Nightlife: What happens in Fort Collins after 3 a.m.

Amanda Thompson

7:00 PM: Dinner

8:00 PM: Shower, change and begin prepping yourself for the night out

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9:00 PM: Pregame

10:30 PM: Let the night begin

The Late Night Bus makes its way to one of the several bus stops around Fort Collins during a snowy night last year. The Late Night bus systems has proven to been difficult to sustain.
The Late Night Bus makes its way to one of the several bus stops around Fort Collins during a snowy night last year. The Late Night bus systems has proven to been difficult to sustain.

Doesn’t the schedule above look strikingly familiar? Perhaps, it’s the average college student’s weekend schedule for a night of partying. Perhaps, it’s the average college student’s weekend schedule for a night of bar hopping or clubbing. Perhaps, it’s your weekend schedule.

Nightlife in Fort Collins begins relatively early, compared to other college towns. College students usually begin their night of festivities around 10:30 p.m., give or take, and wind down the night by clumsily stumbling into their beds typically around 2 or 3 a.m. However, there is much more to the nightlife in Fort Collins than what happens between 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Most individuals would start going home after a late night around 3 a.m. (like a normal person would), but what happens in Fort Collins at 3:30 a.m.? 4 a.m.? 5 a.m.?

In such a ravishing and unique college town, the night does not end at 3:00 a.m.

During the first semester of my freshman year, my friend and I ventured around Fort Collins from 11 p.m. to 9 a.m. the next morning. Equipped with no energy drinks, no car and no sanity for that matter, we explored Old Town, the entire campus, up and down Laurel Street and many of the nearby neighborhoods. We were able to see the gorgeous Colorado sunrise and experience Fort Collins after 3 a.m.

3:00 AM As mentioned earlier, this marks the time where most late night shops, bars and hookah bars are closing down for the night and party-goers are making their way safely back to their homes.

New Fort Collins' smoking ordinance conflicts with local hookah lounge Narghile Nights, which recently moved from 621 S. College Ave. to Old Town. (Collegian File Photo)
(Collegian File Photo)

3:30 AM Only 30 minutes after closing time, it seemed as if Fort Collins was almost deserted except for the few transients and other college students that hung out in the alley where Algiers and The Alley Cat are located. There are still quite a few cars that roll down the usually busy roads of College and Laurel streets.

4:00 AM By this time of the night, Fort Collins is a complete ghost town in a surreal and peaceful sort of way. It is interesting to see the usually busy streets full of cars and sidewalks full of people, completely silent and empty.

The street lights at this hour are flashing yellow and the streets are so deserted, they can be used as massive sidewalks.

On a crisp and clear night, the stars at this hour seem more vibrant and noticeable. Perhaps, it is because of the lack of artificial light. Perhaps, it is the delirium kicking in.

5:00 AM This hour could pass as either “late at night” or “early in the morning.” Fort Collins is still generally calm and quiet, but I do remember noticing a couple of business owners sweeping the sidewalks in front of their businesses. This hour is the awkward hour that lacks the complete ghost town feel that 4:00 a.m. had, but is not quite the appropriate hour for businesses to open.

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Collegian Nightlife Blogger Amanda Thompson can be reached at blogs@collegian.com or on Twitter @amanduhh3003.