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Old 12-03-2011, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
41 posts, read 108,119 times
Reputation: 115

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I'm learning to begin every post with, "Sorry if this has already been posted," so bear with me here.

It looks like I might be facing job offers from the western Denver area and Montrose. A great blessing to have two opportunities! I am trying to determine many of the ways life would be different in western CO from where I grew up in the Denver area, and I've come up with a list.

For example, job opportunities would be scarcer for my wife in Montrose, and for me if I lost my job. Montrose is a small city, the Denver metro area is flippin' huge. There are a lot of implications of that.

If I return to the front range then I am just returning home, no problem. On the western slope I guess I'd be a dreaded transplant , so maybe that would be an issue.

Any other advice? Glaring differences that I would need to consider? Both areas are pretty conservative in my experience, and I don't care about that. And no, Jazzlover, I'm not trying to "change" anyone haha.
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Old 12-03-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,196,177 times
Reputation: 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by griff09m View Post
I'm learning to begin every post with, "Sorry if this has already been posted," so bear with me here.

It looks like I might be facing job offers from the western Denver area and Montrose. A great blessing to have two opportunities! I am trying to determine many of the ways life would be different in western CO from where I grew up in the Denver area, and I've come up with a list.

For example, job opportunities would be scarcer for my wife in Montrose, and for me if I lost my job. Montrose is a small city, the Denver metro area is flippin' huge. There are a lot of implications of that.

If I return to the front range then I am just returning home, no problem. On the western slope I guess I'd be a dreaded transplant , so maybe that would be an issue.

Any other advice? Glaring differences that I would need to consider? Both areas are pretty conservative in my experience, and I don't care about that. And no, Jazzlover, I'm not trying to "change" anyone haha.
I grew up on the Front Range and then lived in Grand Junction for 7 years, so I'll try to help with my perspective. Of course, population and employment opportunities are probably the biggest difference, as you noted. Montrose is a nice small town/city, and the location, IMO, is fantastic especially if you like the great outdoors. I also think the weather is nice, and probably a bit nicer than Denver. It has grown quite a bit so you'll have many of the conveniences that the big city has to offer.

The biggest problem I had living on the Western Slope was that it was hard to travel without driving to Denver. The cost of flights out of the GJ airport were pretty high, so we almost always drove to Denver. In the summer that was fine, but more often than not, our travel was around the holidays which meant driving through the mountains in unpredictable weather. It was fine at first, but it did eventually get old. Montrose is even farther from a decent airport, so if you do any air travel, it is something to consider. The other big difference between the Western Slope and the Front Range is politics. GJ was pretty conservative, a lot more than Denver. It was also somewhat of a good ole' boys club. I noticed this especially in my line of work, with the Forest Service. However, like much of Colorado, it's mostly a live and let live policy. Personally, I liked the slower pace of the Western Slope, but not sure I would move back there (and we are considering moving back to Colorado after being in Oregon for 3 years).
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Old 12-03-2011, 01:51 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
Reputation: 9065
I agree with Delta07. I've lived all over Colorado, including the Front Range and Western Slope. If one actually has a bona fide job offer on the Western Slope that would provide a living wage (a very big "if" these days), then I would pick the Western Slope over the Front Range in a heartbeat, but I despise the Front Range and what it has become. About the only thing that Montrose and the Front Range have in common is that they are in the same state.

If you are used to city conveniences and can't live without them, then rural Colorado is a poor choice. Many people from the metro areas THINK that they can live without that stuff, but then find out that they (or their spouse or kids) can't. Then the trouble starts. The stock answer for that for years was just to travel to the metro areas often. For many people--and for many more in the coming years--traveling on every whim to the Front Range from rural Colorado is no longer going to be economically possible. As an example, a co-worker had to go to Denver frequently in the last year for specialized medical treatments (another common occurrence for rural Colorado residents). She figured out that she had spent nearly $4,000 in travel expenses just for that (15% of her pre-tax income for the year)--all automobile travel, flying was out of the question because of the high cost.

Just know that everything except housing (and that is not true in many places on the Western Slope outside of places like Delta and Montrose) usually costs more in western Colorado and salaries are usually considerably less than the Front Range. Also know that, if you have kids, their chances of staying in western Colorado when they grow up are very slim--there are few jobs for anyone from 18-40 years old, and the few that are available are competed for fiercely.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Western, Colorado
1,599 posts, read 2,679,779 times
Reputation: 937
Quote:
Originally Posted by griff09m View Post
I'm learning to begin every post with, "Sorry if this has already been posted," so bear with me here.

