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Old 03-22-2011, 04:07 PM
 
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hello all, My family and I are wanting to move to Colorado from Tennessee but dont know where to go. My wife and I are in our early 30's and have a 6 year old son, we are looking for a small to medium mountain town. As far as jobs i'm a police officer in Tennessee and my wife is in the health field (works for the state doing home health ). We live in a small town now and would love to find the same out west. I've been to Durango back in 2000 on a hunting trip and had family that lived in Gunnison. Durango was a beautiful town! but do not know much about it. Looking for a nice clean town that is great for hunting, fishing, camping, ect.. Can anybody help or does such a place exist? Thanks
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:32 PM
 
10,881 posts, read 41,316,699 times
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There's a lot of mountain towns that will meet your "nice clean town ...." requirement.

The question is, however, which one of them will have an employment opportunity for you and your spouse and pay a livable income for the area?

I suggest that your first priority in making a move to Colorado at this time will be to find jobs ... with your second priority affordability, and then decide if the locale is satisfactory to your desires.

In my experience, if there's a mountain community with all the favorable characteristics about it that you want, there's a huge number of folk already applying for the available jobs ... you're going to have to compete with them. Many are already established in the area, and have local connections. What do you have that sets you apart from them? The days of Colorado's boom growth and jobs waiting for the person who showed up in town this morning have long passed ....
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:53 PM
 
276 posts, read 586,425 times
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Look into the Canon City area. While it isn't a "mountain town," it's situated right at the base of the Rockies. There are quite a few correctional facilities in the area so your experience as a police office might give you a small leg up when looking for a job down there. Still, the state of Colorado, like many others, is in the midst of a budget crisis right now and correctional facilities are one of the first things that are losing funds.

Good luck with your search!
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:07 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,062,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mzimmermann View Post
hello all, My family and I are wanting to move to Colorado from Tennessee but dont know where to go. My wife and I are in our early 30's and have a 6 year old son, we are looking for a small to medium mountain town. As far as jobs i'm a police officer in Tennessee and my wife is in the health field (works for the state doing home health ). We live in a small town now and would love to find the same out west. I've been to Durango back in 2000 on a hunting trip and had family that lived in Gunnison. Durango was a beautiful town! but do not know much about it. Looking for a nice clean town that is great for hunting, fishing, camping, ect.. Can anybody help or does such a place exist? Thanks
One thing I would do is read through the Colorado forum from the past year as there is a wealth of info here on living in mountain towns and this same question comes up every week.

The population is sparse in the mountains, expenses can be high in the more desirable areas and jobs sparse.

I would focus on finding some jobs first and then narrowing your search from there. Look everywhere west of the I-25 corridor.
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Old 03-22-2011, 06:41 PM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,598 posts, read 11,694,350 times
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Well I would recommend spending time here in the winter first. And before you move secure employment. Talking to lots of LEO's here, the pay isn't that great (I actually made more in Arkansas), and the retirement is just plain goofy if there's any at all. Remember that postcard mountain town, well as a police officer, you'll be standing on the highway at 3am in a blizzard at 30 below, dealing with spoiled rich skiers, and summer tourists (the common quote I hear is "if it's tourist season why can't we shoot them). There's also a lot of "hands off" policies for skiers and tourists, let's not bite the hand that feeds us. Also, coming from another state you will have to go through Colorado certification and the academy all over again, at your expense. It seems departments are hiring, but from the guys I know who have applied, they are competing with 600-1,000 applicants for one or two openings. Some departments around here do give a housing allowance from $500 to $1,000 a month to help with housing. Most officers I know live in another county or town, they can't afford to live in the town they police. Coming from Tennessee get ready for serious sticker shock. I'm not trying to be negative, just realistic. But on the good side, I've had a lot of officers while talking to me and gazing off at the San Juans, or watching bald Eagles nest tell me "I can't believe they pay me to work here". Good luck in your search.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:39 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,062,182 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim9251 View Post
Well I would recommend spending time here in the winter first. And before you move secure employment. Talking to lots of LEO's here, the pay isn't that great (I actually made more in Arkansas), and the retirement is just plain goofy if there's any at all. Remember that postcard mountain town, well as a police officer, you'll be standing on the highway at 3am in a blizzard at 30 below, dealing with spoiled rich skiers, and summer tourists (the common quote I hear is "if it's tourist season why can't we shoot them). There's also a lot of "hands off" policies for skiers and tourists, let's not bite the hand that feeds us. Also, coming from another state you will have to go through Colorado certification and the academy all over again, at your expense. It seems departments are hiring, but from the guys I know who have applied, they are competing with 600-1,000 applicants for one or two openings. Some departments around here do give a housing allowance from $500 to $1,000 a month to help with housing. Most officers I know live in another county or town, they can't afford to live in the town they police. Coming from Tennessee get ready for serious sticker shock. I'm not trying to be negative, just realistic. But on the good side, I've had a lot of officers while talking to me and gazing off at the San Juans, or watching bald Eagles nest tell me "I can't believe they pay me to work here". Good luck in your search.
I remember Vail and Aspen periodically having police dept. openings. I think the last one I heard about was in Avon next to Vail and the pay I'm pretty sure was $44000 a year. I lived on around that as a single person and I wasn't living large either. You'd be hard pressed to support a family up here on that. It would have to be a 2 income household and maybe holding down a part time job too.

