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View Poll Results: Which town would you rather live in?
Durango 34 60.71%
Montrose 22 39.29%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Old 09-09-2012, 09:37 AM
 
276 posts, read 583,293 times
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Here's a poll comparing two towns on the western slope. Please don't turn this into a "town bashing" thread and try to be objective when answering the question. Here's a few factors to consider:

Location (with respect to other cities)
Schools
Scenery
Affordability
Dining options
Shopping
Traffic
Neighborhoods
Housing options
Outdoor activities

I'll let others chime in before I give my opinion.
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Old 09-09-2012, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,246,015 times
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You'd probably find a higher class of fellow residents on average in Durango if that's important to you.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:04 PM
 
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Wink The charms of Montrose and Durango

I certainly wouldn't say one is better than the other, as personal preferences in that sought will vary, and what offered by these two distinctly different towns.

Both are fairly isolated. Montrose seemingly less so, as more ready access to Grand Junction and thence the Front Range. Although from Durango, Farmington, NM is not far south, and an easy if somewhat long drive into Albuquerque, NM. As the larger and more diverse town, Durango is less isolated due offering all the many more services within town; yet for being rather out in the middle of nowhere it could win the prize.

No ideas on schools, if suspecting those in Durango enjoy a healthier budget. Chances are those in Montrose are more conservative, with fewer modern day ills.

Durango resides in a quite scenic location directly at the southern edge of the San Juan Mountains. This alone is surely one of the primary reasons it has become as popular with those with the resources to choose where they would like to live. Montrose, on the other hand, sits at a distance well removed to the north of these mountains. One does not truly begin to enter them, well south of Montrose, until nearly in Ouray. Montrose, in neither its buildings or location, is as scenic as Durango. Yet nice enough, and other factors aside one might still prefer it as a place retaining more old-school Colorado aspects.

I would be very surprised if living in Durango not appreciably more expensive than Montrose. Durango has become an upscale tourist town, with attendant rises in real estate and much else; whereas Montrose remains more as a supply for point for surrounding agriculture, and as gateway and outfitter for sportsmen in the region.

One advantage of dedicated tourist towns are the many options in dining. The crowds might drive you crazy at times, but they also provide the market which can support many restaurants. Depending, a good many of these may be seasonal, nor any guarantee of excellence. Some of these towns in Colorado have a clientele looking for at least half-decent grub at modest prices—and that is what they get. One can always be surprised in the eclectic oddball in the most unlikely of places, so aside from McDonald's there may be a few quite good choices in Montrose. Local standards are not always the most discerning, yet the places heavily favored by locals, even if the basic fare of hamburgers and not much else, could be for a solid reason. Durango has enough new residents with money and tastes informed by the broader world to surely offer a wider and better selection of restaurants. Possibly think Vail or other places with such clientele. Although paying through the nose for some chic meal is no guarantee in itself of the resultant meal any way worth it. Yet a better chance of finding something rather fine. On a last note, there are more than a few in favored tourist locals, whether hotels or restaurants, who largely exist due the location, and could not compete in either value or quality with those elsewhere who must be judged on that criteria alone.

In shopping, it may depend on what one is looking for. For agricultural implements or hunting equipment Montrose might be best. Although in general Durango should win such a contest, particularly if the item in question something your wife will drag you into a store for.

At one time one could drive south to north through Durango on its quite long thoroughfare, remarking on the occasional stoplight, but otherwise doing fine. In season when more tourists in town, this became more of a challenge, and I doubt in time anyway improved. They finally got around to building a bypass for US 160 past the old road, for east to west traffic. Of course that has since seen an increase in big box stores and resultant local traffic. If north on US 550, one will just have to suffer, if a pretty view in doing so. Durango is closely surrounded by hills which might be considered mountains elsewhere; it inhabits a fairly narrow valley running north along the Animas River. If really dedicated one could try a few of the side streets in that direction, but basically its Main Avenue (US 550) is it. In comparison, Montrose should be a breeze. As the junction of US 550 and US 50, with both passing directly through town, it can suffer more traffic than one might like at times. But there is traffic, and then traffic.