It looks like I might be facing job offers from the western Denver area and Montrose. A great blessing to have two opportunities! I am trying to determine many of the ways life would be different in western CO from where I grew up in the Denver area, and I've come up with a list.

For example, job opportunities would be scarcer for my wife in Montrose, and for me if I lost my job. Montrose is a small city, the Denver metro area is flippin' huge. There are a lot of implications of that.

If I return to the front range then I am just returning home, no problem. On the western slope I guess I'd be a dreaded transplant , so maybe that would be an issue.

Any other advice? Glaring differences that I would need to consider? Both areas are pretty conservative in my experience, and I don't care about that. And no, Jazzlover, I'm not trying to "change" anyone haha.
If that is truly the case, I think you'd be happier on the Front Range.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:58 AM
 
22 posts, read 72,655 times
Reputation: 29
Montrose is a great small town. What it is NOT is a big city by any means. The services are limited. The restaurants are VERY limited and not worth the money. We have lived all over including Vegas, UTAH, Oregon, S. America. We love Montrose for the positive aspects.

We love the open spaces, lack of traffic, great weather, proximity to outdoor activities, ability to own land, short commute to work, good churches, decent schools, decent healthcare options.

What we do not like -

small airport (very limited and expensive)
lack of retail options
restaurant options are limited
poor economy right now
isolated location can make it hard to get anywhere
no local college or university
not many cultural activities
Can be hard to find things for the kids to do daily



For the most part we are happy here. We have lived here for over 3 years. We are close enough to family in Utah and Vegas that we can get home a few times a year. We LOVE all the outdoor activities and surroundings. We have explored almost every inch of western CO since we moved here and it is amazing.

Best of luck.
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
41 posts, read 108,119 times
Reputation: 115
motoracer51, can you expand on that a little?
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,899,377 times
Reputation: 2435
Quote:
Originally Posted by griff09m View Post
It looks like I might be facing job offers from the western Denver area and Montrose. A great blessing to have two opportunities! I am trying to determine many of the ways life would be different in western CO from where I grew up in the Denver area, and I've come up with a list.

If I return to the front range then I am just returning home, no problem. On the western slope I guess I'd be a dreaded transplant , so maybe that would be an issue.
I can comment very specifically on this topic. First, to answer your question about whether you would be a transplant on the Western Slope, the answer is no. There's a lot of people who move there from other areas. There's also a lot of natives, and the two groups mix well.

Basically my opinion about the western slope is that it's a good place to live if
(a) you like small towns
(b) you don't mind being a four-hour drive from any larger town
(c) you don't mind extreme weather: very cold winters, wind and dust storms in the short-lived Spring, very hot summers

Contrast this with the Front Range, which has a much larger population, more things to do in the city, and somewhat different weather. On the Front Range there is much more snow. Instead of dust storms in the Spring, they have tornados and lightning storms in the summer. Also summer temperatures don't get as hot.

In my opinion, those are the main considerations when choosing between the two.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:09 AM
 
35 posts, read 63,018 times
Reputation: 40
Default Montrose - My Personal Nemesis

I've been in Montrose 7 years now and hate it. I've been trying to turn it around, but there's nothing here to work with, so I'm throwing in the towel.

There's only one major reason to live here, and that's the scenery IF you can get a house that has a view -- and I was lucky to find one. Oh, and the property taxes are low, but, as a friend back east pointed out to me, "You get what you pay for." However, I know of a few places in other states where the taxes are low, but there are still things to do.

For a single retired person, there is NOTHING here as far as a social life goes (and I don't mean dating -- I mean just making friends). Most of the transplants are married or out of my age range. The locals (natives) do not care about current domestic or world events. Funny, most of them claim to be political conservatives and will let you know it -- and if you're not one of them, they'll drop you like the proverbial hot potato -- I've had it happen. I think it has something to do with small business, guns, and hunting. Most of them have no decent jobs or money, so it can't be that they're part of the 1%, and, therefore, Republican. Since all they read is the Montrose newspaper, they can't know what's going on in the outside world. Few of them are on-line or own tech products like Kindles. I doubt they read much of anything.

