Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, city (1990 pop. 281,140), seat of El Paso co., central Colo., on Monument and Fountain creeks, at the foot of Pikes Peak; inc. 1886. It is a year-round resort and a booming military, technological, and commercial city. Electronic, computer, mining, and aerospace manufactures are important economically.

The town of El Dorado (later Colorado City) was founded on Fountain Creek by gold miners in 1859. In 1871, Gen. William Palmer and the Denver and Rio Grande RR established the city of Fountain Colony nearby; the modern name was adopted because of the many mineral springs in the area. Colorado Springs absorbed Colorado City in 1917. The city grew enormously in the late 20th cent.

The seat of Colorado College, a Univ. of Colorado branch, and Nazarene Bible College, Colorado Springs is also the site of a U.S. Olympic training center and the headquarters of Pike National Forest. The United States Air Force Academy is just north; also nearby are U.S. Fort Carson, Peterson Air Force Base, and Cheyenne Mountain.

The City of Colorado Springs is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and most populous city of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. At 372,437, it is the second most populous city in the State of Colorado and the 47th most populous city in the United States. This count differs significantly with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs' 2007 estimate of 402,417. In 2007 the Colorado Springs MSA had 609,096.

Colorado Springs is located just east of the geographic center of the state and south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. At 6,035 feet (1839 meters) Colorado Springs sits over one mile above sea level, though some areas of the city are significantly higher. The city is situated near the base of one of the most famous American mountains, Pikes Peak, at the eastern edge of the southern Rocky Mountains. Colorado Springs was selected as the No. 1 Best Big City in "Best Places to Live" by Money magazine in 2006.


The United States Census Bureau estimates that in 2007 the population of the City of Colorado Springs was 402,407 (48th most populous U.S. city), the population of the Colorado Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area was 609,096 (84th most populous MSA), and the population of the Front Range Urban Corridor was 4,166,855.

Today, Colorado Springs has many features of a modern urban area, such as parks, bike trails, urban open-area spaces, business and commerce, theatres and other entertainment. It was first established as a posh resort community, though the older mining supply center of Colorado City (now Old Colorado City) was merged later, and the tourist industry has remained strong and offers many activities and attractions. In July 2006, Money magazine ranked Colorado Springs the best place to live in the big city category, which includes cities with 300,000 or more people.

Colorado Springs is not exempt from the problems that typically plague cities that experience tremendous growth: overcrowded roads and highways, crime, sprawl, and government budget issues. Many of the problems are indirectly or directly caused by the city's difficulty in coping with the large population growth experienced in the last 20 years and the annexing of the Banning Lewis Ranch area for 175,000 future residents. In 2004, the voters of Colorado Springs and El Paso County established the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority and adopted a 1% sales tax dedicated to improving the region's transportation infrastructure. Together with state funding for the Colorado Springs Metro Interstate Expansion (COSMIX)(2007 completion) and the I-25 interchange with Highway 16 (2008 completion), significant progress has been made since 2003 in addressing the transportation needs of the area. Currently the City is trying to overcome a $23.3 million budget gap created by falling sales taxes and rising expenses.

A large number of religious organizations such as Focus on the Family and churches make their headquarters here, particularly Evangelical Christians. For decades, several high-tech businesses have or once resided in the city, including a number of computer chip manufacturers from Intel, to the chip foundry INMOS in the 1980s, to Hewlett-Packard since the 1960s. The Mountain West Conference has its administrative headquarters in Colorado Springs.

Colorado Springs is also home to a large number of military installations (see below) and important national defense agencies. It is also home to the United States Air Force Academy.


General Palmer, City Founder

Colorado Springs was founded in August 1871 by General William Palmer, with the intention of creating a high quality resort community, and was soon nicknamed "Little London" because of the many English tourists who came. Nearby Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods made the city's location a natural choice.

