Why Northern Colorado?

Why Do Business in Northern Colorado?

Why NoCo?

Deep and Talented Workforce – More than 45% of the population of Larimer County has a bachelor’s degree or higher. Larimer County has a strong entrepreneurial spirit – we generate patents for everything from bacterial diseases to sustainable energy at the rate of 11.45 a year per 10,000 people, which is nearly four times the U.S. city average.

Low Utility Rates – Fort Collins and Loveland have municipally owned utilities and provide the third and fourth lowest electric rates in Colorado for industrial users, and the fourth and fifth lowest rates in the state for large commercial users.

Diverse Local Economy – Northern Colorado’s economy offers a high degree of stability. No one sector represents more than 13.2% of the labor market.

Excellent Proximity to Airports and Highways – Larimer County is 45 minutes from I-76 and I-70 to the south, and I-80 to the north. Larimer County is also 45 minutes from Denver International Airport and 50 minutes from downtown Denver.

Low Cost of Living – Larimer County is extremely affordable: Both housing and overall cost of living are below the national average.

Multiple Higher Education Institutions – There are three universities and two community colleges in Northern Colorado that educate nearly 70,000 students in almost 700 fields of study. These schools include Colorado State University, University of Colorado, University of Northern Colorado, Front Range Community College, and Aims Community College.

Low Taxes – The state of Colorado currently ranks 11th in the nation for lowest overall tax burden, and both the state and local tax burdens are well below national averages. Additionally, Colorado ranks 16th in the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, which compares states in five different taxation areas that impact business.

Outstanding Schools – Both Poudre (Fort Collins) and Thompson (Loveland) school districts are among the best in Colorado.

Strong Corporate Environment – There are 21 Fortune 500 companies that have a presence in Larimer County.

Quality of Life – Located at the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, Larimer County enjoys unparalleled hiking, skiing, biking, fishing and boating under skies that offer nearly 300 days of sunshine a year.

Statistics at a glance:

303,991 – Larimer County Population (2011 census, sixth most populous county in Colorado)

Fort Collins is the 4th largest city in the state, Loveland the 15th

75.4% of the county workforce commutes less than 30 minutes to work

54.3% of county residents aged 25 and older have earned an associate’s degree or higher

$77,700 – median family income, greater than both the state ($74,100) and the nation ($65,000) (2012)

$16.48 –median hourly earnings (2011)

Northern Colorado Snapshot

Rankings and Recognitions for Communities in Northern Colorado

Why NoCoCommunities in Northern Colorado are consistently being recognized on “top” and “best of” lists compiled by reputable publications and organizations. These are just a few of the more recent recognitions:

  • Ranked 11th on America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities: Bicycle Magazine – May 2012
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, Third Skinniest Metro Area on the Well-Being Index: Gallup and Healthways – March 2012
  • Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport, winner of two “Best in Colorado” awards: Colorado Asphalt Pavement Association – March 2012
  • One of the Top 10 Best Places to Retire: CBS Money Watch – February 2012
  • Ranked Third, Best-Performing Cities 2011, Where America’s Jobs are Created and Sustained:: Milken Institute – December 2011
  • 2nd Best City for Weight Loss: Prevention.com – December 2011
  • One of America’s 20 Most Economically Vibrant College Towns: TheAtlanticCities.com – September 2011
  • Ranked First, Safest Drivers in America: Allstate Insurance Company – 2011
  • Ranked Third on the Best Bicycle Cities list: League of American Bicyclists and TheStreet.com – August 2011
  • One of the top 15 Best Places for triathletes to live and train: Triathlete Magazine – August 2011
  • Ranked Fifth, Best Places for Business and Careers: Forbes - June 2011
  • Fort Collins, One of the Top 10 Cities Adopting Smart Grid Technology: U.S. News and World Report – May 2011
  • Top Colorado City for Job Growth, Fort Collins-Loveland: 2011 Best Cities for Job Growth, newgeography.com – May 2011
  • Third Happiest Metro Region, Fort Collins-Loveland, CO: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index – 2011
  • One of the Top Ten Places to Retire in the Nation: Charles Schwab’s On Investing – Spring 2011
  • 2011 Governor’s Arts Award: Colorado Creative Industries and the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade – March 2011
  • One of the Top 10 Best American cities to invest your real estate dollars in 2011: Trulia.com – December 2010
  • Named Fifth Most Educated City in the country based on education levels of our adult population: Portfolio.com – December 2010
  • Fourth Best State for Business, Colorado: Forbes magazine – October 2010
  • One of the Top 25 Best Places to Retire: CNNMoney.com – September 2010
  • One of the Top 10 Best College Towns: Small-Sized Cities Category, USA Today – September 2010
  • One of the top six “Smarter Cities”for Energy: Natural Resources Defense Council, (population 100,000-249,999) – August 2010
  • Sixth Best Place to Live in the Nation: Money Magazine – July 2010
  • One of the Most Underrated Cities in the West: Life.com – June 2010
  • One of the Greatest Places to Live in the West: American Cowboy magazine – April 2010
  • Ranked Fourth, Best Places for Business and Careers: Forbes – April 2010
  • One of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations: National Trust for Historic Preservation – February 2010

See the entire list.


