Loveland is a gateway town for the Rockies. From here, Highway 34 takes you up to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. But Loveland is also close enough to Fort Collins to the north, Greeley to the east and Longmont to the south, to be a bedroom community for commuters. The population of Loveland is about 65,000. The town prides itself on artiness, with many little galleries and a city-sponsored collection of 300 bronze sculptures scattered around town. Loveland may also be the best-know postmark in the world: Hundreds of thousands of valentines are mailed from around the world to the Loveland post office, where they are marked and remailed.
U.S. Highway 34 is Loveland's main road that runs east to west through the mountains. Once it hits the city, however, it turns into Eisenhower Boulevard and essentially divides the city in half. Loveland's two separate ZIP codes are divided by the road. U.S. Highway 87 runs north and south along the eastern edge of Loveland. Another road that runs north and south is U.S. Highway 287, and it flows right through the middle of the city. For public transportation, the city's bus system is called COLT, or City of Loveland Transit. It offers fixed-route bus transportation Mondays through Saturdays. The Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport is jointly owned by the two neighboring cities and is found off Interstate 25. Opened in 1964, today the airport is a 1,100-acre facility with 225 aircraft based on its grounds.
Loveland is predominantly a town of married folks with children living in single-family homes. For a small town, it's loaded with good public spaces: 27 public parks and nearly 16 miles of recreation trails. Commercial development is concentrated along strips on Highways 34 and 287. Downtown Loveland, centered around Fourth Street, is a walkable area with shops and galleries, the historic Rialto Theater, as well as the library, housed in older buildings.
The city of Loveland is home to many thriving businesses. The economy is dominated by the services sector, which accounts for 38.50 percent of the total businesses in the city. Retail sector is also one of the major industrial sectors and accounts for 16 percent of the businesses. Construction is the third largest industry in Loveland accounting for 14.42 percent of businesses. Other major sectors in the city include agriculture, forestry, and fishing, finance, insurance, real estate, and manufacturing.
The rate of unemployment in Loveland is 4.7 percent, this is lower than the statewide unemployment rate, which is 5.7 percent.
The largest employers in the city include Thompson School District R2-J, The Promenade Shops, Larimer County, Poudre Valley Health Systems, Wal-Mart Distribution Center, McKee Medical Center, Hach Company, Woodward Governor, City of Loveland, Group Publishing, Foothills Gateway-Larimer Co., and Kroll Factual Data.
The Promenade Shops at Centerra, is situated just east of Interstate 25 at Highway 34. It has more than 60 specialty shops and restaurants for patrons to choose from, as well as a movie theater and ice skating rink. As an added bonus, more than half the stores allow customers to bring their dogs inside, as long as the pet and owner abide by preset rules. Other shopping centers include the Marketplace at Centerra, which is located on the west side of Interstate 25, and the Outlets of Loveland, the area outlet shopping center that is at Interstate 25 and west Highway 34. Both of these centers provide access to numerous stores and restaurants.
Held on the second weekend in August, Sculpture in the Park showcases the three-dimensional artwork of more than 200 artists from all over the world. Historically, one-fourth of the artists with exhibits at the park are new, allowing for a new look annually. The Benson Sculpture Garden is the site for this festival.
With its home offices on East Fifth Street, the Loveland Reporter-Herald is the area daily newspaper, providing news and information to Loveland and its neighboring cities.
Started in 1947, Loveland participates in the Valentine's Day Re-mailing Program, in which hundreds of thousands of Valentines are sent inside larger envelopes to Loveland's post office. From there, the envelopes are opened, and the Valentines are hand-stamped with a Valentine's verse and sent on their way. Every year, the Loveland Reporter-Herald runs a contest for residents to submit verses to use on the stamp.
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