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Old 03-24-2012, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Midwest
238 posts, read 567,063 times
Reputation: 180

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Hello.

My partner has received a few job offers in the Colorado so we will be relocating from the Northern Virginia region in the coming months. One offer is up in Fort Collins while the other is in Centennial. While we have both spent time in Vail, Denver region, Boulder, and Estes/Rocky Mountain, we're hoping for some guidance from locals. A little about us:

-Mid-twenties/early thirties
-No children (now or in the future)
-Comfortable rent is up to $1,600/month
-I travel across the country for work bi-weekly and would like to be < 1 hour from DEN (airport)
-Both enjoy the outdoors and bars, not clubs
-Interested in purchasing a home sometime in the next 5 years

We plan on settling down in Colorado and are asking for your help! Can you offer up any information on the pros/cons/color commentary on the following:

-Loveland and Longmont areas
-Centennial, Aurora, and Cherry Creek areas


Thank you!!!

Last edited by Pequeño_Bonsai; 03-24-2012 at 08:37 PM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:25 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,028,551 times
Reputation: 616
Well your choice is basically going to come down to, do you want sprawling suburbs or smaller more autonomous towns? Centennial definitely has the leg up on closeness to the airport, as from Loveland getting to DIA in an hour would be a really good commute, hitting traffic just right. Your rent should be a slam dunk in either place, but might go further in Loveland.

Personally I would say live in Fort Collins, thought this would add another 15+ mins. to your trip to the airports, but it's a much younger, more to do feeling town than Loveland, esp. for people of your age. Centennial, in my experience passing through it, is all about families and people trying to escape Denver to get a cheaper/newer house.

Loveland/FoCo will give you easier access to outdoor things, as Centennial is going to be a little more of a trip west to get to the good areas of the mountains (though there are a few state parks close by).


Denver is considered part of the Front Range.

Were it me, I would say go to Fort Collins hands down, but I am biased, as I loved living there and am REALLY not a suburbs type of person. If you too dislike the burbs and want to check out FoCo, I would highly recommend looking at the older, Northern end of town, around Old Town.
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Old 03-27-2012, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Manchester, NH
251 posts, read 480,062 times
Reputation: 239
I would choose Fort Collins, too. I lived there twice, for about eight years each time. Because it's a college town, the downtown area is vibrant and there's a lot to do. Good restaurants, lots of microbreweries, and some great bars. It's a nice, clean town. Traffic has gotten worse over the years, but it's still nothing like the Denver area. I always lived on the west side of Fort Collins, which provided fast access to Horsetooth Reservoir and, from there, on up into the mountains. There's a lot of great hiking nearby. IMHO, it's worth the additional distance to the airpot. Get a transponder and take the toll road to DIA. That takes a lot of time off the trip.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 7,774,799 times
Reputation: 3301
I have to agree with the other posters, I'd pick Fort Collins over all the other options. Of course, I am biased too, but my bias is based on experience. I grew up in Aurora, not far from Centennial (actually used to be unincorporated). I then moved to Fort Collins to attend CSU. I moved away for work, but the idea of moving back to Fort Collins keeps popping back up. It really is an amazing town, IMO, and unless you like the suburbs are driving all the time, you will probably find yourself unhappy in Aurora, Centennial, or Highlands Ranch. As Davemess pointed out, the burbs are usually filled with families. There's not a real sense of community or stand alone town feel.

You will find some community in Loveland and Longmont (although not sure about this), but the commute to the airport is going to be about the same, give or take 15 minutes. Since you are only doing it every other week, I would say it's worth the extra 15-20 minutes. You can also look into commuter options. There used to be an airport van that would go to Fort Collins. Let someone else doing the driving for you.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
166 posts, read 338,984 times
Reputation: 285
My husband took the airport shuttle from FoCo a couple months back, one hour flat. they leave at all hours of the day and super convenient. IIRC, it was $26.00. We travel through Denver pretty frequently to visit family in COS and on the west slope. I prefer being a little removed from the Denver area and don't mind making the extra drive when needed.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:22 AM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,028,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliemac View Post
My husband took the airport shuttle from FoCo a couple months back, one hour flat.
How fast were they going? That seems like a crazy short trip to me.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Grand Junction, CO
3,715 posts, read 3,973,459 times
Reputation: 4708
Quote:
Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
How fast were they going? That seems like a crazy short trip to me.
using e 470 toll road and avoiding the interstate between 700am-900am I can usually make it to DIA in right about an hour usually traveling the speed limit or close to it.
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Old 03-30-2012, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
166 posts, read 338,984 times
Reputation: 285
Originally Posted by davemess10
How fast were they going? That seems like a crazy short trip to me.

It was pretty early...I think I dropped him at the Harmony transfer station around 6:30am.

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Old 03-30-2012, 09:31 AM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,028,551 times
Reputation: 616
I guess I could see that, I either always lived on the West side of town or North (so took a little longer to get to 25, and was poor so always took the back roads. The one time I took 470 I didn't think it was that much faster though (maybe 5-10 mins.)
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,371 posts, read 2,081,487 times
Reputation: 1587
An hour is a realistic drive time if you take I 25 to E 470, but you have to hit the shuttle just right if you are planning to be at DIA no earlier then 2 hours before your flight. And the home pickup adds quite a bit of time to the trip. I usually find myself driving and parking at the airport after having experienced quite a few really long shuttle trips to and from the airport.
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