Within two years his flagship resort the Antlers Hotel opened, welcoming U.S. and international travelers as well as health-savvy individuals seeking the high altitude and dry climate, and Palmer's visions of a thriving, quality resort town were coming true. Soon after, he founded the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad, a critical regional railroad. He maintained his presence in the city's early days by making many grants or sales of land to civic institutions. Palmer and his wife saw Colorado Springs develop into one of the most popular travel destinations in the late 1800s United States.

The town of Palmer Lake and a geographic feature called the Palmer Divide (and other more minor features) are named after him, and a bronze sculpture of Palmer on a horse without its front legs raised (denoting a natural death and not one caused during battle or afterwards from being fatally wounded in battle), is prominently displayed downtown in front of Palmer High School, the center of a busy intersection.

Old Colorado City and the Pikes Peak Gold Rush

Colorado Springs' present downtown location, where General Palmer first founded the city, was partly due to Palmer's dislike of nearby rough-and-ready Colorado City (now called Old Colorado City, and not to be confused with present-day Colorado City) and its many saloons. Palmer ensured his new planned city stayed alcohol free by buying a huge tract of land to the east of Colorado City. Legally, Colorado Springs stayed dry until the end of Prohibition in 1933, but practically, alcohol was readily available. Conveniently located druggists advertised whiskey, ale, stout and beer for "medicinal purposes."

In its earliest days of 1859–1860, Colorado City was a major hub for sending mining supplies to South Park, where a major strike in the Pike's Peak Gold Rush was found. After the Cripple Creek gold discovery in 1891, ore mills in Colorado City processed much of the gold ore at the Golden Cycle Mill using Palmer's railroads. The affluent, who made money from the gold rush and industry, did not stay in Colorado City but built their large houses in the undeveloped downtown area of Colorado Springs (i.e Wood Ave.). Early pictures show several large stone buildings like Colorado College, St. Mary's, the library, and the county courthouse sitting in large empty plains. This is unique during this period, to pre-build a city's civic infrastructure in stone with wide streets laid out before there was a population to justify the expense.

Colorado City remained the county seat of El Paso County until 1873, when the courthouse moved to Colorado Springs.

W. S. Stratton, early benefactor

In 1891, Winfield Scott Stratton discovered and developed one of the richest gold mines on earth in the nearby Cripple Creek and Victor area, and was perhaps the most generous early contributor to those communities and to Colorado Springs.

After he made his fortune he declined to build a mansion as the other gold rush millionaires were doing; instead, in later years, he lived in a house in Colorado Springs he had built when he was a carpenter in pre-gold days.

In Colorado Springs, he funded the Myron Stratton Home for housing itinerant children and the elderly, donated land for City Hall, the Post Office, the Courthouse (which now houses the Pioneer Museum), and a park; he also greatly expanded the city's trolley car system and built the Mining Exchange building, and gave to all three communities in many other ways, great and small.

As Stratton's generosity became known, he was also approached by many people looking for money, and he became reclusive and eccentric in his later years.

Spencer Penrose, early benefactor

Spencer Penrose also made his mark on Colorado Springs in its early years—though not until two decades after its founding. Penrose started as a ladies-man and an adventurer. After making a fortune in the gold fields of nearby Cripple Creek in the 1890s, he married Julie Villiers Lewis McMillan, and settled down.

Penrose used his wealth to invest in other national mineral concerns and financed construction of the Broadmoor Hotel, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, the Pikes Peak Highway, what is now known as Penrose-St Francis Health Services, and established the El Pomar Foundation, which still oversees many of his contributions in Colorado Springs today.

