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Old 03-11-2012, 08:08 PM
 
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Hi, I am looking into moving to either Colorado or Utah sometime in the near future and was hoping to get some help making my decision.I have lived on the East Coast for 6 years and prior to that I lived in Europe.
I am 29 year old female who loves the outdoors. I love all 4 seasons, I am used to lots of snow in the winter and also very hot summers. I don't really like going clubbing, I prefer the smaller crowed, local bars, smaller concerts and such and I would like to have rather easy access to that.I also want to have an easy access to hiking and sport activities.I was looking into Mesa County mainly Grand Junction or places on the outskirts of Salt Lake City but I am open to any other suggestions. I'd be renting (budget between $700-$900) and I want to live in a safe neighborhood..I am not too worried about job as I would have that set up before I move out there (I am in retail and health care). Any suggestions on what neighborhoods I should look into would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:48 AM
 
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Be worried about "getting a job set up" before relocating. Jobs are rough to get in Grand Junction--don't let anyone kid you about that. That is, unless you want to work in the gas fields. $700-$900 won't get you much more than an apartment or modest house in Grand Junction, either. There is very little "culture" in Grand Junction, save a little bit of stuff going on at the college or the theater downtown. Otherwise, it's the bar scene, which isn't that great. Grand Junction itself gets hot in the summer, but gets cold with relatively little snow in the winter. Grand Junction sits in a valley where it can get serious air inversions in the winter that can trap pollutants for days and days on end--especially if there is any snowcover.

Salt Lake City is a major city compared with Grand Junction, with all of both the problems and opportunities that a major metro area offers. If wintertime air pollution can be called bad in Grand Junction, it's off-the-charts awful in Salt Lake City. The same climate and weather patterns that cause inversions are present in both places, but the Wasatch Front's high population just makes that much more pollution to be trapped. The Wasatch Front air pollution problem essentially extends from Provo to Ogden, so being on the "outskirts" doesn't really offer an escape from it.

The Salt Lake City area is one of the least LDS (Mormon) areas of Utah, but one should not assume that the church does not profoundly affect the entire culture of the area. Though many Utahns are loathe to admit it, there can very much be discrimination in hiring in Utah in favor of LDS church members--even in Salt Lake.

On the plus side for SLC, there is probably no major city in the US with immediate access to some of the most splendid mountain country anywhere. For many, that alone overrides issues with air pollution, the church, etc. and attracts a lot of people to the area.

If I had to live in a major metro area (and I loathe cities), I would choose SLC over the Front Range metro areas of Colorado in a heartbeat. Grand Junction is a much smaller community, but it, unfortunately, has grown to the point that--to quote a friend who works there--has reached the size where it has many of the problems of a larger metro area with few of the amenities. For a person coming from the East Coast, either would likely be a big culture shock.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:07 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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The job issue is likely to be the biggest challange facing you with a move to Grand Junction. It is definitely in your best interest to get the job issue handled BEFORE making a permanent move. I say that because a friend of mine moved to GJ from California back in October.....and he still has not found a job.

I wouldn't take this comment too seriously ..... ( Grand Junction is a much smaller community, but it, unfortunately, has grown to the point that--to quote a friend who works there--has reached the size where it has many of the problems of a larger metro area with few of the amenities. ) As far as metro areas go, Grand Junction is barely a blip on the radar. The part about few amenities is accurrate, but the part stating many of the problems of a larger metro is likely coming from someone who never lived in a large metro area. Utter nonsense IMO. Grand Junction has very little...negative or positive, in common with a large metro area.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
I wouldn't take this comment too seriously ..... ( Grand Junction is a much smaller community, but it, unfortunately, has grown to the point that--to quote a friend who works there--has reached the size where it has many of the problems of a larger metro area with few of the amenities. ) As far as metro areas go, Grand Junction is barely a blip on the radar. The part about few amenities is accurrate, but the part stating many of the problems of a larger metro is likely coming from someone who never lived in a large metro area. Utter nonsense IMO. Grand Junction has very little...negative or positive, in common with a large metro area.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but I HAVE lived in a major metro area. Grand Junction does indeed have many of the problems of a major metro area when it comes to crime, gang activity, homeless people, etc. Happily, Grand Junction's crime stats have improved in the last year or two from rankings that were considerably worse than the national averages. I attribute part of that to the fact that a lot of transient oilfield workers and unemployed people have simply left the area as the boom subsided. Grand Junction is not East LA by any stretch, but neither is it a quiet small town. I think I'm qualified to make that distinction as I've lived in everything from ranches where the nearest neighbor was 2 miles away, to small towns of 1,000 to 10,000 people, to metro areas of over 1.5 million.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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jazz....I'm not saying YOU never lived in a metro area. Although I failed to point it out, I was referring to the friend you quoted. GJ indeed has the problems you mention, but it is on such a small scale compared to a large metro area. Other than the homelessness issue, in almost 6 years of living in GJ, I've rarely come across the ohter problems you mention. That was not the case when I lived in a large metro area. Comparing the problems of GJ to the problems of a large metro are is akin to a comparison between apples and oranges. As far as I can tell, homelessness has little to do with the size of a community. Growing up in a small PA town with just 750 residents, there were always a few homeless people hanging around town. Even in the good ole days of the 50s and 60s when the world was a kinder, friendlier place than it is today.

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 03-12-2012 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Colorado Plateau
1,133 posts, read 3,337,431 times
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It's been almost 20 years now, but I moved out west from the north shore of Massachusetts. First I lived for several years in northern WY (Sheridan) then I moved to GJ ten years ago. Never really experienced culture shock. I love the wild wide open spaces.

If you can get by on very little money, you can do ok here. I went to college here and finally have a decent job.

