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Colorado Springs a "low-key" magnet for millennials

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Rachel Riley, The Gazette

Between latte sips and bites of artisan toast, patrons at downtown Colorado Springs cafe Loyal Coffee set up camp at wooden tables and concrete benches. Some chatted casually under the fluorescent glow of pendant lights that complement the shop's industrial-yet-rustic aesthetic. Others linger on laptops with empty cups before them.

Many of the shop's Thursday morning customers - a wedding planner, a business owner, a podcast host, an online magazine editor had something in common: They are millennials.

The cohort is typically thought to include people born after 1980, ranging in age from 20 to their mid-30s. Popular culture and mainstream media have assigned the group a slew of reputations, from lazy to overworked, detached to passionate.The generation received a shoutout from Gov. John Hickenlooper on Wednesday at a local recap of his State of the State address at The Antlers hotel, where he called Colorado a top destination for millennial college graduates.

In Colorado Springs, people between the ages of 20 and 34 made up roughly 22 percent of the population in 2015 - roughly the same as the rate measured in 2010, according to most recently available data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

But the number of millenials who are moving to the city is on the rise, according to the survey. People between the ages of 18 and 34, who had moved to Colorado Springs from a different state or county, totaled more than 109,000 in 2015 - up by more than 15,000 people from 2010.In a February study by the El Pomar Foundation, entitled "Mountains Matter to Millennials," members of the generation who were surveyed chose access to outdoor activities and natural features as the top two strengths of the Pikes Peak region.

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