Larimer County

Wellington Fort Collins Timnath Windsor Berthoud Loveland Estes Park Johnstown Johnstown


  • Larimer County – Located in north-central Colorado, Larimer County is 2,600 square miles of farmland and forests, ranchlands and rugged mountains, modern cities and close-knit communities. Larimer County borders Wyoming to the north and the Continental Divide to the west, and includes much of the Roosevelt National Forest and Rocky Mountain National Park. Learn more about Larimer County.

  • Berthoud – The Town of Berthoud is a progressive community strategically positioned along the Front Range economic corridor on Hwy 56, west of I-25. The community offers a mix of Victorian homes and new housing developments set among tree-lined streets and beautiful parks and is supported by a historic downtown and modern business opportunities. Learn more about Berthoud.


    • Statistics
      • 2010 population – 5,105
      • 2000 population – 4,823
      • Square Miles – 12.156
      • Labor Force – 3,022
      • Employed – 2,813
      • Per capita Income – $28,111
      • Median household income – $70,292
      • Households – 1,987

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

  • Estes Park – This picture-perfect town is the gateway community to Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado’s number-one vacation destination that attracts more than three million visitors a year. Estes Park is located an hour west of Loveland on U.S. Highway 34. Learn more about Estes Park.


    • Statistics
      • 2010 population – 6,458
      • 2000 population – 5,413
      • Square Miles – 6.71
      • Labor Force – 2,877
      • Employed – 2,798
      • Per capita Income – $34,962
      • Median household income – $66,505
      • Households – 2,830

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

  • Why NoCoFort Collins – This vibrant college town, home to Colorado State University, offers a broad employment base with businesses representing a stable mix of industry, government, and services. Fort Collins provides exciting recreational opportunities, unique cultural offerings, and excellent shopping and dining. It’s got the feel of a small town with all the amenities of a larger city, including an excellent school system and a welcoming business climate. Learn more about Fort Collins.
    • Statistics
      • 2010 population – 143,986
      • 2000 population – 118,652
      • Square Miles – 54.28
      • Labor Force – 81,760
      • Employed – 75,685
      • Per capita Income – $27,771
      • Median household income – $49,589
      • Households – 55,889

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

  • Johnstown – No matter what your business needs, Johnstown has the land to help you meet your goals. The commercial communities in Johnstown are flexible enough to support high technology centers, convenient enough for shipping, open enough for agriculture, and adaptable enough for light industrial. The town’s cooperative planning process will quickly turn the vision of your business into reality. Learn more about Johnstown.
    • Statistics
      • 2010 population – 9,887
      • 2000 population – 3,827
      • Square Miles – 13.52
      • Labor Force – 1,848
      • Employment – 1,787
      • Per capita Income – $25,974
      • Median household income – $70,379
      • Households – 2,916

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

  • Loveland – Businesses will find significant advantages in Loveland, whether they’re starting up, relocating, or expanding. Strategically located in a higher education triangle between Colorado State University, University of Colorado, and University of Northern Colorado, Loveland-based businesses have access to a plethora of educated workers. Among programs for businesses include the city’s business development office, which provides ombudsman services to entrepreneurs, and the Key Accounts Program for commercial utility customers. Learn more about Loveland.
    • Statistics
      • 2010 population – 66,859
      • 2000 population – 50,608
      • Square Miles – 33.59
      • Labor Force – 33,936
      • Employed – 31,790
      • Per capita Income – $27,991
      • Median household income – $54,775
      • Households – 26,488

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

  • Timnath – The community’s location along the Cache la Poudre River initially attracted fur traders and farmers, which were followed by people who wanted to get away from the busier cities without being too far away. Today, Timnath is poised for growth with a progressive development plan anticipating expansion to 27 square miles with a population of 30,000. Learn more about Timnath.
    • Statistics
      • 2010 population – 625
      • 2000 population – 223
      • Square Miles – 6
      • Labor Force –260
      • Employed – 237
      • Per capita Income – $32,681
      • Median household income – $82,344
      • Households – 243

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

  • Wellington – Situated conveniently at the north end of Colorado’s Front Range between Fort Collins and Cheyenne, Wyoming, Wellington offers business opportunities, agricultural excellence, and comfortable living in a hometown atmosphere. Developed and undeveloped land opportunities abound in this community that has access to an employment base of more than 200,000 people within 30 miles. Learn more about Wellington.
    • Statistics
      • 2010 population – 6,289
      • 2000 population – 2,672
      • Square Miles – 3.37
      • Labor Force – 3,216
      • Employed – 3,022
      • Per capita Income – $25,727
      • Median household income – $66,524
      • Households – 2,040

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

  • Windsor – Despite its close proximity to the other cities of Northern Colorado, Windsor has maintained its distinctive features and identity, offering safe neighborhoods, a well-planned mix of retail, recreation, leisure, and housing options for all needs and lifestyles. Windsor’s successful business and commercial sectors provide a strong tax base and a wide variety of employment and shopping opportunities, and ready access to transit and transportation systems makes it easy to get goods in and out of the area. Learn more about Windsor.
    • Statistics
      • 2010 population – 18,644
      • 2000 population – 9,896
      • Square Miles – 24.44
      • Labor Force – 9,237
      • Employed – 8,876
      • Per capita Income – $31,073
      • Median household income – $75,970
      • Households – 6,096

Source: U.S. Census Bureau