End of the Colorado Gold Rush and the start of health tourism

The flow of gold and silver ebbed as the decades passed, and Colorado City's economic fortunes faded with it; the miners and those who processed the ore left or retired. Because of the healthy natural scenic beauty, mineral waters, and extremely dry climate, Colorado Springs became a tourist attraction and popular recuperation destination for tuberculosis patients. The healthy waters in Colorado Springs contained so much natural fluoride that some peoples’ teeth developed Colorado Stain. In 1909, Dr. Frederick McKay of Colorado Springs discovered the Colorado Stain connection and that a little fluoride added to water would prevent cavities, according to the permanent health exhibit at the Pioneers Museum In June, 14th, 1950 Colorado Springs annexed Roswell which was founded in 1888 by coal miners and became a neighborhood. Other locations such as Austin Bluffs, Broadmoor, Woodman Valley, Pikeview, Papeton, Knob Hill, Ivywild, Stratton Meadows, Stratmoor, Elsmare, Cimarron Hills, Kelker, Stratmoor Hills, La Foret, Gleneagle, Skinners, and Colorado City (now called Old Colorado City) became the part of Colorado Springs. Old Colorado City however is located on the west side of Colorado Springs is a historic district and on the National Register of Historic Places. Its old Victorian brick buildings and main street currently offers several tourist, boutique, and antique shops.

Latter 20th Century military boom

Colorado Springs saw its first military base in 1942 shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked. During this time the U.S. Army established Camp Carson near the southern borders of the city in order to train and house troops in preparation for World War II. It was also during this time that the Army began using Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. It was renamed Peterson Field and used as a training base for heavy bombers (the airport and base still share parts of the flightline).

The Army expanded Camp Carson, a venture that increased growth in Colorado Springs and provided a significant area of industry for the city. After World War II the military stepped away from the Springs, Camp Carson was declining and the military was activating and deactivating Peterson Field irregularly. That all changed when the Korean War erupted. Camp Carson, which had declined to only 600 soldiers, was revitalized along with many other parts of the Springs. In 1951, the United States Air Defense Command moved to Colorado Springs and opened Ent Air Force Base (named for Major General Uzal Girard Ent, commander of the Ninth Air Force during World War II).

After the Korean War, Peterson Field was renamed Peterson Air Force Base and was permanently activated. In 1954 Camp Carson became Fort Carson, Colorado Springs' first Army post. Later that same year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower selected Colorado Springs, out of 300 other sites around the nation, to be the site of the Air Force's military academy. A new and growing Army post, an Air Force Base, and the Air Force's military academy together jump-started Colorado Springs' growth.

The military boom continued and in 1963, NORAD's main facility was built in Cheyenne Mountain. This placed NORAD directly next to Colorado Springs and permanently secured the city's military presence. During the Cold War the city greatly expanded due to increased revenue from various industries and the prevailing military presence in the city. In the mid 1970s, Ent Air Force Base was shut down and later converted into the United States Olympic Training Center. Military presence was further increased in 1983 with the founding of Falcon Air Force Base (later changed to Schriever Air Force Base), a base primarily tasked with missile defense and satellite control. Fort Carson and Peterson are still growing and continue to contribute to the city's growth. Air Force Space Command is located on Peterson AFB.

Geography and climate


Colorado Springs is located at (38.863443, -104.791914).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 186.1 square miles (482.1 km²), of which, 185.7 square miles (481.1 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (0.21%) is water.


Colorado Springs receives 15.42 inches of annual precipitation. Average snowfall for the area (included in the previous annual precipitation calculation) is 5.5" in November, 5.7" in December, 5.0" in January, 5.1" in February, 9.4" in March, and 6.3" in April. Due to unusually low precipitation for the past few years before 2006, Colorado Springs has had to enact lawn water restrictions. Average January low and high temperatures are 14°F/ 42°F (-10°C/ 5.5°C) and average July low and high temperatures are 55°F/ 85°F (12.7°C/ 29.4°C). Colorado Springs has relatively mild winters, with large snow accumulations in the downtown area relatively rare, a strong warming sun due to the altitude, and only occasional episodic periods of sub-zero cold snaps and blizzards from October 31 to March/April. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Colorado Springs was 101°F (38.3°C) on June 7, 1874 and the coldest temperature ever recorded was -32°F (-35.5°C) on January 20, 1883. Colorado Springs is also one of the most active lightning strike areas in the United States. This natural phenomenon led Nikola Tesla to select Colorado Springs as the preferred location to build his lab and study electricity.


