Colorado Springs, Colorado


Best Places to Retire in Colorado

Profile

Profile Colorado Springs began in 1871 when General William J. Palmer envisioned this spectacularly beautiful site at the foot of Pikes Peak as a place that could attract his wealthy friends from the East Coast and Europe. Additional attractions were the supposed healing waters of Manitou Springs just a few miles west, and the lure of striking it rich from gold mining in the Rockies. http://www.springsgov.com/

Gold was discovered in nearby Cripple Creek in 1891 and Colorado Springs soon became a thriving financial center. Following the era of gold, which lasted until 1917, the local economy again looked to its natural beauty to attract tourist trade. Fort Carson was established with the start of World War II and the presence of the military has increased significantly since that time. The U.S. Air Force Academy opened there in 1954 and today the region is also home to Peterson Air Force Base/Cheyenne Mountain Air Station, Schriever Air Force Base, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Northern Command (NORTHCOM), and other Air Force Space Command centers.

The areas business base expanded dramatically in the 1960s and 1970s and today computers, electronic equipment, semiconductors, precision parts, plastics, heavy equipment and many other high-quality products are manufactured in the region.

Colorado Springs is home to the U.S. Olympic Committee and site of the Olympic Training Center — the world’s finest multi-sport training facility. Other national nonprofit organizations have moved their headquarters to the region as well. There are many arts and cultural activities in and around Colorado Springs, including dance, theater, film, video, literature, the visual arts, and educational organizations. Its recreation and outdoor activities opportunities are extraordinary with 12,000 acres of open space and parklands, and six sports complexes under management by the city.

Colorado Springs has a population of 320,000 and is the second largest city in Colorado. El Paso County’s total population is near 500,000. Much of the surrounding area is rural agricultural and grazing lands.

Arts & Culture

Pikes Peak Center: This $13.4 million facility in downtown Colorado Springs hosts in excess of 200 performances annually. It is home to the Colorado Symphony, the Colorado Opera Festival, and the Colorado Dance Theatre hosts the Colorado Ballet. http://www.pikespeakcenter.com/Default.asp

Arnold Hall Theater: The public is welcome at all U.S. Air Force Academy-sponsored concerts at Arnold Hall Theater. http://www.usafa.af.mil/svk/cadets/concerts.htm

Colorado Springs World Arena: Hosts basketball, hockey, concerts and special events. http://www.worldarena.com/

The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum collects, preserves, researches and interprets the history and culture of the Pikes Peak region. http://www.springsgov.com/SectionIndex.asp?SectionID=9

Rock Ledge Historic Site preserves the history of the Pikes Peak region. Knowledgeable interpreters present the history of the people who lived this history. At the new American Indian Area, the heritage of the American Indians of the Central Front Range of Colorado is presented in a living history setting. http://www.rockledgeranch.com/

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center – http://www.csfineartscenter.org/

There are a great many arts and cultural activities in and around Colorado Springs. The following Web site alone lists 29 local Web sites for dance, theater, film, video, literature, the visual arts, and education organizations. http://www.cspringsonline.com/Entertainment_
and_Recreation/Arts_and_Culture/

Recreation

Colorado Springs founder donated 1,270 acres of parkland, bridle and foot paths, and scenic drives that are the foundation of its park system. In the early 1900s, the city was gifted the magnificently beautiful Garden of the Gods Park which comprises 1,300 acres of towering red sandstone formations carved by nature. You can drive through the park, go on horseback, or use its hiking trails. Through the years more and more open space areas and facilities have been added. Today, the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services department manages seven regional parks, eight community parks, 123 neighborhood parks, six sports complexes and 40 open space areas. When combined, there are over 12,000 acres of parks and open space with 110 trails. The city also owns and operates two beautiful golf courses. Both are open year-round and offer lessons and leagues. http://www.gardenofgods.com/home/index.cfm?flash=1

There are eight public golf courses (in addition to the two owned by the city), four military courses, and five semi-private courses in the immediate area. Just west of the city is Pikes Peak, the best known of the 54 Colorado peaks over 14,000 feet elevation. The summit can be reached by car, cog railway, or by hiking its 12-mile trail. http://www.pikes-peak.com/