They have the Montrose Pavilion here which is nothing more than a senior center for 70 & 80-year olds -- I'm not in that group yet.

My whole social life is getting groceries and chatting with an occasional familiar face -- from church or whatever. Thank God for Facebook and cable tv or I'd be a mental basket-case by now.

The contractors will rob you blind unless you hunt out the few good ones by talking to your neighbors and comparing notes. If you have a problem with a contractor, you have to watch you don't get stuck hiring one of his high school buddies for some work. I've weeded out a few of those. My handyman is a gem -- but he's from out of state originally. Surprised? I'm not. I've met a couple decent natives here, but the rest are worthless. There's just no ambition here to better themselves; it's depressing.

The housing market here is dismal -- I mean REALLY dismal, but Grand Junction, in contrast, has held a pretty steady housing market -- because there are things to do up there. I won't even go to a local dentist in Montrose - I drive to Grand Junction for that. I do have a medical group here I like. The doctor is from Albuquerque originally. My favorite lunch spot is owned by a transplant from the midwest, which is one of the reasons I go there.

The worst mistake I ever made was thinking I could be happy in an area that used to be my annual vacation spot. Vacationing and living are two different things. When I finally decide to take a huge loss on my house and get out of here, my life will begin again, and the Western Slope will be nothing but a bad memory.

BTW, I lived on the Front Range for 11 years in the 80's and early 90's. They may get more snow over there, but at least you can have a life there -- a REAL life. I've had enough of this backward, cowtown Western Slope mentality and this over-priced, over-rated state -- and I'm not the only one who feels this way. The natives act like they're the only ones with sunshine and blue sky, and have ALWAYS had the attitude that they are the only ones who have the right to be here. They have a lot in common with the Texans they hate -- only the terrain is different.

One final thought: I used to work for a large company back east (midwest). One of my bosses was originally from Durango, CO -- born and raised - and taught there for a while. But, he moved to the midwest to work for this large company -- and he lived in a nearby college town. I went to work for him in 1970. Shortly after that, he told me all about Durango and Colorado. So I took a trip out here and loved it. When I got back to work, I asked him how in the world he could ever leave Durango to move to a flat state. He told me that these mountain towns are traps for people with ambition and vision, and that "there are a lot of unhappy people (natives) in those places." Much later, I found out my boss was right. I wish I had stayed in love with Colorado by being a tourist here -- and nothing more. Moving here killed all the feelings I had for this state and pretty much the west in general. Yes, the scenery is great, but you can't make a life out of scenery alone. It's much better to live in a real place and have a picture of the mountains on your wall. Seriously.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,515 posts, read 11,623,635 times
Reputation: 24162
Wow. I've only lived here for two years, in Ridgway and now Delta and have tons and tons of friends. Friends all over the western slope including Montrose. Our conversations range from quantum theory, to baseball, to ranching. My friends are conservative to downright left wing liberals. We have great conversations. Montrose has some great places to eat, and I really like the Main Street area, and I love getting out and just exploring the area.

Oh well, good luck to you.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:27 AM
 
35 posts, read 63,018 times
Reputation: 40
Where do you meet these folks, short of advertising for friends on Townsend or your Main Street there in Delta. - LOL.

I've seen groups of retired-age folks at tables around town -- like City Market, Heidi's Deli, City Market snack area, but they appear to be couples. I joined the Sneffles group of the CMC back in '05, went to one meeting, was ignored -- except by the leader and his wife. Never experienced such an icy reception in my life - they were all grouped together in little chat bunches -- it was like I was invisible. Church? Tried that. Mostly couples or older widows.

I've gotten the idea Delta is friendlier than Montrose. I did tour the Bill Hettles rec center last fall and was going to start going there to work out, but 40 miles a shot is too much to drive there all the time, given the price of gas. I even buy my vehicles in Delta, as I don't like the dealer here and have heard the same from other people. I never considered Delta as a place to buy a home because it's not scenic up there, except for the Grand Mesa being there as a backdrop.

I really would like to make it here, but I've pretty much given up. Given the real estate market, I think I'll keep this house as a storage place for my stuff and just go traveling this coming year. Maybe I'll find someplace new to live.

Last edited by WhereToNext; 12-08-2011 at 12:45 PM..
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