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Why do you live in CO?
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By J Miles
From Queensbury, NY
Apr 24, 2012
Flatirons

I submitted a very similar thread in the Northeast section, but would like to get input from those who live in CO and don't read that section.

As a climber and someone who (I assume) likes to be outdoors why do you choose to live in CO? This isnít meant to be a question of what is better (East vs. West), but more of an insight into what everyone enjoys, and doesnít enjoy, about living here since itís something that Iíve been thinking about for the past few years.

I currently live in upstate NY because:
This is where Iíve lived since I was in middle school, I have a good paying job, the cost of living is relatively low, traffic isnít that bad, my family is here, my wife knows a lot of people in her field and has a good chance of getting a good paying job, there are a number of great climbing locations under 3 hours away, there are a lot of places to go hiking, swimming in the lakes and rivers is awesome.

Iím tempted to move out West (possibly CO) because:
Thatís where I lived before I moved here, they get more sun, the winter isnít as cold, there are more options for climbing, black flies arenít an issue (not 100% sure how accurate this is, or if there is something similar), most of the places that I want to visit are out west (I could make them extended weekend trips and drive to these places), I could be close to a large city (Denver) and still have my choice of outdoor activities.

Again, this isnít meant to be an East vs. West post, but rather me thinking out loud, getting some feedback, and hearing everyone elseís reasons for living in CO. Thanks in advance for your response!


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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Apr 24, 2012
Me and Spearhead

Interesting how you phrased the question... made me think what is the real reason I live in CO, Boulder specifically.

I do believe that if someone is truly psyched on climbing any halfway decent piece of choss will keep them content and since there's so much good rock all over the country there are a lot of places one could live "for the climbing".

For me, the weather is #1. Like you said, winters are mild and you can climb rock year round (which is nice since I don't really do any winter sports).

The Front range is essentially a high desert and I love the desert climate. Part of that is no bugs, maybe a few mosquitos here and there, low humidity (because humidity sucks whether it's hot or cold) and a boat load of sunshine.

And lastly, the Front Range has enough population density to have most of the big city amenities that I want but when it all gets too much it's still a short trip to get the hell out of town and into the wilderness.
That's my opinion anyway.


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By Joe Huggins
From 666 Rue le Jour-Edge City
Apr 24, 2012
mmmm....tree

If I look up as I type this, I see the Third Flatiron; which is good. But, the climate really is the clincher for me. I love the Gunks and Cathedral,the Northeast is beautiful country, New Paltz and North Conway are great towns; but the weather, mosquitos and flies were a bummer. Add to that the shear quantity of climbing out here; this time of year, you can work a full day and still get hours of cragging in after a fifteen minute drive.


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By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Apr 24, 2012

After bouncing back and forth between California and Vermont for a few years, I am settling down for a while in Golden, CO, starting this summer. I'm going there for grad school at School of Mines. Here are my reasons for choosing to move to the Front Range:

1. A specific opportunity: Mines has a great program in what I want to study.

2. Proximity of urban opportunities to mountains/recreation: unlike in CA, you don't have to drive several hours to get from cities/jobs/universities to the mountains. In CO, they are right next to each other, allowing for easy access

3. Variety, quantity, and accessibility of climbing

4. Climate: Dry air, lots of sun, long rock season

5. Landscape: big mountains, open spaces, scenery

6. Nice, liveable small towns. Golden is a nice medium-size town, with a very walkable downtown.

7. More progressive culture than much of the inter-mountain West (excluding Colorado Springs...)

8. Reasonable driving-distance access to other places and landscapes that I like to visit.


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By Dave Swink
From Boulder, Co
Apr 24, 2012

I was drawn to Boulder (applies to many Colorado small towns) as a great spot for my not-to-distant retirement.

With 300 days of sunshine, mild winters, dry summers that are not too hot, the weather is conducive to playing outside year round.

This area has so many recreational activities that I enjoy; cragging, alpine climbing, mountaineering, hiking, trail running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing, that it feels like I live in a resort.

Boulder has enough "urban" amenities for my tastes, but I seldom run into traffic jams, pay parking, or other city ills.

I love the "open spaces" concept to preserve natural or agricultural environment, and to contain urban growth.

The ability to bike anywhere in town in a few minutes is really nice.

This particular area is very dense in technology job opportunities.


