With a friendly, hospitable small town atmosphere, Florence embodies Western living at its best! Downtown is a mix of old and new with lots of profit opportunity awaiting the discerning business investor. The local economy is based mostly on small business, tourism, recreation, manufacturing, and cattle ranching. With an excellent temperate climate, affordable acreage, adequate water, low-cost zoning and low start-up expenses, Florence is an ideal location for prospective industries and businesses looking for an educated and motivated workforce, excellent amenities and a high quality of life. There is even an excellent 18-hole Gary Player Signature Golf Course at Sumo Golf Village, on the southern outskirts of town.
For the outdoors folks, Florence is surrounded by lots of recreational opportunities. Between the San Isabel National Forest and lots of BLM property, there are miles and miles of hiking and horseback riding trails in the nearby Wet Mountains and Pikes Peak region. Florence owns a 200-acre mountain park with picnic and restroom facilities. Just east of town is a beautiful, 17-acre park along the Arkansas River with picnic and restroom facilities. This park also serves as a launch site for rafts, kayaks and canoes on the Arkansas.
In downtown Florence, a lot of the older buildings are being refurbished and re-purposed. Looking better than it has for a long time, downtown is becoming a vibrant area again with a sidewalk cafe and a bit of night life.
Florence has been home to Ute Indians, Spanish explorers, American and French trappers, and several other cultural groups. In 1862, oil was discovered near Florence and the town boomed. As this was the second oil field discovered in America, some of the wells that are still producing are among the oldest in the country. By 1901, Florence was a major oil refining center for the West.
In 1890, Bob Womack discovered gold in the Cripple Creek area. In 1892, Shelf Road was constructed to bring gold ore down out of the mountains to a smelter in Canon City. In 1894, the railroad track down Phantom Canyon was finally finished and most of the gold ore shipments came down the railroad and into Florence where up to nine smelters at a time were running night and day to handle the amount of ore coming into town.
Later, coal mining became the principal economic engine driving Florence. Today, there is a mini-renaissance going on in Florence with lots of new blood repairing and refurbing many of the old Victorian structures in town. A businessman with a good eye could do really well here...
Along Main Street in Florence
Florence High School