As of the census of 2000, there were 360,890 people, 141,516 households, and 93,117 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,942.9 people per square mile (750.2/km²). There were 148,690 housing units at an average density of 800.5/sq mi (309.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.66% White, 6.56% African American, 0.88% Native American, 2.82% Asian, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 5.01% from other races, and 3.85% from two or more races. 12.01% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 141,516 households out of which 34.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.06.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.5% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 32.8% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 97.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males (Note: City statistics do not include the demographic influence of five military bases).

The median income for a household in the city was $45,081, and the median income for a family was $53,478. Males had a median income of $36,786 versus $26,427 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,496. About 6.1% of families and 8.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.8% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.


Much of the tourism in the Springs is attracted to the surrounding natural features such as Pikes Peak. The city has numerous trails and parks due to its location next to the Rocky Mountains, making the city a popular destination for its scenery. With the mountains nearby, the Springs has also gained fame for its rock formations and other geological features.


Colorado Springs is served by an extensive bus system called Metro (short for Mountain Metropolitan Transit). Metro also operates the Front Range Express (FREX) service, which connects Colorado Springs to Denver and several other metropolitan areas. Although the Metro system serves much of the city and its nearest suburbs, it lacks service to many important areas and has only limited hours of operation. Taxicabs are available by phone or can usually be chartered at the airport or downtown.

In order to combat congestion the Colorado Department of Transportation is in the process of widening the Interstate 25 corridor throughout the city from four lanes (two in each direction) to six lanes. This project has officially been named COSMIX (Colorado Springs Metro Interstate Expansion) Ultimately, the plan is to make the interstate eight lanes through the city when funding becomes available. This plan is similar in nature to Denver's T-Rex expansion plan.

Several suggestions have been made to create a loop around the city though none have been implemented. The original plan to convert Powers Boulevard, a major eastside expressway, into a bypass for I-25 was abandoned, but is now being reconsidered by the city council amidst stringent opposition from a large developer responsible for the construction of a large commercial complex along the road. Easier access to the airport has also been suggested. Overall the new thoroughfares would include one (or two) loop freeways, a spur into the city connecting the main freeway and the loop, east-west expressway upgrades, and easier access to the Colorado Springs Airport.

Two additional grade separated interchanges are currently under construction in order to alleviate congestion at some of the city's worst intersections. Both the intersection at Powers and Woodmen and the intersection at Austin Bluffs and Union are being converted into grade separated interchanges. The former, when completed, will be a partial cloverleaf, and the latter will be an urban diamond. A third interchange is being considered at the intersection of Woodmen Road and Academy Boulevard (SH83).

In addition, there are plans to develop a "Front Range Toll Road", a privately-owned turnpike, which would begin south of Pueblo and end around Fort Collins. This toll road would allow rail and truck traffic to avoid the more highly travelled parts of I-25 along the Front Range. Initially, the project had support but has since been highly contested because of the need to condemn the land of many private citizens, through the use of eminent domain, to make room for the corridor.

Colorado Springs is served by the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport. In the state of Colorado, only Denver International has more passenger traffic. The airport has experienced a higher recovery rate in the post-9/11 era than the rest of the country and is in the process of expanding its maintenance facilities, taxiways, and runways to accommodate future growth. In 2005 it served approximately two million passengers.


Olympic Sports

Colorado Springs is home to the United States Olympic Training Center and the headquarters of the United States Olympic Committee. In addition, a number of United States national federations for individual Olympic sports have their headquarters in Colorado Springs, including:

The city has a particularly long association with the sport of figure skating, having hosted the U.S. Figure Skating Championships 6 times and the World Figure Skating Championships 5 times. It is home to the World Figure Skating Museum and Hall of Fame and the Broadmoor Skating Club, a notable training center for the sport. In recent years, the World Arena has hosted skating events such as Skate America and the Four Continents Figure Skating Championships.