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By Ian Stewart
Apr 24, 2012

I grew up in Ontario, Canada, then lived out in California for a few years before making the move to Fort Collins almost exactly a year ago. I haven't regretted it a single second yet, and almost every day I'm still hit with an "I'm loving Colorado" moment.

I never liked Ontario. Besides the great summers on the lakes (I lived in "Cottage Country"), which only really lasted a few months, the rest of the year kinda sucked. The geography is flat, and I hate humidity with a passion.

California is great, IF you don't mind driving and lots of traffic and you a) are fine renting or b) have a ton of money to buy a house. This latter problem was the main reason we started looking into Fort Collins, but it wasn't the only one to make us move.

My favorite things about Fort Collins, in no order:

1) Affordable. My wife and I bought a house for less than a third of what it would have cost us in California. Not to mention much less tax, and even things like gas are quite a bit cheaper.

2) Proximity to activities. I love biking, climbing, hiking, and pretty much anything outdoors. I can hop on my road bike at the office at lunch and in 10 minutes be climbing hills all around Horsetooth. Or if I want something flat I can go East. 15 minutes in the truck will get me to tons of Mountain Bike trailheads. There's a ton of climbing within an hour. Basically, everything is close enough that I can still do it during the week...before or after work...and I barely have to drive. (Snowboarding is still a couple hours away, but still much better than I'm used to in Ontario or California).

3) Climate. Mmm, dry mountain air and plentiful sunshine.

4) Seasons. If you've lived in California, you probably know what I'm talking about...

5) People. The community here is awesome, and people are friendly.

Good luck with your decisions!


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By J. Broussard
From CordryCorner
Apr 24, 2012
Young Good Free Face, 11b

Personally, I enjoy Colorado for all of the good nose picking.
It's just dry enough here that tissues are futile, but not too dry that all the goods chaff out.
You defiantly get to spend some quality time in there mining for treasures.


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By TheBirdman
From Eldorado Springs, Colorado
Apr 24, 2012

Chicks man.


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By J Miles
From Queensbury, NY
Apr 24, 2012
Flatirons

WOW...these are all really good responses! Since everyone is being so helpful I'll throw out some more information for those that want to help even more (Note that I would still like to hear about why you like living in CO if you haven't already answered that).
How likely do you think it is for me to get "affordable" housing near a place that my wife and I could work?

I have a Mechanical Engineering degree with experience in Quality, Medical Devices and Steam Turbines. With my fairly limited knowledge of the opportunities in the area, the companies that I could see myself working at are Ball, NIST, Covidien, Lockheed Martin, and Medtronic. These seem like companies that are very competitive to get in with and I'm sure being out of state reduces my chances even more. The other bad part about finding work is that my wife is a Math Teacher and based on what she's heard it'll be nearly impossible for her to get a job. If we both do end up getting jobs, what would you expect the pay to be with 2-3 years of experience for both of us?

In regard to "affordable" housing, I was thinking of rent under $1000 and houses/town homes under $200k. While we are renting we would probably be looking at a place around 1000 sq ft and for the house we would want something bigger.

Thanks again for all of the responses so far!


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By Joe Huggins
From 666 Rue le Jour-Edge City
Apr 24, 2012
mmmm....tree

Jeffeos wrote:
Personally, I enjoy Colorado for all of the good nose picking. It's just dry enough here that tissues are futile, but not too dry that all the goods chaff out. You defiantly get to spend some quality time in there mining for treasures.

Didn't want to go there; but you nailed it! Our secret is out.

EDIT- j miles; sectors of the job market out here can be insanely competitive, and the cost of housing is pretty high. Other places to look for work could be NREL, CU (they have a lot of research facilities), and lots of aerospace related stuff in C Springs.


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By erik wellborn
From manitou springs
Apr 24, 2012
Top of Bridalveil, feelin good

You might find those houseing prices in the springs, but as noted were a "regressive" community. And the climbing just sucks here.;) Biking and running are just horrible too..

As for as the 'rado for living, I'll go with the 300 sunny days a year and awesome margs vs. the east coast.


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By jordan cocanower
From Estes Park, CO
Apr 24, 2012
A nice little alpine day

Climb, ski, bike, or kayak in under an hour. Nice women


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By Elena Sera Jose
From colorado
Apr 24, 2012
bacon

What kind of question is that?


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By J Miles
From Queensbury, NY
Apr 24, 2012
Flatirons

Elena Sera Jose wrote:
What kind of question is that?