Another option might be the Colorado State Patrol.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:51 PM
 
10,881 posts, read 41,316,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
I remember Vail and Aspen periodically having police dept. openings. I think the last one I heard about was in Avon next to Vail and the pay I'm pretty sure was $44000 a year. I lived on around that as a single person and I wasn't living large either. You'd be hard pressed to support a family up here on that. It would have to be a 2 income household and maybe holding down a part time job too.

Another option might be the Colorado State Patrol.
And job openings in the health care field in Vail and Aspen are few and far between ... because so many medical professionals own places there and figure why not combine my love of the hills and skiing and the outdoor activities here with my ability to make a living? Some start out as part-timers in the resort areas, some move there with enough resources that whether or not they make any more money is a moot point.

From my view, the OP's spouse may have a very limited job opportunity in her field in the high profile resort areas of the Colorado mountains ... and a lot of more local competition for those available jobs. Locally networking is a big aspect for these jobs .... it's a serious "catch-22", you've got to be here, somehow, first ... or know somebody who can get you in, meanwhile, you've got to be able to make rent and living costs to be in the local area while awaiting the job openings. Waiting tables may actually be more lucrative ....
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:56 PM
 
Location: Back in the Southland
1,054 posts, read 1,507,644 times
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I would recommend Evergreen, Conifer and the surrounding towns around them. I love those towns, they are very beautiful. For me, a plus about those places is that you are in a quaint mountain town yet you are 30-40 minutes from central Denver. That means there are much more job opportunities then other more remote mountain towns like Durango(which is very beautiful too) and Aspen.

I would suggest that you take a 2 week trip out to Denver say around spring break or summer when your son doesn't have school and drive through some of the towns you are interested in. A road trip through colorado would be a great place to see what places you like and maybe find new places that weren't on your list to start with.
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Old 03-23-2011, 10:45 AM
 
Location: The Big CO
198 posts, read 1,047,557 times
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I would recommend either Gunnison, Montrose, or perhaps Evergreen. Montrose and Gunnison are not really IN the mountains but they are in the valley between mountains. Also, if you choose Gunnison, the Blue Mesa Reservoir is right by and is great for fishing and such. Also, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is close by as well for great natural beauty. Montrose is another town not in the mountains but a valley between them. You can access the mountains great from these towns. Also, from Montrose and Gunnison, you can access the CO desert areas in Olathe, Delta, GJ, Fruita, Palisade, Parachute, Battlement Mesa, etc. pretty easy. Also, Cortez and the southwestern colorado desert areas are not too far if you like the desert lands in CO.

Evergreen is a nice foothills/mountain town just southwest of Denver. I always hear from people who live there how much they love it. It has great views and very nice housing. I would do some research to see how exspensive it is though. I heard a rumor that Johnny Depp was seen in Evergreen before buying a house, so it may be pricey in evergreen.

Besides those areas, if you are looking to live in the CO desert lands that are close to mountains, you may want to look at Canon City, Cortez, Grand Junction. Those would be my top three destination spots for the desert lands in CO. I would recommend Pueblo, simply because i love the high desert area in southern CO, but Pueblo is economically down and would not be a good choice to move to. You could however look into PUEBLO WEST, the major western suburb of Pueblo. It sits in the high desert areas of Pueblo-Canon City-Florence-Royal Gorge but it is beautiful and the mountains are close by and so are natural wonders as well. I will provide the link to another posters PUEBLO AND PUEBLO WEST PHOTO TOUR.

Pueblo -- PHOTO TOUR

But, if you do not like desert lands and want a city close to the mountains, or with the mountains in view and easily accessible, there are other places you could look as well. Fort Collins, Loveland, Boulder (although Boulder is becoming more and more like Berkeley,CA everyday in temrs of people and prices for housing), Castle Rock, or even the northern part of Colorado Springs in the Monument and Woodmoor suburbs of the springs.

So it really depends on if you want a true mountain town that is way up in the mountains, a mountain area that sits in the valley, desert lands, desert lands with easily accessible mountains near by, or front range city with easily accessible mountains as well.
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Old 03-23-2011, 01:26 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,164,419 times
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The swarmy "you should consider 'x' town" in rural Colorado" posts just always seem to blow by the fact that there are few jobs available, and the ones that are available are frequently very poor paying (compared to local living costs) and are also often insecure. With the current economic environment, those challenges to anyone even remotely considering relocation to rural Colorado (and for a lot of people already here) are only going to become more savage. And, quite frankly, things are not a hell of lot better in the metro areas, and will likely get much worse there as we enter what I think will be a vicious "double dip" recession/depression. People, wherever they are, should be damned thankful if they have a job and should hunker down and try to hold onto it--because getting another one may just be extremely damned difficult from now on. Especially in rural Colorado.
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