COLORADO SPRINGS — Two new studies confirm what a lot of us already know. Colorado Springs is a pretty desirable place to move. While that’s good news, local leaders say it still brings its own set of challenges.
If you ask local economic leaders they’ll tell you, studies, like the one by Cinch Home Services that recently ranked Colorado Springs the number two most desirable place to move in the country don’t surprise them.
“When it comes to Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region being a desirable place to live, the good news is that’s not news to us,” said Cecilia Harry, Chief Economic Development Officer for the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC. “We’ve been recognized many times over the past several years for our stellar quality of life.”
The study ranked Colorado Springs more desirable than cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and yes, Denver. It cites reasons like low crime, good weather, good schools and more.
Beyond that, our area has some other factors working in its favor.
“I think it’s very obvious in terms of how our regional economy is structured that the military is a huge catalyst,” Harry said. “People will move where there’s an opportunity and they will stay where there’s an opportunity.”
And now with working as easy as popping open your computer and laying back in your easy chair, why not work where you want?”
Case-in-point, another recent study by the group Career Cloud found Colorado is the number two best state to find remote work.
“For those who have the ability to dream about where they want to live, I think places like Colorado Springs float to the top of the list,” Harry said.
The key phrase-- “those who have the ability.”
“Just because we as a region are growing doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges,” she said.
While these numbers are certainly good news, the rise in operating online has been a wake-up call.
“We had families in parking lots at the library so their kids could be doing homework remotely and that’s not okay,” Harry said. “And that’s not what a competitive city is okay with.”
With the demand to live here increasing, so does the cost.
“People aren’t afraid or worried about coming to or staying in a high cost of living area, as long as the math works on the backside,” Harry said.
But there is a way to make it better.
“Are they getting offered wages and salaries where they can come in and make it work,” Harry said.
It’s something she says our area still needs to work on.
“That’s why people are still moving to LA, or these other high cost of living areas,” she said.
But while we still have a lot of growing pains to deal with, it’s important to keep perspective.
I’d rather be in those conversations than a community having conversations about what they need to do because they aren’t seeing growth, or they’re seeing population decline,” she said.