Haha, I like your "answer."


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By Berkeley
From Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2012
Font!

I'm also a mechanical engineer, and I think that there are a lot of job opportunities here, depending on your specialty and where you want to live. Some other employers that come to mind are IBM, Northrop Grummon, Amgen (I'm not sure if they hire MEs), Google, Sun Microsystems, several oil companies, lots of energy start ups, and lots of consulting firms. Depending on where you work, I think you can expect to make about 55-80K with 2 years of experience (I'm basing that on what you would have made with a Mines degree 4 years ago...the last time I was in the work world).

I'm not sure about getting your CO teaching license, but I know that the state is always claiming that we have a shortage of math teachers. If your wife can't find a teaching job right away, she could probably find work tutoring rich kids in Boulder.

If you're willing to live in the suburbs, I think you can find the housing you're looking for. You definitely won't find those prices in Boulder and probably not in urban Denver. Maybe in Fort Collins?

I love Colorado b/c it has great climbing, jobs for engineers (which vetoes most climbing towns), great weather, good skiing, and nice people. My biggest gripe is the utter lack of water. I grew up at the beach, and I really miss it.


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By J Miles
From Queensbury, NY
Apr 24, 2012
Flatirons

Thanks for the info

Berkeley wrote:
If your wife can't find a teaching job right away, she could probably find work tutoring rich kids in Boulder.

I love this idea! A sub makes ~$100/day here, so she could probably get at least half of that each week with less work if she finds enough kids that need help.

Berkeley wrote:
My biggest gripe is the utter lack of water. I grew up at the beach, and I really miss it.

Water around Boulder, or CO in general? This was/is a concern of mine, but I think you can swim with your dog in Boulder creek (no?) and there are also a number of lakes in the mountains. I'm under the assumption that if we enjoy swimming, we will be able to find somewhere to go with our dog on the weekend.


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By Coyle
Apr 24, 2012

I am in a similar situation as you. I am a teacher moving to colorado. I am currently living in Salt Lake City where the mountain recreation is phenomenol. I have done copious amounts of research on places cost of living and teaching jobs. I must say the most jobs are probably in Denver. For teaching the Denver Public Schools website currently has over 350 job postings for teachers. Just do your homework and you could make any place work. Fort Collins is probably the cheapest of the heady colorado cultures, but the winter sports are a bit of a hike away. Denver is situated in a great location to access most of the mountains and still keep the warm year round front range climate.

Overal I agree with all of the people who gave you actual responses. they are right on. I lived there for a few years before being here for 3 years and I am excited to move back. the culture, politics and all the great things they have going on from the arts to great music and beer to wonderful green things. You will not regret it


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By Coyle
Apr 24, 2012

oh yeah, there are tons of lakes, rivers, and reservoirs all over the place. They are just a little colder for the most part, but you get used to it


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By SlowTrad
From St Paul, MN
Apr 24, 2012

I have Boulder envy...I live in the midwest and didn't start climbing until I was in my late 20's. Since I already had a career started, and my family is here, I chose not to re-locate.

Anyhow, I have made the trip to CO at least 10 times, usually to Boulder, but to Estes as well. I also do a winter trip to J Tree in late Feb/early Mar, so I can tolerate living in MN.

Boulder is such a cool place, lots of progressive thinkers, tons of awesome craft beer, lots of eye candy on campus etc. Plus all that rock. Tons of stuff to do other than climb as well, bike paths, water park, running trails etc.


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By J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Apr 24, 2012
Me too!

I came to Colorado 8 years ago for grad school (Mines) and got a job in Golden so I'm still here. I think I've become an entirely different person than I was before I came west. I never really considered rock climbing before I came out here, or payed any attention to it...got hooked not long after arriving. I've made some really great friends here, the beer out here is outstanding, the camping is second to none, the scenery, mountains, desert, rivers and weather are all spectacular...who wouldn't want to live here? I thought I'd live here forever.

I love Colorado but I'm actually trying to move back to Ohio. I have young kids now, and though CO is my ideal place to raise them, I am discovering that family are more important than mountains. All of my and my wife's family are back east, so we're looking to leave...now if the housing market would ever improve and I could sell my house in Gilpin county I'd be gone! But I will always cherish my time spent here. Heck, both my kids are "Natives"!


