U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Old 09-26-2015, 10:41 PM
2 posts, read 2,503 times
Reputation: 10


Hello, I have been reading a lot of threads, especially those regarding Pagosa. Could someone please update current situations there regarding water, housing market etc..? I have been told they have water issues. We are talking to realtors in the area, but of course they won't ever divulge truth about negative things impacting an area. Any info would be greatly appreciated!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Old 09-27-2015, 04:39 PM
3,806 posts, read 3,991,054 times
Reputation: 2566
You may already know all this but just in case, this is what I can offer:

a link to the Pagosa Area Water and Sewer District that supplies water to many in area: http://www.pawsd.org/

a link to the Colorado Division of Water Resources, the Colorado Agency that regulates water in Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County http://water.state.co.us/groundwater/groundwater.

Those are the authorities you should contact to ask questions.

Brief overview modified from a real estate agent site: ... in Pagosa Springs, when it comes to water you have three basic choices. You can buy land within the Pagosa Area Water and Sewer District (PAWSD), in which case you will tap into its broad area existing piped water system. You can also often buy land in a subdivision not within PAWSD that furnishes water to its owners piped from a common source, either surface or well (or both), generally through a property owner’s Association. Alpine Lakes would be a good example of that type of situation. Finally, of course, you can buy land that has no common water source and requires you to drill a well or install a cistern (to fill from water hauling or other rights secured water source on your property or accessed by lease from others).

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-27-2015 at 05:12 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-27-2015, 10:16 PM
2 posts, read 2,503 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you for the info! Now do you know anything about the economy there? We are planning a trip there this coming month to get a feel but as I said before, I feel I get more straight honest answers from people not in real estate. A realtor has told us there is a lack of housing. My husband is a licensed contractor here in NM and we are considering a move. Would feel better if we knew there was really a need for his business. Thanks for any info., it's greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-08-2016, 07:02 AM
28 posts, read 57,041 times
Reputation: 57
Red face You asked for honesty...

I realize your posting is a year old and you may have already made your decision, but just in case others have similar questions... Pagosa is a tourist driven town, which gets a fair number of snowbirds and folks using the hot pools (marvelous!). There are dead periods, generally around April, where many businesses shut down as there is not enough traffic to sustain them. The town that visitors see and the "real" town are enormously different. Water is a real issue. If you are on the piped system (PAWS) the water is extremely expensive. So much so, that if you manage to grow a garden (no small feat in this short growing season), the cost of watering it could exceed the food production. Many "Pagosa" people also live in Aspen Springs--some due to the tighter building restrictions nearer Pagosa. Aspen Springs, however, pretty much requires that you bring in your own water, due to the sulphur in the wells. You'll see neighbors driving huge trucks with containers filling the bed so they can regularly pick up water, about every six weeks. Most people have a truck dedicated to this use.

The county discourages alternative building and lifestyles, in general. Anything that isn't real mainstream is frowned upon. That said, the greenhouse buildings are still ongoing, and (according to someone I talked to there) will probably still be in the building stage for several years.

Businesses in general do not thrive in Pagosa. In the short time I've been here (a couple years), I've seen several businesses come and go in a very short amount of time, like six months. All the enthusiasm and good will in the world does not make up for the extremely restrictive conditions imposed by Archuleta County (read about these on their own website), nor can they induce customers where none exist. The town is small with a couple different cliques, and if you put someone's nose out of joint, you might as well kiss your business or ability to work in the area goodbye, as they'll tell their friends. The building department tends to play favorites and bend rules for who gives the most hugs. Lol. I wish I were joking. That said, most contractors have a ton of work, and finding a handyman is almost impossible for homeowners, as anyone who can wield a hammer gets hired by contractors.

Outside of the pools and the restaurants, there's not that much to do here. The "community center" recently disbanded their computer room for lack of interest. The senior center provides low-cost lunches, but no games or other incentives to stay alive. You must drive to Albuquerque to find a Costco or at least Farmington (in New Mexico) for Sams. There is a Walmart, but for any other large shopping needs, it's either New Mexico or Durango, which has Home Depot. I have friends send me coffee from Trader Joes several times a year from out of state.

That I've found, there are four main cultural groups who live here and I'm not certain how well they get along. There are the folks who have lived in Pagosa all their lives and are tight knit, watching people come and go with a sort of resignation. There are the "good ol' boys" who run the county and who seem to vie for the position of "supreme controller"; the UFO newagers; and the constitutionalists. I suppose the business owners are a fifth group, but they tend to ally with one of the above.

One businessman I talked to last week as been around for a few years, but he and his wife are going under. He says he can't find anyone who wants to show up for work regularly as his potential employees are all stoned. Gads, I couldn't make this stuff up. And sorry to join the gossip brigade, but you asked for the truth. I'm giving you some of the underbelly. Please don't shoot the messenger.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 07-08-2016, 01:08 PM
Location: Colorado
57 posts, read 28,206 times
Reputation: 178
Pagosa Springs is a unique town in Colorado. It’s located in one of the more beautiful parts of the state and is a mecca for outdoorsy types. Skiiing at Wolf Creek (20 miles away) is some of the best in CO. There are two or three large blue grass music festivals held during the early and late summer that bring in national talent. They also have a professional theater with live performances that is quite popular. The hot springs resort is a main attraction but the skiing, rafting, hiking, fishing, camping, hunting, biking, golfing, etc. also keep people busy throughout the year.

If someone is coming from a city and expecting city amenities, you won’t find that in Pagosa as it is a rural mountain town. There won’t be a Trader Joe’s or Sam’s or Costco in town. There is a decent sized City Market store that would rival any in Denver, a smaller family owned grocery store, organic food store, and a smaller than average Wal Mart. There are also hardware stores, sporting goods stores, clothing stores, etc. as well as many touristy type shops. There are a couple of fast food chains, a variety of restaurants (including Mexican, Chinese, BBQ, Thai, Italian, French, Sushi, Cajun), and three (!) microbreweries. Anyone wanting to start a business would really need to scope out the area and evaluate the need for their product or service. As in any touristy Colorado town, competition in a tourist related business is probably pretty stiff, but it would seem that any skilled tradesperson would do well with the building growth in Pagosa. There also seems to always be a need for anyone in the medical/healthcare professions.

The population is about 50/50 between full time residents and part-time home owners. There are still many families living in Pagosa with descendants/history that go back to the 1800’s. There are a lot of second home owners as well as full time retirees from outside the area. The growth in Pagosa is being reflected in the rising real estate prices. There appears to be a lot of money moving in when one looks at the size of the new homes being built as well as the number of private jets flying in and out. That being said, it is becoming difficult for lower wage workers to find affordable housing.

Water is not a problem unless you live several miles west of town in the Aspen Springs area. As another poster mentioned, most people are unable to drill viable wells in that area so have to haul water to their property. Gardening anywhere in the southwest will take more water and due to the higher altitude and short growing season can be a challenge without a greenhouse.

There used to be a “Keep Pagosa Pagosa” mentality that was prevalent in town which tried to keep the Wal Mart from coming in, but that mentality seems to be changing. The concern for the city and county is how to manage future growth as state demographers are projecting Archuleta County to be one of the fastest growing Colorado counties over the next 25 years with growth projected to grow by 83%.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.

Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply

Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:19 AM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top