Education

Colorado College is a four-year liberal arts and sciences college founded in 1874 and located in Colorado Springs. It has a student enrollment of 1,900 undergraduates. http://www.coloradocollege.edu/index.cfm

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system with a student population of 7,400. It offers 25 Bachelors degrees, 17 Masters degrees, and two Doctoral degrees. The 514-acre campus is located northeast of the city. http://www.uccs.edu/

Senior Programs

The Colorado Springs Community and Senior Centers Division operates seven community and senior centers and provides programs to targeted populations through partnerships with the community. It offers classes, training, child care and development, nutrition, recreation, wellness, special events and much more to enrich the lives of people of all ages and abilities. http://www.seniorsresourceguide.com/articles/art00808.html

The senior programs at the senior center offer a wide variety of activities. It includes social activities, health and wellness screening and checkups, day trips, education (life skills, workplace skills training, support groups, financial lectures, planning for long term care, annuities, insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, career/job search counseling, income tax assistance, health lecture series, etc.). There is a schedule of 31 classes in the visual arts alone, including working with clay, crafts, drawing and painting, jewelry, and woodworking. There is also a full menu of exercise classes.

The senior center has eight computers and a Microsoft product library that includes software, hardware and curriculum for the computer classroom. Instructors offer classes regularly.

A number of special interest and personal growth groups also meet at the senior center. These include AARP, Widowed Persons, Camera Club, Fiction Writing Group, Hewlett Packard, Agilent, NBSP retired employees, a Model A Ford Club, etc.

Hospitals

Memorial Hospital – http://www.memorialhospital.com
Penrose Hospita -l http://www.centura.org
Penrose Community Hospital – http://www.centura.org
St. Francis Health Center – http://www.centura.org
HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital – http://www.healthsouth.com
HealthSouth Surgery Center – http://www.healthsouth.com

Airports

Colorado Springs Airport handles approximately 100 arrivals and departures each day. http://www.springsgov.com/airportindex.aspx
Denver International Airport is 91 miles away.
(http://www.flydenver.com/home/index.asp)

Weather

The climate in Colorado Springs is a key element in the area’s high quality of life. The relative humidity is quite low (ranging from the low 30 percent range to around 50 percent) and the weather is surprisingly mild. Despite its elevation of 6,035 feet, and located next to the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs on average gets less snow than Denver, Salt Lake City or Minneapolis. The mountains capture most of the precipitation from east-moving systems, giving the region dry and sunny weather during most of the year. http://www.wunderground.com/US/CO/Colorado_Springs.html

There may be seasonally warm days in the summer, but it cools down at night and few homes use central air conditioning. Long autumns are common and mild, sunny weather in the middle of the winter is typical, allowing residents to golf, bike, hike, play tennis and enjoy all types of outdoor activities in the sunshine. When it snows (an average of 43 inches each year), it doesn’t last long because the intensity of the sun melts it quickly from the streets. The Colorado Springs meteorological classification is “an alpine desert” with about 250 days of sunshine and only 15 to 16 inches of precipitation per year. An additional advantage of the Colorado Springs climate is the relief it offers persons who suffer from allergies and asthma.

Newspapers

The Gazette – http://www.gazette.com/
Rocky Mountain News – http://www.rockymountainnews.com
Denver Post – http://www.denverpost.com/

Property Taxes

El Paso County Assessor (719) 520-6600 – http://asr.elpasoco.com/
Senior Exemption – http://asr.elpasoco.com/Senior_Exemption.htm

State Taxes

http://www.revenue.state.co.us/TPS_Dir/home.asp

Chamber of Commerce

http://www.coloradospringschamber.org/

State Aging Agency

Colorado Department of Human Services – http://www.cdhs.state.co.us/

Distances

Aspen – 157 miles
Boulder – 97 miles
Denver – 68 miles
Fort Collins – 132 miles
Pueblo – 45 miles

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