban trails, building outdoor recreation into your daily commute is easy. Some of the most popular trails are found in the Austin Bluffs Open Space, Palmer Park, Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space and Garden of the Gods where you’ll also have access to renowned rock-climbing routes. No more waiting until the weekend for a dose of the great outdoors.

Along with land-based adventures, opportunities for water recreation are also nearby. Anglers get their fix in the South Platt River and Arkansas River which is known for its gold medal trout water. The Arkansas River is also favored for its rapids, making whitewater rafting a favored activity during the long summer days.

A Thriving Arts & Culture Scene

Many may not realize that Colorado Springs has a rich and progressive arts and cultural history that is full of cool, unexpected surprises. In fact, the Colorado Springs Broadmoor Art Academy and the Fine Arts Center is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, which is an impressive feat. But what makes the story of the fine arts center truly intriguing, is that the museum and theater at the arts center were both founded by three women: Julie Penrose, Betty Hare and Alice Bemis. A progressive act at the time, the three women came together to help support the Colorado Spring Fine Arts Center as it struggled to make it through the Great Depression. 

While the area has been a destination for the arts since the early 1900s, the recent reinvigoration of the downtown core has spurred a resurgence as the local fine arts community reestablishes its historical connection. The number of jobs in the creative industry is six times that of the national average, making Colorado Springs appealing for those looking for work in the arts. There are also 450 arts and cultural groups that locals can get involved with and the city boasts a state certified creative district that is home to 230 art-related businesses made up of makers, artists, architects, designers and performers.

Startup, Sports & Tech Industry Job Opportunities

Creatives aren’t the only ones who are gainfully employed in this fast-growing city. There’s a reason that Colorado Springs is nicknamed Olympic City USA. Its high-altitude and rugged outdoor terrain make it a perfect spot for businesses in the sports industry. Along with being the home of the United States Olympic Committee's headquarters, thousands of athletes train at the flagship U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs each year, which employs over 2,100 people. Jobs in sports medicine thrive in the area as well. And in early 2020 the nation’s only U.S. Olympic Museum & Hall of Fame will open near downtown. It is expected to draw over 350,000 visitors per year.

Similarly, those looking for employment in the technology industry have good reason to look into Colorado Springs’ job offerings. Jobs in information technology and cybersecurity abound as host of tech companies including Altia, Cherwell Software and Titan Robotics call the mid-sized city home. For those who prefer to strike out on their own for work, Peak Startup is dedicated to helping cultivate the city’s startup scene. This local organization creates opportunities for founders, innovators and investors to grow and connect while increasing the visibility of early-stage companies. In Colorado Springs, no budding business idea goes it alone.

Plenty of Next-Level Food, Booze and Fun

Colorado Springs has all the key basics in place for those looking to relocate. It’s affordable, it has incredible access to outdoor recreation, plenty of job opportunities and lots of culture. But everyone wants a home-base with excellent dining and drinking establishments as well as some spots for late night entertainment. This is where the city really excels.

Restaurants like Four by Brother Luck whose chef was featured on "Top Chef," dot the downtown corridor. And next-level eateries are around every corner. You can nibble on creative bites and sip craft cocktails under the sidewalk in the sleek, subterranean restaurant called Rabbit Hole. Other favorites include Streetcar 520 with its internationally inspired menu and Odyssey Gastropub, which features hand-finished map tables and quirky but yummy bites. 

For cocktails, you can have a true speakeasy experience at Brooklyn's on Boulder, a Fine Haberdashery. You’ll be hard pressed to find better drinks anywhere. Shake off bad decisions at the dark but dreamy Shame & Regret, which oddly enough makes for a great date-night spot. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annette is a writer, editor and photographer from Portland, OR. Her work appears in a variety of publications including Bust, Red Tricycle, Motherly and Domino. When she’s away fro... more

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Mon, 08/05/2019 - 12:18