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Old 02-16-2014, 11:22 AM
 
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If your kids are into baseball then you have some good things going here. Part of the Lincoln Park complex includes Stocker Stadium (football) and Suplezio Field (baseball) The late sam Suplezio was a longtime community leader who really boosted baseball. JUCO (Junior College World Series) has been held in Grand Junction for the last several decades, usually right after Memorial Day weekend, and goes for two weeks. I get a seniors pass for the duration. A lot of good talent who makes it to the Bigs has come through here and the junior colleges come from all over the United States.And speaking of the Big Leagues, a few days before the series starts the JUCO banquet has seen some notable guests, a few of those being Duke Snider, Tommy Lasorda, and Willie Mays who came in from the 1980's.

Also the Grand Junction Rockies are the areas minor league team (Rookie League). They moved here from Casper, Wyoming last year and got good crowds in for their initial season. They are the farm club of MLB's Colorado Rockies. The season starts late May and goes to late August. They sunk some coin recently updating the stadium, particularly the press box, lights, and dugouts. A job well done there. There are also several ball fields off I-70 and 24 road for the kids.

CMA (Colorado Mesa University) got university status a couple years ago, they were previously named Mesa State College. I think it's a tad bit of a stretch regarding university status but what do I know? They are NCAA Division II and are in the RMAC division (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.) Stocker Stadium is where they play the football games and all local high school football games are played there as well. CMA's baseball season is cranking up early, saw a game being played there Thursday. There's been quite a bit of expansion to the college itself, they're located near the central part of town, on 12th and Orchard/Elm.
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Old 02-16-2014, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
Good morning Simetime! A few words on the VA hospital as you're weighing the job offer from the dm I got from ya.

I've had two experiences visiting friends who were admitted there, the second just a few weeks ago. IMO it's first rate. It's smallish but has seen expansion over the last five years. It has a solid and attentive staff. My best friend spent several days there recovering from having a kidney removed just a few weeks ago. That operation was done at St. Mary's Hospital. The staff checked in frequently and accommodated the people who could only visit him late at night. They are somewhat limited of what they can do. My next door neighbor had to go to Salt lake City for treatment for his carotid artery but that was several years ago. I think nowadays they have more to work with. They're located at 26th and North Ave.

Regarding rentals and housing. Rentals IMO generally are in the $850 to $1150 range for a three bedroom house from what I've seen in the paper and going through the neighborhoods. Speaking of neighborhoods one of the nicer ones in the area is the Lincoln Park area which is just a few minutes west of the VA hospital. It's an older neighborhood but well kept, good looking houses. Lincoln Park itself has a fair amount of kids activities when school lets out for the summer. Always something going on there. My favorite stretch of housing there would be from 21st to 12th avenue and from Gunnison to White. Other good neighborhoods would be behind St. Mary's Hospital (7th and Patterson) and the various subdivisions east of Patterson Rd. from 12th avenue to 31 road. As you said in the dm regarding the 2 year assignment I just concentrated on rentals.
My husband actually worked at the VA for about a year when he was in nursing school. He thought the hospital in GJ was top notch as far as VA facilities go.

He also lived right next to Lincoln Park Elementary (in a basement apt. while I was waiting for a transfer from Fairplay, Co to GJ). We always liked that neighborhood too.
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Old 02-16-2014, 02:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Let's Go Here View Post
I live in Montrose which is about 60 miles south of Grand Junction and have no desire to live there. Real estate prices are fairly steep and from what I hear, there's a lot of crime.
As the 2008 recession hasn't been kind to Mesa Country, foreclosures really stacked up for a couple years. Things have improved somewhat, but building permits skidded to a halt. Prices have gone down but not by a lot. Over the last 15 years development got way out of control and I don't have to go far to see it. One area is hwy. 340 from I-70 to the Redlands. There are several houses that have been sitting empty for a long, long time. One is as massive as the Roman Coliseum. Another looks like a Klingon warship. Another cluster of homes sits kind of in a hole near Mack, the last town you see until you hit the Utah border. One of them is in the shape of a hot air balloon. At least someone lives there, the others have been sitting empty for some time. Why would you live in area that sits in a hole with I-70 cutting off most of the view. Why would you build there? I don't get it.

On top of that, a very large percentage of the population is retired and the economy isn't stable at all. Every time I go up there it seems like there's a road construction project snarling traffic too.

During the 1990's, slowly but methodically the area filled up with retirees because of the oil shale pullout by Exxon in 1982. This area's economy was shot for years. People bought bank repos and HUD's for cheap, way cheap. Then when those houses finally sold, they went too far with development. By 2002 home building, energy companies, and service economy made up the workforce. When 2008 came, home building permits really slowed down. Halliburton sent their workers out of the area. By 2010 the unemployment went over 10% and stayed there for a long time. There are still quite a bit of labor, some with good handyman skills, who are still flipping hamburgers at the chain drive inn restaurants.

