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"Haul wood, chop wood, haul wood, chop wood..."
(set 22 days ago)
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
1,934 posts, read 1,283,647 times
The store that had the horse was McCrakans (sp?) western wear. The Powder Horn is further west on the same north side of Main Street. Powder Horn is still there. Apparently they are doing some work as they had barricades and plywood screens up.
If I saw right as I went by, it looked like another cross country ski store under the horse now.
Location: MT/34 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
1,193 posts, read 1,095,653 times
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip
I was raised in Bozeman, but moved out when the prices and employment opportunities went south.
It used to be a great town, kind of a cow town with a college, but then it morphed into Aspen North, or as more commonly called, "BozAngeles", and they yuppie hordes came in. It was like watching a beloved family member die of cancer watching the housing developments eat the valley. The Mcmansions on every creek and hill, the stamped out chain stores taking the place of hometown businesses like Quality Wholesale. The locked down land and forest access, the destruction of the old families that had to sell out and move because they couldn't afford the new higher proper taxes and costs of living.
I couldn't stand it anymore and left.
I still have a lot of friends there, most are just barely scraping by with the housing bubble bust. Without construction, there is no other real big buisness to support the number of people living there.
There is the college and the hospital, the ski runs and hiking guides do a lot of business during tourist seasons, but day to day, living wage employment for someone without special skills is hard to find. A mechanic could find a job, but golf course groundskeepers would only be able to work 4 or 5 months out of the year.
Yes there are a lot of young women there, yes the mountains and wild areas are beautiful, (somewhat crowded these days, but still nice).
The atmosphere has changed from what it was to just another resort town to my way of thinking.
It was a personal tragidy for me as I loved it there, but I couldn't afford to live there anymore, and couldn't stand what was happening to the places I had loved all my life.
Last night was the first time in 10 years I had driven down main street Bozeman, I didn't recognize it. With the exception of the rearing Stallion over what used to be a western wear store, I could have been driving down any street in San Diego except for the snow berm in the center of the street.
All the places look the same, same style, same boutique businesses, same yuppie bars and coffee houses.
It will probably be another 10 years before I take that drive again, if ever.
..............What you have stated above (MTSilvertip's post) describes almost exactly the changes ......no, the destructionof Boulder, Colorado that occurred from approx 1966 to present day. We moved their in 1965 mainly because it was a small western town, nestled right up against the mountains, with excellent hunting and fishing anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes from the center of town, an easy 30 minute commute to Denver and a few homes scattered up in the foothills--most were situated so you couldn't see another home from Your place unless you walked over in their direction.....and the homes in the foothills were on the average, built on approx two to three acres.
There were a great number of "mom & pop" type stores, some gas stations on corners in residental areas, several western stores and several gun & hunting supply shops scattered around the town and it was not uncommon for a few folks (me included) to saddle-up and ride into town on a Saturday morning to have breakfast at your favorite "locally owned" small town restaurant---with a "Hitchin' Post" out in front........Oh, and another important fact was a very beneficial city ordinance, a "height limitation" of (3) stories on any existing and PROPOSED new construction with-in the city limits. Thus the wonderful views of the "mountains that were right up against 4th street in town would never be blocked. What we found in the Boulder area in early 1965 enticed us to select that area for the "big-Move"from the northern midwest. i.e...we liked the area for what it was and the fact that 80 to 90 % of the people were typical honest, friendly, hard working family oriented folks with down=to=earth=values and none of the "keepin' up with the Jones"(s) attitude. And in those days, the fact that it was a college town really did not have a major effect on the average local citizen (many were 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation folks who you could "Trust-like-family".
Well, what started the "down-hill-slide" for the town and surrounding area, was when IMB Corporation decided to move 6500 families (over the course of several years (1966 to 1971) into the Boulder/Niwot/Longmont area to be employed in the 65 million dollar ...(1966 dollars)... IBM Complex located just 6 miles outside of Boulder--out on the "flat-land"..............................Where did 90% of the families come from.................. Endicott, N.Y. and San Jose, CA.......and where did 80% of them decide to live ------in Boulder and in the foothills immediately west of town. Houses sprang up all over those beautiful foothills, like wild flowers in Spring. House designs that in many cases were straight out of, yes........Endicott, N.Y. and San Jose, CA. Not suited AT ALL for the beautiful front range of the Rockies. (NOTE: many suffered significant damage during the record breaking 160 mph wind gusts that occurred in January of 1971).
I have been back there about 6 times since we moved....the most recent was 13 months ago..............It is almost impossible to find the right words to describe what has happened to the town, the area and most importantly...to the quality-of-life that formerly was afforded to those who lived there in the 1950s and early 1960s. IMHO, the many and "destructive" changes that have occurred in Bozeman over the last 25 years are exceeded by a factor of (3) when you compare what has happened to the Boulder area in the last 43 years. Yes I've been in and through Bozeman as recently as last fall.
I realize that all towns and areas change and grow as the years pass.........however, I've traveled extensively (it was my job) in the western U.S. since 1955 and have observed how certain towns (and areas) were able to minimumize the negative effects resulting from out-side influences as related to "growth", "expansion", opportunities, etc,etc...........Some have done "a better job than others"...........you can decide where Bozeman and Boulder rank "on-that-list".........................Just my opinion(s) folks
Yeah, you pretty much missed the boat on Bozeman. Over the last 15 years, I watched the town go from a cheap, humble, low-key place that had very little "buzz", to the archetypal western "it" town that everyone wants to move to. Restaurants are expensive and trendy. The lift lines at Bridger are humongous. Houses are three times as expensive as they were just ten years ago. The newcomers have lots of money from unknown sources, and are hyper-competitive about everything from home design to ski gear to what rad pitch they climbed today. I have heard it referred to as "one big cool-guy contest". The city has basically lost its soul, but Outside Magazine says it's awesome so people keep coming. Pardon my rant.
That said, it's still a great place to be a single guy in your 20's (the one factor that has actually improved since the boom), and you can never take away the great location that Bozeman is blessed with. You might even find a mechanic job - I do see them posted in the local paper from time to time. Just be aware that you will make a fraction of the money you're used to and rent is not that cheap anymore. If you want to try your hand at a new career, you are in a tough spot. Everybody wants to live in Bozeman, so the job market, which is pretty limited to begin with, is outrageously competitive. It's not uncommon for over 100 people to apply for jobs like banquet waiter or lab assistant - gigs that pay around $12-14 per hour. What's even more amazing is that many of those applicants have advanced degrees. You have better odds of finding work in Big Sky, where there are tons of seasonal jobs and a shortage of responsible adults to fill them.
Anyway, I recently threw in the towel with Bozeman. While I still have a lot of great friends there, it's just not the same place I loved so much in my younger days. It's kind of heartbreaking, really. I moved out of state for a while to get some good work experience (which I could not do in Bozeman) and hopefully some day I'll return to MT; but I would rather live in Helena, Butte, Billings or any of a number of quiet Montana small towns so that I could be around real people again.
Last edited by freshtracks; 11-24-2011 at 08:24 PM..
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