Colorado Springs has been experiencing a surge in Millennials for at least a decade now, and it’s no wonder – the city provides a strong job market, still affordable housing, and promotes a healthy work-life balance.
According to Brookings Institution research, the city registered a 15% growth in its number of Millennial residents between 2010 and 2015, leading to them making up 26% of the population. US Census data confirms these findings – their numbers show that, over the course of 2017 alone, about 16,000 Millennials moved to Colorado Springs.
Let’s dive into the reasons why Millennials are so drawn by Colorado Springs, from jobs and housing to lifestyle, including entertainment, arts, the food scene and, obviously, the great outdoors. If you’re considering joining your fellow Millennials in Colorado Springs, these are the main things you need to know about the place they call Olympic City USA.
Housing is pretty affordable
The first step, when moving into a new city, is renting an apartment, and the average monthly price for one in Colorado Springs hovers around $1,200, according to Yardi Matrix. That’s significantly below the national average rent of $1,468 per month, making the city an affordable moving destination.
Getting self storage in Colorado Springs will cost you about $108 per month for the standard 10×10 size, which is also under the national average of $114 for that type of unit. Another piece of good news is that homeownership among young people is pretty high in Colorado Springs. Recent SmartAsset research shows that almost a third of the city’s residents in the age range 18 to 34 are homeowners, which puts the city at no. 22 among the country’s top 200 cities for Millennial homeownership.
A diversified job market awaits you
Generally, Colorado Springs’ job market is strong and varied. In February 2020, the unemployment rate was 2.5%, lower than the national average of around 3.5%. But as with most other places that had to deal with COVID-19 repercussions, the city is facing some challenges. Unemployment reached 5.5% in March 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Colorado Springs has a thriving IT and tech industry sector, encompassing numerous startups but also large, established corporations such as Oracle and Hewlett Packard, both of which set up their in-house software development operations here. The city has recently become a datacenter hotspot, due to the favorable climate that ensures many days per year of free cooling from the air outside.
A nationwide survey done by the non-profit tech industry group CompTIA in 2019 ranked Colorado Springs the second-most desirable place to live by IT professionals after Austin, Texas. The city’s Chamber of Commerce lists about 140 IT companies and 125 cybersecurity companies locally, translating into thousands of well-paid jobs in the area.
Other sectors of the economy that provide good job opportunities in Colorado Springs are professional and business services, education and health services, and financial activities.
Pick one of the city’s great neighborhoods
Although not a big city, Colorado Springs still offers diverse neighborhoods to suit different needs. Whether you’re a young professional looking for a hip and active neighborhood or you’re trying to find a quiet and peaceful area to raise your family, you’ll find the ideal place. Here are some of the city’s most interesting neighborhoods:
- Briargate, an up-and-coming, centrally located neighborhood, is great for young families, due to its large and affordable homes. Several good schools are only minutes away, and there are also open spaces for outdoor activities, such as the John Venezia Community Park. The neighborhood also offers plenty of restaurants, shopping centers and a farmers’ market.
- Northeast Colorado Springs is located pretty close to the University of Colorado’s campus in the city, which means it is the ideal location not only for college students but also for young graduates looking for inexpensive housing.
- The Broadmoor is one on the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, populated mainly by white-collar professionals. The area is well known for its historic houses, but there are also contemporary mansions being built for those who prefer a more modern style of architecture. You can relax and exercise locally due to the wide variety of golf courses, spas, resorts and tennis courts available.
- Northgate is a good fit for families with kids of all ages. The school district is one of the most successful in the city, while both the Pikes Peak Community College and the United States Air Force Academy are located in the area.
Enjoy the laid-back, yet creative and exciting local vibe
Colorado Springs fits right into the Millennial mindset – relaxed and unpretentious, yet providing plenty of opportunities for going out, appreciating the arts, enjoying amazing food and coffee, and participating in outdoor activities. Here’s what you need to know about the Colorado Springs lifestyle:
- Farm-to-table restaurants thrive in the city
Many of Colorado Springs’ restaurants adhere to a sustainable farm-to-fork philosophy, which means you’ll have the opportunity to taste vibrant dishes made of fresh, locally sourced ingredients. From eclectic, fusion-oriented establishments and impeccable high-scale classic restaurants to family-owned eateries serving typically western comfort foods, eating out in Colorado Springs is never boring.
The Pepper Tree is a Colorado Springs institution in itself, combining tableside food preparation with an amazing hilltop view. TILL Kitchen relies on locally sourced meats and produce to attract customers, and puts a lot of emphasis on sustainability, right down to the building being made of reclaimed materials. The hip and retro Shuga’s offers an eclectic menu inspired by different cuisines from all around the world and combines the dinner experience with weekly film showcases.
- Specialty coffee shops are all the rage in Colorado Springs
One thing’s for sure: Colorado Springs residents do love their specialty, artisanal coffees. Numerous roasters and cafes popped up in the city during the last decade or so, offering high-quality beans for that perfect cup of coffee. Loyal Coffee, for example, is a barista-owned and -operated company, and they roast their beans and make their blends themselves. The Switchback Coffee Roasters not only serves amazing coffee but also advocates for fair trade beans, and they even sell their blends so that you can recreate your favorite coffee at home.
- Pikes Peak region is an outdoors paradise
Colorado Springs is the place to be if you’re interested in outdoor activities, and the 300 days of sunshine annually definitely invite you to spend more time in nature.
Pikes Peak region provides opportunities for everything, from skiing in the winter to summer camping, river expeditions, visiting spectacular waterfalls and caves, or traversing the Royal Gorge Bridge, the country’s highest suspension bridge. The Garden of Gods Visitor and Nature Center is the ideal place for afternoon getaways, whether you’re into hiking, climbing, or taking Segway or Jeep tours.
- Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs has been educating residents for more than 100 years
The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center celebrated its centenary last year, and we can safely say that this cultured city enjoys a rich and vigorous arts scene. The center offers access to exhibitions and theater, and it also provides art education for all ages. The First Friday Downtown is a community event that takes place during the first Friday of each month and puts together visual arts, live music, galleries, artisans and retailers.
Have you recently moved to Colorado Springs or are you planning to do so in the near future? Let us know in the comments what made you choose this city as your new home!