I'm sure you've noticed: The Northern Colorado economy is doing well. In large part, this can be attributed to the fact that Greeley and Weld County are leading the state in energy production – both traditional and renewable energy. There's no denying that this is an extremely important development that has had positive impacts on Greeley and many of its smaller neighboring communities. This activity contributes to a bright employment picture, new shopping and dining opportunities and an economic strength that is benefiting the entire state. Just a few years ago, that type of activity was unanticipated in the region. However, here in Greeley, there was and is plenty of prosperity with the University of Northern Colorado, JBS, State Farm, Leprino Foods, Noble Energy, the medical and wellness sector and additional commerce supporting our healthy, diverse and growing business environment – an environment that weathered the Great Recession in our characteristically steady, hard-working style. Commercial growth has been steady as well. Over the past few years retailers and restaurateurs saw Greeley's potential and were quick to take action, giving Greeley's quality of life an additional boost. And yes, the Milken Institute just ranked the Greeley metropolitan statistical area (basically all of Weld County) 10th in the nation in its 2013 Best Performing Cities report – an amazing accomplishment given the criteria and the competition presented by the much larger cities and counties in this category. Weld County and all its cities and towns deserve credit for this awesome ranking. However, there's something else happening. People are beginning to see that Weld County – specifically Greeley – is more than an economic engine. Our city is much larger, more interesting and diverse than what many may think. What does this say about our city? It says that Greeley has grown up. Now with more than 98,000 residents, we're not the small agricultural colony we once were. Don't get me wrong. Agriculture in Northern Colorado is still an economic powerhouse. But Greeley offers much more. A few examples: • The Greeley Philharmonic just celebrated its 103rd anniversary. • Greeley is home to major musical events, including the Greeley Blues Jam and UNC Jazz Festival. • Greeley has more than 40 parks, dog parks, skate parks and conservation and open-space areas. • North Colorado Medical Center, Greeley's hospital, is ranked in the top 2 percent in the nation. • Greeley ranks 12th among U.S. cities for tolerance, according to the Martin Prosperity Institute. • Our state-of-the-art performing and visual arts center has 1,665- and 225-seat theaters. • Greeley's Creative District is officially recognized as a prospective and emerging district. • Greeley-Evans School District 6 graduation rates exceed the state average. • Greeley schools rank fourth all time for the number of Boettcher scholars among all Colorado school districts, and Greeley Central High ranks second all time. • Greeley is home to the largest solar farm in Weld, with more on the way. • Greeley has several public art programs and a continually growing public art collection. There are no feedlots in Greeley and haven't been for many years; it's simply a part of our historical past. There's much more to our community than what I can list here, and I invite you to visit www.greeleyunexpected.com. See stories of the people who make Greeley interesting, read blogs from local folks, learn about local events and connect with us to stay tuned in to Greeley's growth and positive development. Greeley is creating good news for its residents and for all of Northern Colorado. Roy H. Otto is Greeley city manager.