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Old 11-14-2012, 03:36 PM
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I'd like some opinions on this one -- all opinions welcome.

I may get transferred to several different places, with Steamboat Springs being one of the options. I'm actually pretty pumped about Steamboat being one of the options...
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Old 11-14-2012, 03:54 PM
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I know a number of people who lived in Steamboat, including a number of natives, who left. Most all cite the same reasons: High cost of living, too many out-of-staters moving in, socially unhealthy "resort" vibe, very long winters (great for skiing, but really rigorous for people who actually have to work outdoors a lot), and loss of a lot of the town's original ranching heritage.

The positives: still some ranching in the valley with some of the ranching/mining culture--more so down toward Yampa/Phippsburg/Oak Creek or over toward Hayden. The skiing--if one likes that. Pleasant, cool summers. Not a @#$%^&!!! big city.

Personally, I would never live in Steamboat--it's now just another "cartoon" Colorado resort ghetto, a pretty resort area full of a lot phony people.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:03 PM
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Thanks for the information jazzlover! Very informative. I'm from small town Indiana myself, so I can relate -- never been too fond of the "yuppies." I really enjoy skiing, the outdoors of course, and the small town atmosphere, yuppies or not. I suppose I'll just have to weigh the pros and cons.

Now ANOTHER option would be the Durango area, although I've read on this board, in fact that Durango is full of hippies and much more dry than most parts of Colorado...
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:17 PM
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Sterotypes are often overdone. Romney got 44% of the vote in La Plata County. More than he got in Routt County (41% there).

If you don't totally like the vibe of living right in Steamboat Springs, consider living in Hayden or further west.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:35 PM
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It's a ski town with a little touch of ranching in the local area.

It looks bigger than it is, because it's the only place around for miles and all the tourists that come through.

When I was there, I found it alright, but didn't enjoy it compared to Vail. Plenty of other people it suits them well.

Yes, the cost of living is high and the main focus in the area is skiing. You had better like winter. I often found Vail 20 degrees warmer, especially at night and Steamboat I found was biting cold with constant nights in the winter -20 to -30 at night.

Also Steamboat is isolated. You are separated by mountains from anywhere else and it can take a few hours in good weather to get to Denver. Especially in winter, it's easy to get cabin fever.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:18 PM
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I will weigh in on the Steamboat climate a bit. First, though, know that I'm someone who likes snow and cold weather in winter--in fact, I prefer it to heat in the summer. I've also lived in one of the coldest locales in Colorado--Gunnison--and I was there during a couple of the coldest, snowiest winters in the last half-century-plus. I'm no wuss when it comes to winter.

That said, Steamboat's climate can take winter to a new level. That is unusual, since the town itself sits at an elevation of under 7,000 ft.--an elevation that would normally have a brisk, but not severe winter climate. But, Steamboat is an exception. It can get both heavy snowfall and exceptionally cold temperatures--sometimes at the same time. One of the coldest nights that I've ever experienced in my life (and I've also lived in Wyoming and spent time in the Dakotas) was on a New Year's Eve weekend in Steamboat (visiting friends who lived there for a time for work purposes) when it was snowing and blowing unmercifully and the ambient temperature was 30 below zero at the same time. That particular weekend it snowed over 4 feet in about 36 hours.

The difference in Steamboat proper's climate with that of Durango--both at similar elevations--is pretty striking. Durango gets snow, but less than Steamboat with generally warmer temperatures. The other big difference is timing. Like most of the southern half of Colorado, Durango is generally dry in early winter--December being one of the driest months of the year. Steamboat is more favored to get storms earlier in the winter than areas farther south in Colorado. That is not to say that Durango's climate can not be cold and snowy in the winter--it can. But, whether from man-made global warming or from "normal" climatic variation, for most of the last few years, Durango and the southern half of Colorado have "enjoyed" drier and warmer than normal winters. If this pattern continues for just a year or two more, the whole southwestern Colorado region is going to be in serious--extremely serious--crisis in water supplies. Such a pattern would also likely bankrupt ski areas like Durango Mountain that simply can not financially endure the shorter ski season that such a climate pattern will mean if it persists. Late fall and early winter weather is not a reliable predictor of the remainder of the winter season, but this fall has been abnormally dry and warm over most of Colorado once again. If this pattern persists for another winter, the entire state will be in extremely serious water supply crisis next summer, along with potentially savage wildfire danger.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:00 PM
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Just a hunch jazzlover, but I think you can all but count on it. Obviously I don't have your years of experience in living in Colorado, but I'm thinking summer 2012 was just a warm up round for summer 2013 in terms of forest fires. This is one of those instances that I hope I'm dead wrong.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:51 PM
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Huh ...I guess experiences will vary.
I've lived in Gunnison, Leadville, Breckenridge, Boulder, my native New Hampshire(mountains and seacoast), and Steamboat. Of all these I have found Steamboat to have the mildest climate, the friendliest people, the most well rounded economy, the lowest cost of living, and the best cultural activities available.
I guess I am just a "phony".
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:21 AM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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Yes, Steamboat bills itself as "Ski Town USA". but it was a ranching town long before it was a ski town. And that helps give Steamboat a unique identity different from the fake towns like Vail. There still are events year-round that pay homage to this cowboy heritage.

I lived in Steamboat for three years while I was a ski bum (granted it was a very long time ago) and I remember one year that it rained on Christmas day. I didn't find the weather to be particularly cold, and enjoyed skiing in shirt sleeves in the Spring. But winter can last well into May.

The summers in that part of the state can be very beautiful. With Steamboat Lake right up the road, there's plenty of camping, hiking and fishing.

I agree, however, that Steamboat is very isolated. I think it's a three hour drive from Denver in good weather.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:14 AM
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I lived on a ranch in Steamboat back in the late 70's-early 80's when we had "4-wire" winters, cross-country skiing over the top of our barbed wire fences and heavenly summers riding horses back to the hot springs in perfect summer weather. I enjoyed the town during "mud season" when only the hard-core locals were there, even many locals fleeing to hawaii LOL.

We have been back to visit & it's a different place with all the spread on the mountain. I could hardly find my way around up there.

I loved Steamboat except when I had to fly out for a family emergency- then it was, as everyone said, very isolated, a long, hard drive in winter to the airport in Denver or a rough small plane ride in & our of town.

I've also lived for a very short time right outside Durango. Steamboat was nice in that the ski mountain is right there. For Durango, it's a drive up & down to the mountain in bad weather.

Both are a hiker/backpacker's dream.
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