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Old 07-30-2007, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Summit County (Denver's Toilet)
447 posts, read 1,391,072 times
Reputation: 213

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thanks guys, We are actually looking at the Evergreen area. Once again thanks a million for the imput.
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:44 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
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The statistic seldom published for an area (partly because it takes considerable research to estimate accurately) is the "affordability index." It indexes salaries and local income to living costs, including housing. Colorado locales seldom like to talk about this index because nearly everyplace in the state would rate middling, at best. Most of the resort areas would receive poor (or dismal, if they would call it that) ratings. There is a reason that seemingly good jobs like those mentioned in the posts above often go begging in resort areas. Even though the salaries are good, living costs are still too high for people to take them and afford to live in the area. So, many wind up making distant commutes to work in a resort area. I knew people that commuted over a hundred miles ONE WAY to work in Aspen. That's nuts, and soon will be unaffordable when fuel resumes its inevitable rise in cost ($4.00/per gallon+ here we come, according to my friends in the oil industry).

I've watched the "Paradise Syndrome" for over 40 years in Colorado. People want to live the "dream" in the Colorado mountains. They move there--most of them struggle to make a living. After a while, they become disenchanted (or broke) and leave. Someone else wanting to "live the dream" replaces them. The cycle repeats. It's not surprising that statistics for both divorce and suicide are pretty high in the mountain communities. Yup, they are gorgeous places to visit, not nearly so sanguine a place to live.

The only people who make money on the cycle are the real estate agents. Everytime a property "churns," they get their little nick. Not surprising that there are so many of them in the resort areas. Take the developers tearing up the countryside, and their real estate and construction lackeys out of the Colorado resort areas, and the economy of most of them would fold up into one tattered suitcase. And they say recreation isn't an "extractive" or "exploitive" industry--gimme a break!
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,960 posts, read 98,776,620 times
Reputation: 31371
Quote:
Originally Posted by breaksraver13 View Post
thanks guys, We are actually looking at the Evergreen area. Once again thanks a million for the imput.
If you live in Evergreen, you/he/she may be able to find an EMT job in the Denver area that pays.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Summit County (Denver's Toilet)
447 posts, read 1,391,072 times
Reputation: 213
The silverthorne area is actually my prefered area but is looks like it is too close to the resort areas therefore housing looks to be a little unaforadable that is why we are basically forced to look into the Evergreen area.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:10 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,651,014 times
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
And they say recreation isn't an "extractive" or "exploitive" industry--gimme a break!
Recreation itself is not necessarily "extractive" or "exploitative". The business of recreation, however, can be, and unfortunately often, is (but doesn't have to be).

Skiing is one example. The purest form of skiing (IMHO), backcountry skiing, doesn't take any infrastructure. You just go with friends, hike up, and ski down (obviously with proper equipment and knowledge).

Then you have the ski areas -- they definitely have a big footprint on the land, but it can still be confined and not too egregious (I'm thinking Loveland, A-Basin, Alta).

And then you have the mega resorts, where, in order to make money off the skiers, shops and restaurants are built, and condos and hotels are constructed. Nowadays, most of the ski companies are more real estate companies -- their primary goal is not to provide skiing, but rather to sell real estate -- the skiing is just a benefit. Their goal is often not to enhance the natural experience of skiing, but rather to enhance the experience of sitting in a multi-million-dollar home looking at the ski slopes.

Mountain biking is also heading in the same direction. It used to be you'd just take your bike and ride some singletrack. Now the ski resorts have built bike parks and you can take your bikes up on the lift and ride down (doing jumps and other tricks).

What does bother me is the proliferation of the multi-million-dollar second homes. They are occupied maybe one or two weeks of the year -- so the owners hardly utilize all the great outdoors, but they prevent others who really would/could enjoy the outdoors, out of the area (due to high property values and eating up space with their huge square footage).

For many locals/residents, these second-homes are a catch-22. I was speaking with someone who has lived here all her life (40+ years), and she pointed out that without the taxes from these multi-million-dollar second homes, the towns would be broke. And all the tourists, vacationers, and second-homeowners bring in dollars to the local economy which in turn provides more amenities locally. For instance, there's a new (first) Indian restaurant in Frisco that opened up about 6 months ago. I'm a big fan of spicy food, so I'm happy it opened. But in order for it to stay open, it needs the influx of tourists.

Maybe there's a happy medium, where the land is not overdeveloped and every place turned into strip malls or McMansions, but still provides solitude and allows everyone to enjoy the natural wonders of our planet.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:34 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
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Fuzz,

You hit the nail right on the head. Recreation doesn't HAVE to be exploitive, but it is--ever since the big money developers showed up. With skiing, the truth is that it has always been a land development game. The family-run family oriented ski areas have always struggled, and are pretty much going the way of the dodo bird in today's big money game.

It also used to be that people were satisfied with a modest cabin in the mountains (if they weren't just camping). Not any more. Our spoiled-rotten society demands trophy houses for second homes now. Today, it's consume, consume, consume--and the hell with the future. Well, societies that live by that creed usually don't last very long. Unless we change, I think we're living on borrowed time. Never in my life have I been ashamed to be an American, but I'm getting pretty ashamed of what kind of country we are going to leave to those who follow us. And what's happening today in the Rocky Mountain West is a pretty damning indictment of our current hedonistic and myopic lifestyle.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:46 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,651,014 times
Reputation: 5537
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
The family-run family oriented ski areas have always struggled, and are pretty much going the way of the dodo bird in today's big money game.
That's why I'm happy to give my money to a ski area like Loveland. Low-key, no fancy lodges, frou-frou restaurants, five-star hotels, or valet parking.

Quote:
It also used to be that people were satisfied with a modest cabin in the mountains (if they weren't just camping). Not any more. Our spoiled-rotten society demands trophy houses for second homes now. Today, it's consume, consume, consume--and the hell with the future.
We're pretty much in agreement. Often times, when people are asked (usually the rich and/or powerful) why they buy/build/do something that's more than they need, their answer is: "Because I can". But just because you can, doesn't mean you should. I think the idea of self-restraint and a responsibility to the community and the environment is unfortunately missing from the very people who can make a big difference (positive or negative).
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,960 posts, read 98,776,620 times
Reputation: 31371
jazzlover, I have disagreed with you before on this forum, now I am going to agree with you. In fact, I have said the same thing myself, many times, though maybe a bit differently.

My DH used to work for AMAX. His office was in Golden, but he went up to Empire and Leadville a lot, also to Gunnison/Crested Butte occasionally. I used to say that I could never understand why everyone was so opposed to people making an honest living mining, but found it acceptable to develop the area for tourism. Now, I know mining has its problems, but so does tourism!
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:15 PM
 
Location: New Zealand
1,872 posts, read 5,651,014 times
Reputation: 5537
^^^ Not to split hairs, but all tourism isn't bad. Tourism to some extent is good for the locals, because it pumps dollars into the economy. In fact, I'd argue tourism is actually required for places with natural treasures like the Rocky Mountains. The more people are exposed to the grandeur of natural wonders, the more they will be willing to fight for them. To someone who has never spent a few hours hiking to an alpine lake, or skiing deep powder through the trees, legislation to protect natural assets may be meaningless. But if you've experienced them yourself, it's hard to support paving over these treasures.

Tourism isn't bad, but irresponsible, excessive tourism is definitely a problem.
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Old 07-30-2007, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,960 posts, read 98,776,620 times
Reputation: 31371
Yes, Fuzz, I agree with you, too. I just don't think it's any "better" than any other industry, and it is an industry. It leaves its footprint.
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