Local Teams


Colorado Springs Sky Sox

Minor league; Pacific Coast League
Security Service Field

Colorado Springs Blizzard

2004-Folded in 2006
United Soccer Leagues; USL Premier Development League
Security Service Field

Colorado Rush Men's Premier

Premier Arena Soccer League; National Premier Soccer League (National Division III)
Security Service Field

Colorado Springs Rugby Football Club

Eastern Rockies Rugby Football Union; USA Rugby; (National Division II)
Bear Creek Park

Colorado Springs Cricket Club

Colorado Cricket League
Rose Bowl, Memorial Park

  • The local colleges feature many sports teams. Notable among them are the following nationally-competitive NCAA Division I teams: United States Air Force Academy (Fighting Falcons) Football, Basketball and Hockey, Colorado College (Tigers) Hockey, and Women's Soccer.
  • Colorado Springs hosted the 1962 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships (together with Denver).

This nullifies a popular Canadian claim that the 2008 IIHF World Championships in Quebec City, PQ and Halifax, NS will mark the first time this event is organized on the American continent.


Colorado Springs' economy is driven primarily by the military, the high-tech industry, and tourism, in that order. While the main force behind the city's economy is the military, the city is not completely dependent on it. The city is currently experiencing some growth mainly in the service sectors and has been identified as one of the nation's top ten fastest growing economies. Colorado Springs is also one of the nation's leaders in lender available housing, nearing its top record set in the late 1980s.

On January 17, 2007, Steve Fehl, an Analyst at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center announced that many of the better jobs being created in Colorado Springs are for service positions in upscale call centers for the insurance, support, and financial industries. These large businesses find the quality and quantity of available college educated workers an incentive to locate to the city. Mr. Fehl also believes Colorado Springs still remains a difficult market for job seekers outside the defense sector. With future growth in the defense sector expected when the approved funding is released to defense contractors, creating employment for those with active security clearances. This growth should offset some of the recent softening in information technology and complex electronic equipment manufacturing sectors.

Defense industry

The defense industry is a significant portion of Colorado Springs' economy with several of the largest employers coming from this sector. A large segment of this industry is dedicated to the development and operation of various projects of the missile defense agency. The aerospace industry also has had an influence on the Colorado Springs economy. The defense sector has planned several changes, moving in and out personnel, building and shutting down, over the next few years. Still, they are among the largest employers in the city and the overall trend is some growth.

Significant defense corporations in the city include:

High-tech industry

A large percentage of Colorado Springs' economy is still based on high tech and manufacturing complex electronic equipment. The high tech sector of Colorado Springs area has decreased its overall presence in the Springs' economy over the past six years (from around 21,000 down to around 8,000), notably in information technology and complex electronic equipment. Due to the slowdown in tourism, the high tech sector still remains second to the military in terms of total revenue generated and employment. It is projected by this trend that the high tech employment ratio will continue to decrease in the near future.

Because of Colorado Springs’ central U.S. location, available reserve of highly educated workers, and business friendly climate; several companies have plans to either expand their current operations in Colorado Springs or have considered Colorado Springs as a competitive area for relocating or opening a business.

