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Old 11-02-2007, 09:38 AM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,200,501 times
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I posted many times before, but it bears repeating: Living in or near a resort area is usually MUCH different than visiting one. I made the analogy in an earlier post (excuse the masculine perspective here): It's like being infatuated with a gorgeous woman and marrying her. Once the infatuation wears off, you may find out that living with her day after day is quite a bit different than going out on a date with her every so often. You may also find out that she's "high-maintenance" and not near as gorgeous on the inside as what shows in her superficial beauty. The analogy may be admittedly rough, but I think it applies pretty well to most resort towns in the Rocky Mountain West--nice to visit, often not-so-nice to live in permanently.
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:04 AM
 
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Talking Awww...I think Ouray is GREAT!

I read with interest the posts on Ouray...reading people's perception of a place one actually lives in is quite enlightening!

I think Ouray is terrific. We moved here 13 years ago with small children and I could not think of anywhere else I would rather have lived...ok, I think Italy is pretty cool...but unrealistic!

I chose to homeschool my children thru their elementary and middle school years, nothing to do with local schools, just a decision we made as a family when the kids were young. "Socialization" is not a problem here in a small town, where everyone nearly knows everyone. My kids slid right into high school seamlessly and are top of their respective classes. I would say that the class sizes, the caring faculty and administration are SUPER. If you are an involved parent, Ouray is a great place to raise your kids.

As far as drugs, I guess it's the people you hang out with that determines the way they affect your life. My kids aren't "partyers" but as in any place they are out there. What is interesting is the level of kindness, caring and compassion I see displayed from the "good kids" to the "troubled kids". There is a certain level of caring for one another in this small town I never experienced growing up in a large city.

Health care is fine. I am not at a point in my life that I am dealing with health issues. BUT, we have a nice sized population of elderly people (something you don't see much of in "resort communities" )and they are well taken care of. We have senior meals weekly - a senior water aerobics program, a senior van for shopping in Montrose and a Neighbor-to-Neighbor program that links caring neighbors to seniors in town. The clinic is great, they all live in this community and demonstrate their love for Ouray county thru their care of the patients. There is a homeopathic clinic also... EMS (Emergency Medical Services) is super for the size town we live in. If ever anything happened to me or my family I know we are in good hands here, caring hands.

Summers in Ouray are great. Mainstreet may be busy (it's all relative) but one block away it's idyllic and quiet. I have lived in both WInter-oriented and Summer-oriented tourism towns and give me a summer tourism town any day. Less "monied and demanding people", more families and people who share a passion for the towns beauty and special qualities.

As for being far away...yea! Living 1-2 hours from Denver was not ideal of us - weekend front range traffic. Ouray is more of a destination than a get-away. That means people spend more time here...are more relaxed.

IF you have any questions, I would love to answer them...

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:36 AM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,200,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtjTraveller View Post
I read with interest the posts on Ouray...reading people's perception of a place one actually lives in is quite enlightening!

I think Ouray is terrific. We moved here 13 years ago with small children and I could not think of anywhere else I would rather have lived...ok, I think Italy is pretty cool...but unrealistic!

I chose to homeschool my children thru their elementary and middle school years, nothing to do with local schools, just a decision we made as a family when the kids were young. "Socialization" is not a problem here in a small town, where everyone nearly knows everyone. My kids slid right into high school seamlessly and are top of their respective classes. I would say that the class sizes, the caring faculty and administration are SUPER. If you are an involved parent, Ouray is a great place to raise your kids.

As far as drugs, I guess it's the people you hang out with that determines the way they affect your life. My kids aren't "partyers" but as in any place they are out there. What is interesting is the level of kindness, caring and compassion I see displayed from the "good kids" to the "troubled kids". There is a certain level of caring for one another in this small town I never experienced growing up in a large city.

