Colorado Springs is the second largest city in the state of Colorado and the seat of El Paso County. Situated on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs sits at the base of the famous Pike's Peak. With a population of 369,815, Colorado Springs has grown far beyond the small resort town it once was into what the July of 2006 issue of Money magazine ranked the best big city in which to live.
Colorado Springs attracts many tourists, due in part to its proximity to the Rocky Mountains. The unique and breathtaking geography is one of the main reasons that many come to this area. Mountainside attractions include the Manitou Cliff Dwellings, the Cave of the Winds, and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, one of only two mountain zoos in the United States. In town, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and the Pike's Peak Center offer theater, dance, and other performing arts events, as well as a museum and education center within the Fine Arts Center.
The prosperity of Colorado Springs is predominantly dependent on the military, the high-tech industry, and tourism, respectively. The city is home to both Army and Air Force bases, including Fort Carson which is the city's largest military base. The North American Aerospace Defense Command is also located here, which is part of America's missile defense system.
Colorado Springs is the home of the US Olympic Training Center and the headquarters of the US Olympic Committee. The city has also hosted many figure skating events such as the World Figure Skating Championships. While the city has a few minor league teams, college sports teams are more popularly followed. The following are a few of the colleges and universities located in Colorado Springs: The Colorado College, the United States Air Force Academy, The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the Colorado School for the Blind and Deaf.