High tech corporations with connections to the city include:

  • Verizon Business – Software development - Formerly WorldCom and MCI, has a fairly large engineering presence. At its peak during the mid to late 1990s, with over 5,000 employees and currently has nearly 1300 employees in 2008.
  • Hewlett-Packard – Computing – large sales, support, and SAN storage engineering center. The location was built by Digital Equipment Corporation, renamed Compaq in the 1998 acquisition of Digital, and finally renamed Hewlett-Packard after the 2002 merger. Nearly 1000 positions will be transferred to N.M. and other locations
  • SNIA – Computing - home of the SNIA Technology Center
  • Agilent – Test and Measurement Manufacturing - In 1999, Agilent was spun off from HP as an independent, publicly-traded company.
  • Intel– Currently idled with 250 employees, down from 1000 employees in 2007
  • Atmel – Chip fabrication. Formerly Honeywell
  • Cypress Semiconductor Colorado Design Center – Chip fabrication R&D site
  • Sanmina-SCI Closing facility around December 2007 to January 2008 (800 jobs).

Companies based in Colorado Springs

Companies with origins in Colorado Springs include the former restaurant chain Mr. Steak.


The United States Military plays a very important role in the city. Colorado Springs is home to both Army and Air Force bases and their numerous support bases around the county. Excluding Schriever Air Force Base, all these military installations are on the border of the city, to the north, south and east.

Fort Carson

Fort Carson is the city's largest military base, and until mid-2006 was home to the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, which relocated to Fort Hood, Texas. By 2009, Fort Carson will be the home station of the 4th Infantry Division, which will nearly double the base's population. Fort Carson is host to various training grounds for infantry, armor, and aviation units (specifically the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior). Fort Carson is also the headquarters of the second and third battalions of the 10th Special Forces Group.

Peterson Air Force Base

The Air Force has critical aspects of their service based at Colorado Springs which carry on missile defense operations and development. The Air Force bases a large section of the national missile defense operations here, with Peterson Air Force Base set to operate large sections of the program. Peterson AFB is currently the headquarters of the majority of Air Force Space Command and the operations half of Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Strategic Command (SMDC/ARSTRAT).

Peterson is also headquarters for the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), one of the Unified Combatant Commands. USNORTHCOM directs all branches of the U.S. military operations in their area of responsibility which includes the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, and Mexico. In the event of national emergencies the President or Secretary of Defense can call upon USNORTHCOM for any required military assistance. Service members from every branch of US Military are stationed at the command.

Schriever Air Force Base (formerly Falcon AFB)

Schriever AFB is home to the 50th Space Wing that controls warning, navigational, and communications satellites. It is the location of the global positioning system (GPS) master control station and GPS Operations Center and the US Naval Observatory Alternate Master Clock used to synchronize GPS satellite time. Schriever is also developing parts of national missile defense and runs parts of the annual wargames used by the nations military.

NORAD and Cheyenne Mountain Air Station

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a component of America's missile defense system, is located in Cheyenne Mountain Air Station. When it was built at the height of the Cold War it caused much anxiety for the residents of Colorado Springs. Although NORAD still operates, today it is primarily tasked with the tracking of ICBMs, but the military has recently decided to place Cheyenne Mountain's NORAD/NORTHCOM operations on standby and move operations to nearby Peterson Air Force Base.

United States Air Force Academy

The north end of the city is home to the vast United States Air Force Academy grounds, where cadets train to become officers in the Air Force. The campus is famous for its unique chapel and draws visitors year round. The Air Force sports programs belong to the Mountain West Conference and they consistently compete for championships in football (including the Commander in Chief's trophy) and basketball.

Religious institutions

In recent years, Colorado Springs has attracted a large influx of Evangelical Christians and Christian Organizations. At one time Colorado Springs was counted to be the national headquarters for 81 different religious organizations, earning the city the tongue-in-cheek nickname "the Evangelical Vatican". According to the 2006 DEX phone book, there are 84 separate categories under "churches" with hundreds of individual churches listed.

The city and surrounding areas also host hundreds of churches and synagogues of many faiths and denominations, including a mosque.

Religious groups with headquarters at Colorado Springs include:


Universities, colleges and special schools include:

The city's public schools are divided into several districts:

Private schools:

Colorado Springs city government

The city is a Council-Manager government, with a City Council and Mayor that meet regularly to approve budgets and projects, while the city manager deals with the day-to-day aspects of running the city.

