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Old 08-12-2013, 02:16 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,779 times
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Question Moving to Durango?

Hi, everyone. I am discussing the possibility of taking a position with TSA for the Durango - La Plata County Airport. Probably looking to move in the next 30 to 60 days. The entry level pay is small, but I have some reserves. I have looked at the city data and other online sources and the cost of living appears to be high. Additionally, I can't seem to find much info on possible homes / apartments for rent. The plan would be to come alone initially until I can get a feel for the area and the position before bringing my wife. I would be looking to live as reasonably as possible as I would still be carrying expenses back home. I would even be interested in living in a camper / campground if there are some nearby with decent rates and long term rents. Any extended stay hotels in the area? We would be looking to live out from town eventually. I do have a 4 wheel drive pickup for the snow. Can anyone give me some solid information on realistic costs of living as well as the availability of housing, etc.. I do love the outdoors but I'm not some dreamer just looking to move for the beauty of the area. I am willing to sacrifice, but I need to be able to cover the costs. Thanks
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Durango, CO
924 posts, read 719,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richow View Post
Hi, everyone. I am discussing the possibility of taking a position with TSA for the Durango - La Plata County Airport. Probably looking to move in the next 30 to 60 days. The entry level pay is small, but I have some reserves. I have looked at the city data and other online sources and the cost of living appears to be high. Additionally, I can't seem to find much info on possible homes / apartments for rent. The plan would be to come alone initially until I can get a feel for the area and the position before bringing my wife. I would be looking to live as reasonably as possible as I would still be carrying expenses back home. I would even be interested in living in a camper / campground if there are some nearby with decent rates and long term rents. Any extended stay hotels in the area? We would be looking to live out from town eventually. I do have a 4 wheel drive pickup for the snow. Can anyone give me some solid information on realistic costs of living as well as the availability of housing, etc.. I do love the outdoors but I'm not some dreamer just looking to move for the beauty of the area. I am willing to sacrifice, but I need to be able to cover the costs. Thanks
Durango housing is on the expensive side. It could be as much as 20-30% higher than where you are coming from, you didn't indicate where you would be relocating from. I came from PA and it was at least 20% higher here than it was back there. The best places to search are the Durango Herald online classifieds and western slope craigslist. Those were the two sources we used and we ultimately found our rental condo on western slope craigslist.

Other necessities may or may not be more expensive than where you're coming from. We've found that gas & groceries are pretty much the same price as back east, although clothing is more expensive in addition to the sales taxes on it (PA has no sales tax on clothing). Vehicle registration may also be more expensive as Colorado "taxes" vehicle ownership.

Think long & hard before coming to Durango with a low income. It's not an easy place to get by if you don't already have a good paying job prearranged or bring your income with you (telecommuting or retirement.... I fall into the latter category).
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:19 AM
 
Location: SW Colorado
1,788 posts, read 1,076,218 times
Reputation: 3364
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richow View Post
Hi, everyone. I am discussing the possibility of taking a position with TSA for the Durango - La Plata County Airport. Probably looking to move in the next 30 to 60 days. The entry level pay is small, but I have some reserves. I have looked at the city data and other online sources and the cost of living appears to be high. Additionally, I can't seem to find much info on possible homes / apartments for rent. The plan would be to come alone initially until I can get a feel for the area and the position before bringing my wife. I would be looking to live as reasonably as possible as I would still be carrying expenses back home. I would even be interested in living in a camper / campground if there are some nearby with decent rates and long term rents. Any extended stay hotels in the area? We would be looking to live out from town eventually. I do have a 4 wheel drive pickup for the snow. Can anyone give me some solid information on realistic costs of living as well as the availability of housing, etc.. I do love the outdoors but I'm not some dreamer just looking to move for the beauty of the area. I am willing to sacrifice, but I need to be able to cover the costs. Thanks
LOL! Deja vu all over again! We've just been posting our observations re Durango in a thread here. Check it out. There's some strong opinions around here about Durango and they're in complete opposition to one another. Like they say, "Until you get there, you never really know."

I'm with the native Coloradan contingent who remember and/or lived in Durango back in the day before it morphed into just one more over-priced Colorado resort town. Housing costs in Durango these days have hit the stratosphere while jobs still hover not much above minimum wage.

You could not pick a worse time to move to Durango than the next 30 to 60 days. The kids at Ft. Lewis College are returning to Durango in droves for the coming fall semester. They all gang up together as roommates to be able to afford the high housing costs, and a single man or even a man and his wife can't compete with 6 kids sharing costs. They snap up rentals off the Internet at 2:00am in the morning before anyone else can beat them to the punch. It's like swimming with the sharks to find housing in La Plata County right now.

