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Old 12-04-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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My boyfriend grew up in small towns on the Western Slope (Rifle, Nucla, Uravan (sp?), Nucla, GJ, Montrose, etc. We now live in Houston, and he's dying to move back to Grand Junction.

I am from upstate NY originally (moved b/c I hated the looooong snowy and freezing cold winters and no summers). I am really enjoying Houston and all it has to offer (always something to do, great restaurants, culture, etc). As a side note, I lived in a small (75k pop) town in East Texas for about a year. We visited Rifle, Montrose a couple of months ago and those are definitely too small for me. I did LOVE the beauty of the area though. So here are my main concerns....

1) Small town mentality and clique-iness - One problem I had in small town TX was the closed-mindedness of the people (many of whom had never been outside of the town) and they were very clique-ish. If you weren't from there or close by it was hard to make inroads. Does anyone find this to be a problem, particularly if you have moved from somewhere outside of CO?

2) Access to cultural activities - Plan to have kids and really want them to be able to be exposed to museums (art, science, planetarium, etc), children's activities, a nice zoo, etc. Are all these things available in GJ and are they a good quality?

3) I have read some scary things about GJ being on the decline in terms of crime, education standards not what they used to be and rising cost of living. That scares me...any additional insight?

4) I am a city girl that has never been camping, rafting, hiking, etc. I'm not opposed to trying these things and think they sound fun, but am I going to be miserable if they end up not being my cup of tea?

Thank you so much. I am willing to try any place, but need more information from folks already living there. Just trying to put my mind at ease.

Ciao!
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:31 PM
 
97 posts, read 376,316 times
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I can't answer any of your questions specific to Grand Junction, other than to say, (1) you'll be about 4 hours from a major city (SLC, Denver...pretty equidistant), and (2) Grand Junction is probably a little more than half as large as your small East Texas town.

I live in Houston now, so understand that population size may not have been the only thing you were up against in that small East Texas town, but still...

I think it could be a great experience for you, but you've identified some clear concerns. You seem willing to settle on a middle ground. Maybe your boyfriend would be open to some eastern slope cities that can give you the best of both worlds...Evergreen, Idaho Springs, Estes...I don't know, something like that...

and just on a personal note, if i was going to up and move somewhere fairly isolated and small like that, i'd probably choose Durango, or Moab, or Santa Fe (a little bigger). Nothing against Grand Junction...I've only driven through, but know I liked the other places.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,874,864 times
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ready2move? wrote:
3) I have read some scary things about GJ being on the decline in terms of crime, education standards not what they used to be and rising cost of living. That scares me...any additional insight?
I've only been living in Grand Junction for 16 months, so I'm not able to compare it to the way it was in the good old days. I can however compare it to where I lived for 16 years prior to living here. Compared to Virginia Beach a city of 500,000 Grand Junction is a real oasis regarding crime and cost of housing. My wife is a teacher and she sees no drop off in education standards though computer resources are less available in the local classrooms, and teacher benefits pale in comparison. Both my wife and I feel like we have improved our quality of life by moving to Grand Junction. I have no desire to go back to Virginia Beach. Housing values are still appreciating, but the rate of appreciation has slowed. Now would be a good time to buy a house in Grand Junction. You would would have good selection to choose from. If the spring of 2008 is like the spring of 2007, the market will become very active again and houses will sell at a much quicker pace. If you are going to be renting you may be quite challenged to find a place....rentals are pretty tight and hard to come by.

blessings....Franco
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:00 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,039,202 times
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Wink Well . . .

You might want to reconsider.

Grand Junction is growing and is beginning to develop some of the attributes you are seeking. But compared to anything on the front range (ie: Denver, Ft. Collins, Colorado Springs, etc.) it is still only a relatively small regional city out in the sticks. This all relative of course, but all the more applicable when viewed vis a vis Houston.

I've really only passed through there on occasion, so a local might tell you otherwise. But a good deal of the recent growth is probably due the increased development of oil and gas in the region. Houston of course has the same, but a far larger and more diverse city. So look at the basic economy of the area, heavy in farming, ranching, mining, oil, etc., and a good idea of the people living in the area and their interests.

Certainly a more temperate climate than upstate New York, but compared to Houston you'll probably feel you've moved back to the artic. It is somewhat milder than along the front range, but if Colorado just expect moderately cold temperatures and a certain amount of snow come winter. Anyway, if this much of a concern, not at all climatically like Houston.

