So, you read the article talking about how 80,000 people moved to Colorado from 2017 into 2018, right? No? Well, go ahead and click on over to it, shouldn’t take you more than a couple seconds to get the gist. Ok, done? I know, right? 80,000 people now makes for 5.7 million people living in Colorado at large. That’s… that’s a lot of people, no denying it. And it turns out that a fair amount of them are heading up here to NoCo.

According to Channel 7 News, both Greeley and Fort Collins are experiencing growth spurts that make the most extreme case of puberty look like a cake walk. The Fort Collins population now levels out at about 175,000, while Greeley’s looking at about 107,000 people. But they’re not alone—Windsor, too, is having a mini-explosion of its own. The US Census Bureau and the City of Windsor estimate that since 2017, Windsor’s population has jumped up by almost 4,000 people, capping at 29,158. That’s a lot of new faces for us all.

And thus, those of us who’ve lived here all our lives now find ourselves in an interesting position. After the requisite five-month grumbling period about increased traffic and lack of parking, we now must educate and acclimatize our new neighbors to the wonderful peculiarities of NoCo.

And assuming that at least some of these newcomers managed to click this article, I’m going to say: welcome.  Now, buckle up my dudes, because here’s five things you are absolutely going to experience while living in in the Greeley/Fort Collins/Windsor area.

1) There will be days when everything will smell like Greeley. And Greeley, we love you, but this is just the truth—Greeley smells like cows. So sometimes, things smell like cows when there isn’t a bovine in sight. It’s just going to happen.

Dancing Cows

2) Sometime in August, December, and again in May, the entirety of NoCo will be flooded with fresh-faced youths. They will look confused, sick, jubilant, or a combination of the three, and they will most certainly not know how to drive. It’s just parcel and package when living in a college town, and between CSU and UNC, there is no escape.

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

3) It will snow overnight, melt by midmorning, and then because Colorado is an overachiever, it will snow while the sun is shining that afternoon. And while this is all undeniably pretty, you will feel confused on your insides.

Steve Mason

4) You will go to a craft brewery. And while this is not uncommon by itself, I want to talk about the people that you will inevitably meet in said craft brewery. See, this is where you will run into Colorado’s particular brand of hipster, who will inevitably strike up a conversation with you and inevitably end up ‘educating’ you about all the different breweries and beverages in the area. You can spot them by their use of both a fedora and Five Finger shoes.

Three Frosted Beer Glasses on Granite Counter
Janet Koelling

5) Perhaps this last one is not that unexpected, given that NoCo is a hub for college students. But rain or shine, driving blizzard or single digit temperatures, you will see some hapless college bro outside. And he will be wearing a pair of basketball shorts with his hands stuffed in the pockets. There will be nary a coat in sight. And we will all remember the old adage: ‘You can take a dude to college, but you can’t make him think.’

Shorts in Snow
Spencer Platt, Getty Images

Welcome to NoCo, I’m out.

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