About the only benefit I would see for GJ compared to the rest of the Western Slope is the fact that there are more shopping and dining options. .
Most of that shopping is based on hwy. 50 from Sam's Club to Mesa Mall. And yes, that's where the traffic is bad. Over the last few years they repair, tear up, and re-repair and add on lanes. At least they got it right--for now. I'm hoping they leave this stretch of the road alone. I hope. This area is 90% chain businesses and restaurants. Mesa Mall added Cabela's as Mervyn's moved out of there two years ago. I have nothing against Cabela's but I always have been a mom and pop business guy. I miss Gene Taylor's Sporting Goods. Mr. Taylor was a good man who did a lot of good things for this community. When he passed, everyone knew the store was going to soon close. Cabela's and Sportsmen's Warehouse are big buck operations, Gene Taylor's wasn't.

Restaurants in this area would be Golden Corral, Olive Garden, Johnny Carino's, and these type chain restaurants.

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 02-16-2014 at 02:28 PM..
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Old 02-16-2014, 04:11 PM
 
Location: The Land of Reason
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Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
I lived in Grand Junction from 2002 until 2008. My husband was attending Mesa State College (now Mesa University-or something like this) getting his nursing degree for part of the time while we lived there. It's a pretty blue collar town, but certainly not full of homeless people (at least not when I was there, and not more than many cities). The location was great, with access to amazing red rock canyon country, as well as high mountain recreation. A small ski area is about 45 minutes away and lots of other winter activities on the Grand Mesa. Downtown is cute, but not very happening, at least compared to where I live now. It's predominately a conservative area, where farming, ranching and resource extraction are a big part of the economy.

We lived in an area known as Orchard Mesa. If you have kids, I would research the schools and try to target those areas. In general, the west and north ends of Grand Junction had better schools. Personally I would avoid the Clifton area (and schools closer to it). I taught in one of those schools while living there, and behavior problems and low test scores were predominant.

What kind of things are you looking for? That might help to figure out whether GJ would be a good fit for your family.

Actually I work for the VA and my wife and son have their own computer repair business. The length of the position is for two years so I proably will not be setting up roots there, but you never know
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:26 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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I live in Glenwood Springs, and like many people on the Western Slope we go to GJ every month or two to go shopping and do a few things in the area. It's an interesting area, and while it sometimes gets a bad rap I think it does have it's share of positives. As a poster mentioned earlier, if you like the look of Southern Utah/Colorado Plateau, you'll like the scenery in the area. It's much more Southwestern-looking than other parts of the state. It's a good jumping-off point for a lot of things- Colorado NM is in your backyard, Grand Mesa is the alpine playground nearby, and Moab (Arches/Canyonlands) is less than 1.5 hours away. It can get hot in summers (though not ridiculously hot like Las Vegas or Phoenix) and they can get snow and prolonged periods of cold- there's been an inversion and snow cover in place for most of this winter. The metro population is well over 100,000 and the city is actually pretty spread out. It looks like there are some okay neighborhoods, but if I was considering a move to the area I would seriously look at other little towns in the area, like Fruita or Palisade, which is a cool little wine country town about 10 miles to the east. Pricewise it's all relative, but compared to other CO towns GJ seems quite a bit less expensive. CO mountain towns are much more pricey, and have little in the way of reasonably priced inventory.

Overall, we were always scared off by the more conservative reputation. But that, too is relative. It's Colorado, so the area feels more libertarian to us (I lived in the Bible Belt for a long time, definitely had a different feel). There's a lot of people in the area that are big into outside activities like 4 wheeling and mountain biking (Fruita is a biking mecca, of sorts). And it feels like there are some young people around- yesterday we drove by Colorado Mesa University- and remarked how much bigger it is than we had assumed- it's actually in the middle of town and has nearly 10k students.

I would say that if you are adventurous and want to experience life in the Intermountain West, go for it. It's not going to dazzle you as a city, but it is the shopping hub for the region and has a decent amount of dining options, mostly chain but some local options. And both Salt Lake City and Denver are major cities about 4 hours away. Sounds like a long distance if you're from the East Coast, but if you live out here that's pretty reasonable. In sum- the city of GJ wouldn't be my first choice in CO, but I would certainly take it over most other places in other states. With a good job it would be affordable, and again I would seriously consider living outside of town. Most people I know that live in the periphery of Grand Junction actually love living in the Grand Valley and go into town to work, shop, eat, etc.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by simetime View Post
can anyone tell me about the colleges, activities and the people?
A note on the music scene.

I'll just say kind of lacking a little basically because of just one venue in GJ proper, although the Robinson Hall at CMU has had artists perform there every few months or so. Funds have been secured for renovation of the Avalon Theater, the last I've heard for completion is mid July, maybe earlier. Some good classic rock bands have come through here and a variety of other people from Arlo Guthrie to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to the Alan Parsons Project to Carlos Nakai (Native American Flutist) to Emmy Lou Harris to Primus, etc., etc. Down the street from the Avalon is the Mesa Theater-newer bands for the most part.

