Colorado Springs ranked 44th on Forbes Magazine's annual list of Best Places for Business and Careers, but three other Colorado cities - Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins - came in higher in the rankings released Thursday.
Forbes looks at the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. and weighs them on 12 factors that include job growth, the costs of living and doing business, income growth, educational attainment and projected economic growth through 2014. The magazine also considers net migration patterns, cultural and recreational opportunities and the number of highly ranked colleges in each area.
Des Moines, Iowa, topped this year's list. Denver was ranked sixth, Fort Collins was seventh, Boulder was 26th and Greeley was 51st.
In its profile of Denver, Forbes said Denver's relatively central location makes it a natural location as a distribution hub for the American West, while also supporting a number of growing industries in technology and telecommunications.
"Its location just east of the mineral-rich Rocky Mountain range encouraged mining and energy companies to spring up in the area, making the energy industry another staple of Denver's economy," Forbes said.
The magazine also credited the city's mix of cultural entertainment from the Denver Art Museum to the second largest performing arts center in the nation after Lincoln Center in New York City.
"Denver has gained a reputation as being a very active, outdoor oriented city."
As far as Fort Collins, Forbes noted that it is home to Colorado State University.
"Many high-tech companies including Hewlett Packard, Intel, AMD, Amago, among others, have relocated to Fort Collins to take advantage of the resources at CSU and its research facilities.
Its profile of Colorado Springs focuses on the city's heavy military presence.
"Colorado Springs' culture and economy are heavily influenced by the military with a significant number of defense corporations and bases located within the area," the profile said. "The city is home to Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, NORAD and the U.S. Air Force Academy."
It also highlights the Springs' physical attributes.
"With the city located at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is a popular destination for tourists seeking scenery, rock formations and other unique geological features, like Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods park, Seven Falls, and Cave Of The Winds."
See all 200 rankings at http://www.forbes.com/best-places-for-business/list