Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Colorado Springs is fifth best place to live

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2016 at 5:44 PM

click to enlarge Mayor John Suthers says "very proud" of the designation. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Mayor John Suthers says "very proud" of the designation.

Colorado Springs may have its share of problems, from potholes to panhandlers, but it's still the fifth best place to live in the country according to the  U.S. News and World Report.

Denver was No. 1 on the 2016 “Best Places to Live” list. But the Springs rated higher than many other cities often cited for their quality of life, including Portland, Seattle, Boise, San Francisco, and San Jose.

Mayor John Suthers held a press conference this afternoon to celebrate the good news, along with other favorable rankings of the city. The mayor said Colorado Springs’ strong finish was a sign that the city is being recognized for its “positive trajectory,” including:

• an improving political climate
• the recent deal that allowed the city to be branded “Olympic City USA”
• a 15-year sustained low in the unemployment rate (which stands at 4 to 4.3 percent)
• a strong housing market
• a relatively low cost of living
• improving infrastructure
• strong hospitals and universities
• a growing airport
• beautiful outdoor spaces
• a great quality of life

On that last point, the mayor said that “desirability” — or how much people want to live here, based on a Google Consumer Survey — was among the factors that the U.S News and World Report examined. Colorado Springs, he said, was the only city to score a perfect 10 on that index.

Doug Price, President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that Denver’s top ranking benefits the Springs by bringing more people to the state. Many visitors, he says, go on to move the Springs once they see what the city has to offer. Part of the draw, he says, is the friendly locals, who are often willing to recommend a favorite restaurant or offer directions.

“When people travel,” he says, “they like to see ‘How do you people live?’”

Dirk Draper, President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, highlighted another honor that the Springs recently received. The Springs is one of ten cities to be named a “Great American Defense Community” by the Association of Defense Communities. This is the first year the award has been given. It honors cities for supporting service members and military families.
      

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