The area does get a little pub from Country Jam and Rock Jam, which are set up near Mack, which is 15 miles west of Grand Junction. Those crowds are in the 15,000 range. A free concert series is set up by the City of Fruita at Colorado River State park, off state highway 340. A mix of oldies bands and current artists, such as Nancy Griffith, Association, Leon Russell, Robert Earle Keen, Poco, James McMurtry Band, and others have played there over the last several years.
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Old 02-17-2014, 03:39 PM
 
Location: The Land of Reason
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE H View Post
A note on the music scene.

I'll just say kind of lacking a little basically because of just one venue in GJ proper, although the Robinson Hall at CMU has had artists perform there every few months or so. Funds have been secured for renovation of the Avalon Theater, the last I've heard for completion is mid July, maybe earlier. Some good classic rock bands have come through here and a variety of other people from Arlo Guthrie to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to the Alan Parsons Project to Carlos Nakai (Native American Flutist) to Emmy Lou Harris to Primus, etc., etc. Down the street from the Avalon is the Mesa Theater-newer bands for the most part.

The area does get a little pub from Country Jam and Rock Jam, which are set up near Mack, which is 15 miles west of Grand Junction. Those crowds are in the 15,000 range. A free concert series is set up by the City of Fruita at Colorado River State park, off state highway 340. A mix of oldies bands and current artists, such as Nancy Griffith, Association, Leon Russell, Robert Earle Keen, Poco, James McMurtry Band, and others have played there over the last several years.

Thats interesting. I'm a jazz man, my wife likes contemporay, my youngest son likes rock and my oldest likes country music.
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Old 02-17-2014, 11:06 PM
 
Location: Near Grand Junction, CO
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Post GJ Has Pluses and Minuses..

The wikipedia article is a good place to start: Grand Junction, Colorado - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I've lived in the area for about 8 years, but never in Grand Junction, although I did commute to work there for a couple of years. But I live in a RURAL community of less than 400 just 35 miles outside the city so GJ is it for services, shopping, dining, etc. I don't find the traffic terrible but agree that the road rebuild, redesign, & renovation projects are many and seem endless. The good news is that one can get to about anywhere you need to go in the town in about 15 minutes, even with traffic and there is just about any type of business, shopping, and service available, but maybe only one or two choices for the more specialized categories - most people go to Denver for the occasional BIG shopping trip or a pro sports game, or a concert, or play once or twice a year (about 250 miles). GJ is, however, the largest city between Denver and Salt Lake.

There are many natural areas of interest and enjoyable, chief among them the Colorado National Monument (possibly being upgraded to National Park status), the Grand Mesa National Forest and its National Scenic & Historic Byway (CO Highway 65), HUGE BLM lands developed for public use north, west, and the Uncompahgre Plateau south of the city, nice small mountain local skiing at friendly Powderhorn Resort on Grand Mesa, Colorado River recreation, Amtrak, immediate access to I-70, a functional regional airport with daily direct flights to Houston, Dallas, Phoenix, Salt Lake, and Denver for more distant travel connections. Yep, there are the homeless and poor, alcoholism and mentally ill like every small city, high suicide rate and the local (pretty much all) Republican government does little to help (VERY fiscally and socially conservative - Mesa County outlawed recreational AND medical pot sales, for example), economy has been a bit feast or famine and is dependent on oil/gas at least somewhat, schools are pretty good I think (never had kids in them), Colorado Mesa University is excellent and growing, good medical services and doctors - 2 serviceable local hospitals, professional Fire and Police Departments. LOTS of churches and community organizations serve the community. Lots or older and retired folks but also a vibrant young adult community which is active and outdoors year round, with a few hangout clubs and bars. Some really nice residential communities adjacent - check out Fruita and Palisade. Yes, it gets hot in the summer but calling it desert is a stretch. Has lush areas along the Colorado River and the Palisade area is world renowned for its fruits (Palisade peaches) and wineries. Rarely snows in the winter in the city, but it does get cold and there are occasional nasty smoggy winter temperature inversions that seem to sit there and sit there over the valley for days and days.

In short, it's not perfect, but you can do a lot worse than Grand Junction. I moved from the Denver area and have never regretted it. Questions?
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by simetime View Post
I'm a jazz man, my wife likes contemporary, my youngest son likes rock and my oldest likes country music.
I forgot to mention that Grande River Vineyards in Palisade has had some jazz people perform there. I know in the past George Winston and Tim Weisberg have played there. I've never been there, I understand it's kind of smallish.

As is Roper's Music room which is located downtown. It's upstairs while the downstairs is pianos, guitars, etc., etc. for sale. Kind of an unusual setup but it works I guess. I went to see Chis Hillman (Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers) perform there with Herb Peterson.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:33 PM
 
Location: The Land of Reason
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It looks like I have a choice between Grand Junction and Roseburg, Oregon and Grand Junction wins in a landslide!
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