Organizational Chart of Colorado Springs City Government

Area Medical Facilities

There are two main hospital systems in the City of Colorado Springs. They are Memorial Health System and Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. Memorial is owned by the City of Colorado Springs and has two locations: Memorial Hospital Central which is located downtown and Memorial Hospital North which is located off Briargate Parkway. Penrose-St. Francis Health Services has two Main Hospitals, Penrose Hospital off I-25, and St. Francis Medical Center on Powers and Woodmen Road on the city's northeast side. This facility opened in August 2008 and is the only full-service acute care facility in the northern part of the city.

Notable residents

Sister cities

Sister cities of Colorado Springs include:

Colorado Springs' sister city organization began when Colorado Springs became partners with Fujiyoshida. The torii gate erected to commemorate the relationship stands at the corner of Bijou Street and Nevada Avenue, and is one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. The torii gate, crisscrossed bridge and shrine, located in the median between Platte and Bijou Streets in downtown Colorado Springs, were a gift to Colorado Springs, erected in 1966 as a token of friendship between the two communities. A plaque near the torii gate states that "the purpose of the sister city relationship is to promote understanding between the people of our two countries and cities". The Fujiyoshida Student exchange program has become an annual event.

To strengthen relations between the two cities, the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony regularly invites the Taiko drummers from the city to participate in a joint concert in the Pikes Peak Center. The orchestra played in Bankstown, Australia, in 2002 and again in June 2006 as part of their tours to Australia and New Zealand.

Also, in 2006, the Bankstown TAP (Talent Advancement Program), performed with the Youth Symphony, and the Colorado Springs Children's Chorale, as a part of the annual In Harmony program.

A notable similarity between Colorado Springs and its sister cities are their geographic positions, three of the six cities being located near the base of a major mountain or range. San Digeo Chargers Wideout Vincent Jackson was born in Colorado Springs

In popular culture

  • Clive Cussler sets a chapter of his thriller "Cyclops" in Colorado Springs, featuring an action scene between the President's personal investigator and a man supposedly involved in a top secret colony on the moon.
  • Robert A. Heinlein, noted sci-fi writer during the genre's Golden Age, lived in Colorado Springs during part of his career. His novel The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress featured at one point the rebel moon government raining rock-filled grain canisters down on NORAD's headquarters inside Cheyenne Mountain, incidentally destroying Colorado Springs because of the great amount of kinetic energy released on impact.
  • Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz lived briefly in Colorado Springs in 1951, on North Franklin Street. Linus and Lucy Van Pelt were neighbors of his, for whom he named characters. He painted a wall of his home with some Peanuts characters. The wall was removed from the home in 2001 and donated to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California.
  • Several scenes of Perry Mason: The Case of the Sinister Spirit (1987) were filmed at the Broadmoor Hotel. Several courtroom scenes in the Perry Mason movie series were filmed in the courtroom exhibit at the Pioneer's Museum (formerly the El Paso County Courthouse).
  • The Incident (1990) was filmed in the courtroom exhibit at the Pioneer's Museum (formerly the El Paso County Courthouse).
  • Strangeland (1998) was filmed in Colorado Springs.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, an Emmy Award-winning dramatic television series starring Jane Seymour, was set in this town. Though there was some historical accuracy, the character was based on a woman from nearby Cripple Creek and the majority of the events and settings were fictional, and actual filming was done at the Paramount Ranch near Agoura Hills, California.

The TV series Stargate SG-1 has several episodes which at least partially take place in Colorado Springs; additionally SGC is based out of nearby Cheyenne Mountain, and most of the team members are shown to reside in Colorado Springs. The new Julie Penrose Fountain and two Egyptian style obelisks (in background) located in the America the Beautiful park in Colorado Springs bears a remarkable resemblance to a Stargate.

See also


External links

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