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EDITORIAL: Colorado Springs, a 'Best Place to Live'

By: The Gazette editorial board
April 11, 2018 Updated: April 11, 2018 at 8:44 am
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Monday's storms left fresh snow on Pikes Peak and standing water all around town. Jim McCall is reflected in a puddle at the Mesa Road overlook after stopping to take a photo of the fresh snow Tuesday, August 30, 2016. McCall is in the process of moving from Manitou Springs to Oklahoma and wanted to take a photo before leaving town. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

The good news about Colorado Springs never stops coming.

In the latest national recognition of our community's success, U.S. News & World Report — the undisputed leader in rankings of colleges, communities, business and more — places Colorado Springs as number two in "Best Place to Live."

Not "Best Place to Live" with pets, children, or hobbies involving the great outdoors. Best. Period. All categories.

The magazine examined 125 cities, using an algorithm of economic and quality of life data, and ranked only Austin, Texas, ahead of the Springs. This comes a year after U.S. News readers ranked Colorado Springs as the second-most desirable American community in which to live if they could choose among the country's 100 largest cities. In that ranking, only Honolulu scored higher.

Last year, U.S. News ranked Colorado Springs 11th "Best Place to Live." That means our quality of life is rising sharply. Don't be surprised if we're No. 1 in 2019.

"This ranking reflects what residents have known for a long time, which is that Colorado Springs is a wonderful place to live," said Mayor John Suthers, in a written statement.

Suthers credited the dramatic rise in our ranking to voter approvals of investments in roads, stormwater infrastructure, parks and trails. Each has improved the community's image with residents, prospective residents, visitors and quality employers.

"We have also seen a lot of success lately in the form of public private partnerships and investments from local companies who are driving the job market and keeping our unemployment rates historically low," Suthers wrote. "So today's award is shared with all residents, local businesses, nonprofits, boards, commissions and other groups who work to make this city a wonderful place to live, work and play."

We know, we know. The Springs has an unfair advantage. It is a living, breathing post card with an enviably friendly climate.

But that's not all that landed us near the top of the list. We scored on a strong jobs market offering increasing wages, and a "value index" that measures "how comfortably the average resident can afford to live within his or her means."

Boast this rating on social media and when talking to family and friends from out of town. But this is no time to get complacent. Colorado Springs belongs in the top spot, ahead of Austin and other great cities.

Let's build on this honor by continuing to create and maintain amenities and necessities that benefit current and prospective residents and businesses.

Communities support the lives we pursue, and Colorado Springs does it better than most.

The Gazette editorial board

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