U.S. Department of State
International Visitor Leadership Program
Reflections on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
With an estimated population of approximately 478,000, it is Colorado’s largest city in terms of area and second only to Denver in population. It is known for its climate, its Olympic-level athletes and healthy population, and a cornerstone of the nation’s security.
In 1871, General William Palmer founded the city at the foot of Pikes Peak. Soon after a rush of people began arriving from England, and the town was eventually nicknamed “Little London.” Beginning in the late 1800’s, Colorado Springs became a natural health destination for tuberculosis patients because of the nearly 300 days of sunshine a year, natural mineral springs, and dry mountain air.
Colorado Springs was founded by a civil war hero and now stands as the home of many of our military heroes and installations. Peterson Air Force Base (AFB) hosts three of the Department of Defense’s major commands: U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)/ U.S. Department of Defense Northern Command (NORTCHOM), Air Force Space Command, and the Army Space Command. In addition, Colorado Springs hosts Fort Carson Army Post, the U.S. Air Force, and Cheyenne Mountain Air Station that remains under the command of the U.S. Airforce Space Command (AFSPC) but is also famous for the location of the “mountain defense” in the movie “War Games.” These Department of Defense assets, have attracted aerospace and security-related industries.
Colorado Springs is home to many institutions of higher learning including the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado College, Colorado Technical University, and Pikes Peak Community College, that include specialty degrees to support industries such as Homeland Security and Sports Management.
One of the “Fittest” communities in the nation, Colorado Springs is also home to the headquarters of the U.S. Olympic Committee and hosts a large training facility for many of its athletes. In addition, it hosts 27 national governing bodies for a variety of sports and support agencies such as USA Cycling, USA Fencing, and the US Anti-Doping Agency. There is also the newly opened U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.
Throughout its history, Colorado Springs has been a popular tourist destination due to its surrounding natural beauty and magnificent climate. Some of the more visited sightseeing attractions in and around Colorado Springs include Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, the United States Olympic Headquarters and Training Center, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and The Broadmoor Hotel. Sightseeing tours of the Pikes Peak region are available as well as whitewater rafting, golf, skiing and hiking in the Pike National Forest. Colorado Springs is also home to a variety of cultural, educational, and historical attractions including the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
Colorado Springs program
World Affairs Council
International Visitors Program Manager