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EDITORIAL: Everyone wants to live in Colorado Springs

By: The Gazette editorial board
February 11, 2017 Updated: February 11, 2017 at 10:26 pm
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Downtown Colorado Springs. Image via Google Maps.

We just hate to brag, but ...

Actually, we quite enjoy boasting about Colorado Springs and the surrounding region. It has become nearly impossible to explain why anyone would want to live anywhere else. The economy is booming, the sun shines 300 days a year, and magazines constantly put us on lists of the most desirable places to start businesses, the best places for 20-somethings to date, the healthiest population, etc., etc.

The latest ranking is a big one.

U.S. News & World Report, the official authority in best-of rankings, used a sophisticated algorithm of Google survey data to determine the desirability of America's 100 largest cities. The rankings are based on where people would most want to live if they could choose.

Colorado Springs finished second, just behind Honolulu. It came in ahead of Denver, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle.

It is no surprise to the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corp., which recently surveyed people around the country to determine the desirability of the Springs. While 80 percent said they would move to our state for work, a whopping 97 percent said they would relocate for work if the job specifically landed them in Colorado Springs.

In explaining our city's high desirability, U.S. News wrote:

"Colorado Springs attracts students, professionals and military personnel to the area with a cache of military bases and nationally ranked colleges. Plus, construction in Colorado Springs is booming, with new residences popping up alongside quality schools, parks and cultural attractions.

"This area, which is filled with natural wonders of its own, has the additional allure of proximity to ski resorts like Aspen and Vail without the associated steep costs of living and high levels of traffic. And even though its quaint downtown doesn't have a Bloomingdale's or Lord & Taylor, Denver's lineup of storefronts is just an hour's drive away."

It wasn't long ago when media around the world used Colorado Springs as a symbol of urban dysfunction. The pack mantra wasn't accurate or fair, but it helped initiate difficult changes that are paying off in spades.

Voters created a system of city government more accountable to the public, and an impressive assortment of local political and business leaders have created a stable and reputable environment that is attractive to investors. Voters chose to invest in public safety and road improvements.

Let's keep moving in this direction. Make Colorado Springs the Red Rocks Amphitheatre of cities, so far ahead it doesn't qualify for rankings and awards. When that happens, we will still occasionally brag.

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