Montrose may have some pleasant neighborhoods; I don't know. Durango definitely does. There are those well removed from town either would have, and in the case of Durango shortly from town into the mountains. Within town, like below the Fort Lewis Campus, and elsewhere, Durango can offer a good many nice options. The long valley north of town is an attractive place which once was mostly meadow. It seems more lately to be growing any number of large and expensive houses.

If looking for relatively inexpensive housing, Montrose would be one's best bet. Good luck with that anywhere near Durango. If money less of an issue, then Durango surely offers a better selection of what most would prefer. There may be some big money and that it prefers near Montrose, but if visiting Durango no doubts that it definitely likes that area. One could easily find a lovely home in Durango—affording it another matter.

When it comes to killing someone, deer or other, Montrose may be the place to be. Durango would lean more towards hiking, kayaking, skiing, and that tourist would more usually favor when not armed to the teeth. So in general Durango surely offers more options in outdoor activities. All the more so as being located right at the edge of a lot of great outdoor country. However, Colorado has a number of smaller towns more akin to Montrose which would probably better suite those with traditional aims, as in bringing in the meat. One can find a good number of outdoor toys and hunting implements within the same store, and same town, if maybe somewhat uneasily at times. But it might be suggested that there are areas where either tends more to predominate; those hunting aprés ski versus elk are more likely to find it in Breckenridge than Kremmling, and vice versa.

It could as well be pointed out that either Montrose or Durango are distinct from what would be found in Ouray, or Silverton for that matter. In that area of the San Juan for instance, Silverton, Ouray and Telluride all reside in close geographic proximity (less a few very tell mountains between). Yet each distinctly different in ambience. That would inform most any other place in Colorado, if perhaps not as much some metro Denver suburbs. So more the question of what one is looking for.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:19 PM
 
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I think I'd pick Durango (if we're not talking about housing costs). There are more outsiders there, like me, although I confess to earning my living and not spending a trust fund. The scenery is much more in your face, and there are the restaurants and more arts stuff. But then, I'm thinking like a visitor in those things.
I visit an elderly friend in Montrose every year. Frankly, if the scenery was about the same, I'd pick Montrose. My friend has found every nook or cranny that is of interest, the Black Canyon is stunning, there's an Art Deco theater downtown that was rehabbed ( huge mosaic tile picture of a naked woman by the bathrooms- maybe from the old hoochie days!)
While I think I'd like to live with more outsiders, being one, I have a feeling that I wouldn't overly fit in with spandex Californians and stuff. People come and go from Durango a lot (daydream syndrome?). On the other hand, I imagine Montrose could be fairly staid. My friend there told me, "You don't want to live here. People are so closed-minded," and she's been in the area, raised kids, and had businesses for decades.
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
5,371 posts, read 7,657,321 times
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Never been to either, but Montrose seems more my taste. The town looks slightly larger to me.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:16 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mezter View Post
Never been to either, but Montrose seems more my taste. The town looks slightly larger to me.
Wrong. Durango has a larger population. Not that larger population makes Durango more desirable--it makes it less desirable in my book.

Both towns have more than their share of a combination of transplant, trust-funder, and/or obnoxious yuppie phonies, but Durango definitely has the edge in that department. Enough so, that, in both towns, a lot of the old-line residents have chosen to move elsewhere.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Enough so, that, in both towns, a lot of the old-line residents have chosen to move elsewhere.
or to Greenmount.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
or to Greenmount.
OK, I should have said the long-time residents that are still alive.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,246,015 times
Reputation: 6815
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
OK, I should have said the long-time residents that are still alive.
Well in fairness to you I doubt too many happily chose to move there. It is interesting that there are nearly as many dead people as living ones in town.
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:50 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Well in fairness to you I doubt too many happily chose to move there. It is interesting that there are nearly as many dead people as living ones in town.
Greenmount Cemetery is likely the easiest place to find people who actually lived in Durango for more than 10 years. Trying to find a living, breathing person in Durango who has actually lived there for more than 10 years is getting really challenging.
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