All in all, you'd probably be happier somewhere along the front range, for the arts, culture, and just about anything else. As mentioned, Durango might be an outside possibility. Perhaps too small and isolated for you, but it is a vibrant, growing and charming town in a beautiful local. Just maybe something you and your boyfriend might compromise upon. But if he remains dead set on returning to his roots, you might question to what extent they can be yours.

Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2007, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,916,541 times
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Former Grand Junction resident here...keep in mind that I moved from there in Nov of 1995.

Anyhow, just as I was leaving, Grand Junction was "awarded" the "distinction" of being a metropolitan area. What that means is that the local area (including Clifton, Palisade, Fruita, The Redlands, etc...) the population was over 100,000.

It certainly is no Denver or Colorado Springs but has its own uniqueness to it. Cliquish doesn't really fit there because of the size of the population but it is very laid back. They do have a symphany (they did when I left) and the downtown area supports a lot of summer activities in an award winning downtown when they worked to revamp it and are still finishing up some of the building down there.

Climate is mountain desert. Different than say the Front Range of Colorado. Summer temps can easily reach into the lower 100s but given the desert climate, nothing like a Houston as the humidity is extremely low. In the winter, very little snow but if a cold front comes through the temps can stay in the 30s for days and even weeks on end becasue it's in a valley. But again, with low humidity and the fact they don't get the arctic winds that blow on the Front Range, it's a very mild cold.

Recreation is abundant and in the summer it's nice to escape the heat and head up to The Grand Mesa where temps can be 30 less than in the Grand Valley.

The people I knew there with kids had no complaints about the educational system and the kids I did know were active in school and outside school activities. Some of the kids there fall through the cracks just like any other place in the US. The key is good parenting and being active in the kids school and outside activities.

I'd go back if I could as I miss it. I don't think it's in my cards for a while but I am sure I will be going back at some point. I liked the small town feeling but never felt deprived in social activites and recreational activities.

Oh and the produce at the end of the summer, can't beat it. While the area is high mountain desert, with the Colorado and Gunnison rivers, decent irrigation, warm/hot days and cool nights make for such good produce.

As for increased crime and such. I can't really answer that but for what I read in The Denver Post and through The Grand Junction Sentinel's website. I think with any boom in population and the nature of the incoming workers there, no offense to roughnecks, crime is bound to increase. Wyoming has seen a similar issue with a rise in crime because of their own energy boom too. I don't think they are any worse than any city its size but I don't have any stats to back that up. I was single, not married, lived alone and felt very safe living there.

I think the most "crime" I ever witnessed while I was there was the fact that my rental property back up against one of the canals and about three times joyriders would steal a car and let them plunge into the canal. Kids that aren't well supervised, just like any other city or town do stupid things like that.

Anyhow, unless it's changed that much in the last 12 years, it's a nice place to live. From my own reading and such, I don't think it's changed so dramatically that it's an unsafe or undesirable place to live. Just growing pains.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:21 PM
 
5 posts, read 23,896 times
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Thank you to all of you for your quick and straight forward replies!
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:32 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,546,321 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ready2move? View Post
My boyfriend grew up in small towns on the Western Slope (Rifle, Nucla, Uravan (sp?), Nucla, GJ, Montrose, etc. We now live in Houston, and he's dying to move back to Grand Junction.

I am from upstate NY originally (moved b/c I hated the looooong snowy and freezing cold winters and no summers). I am really enjoying Houston and all it has to offer (always something to do, great restaurants, culture, etc). As a side note, I lived in a small (75k pop) town in East Texas for about a year. We visited Rifle, Montrose a couple of months ago and those are definitely too small for me. I did LOVE the beauty of the area though. So here are my main concerns....

1) Small town mentality and clique-iness - One problem I had in small town TX was the closed-mindedness of the people (many of whom had never been outside of the town) and they were very clique-ish. If you weren't from there or close by it was hard to make inroads. Does anyone find this to be a problem, particularly if you have moved from somewhere outside of CO?

2) Access to cultural activities - Plan to have kids and really want them to be able to be exposed to museums (art, science, planetarium, etc), children's activities, a nice zoo, etc. Are all these things available in GJ and are they a good quality?

3) I have read some scary things about GJ being on the decline in terms of crime, education standards not what they used to be and rising cost of living. That scares me...any additional insight?

4) I am a city girl that has never been camping, rafting, hiking, etc. I'm not opposed to trying these things and think they sound fun, but am I going to be miserable if they end up not being my cup of tea?

