When Horace Greeley, the great New York newspaperman said, “Go West, young man”, a young idealist named Nathan Meeker listened. Meeker did come west, along with 59 other intrepid settlers, and put down roots here on the western edge of Colorado’s high plains. Originally known as the Union Colony, Meeker called his new settlement “Greeley,” in honor of the inspiration and support received from his boss and journalistic colleague.
Meeker designed Greeley to be an agricultural utopia based on the following principles: Cooperation, Irrigation, Agriculture, Temperance, Faith, Family and Education. Times have certainly changed, but Greeley is still a community where residents work hard, watch out for each other, and generously dedicate their time and resources to improving the community.
Greeley is the largest city and the county seat in Weld County. It is a place where the generosity and warmth of its residents fit nicely with our big city amenities and down home comforts. Greeley continues to grow its downtown, commercial, and industrial districts boasting numerous new restaurants, businesses and corporate company headquarters.
Its thriving economy, comfortable climate (over 300 days of sunshine per year!), panoramic views of the Front Range Rocky Mountains and close proximity to outdoor recreation help Greeley live up to its national designation as an “An All America City.”
- Population: ( as of 2015) 101,000
- Elevation: 4,658 ft. Climate: 300 days of sunshine per year and 14 inches of precipitation.
- Geography: 60 miles north of Denver, 50 miles south of Cheyenne, Wyoming.
- Churches: Numerous congregations serving every denomination.
- Median family income: $58,611
- National Ranking:National Ranking: Milken Institute’s Best Performing Cities 2014 – Greeley MSA ranked 14th in the nation (large city category).
The University of Northern Colorado is known for its strong Business, Education, Nursing and Performing and Visual Arts programs. Over 12,500 students are enrolled here. The main campus of Aims Community College (www.aims.edu) is also located in Greeley offering programs and degrees in health and fire science, aviation and energy, just to name a few.
School District 6 offers residents of Greeley and Evans multiple educational options for their children in award winning programs for academic success and career track preparation. The teacher to student ratio is 24:1 and average ACT scores are 21.1. Private, charter and magnet schools are all part of the outstanding K-12 educational mix.
Collaboration between The City of Greeley and local schools has created the G.Town Promise to help students get the additional help and financial assistance they need to attend college and to become successful adults. The program includes career planning support, local internships and mentoring, leadership development, opportunities to participate in after-school and extra-curricular activities, as well as funding for post-secondary education.
If you are an exercise fanatic you’ll find that there is a lot to do in Greeley. Golf (with 2 tournament level public courses and the Greeley Country Club) and tennis (with numerous courts) are popular pastimes as well as over 40 traditional and open space parks, dog parks and 3 disc golf courses. These amenities offer miles of walking, jogging, in-line skating, and other leisure activities including the 21 mile Poudre River Trail and the Sheep Draw Trail, as well as over 90 miles of bike lanes and off street paths. The Family FunPlex, Downtown Recreation Center, the Ice Haus and the Rodarte Center offer community recreational opportunities including climbing walls, racquetball, basketball, volleyball, year-round indoor ice skating and hockey, swimming, an indoor water park, indoor running track and exercise rooms with classes and leagues for all ages.
Every year, for about 10 days in June and July, Greeley goes cowboy when it welcomes world class rodeo to town for the Greeley Stampede. Entertainment is a big part of the Stampede featuring top national performers every year. The annual UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival, the Greeley Blues Jam, the Arts Picnic, the Colorado Model Railroad Museum and Centennial Village living history museum are some of the city’s other major attractions.
Beyond Greeley’s borders there’s a wide world of outdoor activity. Just to the east of town lies the beautiful and unique Pawnee National Grassland and to the west are Roosevelt and other national forests, wilderness areas, and Rocky Mountain National Park, the ultimate playgrounds for the outdoorsman and outdoorswoman.
If you’re more interested in sports as a spectator than as a participant, UNC is a Division I mid-major college powerhouse. And Denver, with its plethora of professional sports teams (including the Broncos, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Rockies) is only an hour away. Closer yet are the Colorado Eagles, a minor league hockey team. At Greeley’s year-round indoor ice arena, the Greeley Ice Haus, you can watch college level play or participate in youth and adult leagues yourself.
Culturally, Greeley is light years ahead of similarly sized cities for two reasons. First, the University of Northern Colorado has a superior, nationally recognized Performance Arts department. The second is Greeley’s Union Colony Civic Center state of the art 1665 seat theater, which hosts a variety of stage productions, music, ballet, and national acts. It is also home to the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and the Greeley Chorale. The Greeley Philharmonic is one of the oldest orchestras in the west having celebrated its 104th anniversary in 2015.
North Colorado Medical Center sits conveniently in the center of town and provides excellent, full-service healthcare for Greeley residents. As a Level II Trauma Center complete with MedEvac (a regional air-medical transport service) NCMC is at the forefront of Northern Colorado’s regional healthcare. Additional clinics (emergency and other) are plentiful offering convenience and a wide selection of physicians including specialists in a number of health care fields. This Regional hospital was ranked in 2015 as one of the nation’s top 50 hospitals (Healthgrades).
Major employers in Greeley include JBS USA, Banner Health/North Colorado Medical Center, Noble Energy, DCP Midstream, Hensel Phelps, Leprino Foods, the University of Northern Colorado, State Farm Insurance, Xerox Business Services, and TeleTech.
If creating and managing your own business is your dream, then you’ll find UNC’s Small Business Development Center and recently created BizHub Incubator to be the perfect place to start on your path to entrepreneurial success.