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The history of Colorado Springs is unique.  When Capt Zebulon Pike sighted Pikes Peak in 1806, "Pikes Peak or Bust" became the rallying cry for miners headed west to seek their fortunes.  A group of prospectors chose the Colorado Springs site as the center for mountain mining activity and this town became known as El Paso City.

Prior to the Civil War, the name was changed to Colorado City.  The onset of the railroad was the impetus for organization of a town located near the popular mineral springs in 1871.  The nearness of Colorado City and the mineral springs gave this new town its name:  Colorado Springs.  By 1917, Colorado City was completely absorbed by Colorado Springs.

Combining scenic beauty, pleasant residential areas, clean modern industry, attractive military installations, and cultural activities to satisfy every taste, Colorado Springs is an unusually well-rounded community.  It offers a variety of recreational and cultural activities.  You can ski in the morning, golf in the afternoon, take in a chuck wagon dinner, or a graduate-level class, or perhaps even attend the symphony.

The city is situated on a gently rolling plateau 6,035 feet above sea level, sheltered by the towering 14,110 foot-high Pikes Peak.  This locale assures cool, dry summers and comfortable, mild winters with low humidity tempering the extremes of the respective seasons.

The city itself boasts a population of more than 331,000 and 542,000 in the entire metro area; it comprises an area of some 183 square miles.


Manitou Springs, located on the western boundary of Colorado Springs, derives its name from the many mineral springs in the area.  The area was once marked off as a sanctuary by local Indian tribes, who attributed supernatural powers to the waters of these mineral springs.  Today, Manitou thrives as a tourist resort.

Specialty shops, art galleries, restaurants and motels catering to the tourist trade abound in the downtown area.  The cog train that travels to the summit of Pikes Peak can be found near the downtown area.  Within this small city are 50 motels and over 34 restaurants, as well as 10 campgrounds, four city-owned and operated parks and a large heated municipal pool.  There are nine restored mineral drinking springs.


Fountain, founded in 1859 and incorporated in 1903, is the oldest community in the Pikes Peak Region.  Located in the center of Fountain Valley, extended from Colorado Springs (11 miles to the North) to Pueblo (30 miles to the South), Fountain is home for a variety of lifestyles.  Large cattle and horse ranches, as well as undeveloped land, border the city limits.  Fort Carson lies to the west of Fountain.


North of Colorado Springs on Interstate 25 is the small rural community of Monument.  Monument is slightly higher in elevation that the Springs and enjoys a heavier snowfall.  The commute to downtown Colorado Springs along I-25 takes about 25 minutes.  


One of the four "Ute Pass" communities (the others are Green Mountain Falls, Cascade and Chipita Park), Woodland Park is located 25 miles west of Colorado Springs on U.S. 24, in Teller County.  Year-round residents commute daily to Colorado Springs on a wide, well-paved (though mountainous and twisting) road.  This area is rapidly becoming quite popular as a mountain resort community.


While once separate and distinct areas, these two communities have since grown together and are often referred to jointly as Security/Widefield.  Both areas, located on the east sight of Highways 85 and 87, south of Colorado Springs, feature medium-income housing.  There is considerable open land for development along the eastern edge of these areas.  Security/Widefield serve primarily as bedroom communities for Colorado Springs and Fort Carson, which located directly west.  Several elementary, junior and senior high schools serve the area.

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