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2012
Bocan

J Miles wrote:
WOW...these are all really good responses! Since everyone is being so helpful I'll throw out some more information for those that want to help even more (Note that I would still like to hear about why you like living in CO if you haven't already answered that). How likely do you think it is for me to get "affordable" housing near a place that my wife and I could work? I have a Mechanical Engineering degree with experience in Quality, Medical Devices and Steam Turbines. With my fairly limited knowledge of the opportunities in the area, the companies that I could see myself working at are Ball, NIST, Covidien, Lockheed Martin, and Medtronic. These seem like companies that are very competitive to get in with and I'm sure being out of state reduces my chances even more. The other bad part about finding work is that my wife is a Math Teacher and based on what she's heard it'll be nearly impossible for her to get a job. If we both do end up getting jobs, what would you expect the pay to be with 2-3 years of experience for both of us? In regard to "affordable" housing, I was thinking of rent under $1000 and houses/town homes under $200k. While we are renting we would probably be looking at a place around 1000 sq ft and for the house we would want something bigger. Thanks again for all of the responses so far!


It's a little tough, but I work for Covidien and we are hiring quite a bit. Actually alot bit


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By Addison
From Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2012
me at eldo

chicks


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By J Q
Apr 24, 2012
Me again!

Chemtrails, but you have them too, so bully for you.


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By Steve Williams
From Denver, CO
Apr 24, 2012

I hate it. Too many people, too hot. Too many climbers at the crags.
Too far to walk to the Diamond. Too far to drive to Moab, the Winds, and Yosemite. Knot enough water.


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By Joe Huggins
From 666 Rue le Jour-Edge City
Apr 24, 2012
mmmm....tree

Steve Williams wrote:
I hate it. Too many people, too hot. Too many climbers at the crags. Too far to walk to the Diamond. Too far to drive to Moab, the Winds, and Yosemite. Knot enough water.

If I knot enough water, will it hold better than a bowline or figure eight? Is that called a water knot?


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By handon broward
From Rochester, NY / Aspen, CO
Apr 24, 2012
Elk Range, CO

J Miles I am in a very similar predicament. I am stuck in an even more boring area of Upstate NY and my college career is quickly coming to a close. I was unsure about my direction after school and it has become even more difficult. I was able to spend last summer working in Aspen and climbing in the Front Range / Elks. Three months was more than enough to show me that the move and risks associated with it would be more than worth it. If youre anything like me, its more the people that are the deal-maker. NY has the Dacks and the Gunks, plus Vermont and New Hampshire are nearby. Theres enough climbing there to last a lifetime. Such cannot be said for the people. I have lived in Rochester for all my life and it has become apparent that most people around here are concerned about themselves first, and their personal status second. This runs very contrary to almost everyone I ran into or met in Colorado. Every bar that I went into I could have a conversation with nearly every person in it. There wasn't a bunch of beefcakes tanned to burnt orange running around trying to pick up chicks and fist pump. In CO, if you want to be a bum for life and spend your time climbing and enjoying the outdoors, you are a regular. In NY, you're a bum. Living and working in Rochester I find myself scowling to keep all the a**holes away. In Colorado I found myself with a shiteating grin on my face every single day.

Another aspect to consider is long term outlook. Education in upstate NY is pretty damn good, especially where I grew up. Not to say that education in Colorado is bad, but there are many more smaller, more distantly located school districts. Depends on how you want to raise your brats (if you want them at all.) Where I grew up in NY was never more than about 20 minutes to urban locales, big stores and normal people. In CO, this kind of drive could be substantial. Even from Aspen it was about 40 minutes to Glenwood and roughly 4 hours to Denver.

Job markets can also be a little bit more difficult in Colorado. Some of my friends have been slightly disuaded by the lack of jobs in specific professions. Plus, everyone and their brother wants to move to COlorado now so competition is tight. That being said, wages tend to be a little better. As you are from NY, I am sure you are aware of the difference in taxes so I won't talk about that.

If you are struggling to decide where to settle, I would reccomend trying to spend some more time in Colorado before making your decision. I've spent a ton of time in NY, especially in the Dacks, and I love it. However, Colorado really is the better place for me. I'm going back for another 3 months this summer and am already hunting for a place to move near Boulder after next Christmas. I could go on and on about what I think are the even more subtle advantages of CO (lack of black flies) but really its a toss up. Good luck man I hope you find what you are looking for.


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