Thank you so much. I am willing to try any place, but need more information from folks already living there. Just trying to put my mind at ease.

Ciao!
If I was a women, I would move to a city which makes me comfortable and ask the "boyfriend" to follow me. Why do you have to follow him??

I am a man and I like to the idea of an independent woman. "We are Women hear us Roar". If he does not like it, I would ROAR real loud CIAO!

I am going to have a cup of tea and think of you.

I would also like to be balanced. Grand Junction, Montrose, Delta etc. are great areas with nice weather---I grew up in Upstate New York (Western New York); I have been in Denver for almost 30 years and I moved here from Texas.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 12-04-2007 at 04:43 PM..
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:58 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,849,882 times
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I wish I could recommend Grand Junction to you, but I can't. It certainly is better than a lot of places (and Houston would definitely be about my LAST choice of a place to be), but rapid growth is bringing a lot of problems to Grand Junction. I have family in the area, so I am pretty familiar with what goes on Grand Junction. It absolutely has more crime, traffic, and social problems compared with even just a few years ago. A friend whose husband works in Grand Junction summed it up--forgive me for repeating this as I have posted it before, "Grand Junction has all of the problems of some bigger cities and none of the amenities." Read the newspaper ( Welcome to GJSentinel.com! ) and you can get a pretty good idea. I will add one other thing about the entire Western Slope: You had better like outdoor activities (fishing, camping, etc.) or you will be pretty bored. That is what most people move to the Western Slope to enjoy and it dominates the recreational choices.

Most all of the Western Slope of Colorado has changed significantly in the last decade or so. If your boyfriend has been gone from the Western Slope for any length of time approaching that, much of what he knew has changed. I know this because I've been connected to the region for about 35 years.

Finally, no one should harbor any illusions about the Grand Junction economy. It is a 3-legged stool. It is the trade center for a large region--that's good. Grand Junction is popular with a lot of retirees who brought their money with them--OK as long as the pension and dividend checks keep coming. And, of course, the energy industry. All of that sounds fine until you realize that's exactly what the Grand Junction economy looked like in about 1980. When the energy boom crashed in 1982--Grand Junction went into a deep slump. The real estate market crashed and it took it about decade to come back out of that coma. The real estate and energy crash spilled over into a lot of local businesses, and a bunch of them went under, too. I spent the 1980's in western Colorado--economically, it was not fun at all. The way the economy looks today, both locally and nationally, bears an eerie resemblance to about 1981 right now. Are we in for a repeat? Probably not the exact same scenario, but I am nervous about it.
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,445,986 times
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Default Grand Disfunction

Disfunction Junction, The Junk...these are all nicknames I have given Grand Junction in the 5 years that I have lived here. I can't wait until the day I leave GJ!

With that said, GJ is certainly a liveable place, but you have to fit it. It is very conservative, and although it is growing tremendously, it still has a "good ole' boys" feel to it. It is very difficult for me to consider GJ as a cultural place. Sure we have a few things to offer, but nothing like Houston. You won't find much in the way of museums, concerts, nightlife, etc. There are no amusement parks, zoo's, or places to take kids in the summer. You really have to love the outdoors (which I do) to appreciate all the area has to offer.

I am an elementary school teacher and I can tell you first hand the areas not to live. Avoid Clifton, Fruitvale, and anywhere dowtown or near 32 Road. These areas are dumps! People don't care for their property and they certainly don't care about their children's education. Crime is bad in all of these areas as well. THis past summer I attended a conference about meth use in our area. One of the police officers at the conference attributed 100% of the violent crimes in the area to meth use (not sure it's 100%, but I'm sure it's bad).

I would suggest you visit the area for a few weeks to really get a feel for the area. Maybe you will like it, but I would hate to move here and be stuck (I know from experience). Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 12-05-2007, 12:49 PM
 
5 posts, read 23,896 times
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Default Don't have to...

Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
If I was a women, I would move to a city which makes me comfortable and ask the "boyfriend" to follow me. Why do you have to follow him??

Livecontent

You are right, Livecontent. I don't have to follow him, and if there was someplace I really wanted to live, I would "roar". I'm not interested in going back to my hometown, so I figure we could try his and at least be near one of our families. I have moved on my own - cross country and away from family and friends - twice - so independence isn't the issue Thanks for the words of encouragement though! And remember, no decisions have been made. That's why I'm here - to try and get a better idea about the place since I don't have a few weeks to spend there myself right now. I really appreciate your feedback!
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