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Old 06-22-2018, 06:43 AM
3 posts, read 1,540 times
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Hello! We (my husband, my son, and myself) are currently living in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area and are considering relocating to Colorado Springs. I have visited the area numerous times so I have a pretty good idea of what the town is like, although I know visiting a place and living there are completely different. We like a lot of outdoors activities, don't care much about nightlife, and scenic views are more important to us than being close to big city amenities.. so places like Denver are less attractive to us than Colorado Springs.

I have a few questions:

1. My husband is a self employed plumber. How difficult is it for a new business in this area? I know it can be challenging for a new business in a well established community (people are often loyal to companies they've used for years) but Colorado Springs seems like a town of many transplants, so I'm wondering if it may be easier to break into the market (he's been in business for years and has tons of positive Google Reviews so we would have that going for us) there than some other places.

2. Is traffic during tourist season as rough as it sounds? I've visited in both peak and non-peak seasons and the traffic didn't seem too bad to me (in comparison to say, Denver) but again, I haven't lived there and in "vacation mode" I might not have noticed how frustrating it can be, and this would be an important factor for my husband since his job has him driving from place to place throughout the day.

3. Might be a long shot, but has anyone lived in both Tulsa and Colorado Springs? I'm curious if it would be much of a culture shock to us (though I don't think so from visiting).

The places we've been researching and are seriously considering for relocation are Colorado Springs and the Northwest Arkansas area. Our main reason for wanting to move is simply for a change of scenery (I've lived in Oklahoma my whole life) and to be closer to many more outdoor activities and prettier landscape. I know NWA and Colorado Springs are very different, so we are just trying to decide what would be the best fit!!

Thanks for your input!
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Old 06-22-2018, 07:40 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
2,668 posts, read 1,669,907 times
Reputation: 2913
You are spot on about us being a city full of transplants. Over half the city was not born/raised here. As such, yes, it can be easier to break in to business markets if you have good ratings and a solid online reputation. Licenses and permits are not difficult nor expensive. Sales tax is a bit high at the moment. Since you will have limited brick and mortar interface, you can avoid issues with the building and fire departments. For more details, dig through the business tabs on this site: https://coloradosprings.gov/

Traffic during tourist season is really not that bad in town, IMO. It does get heavier and can be a bit frustrating to locals in the most popular places like Old Colo City, Manitou, downtown, and going up Highway 24. Otherwise, just the every increasing traffic in general is more frustrating than the visitors. Local drivers are a mash up of high speed CA style, wandering distracted driving, rattle trap-clapped out old POS cars that are somewhat beat up and struggling to keep up to speed, to overly cautious drivers going 5-8 mph under the limit. Red light runners, speeders, tailgaters, and three-four light cycles to get through an intersection on the olde,r narrower central streets are, IMO, worse than tourists. At least with tourist you know they will be slow and looking at everything around them.

I have not lived in Tusla, but I used to visit there semi-often. Culturally, they are fairly similar but slightly different. You may find COS is more homogenous with income, education, and race. There used to be less social division based on income, but that is changing to be more Tulsa like as upper middle class continues to migrate to northern locales in the city/county. We have an increasing Black and Hispanic population and we have more Native Americans, Hawaiians, and mixed race residents by percentage than even Denver. We also have a large population of Korean and German expats thanks to the military influence.

COS downtown is not as well developed and dense as Tulsa. Cos still has vast open spaces in the downtown area currently, although things are in motion to change that. Like Tulsa, we have a lot of parkland and wild land interface within the city borders. Odds are in any neighborhood in the city you are minutes away from a grass and tree park and 10 minutes to a wild land park. Downtown is growing in activities and residential apartments, but has a ways to go to be like Tulsa.

Traditional sports like football, baseball, basketball, volleyball are very popular in schools and recreational leagues, much like Tulsa, Unlike OK, we have a large and vigorous outdoor and extreme sport base. Hiking, climbing, mtn biking, and scuba diving certification are very common here. The Olympic Training Center and the different Pikes Peak races bring international athletes and attention to the city throughout the year. Co Col has division 1 hockey and the AFA has numerous sports teams, but college athletics are not going to be as big a deal in Cos as Tulsa.

Educationally we have the fastest growing college in the state with UCCS, a top rated liberal arts college with Colo College downtown, and of course the Air Force Academy. Headquarters to several large evangelical organizations, you will find their social and political influence here is considerably less prominent to the city than that of ORU, although we do occasionally grab national headlines with some of the more vocally outspoken evangelical advocates.

I imagine you know how much cooler and dry it can be compared to Tulsa. I wouldn't go so far as to say you never need air condition, buts its use will be much more limited. Winter will be mild and we almost never get the debilitating ice storms that Tulsa can get, although we do get the occasional blizzard in winters.

IMO, you will fit in here just fine and find yourself feeling at home quickly, especially if you have visited in the past.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:45 PM
5,007 posts, read 6,683,532 times
Reputation: 4517
1. Re: the plumbing. I think it will come down to marketing and word of mouth reputation. If your husband has a good website, good BBB ratings, Angie's List ratings that are good, etc., I think he would have a good chance.

2. Tourist season traffic - I don't think it is terrible. If you're going to the actual tourist spots right at their busiest times you can expect noticeably heavier traffic, and similarly heading up 24, going to a festival, etc. But I find by getting out first thing in the morning a lot of times we can avoid a lot of it - a lot of people seem to be pretty slow/late in getting going at these places.

3. Tulsa and Colorado Springs - I didn't live there but I visited frequently as I had a significant other there. It is less humid here, a little less southern in culture, a little more urban imho, and I think overall people are a tad nicer, more tolerant of diversity and not just out of politeness etc., and live-and-let-live here in the Springs.

Last edited by otowi; 06-22-2018 at 02:33 PM..
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