Expanded Outdoor Dining During COVID-19

The City of Fort Collins is launching temporary outdoor dining expansions for restaurant and bars, which temporarily allows restaurants, bars, and retail businesses to expand their business footprint onto the public rights-of-way. Businesses must apply for, and be approved to use additional public space.


  • Fort Collins has created a temporary program to expand options for restaurants and bars to operate in outdoor patio settings adjacent to their businesses.
  • The intent of the program is to allow for greater social distancing and safety for bar and restaurant‐goers when public health orders allow restaurants and bars to resume sit‐down service.
  • To gauge interest, Fort Collins has created an application for businesses for the City to review.
  • Final rules and regulations are in development. Under this program, Fort Collins would consider allowing businesses to expand existing patio space or establish new outdoor areas, potentially including parking lots, sidewalks, street parking spaces, and possibly closing select streets to expand outdoor operating areas. The City would maintain ADA access at all times.


  • All outdoor seating must be spaced at least six feet apart.
  • It is strongly encouraged to test workforce for COVID-19.
  • Use single-use paper menus, condiments, etc.
  • Provide easily accessible sanitizing options for patrons and employees.
  • It is strongly encouraged to implement contact-less ordering and payment processes.
  • All restaurants are encouraged to use a reservation system to prevent capacity issues and patrons from congregating while waiting for service.
  • Facial coverings must be worn by all staff members.
  • Request facial covering of customers when not eating or drinking (i.e., walking past other tables to be seated and/or using restroom).
  • Floor markings for traffic control and waiting queue space is highly recommended.
  • Limit contact with dining guests by reducing the number of visits wait staff make to each table.
  • Maintain ADA access at all times in the public right-of-way.

Find a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here.

Apply for an Outdoor Dining Expansion Permit

Last Call Guidance:

  • The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) based on the Governor’s Executive Order D2020-199 are as such (identified due to our Safer at Home, Level 1 status) regarding alcohol. County guidance. State guidance.
    • Take Out/Away Service  – Ends at 11 p.m.
    • In Person – Ends at 12 a.m.
    • Delivery – Ends at 2 a.m.

Colorado Face Covering Order

The State’s order requires people in Colorado who are 11 years and older to wear a covering over their noses and mouths:

  • When entering or moving within any public indoor space.
  • While using or waiting to use public (buses, light-rail) or non-personal (taxis, car services, ride-shares) transportation services.

People who do not have to wear a mask include:

  • People who are 10 years old and younger.
  • People who cannot medically tolerate a face covering.
  • Children ages 2 and under should NOT wear masks or cloth face coverings.

Businesses must:

  • Refuse service to people who are not wearing masks.
  • Post signs at entrances that instruct customers they must wear a mask when entering or moving around inside the business. Half and full size face covering posters available for download.

Looking for face coverings, cleaning, and safety supplies for your business? Visit

Reopen Safe

Guidelines are now available from both Governor Polis and Larimer County: is a resource exchange for PPE, cleaning, and safety supplies for businesses and the workplace in response to the increased demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Post what you have or what you need to keep Northern Colorado employees and workplaces safe.

Reopening best practices all for business types

Visit for a full list of guidance and reopening best practices, as well as CARES Act and other financial resources.

Signage Templates

Templates provided by the Larimer County Health Department 

Face coverings are now mandatory for all persons (customers and employees) to wear face coverings when entering and while inside retail and commercial businesses.

Businesses and on-site service providers are required to clearly display informational signage in both English and Spanish. State, City, County, or homemade signs are acceptable.

Downloadable signs Fort Collins businesses can use:

Customer Best Practices Signage for download

Arts & Culture – Responsible Patron Checklist

Fitness Studios & Gyms – Responsible Patron Checklist

Restaurant Dining – Responsible Patron Checklist

Retail Stores – Responsible Patron Checklist

Salons – Responsible Patron Checklist

Reopen Strong

Economic Health Office – Fort Collins Business Resources

Downtown Business Association – Support and Save Old Town Fort Collins campaign

Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce – Open for Business listing

Visit Fort Collins– FoCoToGo, FoCo From Home, Bingo cards, and more.

Fort Collins URA– Urban Renewal Authority

Larimer County Economic & Workforce Development– Connecting people and businesses

More business associations and partners:

Fort Collins Startup Week  – free videos and resources including, Getting Started in E-Commerce, Online Teaching, Marketing During a Crisis, and local Scaleup presentations from the 2020 Fort Collins Startup Week event. – exists to connect local freelancers to local projects and work, hosted by Fort Collins Startup Week.

Poudre River Public Library District Business Center – speak to a business librarian in English or Spanish, a nonprofit librarian, or access market research data and information.

Larimer Small Business Development Center – free and low-cast workshops and consulting with local industry experts in both English and Spanish.

Current City of Fort Collins leniencies


City Parking Enforcement Resumes Monday, August 3: Parking Services has conducted three weeks of education, outreach, and information as part of the Business as Unusual campaign in partnership with the Downtown Development Authority, leading up to resuming regular enforcement efforts beginning Monday, Aug. 3. The goal is to continue to support economic vitality by ensuring regular and appropriate parking space turnover to help downtown businesses serve more customers.

  • To support longer term parking needs, Parking Services is offering “Three for Free,” with the first three hours in each of our three parking structures free (remember to initiate a parking session regardless of duration of stay).
  • Contact Parking Services for additional information at or (970) 221-6617


    City Zoning is temporarily suspending signage permitting – essential businesses will not have to go through the usual permitting process but must still comply with all other City regulations. Signs, including those in the City’s right-of-way, must not be a safety hazard.

    • Contact Zoning for additional information at or (970) 416-2745

    Sales Tax

    Qualified businesses can defer sales tax payments due on April 20 and/or May 20 to June 22, 2020; interest and penalties will also be waived for approved businesses.

    • Qualified businesses:
      • Average monthly sales tax remittance in 2019 was $2,000 or less OR
      • Current tax filings for April and May are $2,000 or less
      • Must apply to the Sales Tax Department and receive a positive confirmation to be accepted
    • The Fort Collins Sales Tax Department has set up a dedicated email address at, and is also offering online chat from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday-Friday at, and a hotline at (970) 221-6780 to assist businesses with related questions.


    City electricity, water, stormwater and sewer service for most of Fort Collins won’t disconnect services for nonpayment until further notice. We encourage customers having trouble paying their bills to contact Utilities for financial assistance or to make a payment arrangement. 

    Important Water Quality Message – If you have questions about building flushing practices or your water quality in general before reopening your building, please email or call 970-416-4268. For more information, please visit Fort Collins Utilities COVID-19 Updates.

    What else you can do for the community

    Visit United Way Larimer County for nonprofit resources, food and medical assistance, mental health resources, and more.

    OurCity – Community members, we want to hear your stories about how you and others in our community are rising up to show that we’re in this together #ForFoCo. From videos of your neighborhood’s 8 p.m. howl to photos of your physically distanced mask sewing club and what you love most about the local businesses you’re supporting most.

    We want to hear it all: Visit to share your stories!


    Use our Social Post Creator to generate customized #ForFortCollins and #ForFoCo social media posts! All you have to do is customize, download and post to share how you or your customers can be #ForFortCollins.


    Follow The Movement

    Keep up with the latest by following the hashtags #ForFortCollins and #ForFoCo

    Our Partners

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    Old Town Media Logo

    Visit for information about business relief and additional resources.