Health care is fine. I am not at a point in my life that I am dealing with health issues. BUT, we have a nice sized population of elderly people (something you don't see much of in "resort communities" )and they are well taken care of. We have senior meals weekly - a senior water aerobics program, a senior van for shopping in Montrose and a Neighbor-to-Neighbor program that links caring neighbors to seniors in town. The clinic is great, they all live in this community and demonstrate their love for Ouray county thru their care of the patients. There is a homeopathic clinic also... EMS (Emergency Medical Services) is super for the size town we live in. If ever anything happened to me or my family I know we are in good hands here, caring hands.

Summers in Ouray are great. Mainstreet may be busy (it's all relative) but one block away it's idyllic and quiet. I have lived in both WInter-oriented and Summer-oriented tourism towns and give me a summer tourism town any day. Less "monied and demanding people", more families and people who share a passion for the towns beauty and special qualities.

As for being far away...yea! Living 1-2 hours from Denver was not ideal of us - weekend front range traffic. Ouray is more of a destination than a get-away. That means people spend more time here...are more relaxed.

IF you have any questions, I would love to answer them...

Good luck with your decision.
I will say this--if I had to live in a resort area, Ouray is one of the better ones, all-in-all. (If you want to see the WORST resort town to live in, just go over the hill to Telluride.) That said, the people who I know who live in Ouray--most have been there quite awhile--give it mixed reviews. They rate as positive the gorgeous area, the fact that some effort has been made to protect open space, the relatively easy access to bigger towns like Montrose or Grand Junction, a mountain climate that is somewhat moderated in winter from the town's proximity to warmer areas to the north. Their complaints have centered around its increasing unaffordability unless one brings money with them, the tourist vibe in the summer, drugs in the community, and a significant turnover in the population (not uncommon in resort communities). A couple of the older residents I know also mention what others have posted about the inconvenience of having to go elsewhere (sometimes as far as Denver or Salt Lake) for specialized medical treatments. Over the years, I have known several who have, for one of more of those reasons, chosen to relocate to Montrose, Delta, Grand Junction or elsewhere.

By the way, as a matter of trivia, about 99% of the people pronounce the name of the town wrong--including many residents. Most pronounce it "YOU-ray." That's actually incorrect. The town was named for the Ute Indian Chief, Ouray. He was bi-lingual in Spanish and Ute. When the New Mexicans spelled his name phonetically in Spanish, it was spelled as "Uré," which was pronounced "Oo-RAY." That's how the Chief himself pronounced it, according to some old line natives of the area I know, whose ancestors knew the Chief personally. The Spanish spelling got bastardized into a phonetic English spelling of "Ouray," and has been widely mispronounced ever since. Interestingly, I found some very old books about the Chief (published around 1900) and they actually spelled his name using the Spanish spelling, not the English spelling applied to the town name and widely used for his name in later histories.
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Old 07-13-2008, 08:30 PM
 
189 posts, read 471,004 times
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Default Down on the Western Slope

I used to vacation in the Ouray area for years during my working days. Well, I finally retired and moved here -- to Montrose at least. Ouray prices are ridiculous, and the people hate tourists and outsiders -- but they LOVE the money they bring in. I would say to try Grand Junction, then just come to Ouray for fun now and then. G.J. isn't nearly as pretty as Montrose and Ouray (scenery), but it's somewhat of a real town with good services and an interstate you can hop on easily. Better yet, try the Midwest -- the people are genuine there, not like these Colorado natives who think they created this place - instead of God. Montrose is also a joke -- watch out for the realtors and builders -- they work together to rip you off every chance they get. You really have to search for the good business people around here. Generally, don't deal with natives. They're small town hicks and have no idea what customer service is.

