Longmont, located in the counties of Boulder and Weld, has an estimated population of 81,818 (2005) residents. The name Longmont originated from Longs Peak, clearly visible from Longmont, named for explorer Stephen H. Long and "mont," from the French word for mountain. The city has begun to grow rapidly in recent years, in part as a bedroom community of Boulder and nearby Denver. The city was founded in 1871 by a group of businessmen from Chicago. They sold "memberships" to raise the money necessary to buy land for the city. After the completion of the Colorado Central Railroad in 1877, the city began to grow rapidly and flourish as an agricultural community.
After a series of booms and busts in the last two decades, the city has been revitalized partially through funding by the first "New Urbanist" project in Colorado. This project is called Prospect New Town, and designed by architect Andres Duany. Economic development has also taken off in recent years with companies like Seagate Technology, Longmont United Hospital, ConAgra Foods, Amgen, McLane Western, Intrado, Xilinx, and the Federal Aviation Administration located in the area. In 2006, Longmont was named an "All-American City" by the National Civic League, and it was also listed number 61 on the 2006 list of the top 100 places to live in the United States by Money Magazine.
The Longmont community has an active role in preserving and supporting the history, performing, and visual arts in the area. The Dougherty Museum, Longmont Museum & Cultural Center, the Old Firehouse Art Center, and the Sandstone Ranch Visitor's Center are just a few of the many opportunities to experience this area's rich culture. Other interesting historical and educational attractions in the city include the Anderson Farms Corn Maze, tours of the Federal Aviation Administration, The Agricultural Heritage Center, Art in Public Places, and Artwalk Longmont. Performing arts organizations and venues inlcude the Longmont Symphony Orchestra, Longmont Children's Chorale, Vance Brand Civic Auditorium, California Actors Theatre, The Jesters Dinner Theatre, and the Longmont Theatre Company.