I like it here a lot, but I wasn't really the type of person to like the east coast lifestyle anyways.
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Old 03-12-2012, 01:50 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,788,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
jazz....I'm not saying YOU never lived in a metro area. Although I failed to point it out, I was referring to the friend you quoted. GJ indeed has the problems you mention, but it is on such a small scale compared to a large metro area. Other than the homelessness issue, in almost 6 years of living in GJ, I've rarely come across the ohter problems you mention. That was not the case when I lived in a large metro area. Comparing the problems of GJ to the problems of a large metro are is akin to a comparison between apples and oranges. As far as I can tell, homelessness has little to do with the size of a community. Growing up in a small PA town with just 750 residents, there were always a few homeless people hanging around town. Even in the good ole days of the 50s and 60s when the world was a kinder, friendlier place than it is today.
The friend I quoted has also lived in metro areas, including one of the largest in the West--bigger than Denver. If you haven't run into the problems that I mentioned about Grand Junction, you can count yourself fortunate. There is an unfortunate amount of property crime most everywhere in rural Colorado--especially considering the relatively low population. I've actually been a victim of property crime--and not just petty theft--more here than I was when I lived in a metro area. Underfunded and understaffed law enforcement is a major reason, in my opinion--and I think the budget crisis gripping rural Colorado is only going to make that situation worse. Violent crime in rural Colorado is much easier to avoid than in many metro areas. Violent crime here tends to be from domestic violence, drug-related, and things like bar fights, etc. Avoid that, and you've avoided most of the potential for violent crime here.

Interestingly, one would think that Salt Lake City and its environs, with its strong LDS influence, would have below average crime rates, but the stats show otherwise. Rural areas of Utah typically have pretty low crime rates, but many areas of the Salt Lake Valley have crime rates above the national average. Odd.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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jazzlover wrote:
If you haven't run into the problems that I mentioned about Grand Junction, you can count yourself fortunate. There is an unfortunate amount of property crime most everywhere in rural Colorado--especially considering the relatively low population.
I do count myself fortunate! Unfortunately, property crime in rural areas is not limited to Colorado. It is MUCH worse in Pennsylvania. MANY more summer homes and hunting camps for the would be vandals to vandalize. While the % age might be higher in Colorado, the actual amount of property damage pales in comparison to a heavily populated state like PA. You just don't realize how good things really are in Colorado compared to most other states.

Take this with a grain of salt....I suspect that it's a bit easier to catch the vandals in Colorado becasue there are so few roads that the getaway vandals can travel. Whereas a state like PA has so many more thousands of miles of roads in a more condensed area, giving the getaway vandals a wider selection of routes to travel as they distance themselves from the scene of the crime.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:03 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,788,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
jazzlover wrote:[indent][i]
Take this with a grain of salt....I suspect that it's a bit easier to catch the vandals in Colorado becasue there are so few roads that the getaway vandals can travel. Whereas a state like PA has so many more thousands of miles of roads in a more condensed area, giving the getaway vandals a wider selection of routes to travel as they distance themselves from the scene of the crime.
What you fail to consider is that the typical Pennsylvania sheriff's officer probably only has to patrol a few dozen square miles. In Colorado, there are counties where a county sheriff's patrol officer may have to patrol several hundred or even a thousand square miles of territory or more. I suspect that crime rates in rural Colorado would be even higher, save for the fact that most bad guys--especially the local ones--know that many rural Colorado property owners have guns and know how to use them. And that, if some low-life is breaking into their property, they are not going to call 911 and hope a deputy that's 40 miles away is going to come to their rescue. Those property owners will probably take matters into their own hands, then call 911. In fact, I've had several county sheriffs in both Colorado and Wyoming give me that exact advice when I lived in rural areas of their jurisdiction. That little "feature" of rural Colorado living may be another little "culture shock" to people from the coasts.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:05 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,022,369 times
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Wink Grand Junction & SLC

Grand Junction, CO and Salt Lake City, UT do not share much in common. As mentioned, SLC is also appreciably larger, more a city than the larger town of Grand Junction. So, just from an employment standpoint, one would probably have it easier in Utah.

One mention of Mormons in that regard. In my experience they tend to be low-key, live-and-let-live, and pleasant. With also especially their small towns clean and well-ordered. But in some respects they tend to be cliquish. Utah is predominantly Mormon, particularly in some regions and towns, and a reality for anyone living there. If not Mormon, one may be at a disadvantage with employment in some instances. Also, expect to possibly run up against some limits socially, if not so attuned.

I'm not sure how often, but can personally attest that the air quality in winter can be simply awful in Salt Lake City. So bad that it was not only like pea soup in the middle of the afternoon, but with digital highway signs with health advisories to remain home or off the road if possible. No idea how far north or south that extended, but to the west it only gradually diminished all the way across that wide valley to Wendover, and only at last gone when climbing up out of it west of there. Looking back, it looked like a sea of valley fog. To the east of SLC, I first began to run into it shortly west of Park City in the mountains, in dropping down that canyon to SLC.

If serious about SLC, the state of the air quality in it at times might be a factor. Air quality along the front range of Colorado is not always wonderful, but I've never experienced it near that bad.

Another place you might consider is Logan, UT. It resides about 80 miles roughly north of SLC. That is too far to realistically consider commuting; but possibly about the only real downside to living in that mid-size town whether employment possible. It resides its own valley, with beautiful mountains just to the east, and whatever air pollution there is likely negligible from the modest population. As home to Utah State University, it seems a fairly progressive and pleasant place. Probably with fewer of the ills of modern-day American, and the far lager metropolis not all that far south, but more than removed enough.

Maybe consider again what you might be looking for in SLC or Grand Junction, as they do not overlap that much.
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