Hope you find a good life in a real town, but don't look on the Western Slope south of Grand Junction cause it's just a pipedream that shangri-la exists here. Anyway, it's too stinking windy, especially in the spring. I may move back to Michigan and friendly people someday. I don't have to worry about finding a job there!
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Old 07-13-2008, 10:29 PM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,200,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiftyFiftyAboutCO View Post
I used to vacation in the Ouray area for years during my working days. Well, I finally retired and moved here -- to Montrose at least. Ouray prices are ridiculous, and the people hate tourists and outsiders -- but they LOVE the money they bring in. I would say to try Grand Junction, then just come to Ouray for fun now and then. G.J. isn't nearly as pretty as Montrose and Ouray (scenery), but it's somewhat of a real town with good services and an interstate you can hop on easily. Better yet, try the Midwest -- the people are genuine there, not like these Colorado natives who think they created this place - instead of God. Montrose is also a joke -- watch out for the realtors and builders -- they work together to rip you off every chance they get. You really have to search for the good business people around here. Generally, don't deal with natives. They're small town hicks and have no idea what customer service is.

Hope you find a good life in a real town, but don't look on the Western Slope south of Grand Junction cause it's just a pipedream that shangri-la exists here. Anyway, it's too stinking windy, especially in the spring. I may move back to Michigan and friendly people someday. I don't have to worry about finding a job there!
If you're going to bash what is wrong with Montrose/Ouray--and I agree that it is overpriced with some significant issues with either inept or less-than-friendly businesses--at least get some facts right. First, hardly ANYONE who lives in Ouray is a native--those people got chased out by the high prices long ago. Ouray natives are living in places like Montrose, Grand Junction, Denver, or Salt Lake City. I know a fair number of them. Second, some of the best-run, friendliest businesses in Montrose are owned and run by--guess what?--natives. Some of the worst ones are often run (until they go out of business) by transplants--often "urban refugees" with little business experience trying to buy themselves a lifestyle. (Many of them do seem to congregate in the real estate and building trades--I will grant you that.) Then, of course, there are all of the new corporate-owned businesses that have swarmed in--usually transferring the management in from elsewhere.

If you don't want to deal with small town "hicks"--well, don't live in small town. And, if you think the wind is bad in Montrose, you should live where there really IS wind. I have. As for overall friendliness of the local populations, I can tell you from experience that most all rural western Colorado towns are not nearly as friendly as they used to be. That has correlated exactly with the influx of a lot of people into the region with "urban" attitudes, and--quite frankly--a lot of the old-line residents are sick of them. In my work, I have to deal with both old-line residents and a lot of newcomers every day. There can be jerks (as well as true angels) in both groups, but there are a lot more "hard cases" to deal with in the newcomer group than there are in the long-time residents. I will get blasted again for being a transplant-hating xenophobe for making this observation--but I call it like I see it, and that is something I see just about every day.
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,526 posts, read 11,376,487 times
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jazzlover wrote:
That has correlated exactly with the influx of a lot of people into the region with "urban" attitudes, and--quite frankly--a lot of the old-line residents are sick of them.
They have a right to make themselves sick, as long as they don't expect a handout for their health care ( I bet most of them are on Medicare ). However, it makes no sense to make yourself sick over something you have no control over. Instead of making themselves sick, perhaps they could make friends instead.
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:18 AM
 
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Jazz Lover, your comment "....there are a lot more 'hard cases' to deal with in the newcomer group than there are in the long-time residents..." makes me wonder why you consider them "hard cases". Regarding what? I am used to being treated with a fair degree of respect, especially in real estate/building dealings. If that makes me a hard case, then so be it. I think these locals just want to build houses with no input from their clients, then collect the money. That's what happened to me. I didn't even get what was in the blasted contract, let alone anything they promised verbally. I never had a problem with realtors or builders until I moved to this town. My builder is a Montrose native, not a transplant.

I call certain people here "hicks" because they have no idea about anything that goes on in the outside world. You mention a news event to them - they look at you with a blank stare (i.e., nobody at my local lunch spot knew who Tim Russert was!). Going out to bars is more important to these people than getting an education and rising above minimum wage and flipping burgers. They'll be working until they're almost dead.