I avoid private campgrounds such as KOA's like the plague, so I can't help you much there. Most Forest Service campgrounds in this region lock up shop (literally) once Labor Day weekend is over. Mesa Verde National Park keeps its campgrounds open pretty much year round, and if you're in this part of the world, it would be a shame to miss visiting it. However, it would be a major pain to camp at Mesa Verde, drive down the twisting mountain road to highway 160 and make tracks to Durango everyday. Depending on the weather, you could end up taking two hours or more each way. Durango does have any number of motels/hotels that offer extended stays if you have the pocket book to pay for it. Figure on staying in one until around December when the Ft Lewis kids who are the most addicted to partying and the ski slopes drop out for a semester or six, and the rentals open up slightly as a result. Or just bring your wife out here with you at the end of September to see the fall colors and tour SW Colorado for a couple of weeks to check out other towns. If you're heart is still set on Durango, aim to move in around May and don't wait any longer than the end of July.

Many people who now reside in Durango - not everyone, of course - have formed themselves into a politically correct, moneyed insider's group. No gate crashers allowed. I was on the faculty of Ft Lewis College in the decade of the 80's and the changes from then to now quite honestly astonish me. There's no more of that rural little Colorado town that I once called home. I now live 60 miles away from Durango in the still rural little Colorado town of Cortez. AKA hicksville to the Durango jet set.

I recently drove over to Durango to drop off my resume for a little part time job at the local bookshop on Main. I was very well qualified for that job, but the manager read no further than the Cortez address under my name at the top, and then dropped my application into the "don't call us, we'll call you pile." Now I am a professional librarian with advanced degrees and was an associate professor with tenure on the Ft. Lewis faculty for 10 years. And that rejection was not because I was over qualified. The manager (who hadn't bothered to read my resume) informed me that I was UNDER qualified, and that they hired only "high caliber" employees.

Of course that's just one anecdotal incident, but I'm not the only one on this board who has a similar story about Durango. I believe the local McDonald's there is only hiring Zen Buddhists with PhD's and strong ties with the Obama administration.

I'd suggest driving over to the other side of the San Juans north on Highway 550 to check out either Montrose or Ridgeway instead. Another possibility would be Mancos which is about 30 miles west of Durango on Highway 160. It's a nice little town and many people commute to Durango from there. You'd better enjoy winter driving in the mountains, though. I'd advise against my own town of Cortez because you have to be hard core rural Coloradan and stubborn as a mule to live here. It's pretty darn far away from EVERYTHING except the mountains and the job market sucks.

You might also like Pagosa Springs. It's a nice town with hot springs, scenic vistas - the whole 9 yards. But it too has fallen under the high priced resort town curse. SW Colorado can be a difficult place to live for would be new residents who don't have fat trust funds and PhD's in Zen Buddhism. Consider taking a look at other parts of the state.

Yours,
- Rambler

Last edited by Colorado Rambler; 08-13-2013 at 04:43 AM..
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:13 AM
 
902 posts, read 1,176,549 times
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A number of the low and moderate price motels will offer weekly rates. A few may offer monthly. But perhaps not until it hits "low season" whenever they define that.

Best bests for rentals are to check craigslist, Durango Herald classifieds or work with a property manager (or maybe realtor).

Living on a budget there can be doable depending on your tastes / needs and what effort you put into it.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:34 AM
 
Location: SW Colorado
1,788 posts, read 1,076,218 times
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The Aneth Lodge in Cortez will give you an off-season rate of roughly $200.00/week. It's probably among the least expensive motels in the region, and you get what you pay for. If you're a laid back type who doesn't mind watching drunken fights between Utes and Navajos in the motel parking lot, it's not that bad. The commute from Cortez to Durango is around 60 miles each way and takes about an hour on clear roads. If you have a car that gets good mileage and has either all wheel or 4wd drive, that's about the cheapest way I can think of to go in the 4 Corners area.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:52 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
2,939 posts, read 4,656,562 times
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I had friends that moved to Durango 2 years ago. They only lasted there 6 weeks before packing up and moving further south to Taos. They found work in Durango, one was a nurse and the a medical lab technician. However, the pay was absolutely terrible, $24/hour for the nurse and $12/hour for the medical tech. Coming from Oregon they both took about a 40% pay cut and their housing cost went up by 50%. They tried to find a cheap place to live, out of town, and settled for a temporary location near Vallecito Reservoir, an hour outside of town.

They both loved the area, but financially couldn't make it work. The jobs weren't very secure either, as they learned both positions were called off a lot.
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Old 08-22-2013, 10:18 AM
 
2 posts, read 2,779 times
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Thanks everyone for your comments and assistance. Sorry to be so late in responding, but I've been moving my youngest daughter back down south, (Atlanta), from NY City. (You couldn't pay me to live in that town! Geesshhh!) Sadly, your comments seem to validate what I already thought. Disappointed to hear about the timing as with the college students moving back in for the current semester. Oh well, I will still see if I can find a way to make it work. I'll look into the options you recommended and see what develops. If it is meant to be, things will fall into place. If not, then I'll have to make other plans. I might also have some options with TSA for Hayden or Eagle. I know Eagle is expensive also and Hayden is quite isolated. Comments anyone? I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:45 PM
 
902 posts, read 1,176,549 times
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If you are willing to drive occasionally to Steamboat Springs for frills and Craig for basics then Hayden may not feel so isolated. Depends on your needs / expectations.

Gypsum is much cheaper for housing than Eagle if you are willing to drive there and take what is available.
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