On the other hand, we do have a lot of big-city "urban" types -- the Starbuck's crowd.....the yuppies. I don't know what's worse -- hick locals or yuppies. All I wanted when I dreamed of living here was a quiet life and proximity to the San Juans. But now, the San Juans have been overrun with quads, cycles, and RV's. The worst people you'll find at motels and campgrounds are from Denver/Front Range -- and I'm not alone with that opinion (a good friend of mine here in town runs a motel, and I hear the horror stories from her all the time). I seldom go to the mountains anymore -- my home is the only real oasis of peace I have here. So why do I stay? Frankly, my health is better in drier air, and the taxes are low. I'd love to live in the midwest again because of the down-to-earth people, but I hate humidity and fear tornadoes, so guess I'm stuck here (thank God for satellite tv, internet, and unlimited long-distance). I still love the natural wonders of Colorado, but little else. I probably could be just as happy living in Iowa or New York with a painting of Sneffles on my wall. If living here in the presence of these mountains really made people happy, then everyone here would be friendly and in a good mood all the time, but that's not reality. You have kids on drugs in a mountain paradise like Ouray -- there's your proof right there that awesome scenery does not induce proper human behavior.

I respect your opinions, Jazz Lover. It's just that you and I have had different life experiences which give rise to where we are now in our thinking.
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:56 AM
Status: "60th anniversary of the polio vaccine! Hail to Pitt!" (set 9 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
70,023 posts, read 60,539,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewAgeRedneck View Post
jazzlover wrote:
That has correlated exactly with the influx of a lot of people into the region with "urban" attitudes, and--quite frankly--a lot of the old-line residents are sick of them.
They have a right to make themselves sick, as long as they don't expect a handout for their health care ( I bet most of them are on Medicare ). However, it makes no sense to make yourself sick over something you have no control over. Instead of making themselves sick, perhaps they could make friends instead.
Too funny!

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiftyFiftyAboutCO View Post
Jazz Lover, your comment "....there are a lot more 'hard cases' to deal with in the newcomer group than there are in the long-time residents..."

I respect your opinions, Jazz Lover. It's just that you and I have had different life experiences which give rise to where we are now in our thinking.
Well put! I agree!
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:59 PM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,200,501 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiftyFiftyAboutCO View Post
Jazz Lover, your comment "....there are a lot more 'hard cases' to deal with in the newcomer group than there are in the long-time residents..." makes me wonder why you consider them "hard cases". Regarding what? I am used to being treated with a fair degree of respect, especially in real estate/building dealings. If that makes me a hard case, then so be it. I think these locals just want to build houses with no input from their clients, then collect the money. That's what happened to me. I didn't even get what was in the blasted contract, let alone anything they promised verbally. I never had a problem with realtors or builders until I moved to this town. My builder is a Montrose native, not a transplant.

I call certain people here "hicks" because they have no idea about anything that goes on in the outside world. You mention a news event to them - they look at you with a blank stare (i.e., nobody at my local lunch spot knew who Tim Russert was!). Going out to bars is more important to these people than getting an education and rising above minimum wage and flipping burgers. They'll be working until they're almost dead.

On the other hand, we do have a lot of big-city "urban" types -- the Starbuck's crowd.....the yuppies. I don't know what's worse -- hick locals or yuppies. All I wanted when I dreamed of living here was a quiet life and proximity to the San Juans. But now, the San Juans have been overrun with quads, cycles, and RV's. The worst people you'll find at motels and campgrounds are from Denver/Front Range -- and I'm not alone with that opinion (a good friend of mine here in town runs a motel, and I hear the horror stories from her all the time). I seldom go to the mountains anymore -- my home is the only real oasis of peace I have here. So why do I stay? Frankly, my health is better in drier air, and the taxes are low. I'd love to live in the midwest again because of the down-to-earth people, but I hate humidity and fear tornadoes, so guess I'm stuck here (thank God for satellite tv, internet, and unlimited long-distance). I still love the natural wonders of Colorado, but little else. I probably could be just as happy living in Iowa or New York with a painting of Sneffles on my wall. If living here in the presence of these mountains really made people happy, then everyone here would be friendly and in a good mood all the time, but that's not reality. You have kids on drugs in a mountain paradise like Ouray -- there's your proof right there that awesome scenery does not induce proper human behavior.

I respect your opinions, Jazz Lover. It's just that you and I have had different life experiences which give rise to where we are now in our thinking.
I've got a hunch that I know the builder you are talking about. If so, yeah, probably trouble.

There are quite a few well-informed people (many natives) in rural Colorado. Unfortunately, like anywhere else, there are a lot who are not. In bigger cities, the social scenes tend to stratify--the uneducated or uninterested tend to congregate and socialize with one another, the "elite" socialize among themselves, etc., etc. In smaller communities, the social groups tend to be more eclectic and one is more likely to run into people not of one's "social station." The lack of strict zoning in many rural counties also means that such intermixing may even occur with neighbors. Having a $750K trophy house next to a single-wide trailer on the next parcel is not uncommon. Personally, I think a social mix is preferable to the "yuppie ghettos" that so much of suburbia and the mountain resorts has become, but it does mean that one must sometimes interact with people who may be more or less informed, or with different priorities than what yours or mine might be.

I sure will agree with you about the dilemmas of deciding which can be worse--mannerless "hicks," or chip-on-their-shoulder Front Range (or elsewhere) yuppies who think the rural Colorado only exists as their private park--and the hell with the locals and natives. I have probably a unique perspective about this since I have lived in numerous places in Colorado--Eastern Slope, Western Slope, Front Range, in-town, out on a ranch--plus several years out-of-state in Wyoming. I've also associated with people over the years from just about every social class--and gotten along with most all of them. All the way from people as poor as church mice, to a high-school classmate who became a near-billionaire (and, ironically, was one of the unhappiest people I ever knew). Overall, I think that small towns tend to be healthier and better socially adjusted places than large urban metropolises, but I would also say that many Colorado small towns, sadly, are not a good example of "well-adjusted" communities. The "resort vibe" has made them something else. For socially healthy small towns, I would agree with you that they are probably more likely to be found in the Midwest. Living in Colorado, with its interesting climate and spectacular scenery, can be very pleasant from that aspect, but there is the tradeoff that many of its communities leave quite a bit to be desired socially, and often economically. That tradeoff is becoming more pronounced all the time--especially to those of us who have lived here long enough to see the changes over the last couple of decades or so.
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Old 07-14-2008, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,471 posts, read 14,391,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FiftyFiftyAboutCO View Post
On the other hand, we do have a lot of big-city "urban" types -- the Starbuck's crowd.....the yuppies. I don't know what's worse -- hick locals or yuppies. All I wanted when I dreamed of living here was a quiet life and proximity to the San Juans. But now, the San Juans have been overrun with quads, cycles, and RV's. The worst people you'll find at motels and campgrounds are from Denver/Front Range -- and I'm not alone with that opinion (a good friend of mine here in town runs a motel, and I hear the horror stories from her all the time). I seldom go to the mountains anymore -- my home is the only real oasis of peace I have here. So why do I stay? Frankly, my health is better in drier air, and the taxes are low. I'd love to live in the midwest again because of the down-to-earth people, but I hate humidity and fear tornadoes, so guess I'm stuck here (thank God for satellite tv, internet, and unlimited long-distance). I still love the natural wonders of Colorado, but little else. I probably could be just as happy living in Iowa or New York with a painting of Sneffles on my wall. If living here in the presence of these mountains really made people happy, then everyone here would be friendly and in a good mood all the time, but that's not reality. You have kids on drugs in a mountain paradise like Ouray -- there's your proof right there that awesome scenery does not induce proper human behavior.
You know, I don't feel sorry for you one bit. I don't know what kind of response you're looking for with your inflammatory, self-righteous post. I'd suggest taking a good look in the mirror before placing the blame on just about everyone. There are plenty of places other than Montrose, CO that offer dry air and mountain scenery and low taxes-- pretty much anywhere between the Great Plains and the coastal ranges of the west coast-- at least 11 states to choose from. Nobody's forcing you to live there.

Last edited by vegaspilgrim; 07-15-2008 at 12:17 AM..
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