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Old 11-15-2006, 07:48 PM
 
Location: Montana
93 posts, read 426,247 times
Reputation: 53

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My partner and I currently live in Albuquerque and are planning to head north in the next two years. We are around 30 years old, well-traveled, liberal politics, open-minded, nature-loving, snow-loving, community-loving people. We are exploring many smaller cities and large towns in NM, CO, and CA.

My man is still in grad school (anthropology & urban design), so we don't know yet exactlly what his job needs will be. I am a midwife, so we need to be somwhere where people are having babies! We love being outdoors, so both the immediate nature and easy access to wilderness is important to us. Ultimately we would like to live off-grid, but still close to a vibrant community. We're not interersted in living in a place where everyone is content to live more or less in isolation through the winter.


Thoughts on Pagosa? We have not visited yet, and of course we will learn much from a trip. But in the interim, can anyone comment on:

the politics?

age set? Does it feel more like a retirement community or a family community? Ski bums? Working class?

opportunities to create? We both make art and want to be part of a community that celebrates creativity and expression.

what's the architecture/development like? What is the character like? Is it a large enough town to have suburbs? If so, are they unsustainable eyesores?

Does the town feel alive and vibrant? Is there a sense of community?

Any thoughts are much appreciated!
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Old 11-16-2006, 01:07 AM
 
37 posts, read 191,341 times
Reputation: 27
It's been a few years since I was in Pagosa Springs. Back then, it was a small, rural, family-type town, but I hear it has grown quite a bit since then due to the expansion and growth in Durango. If there has been some kind of spillover from Durango, it may be more what you are looking for now. Have you considered Park City, UT? Most of UT is conservative due to the LDS influence, but Park City is quite liberal and has great snow and outdoor activities. Also, Manitou Springs, just outside of Colorado Springs in Colorado, is a unique, close-knit, liberal community. The Boulder area in Colorado is another obvious choice, but homes there are very overpriced and may lack the sense of community you are looking for. Hope this helps!
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Old 11-16-2006, 06:29 AM
 
827 posts, read 4,631,042 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by parteira View Post
My partner and I currently live in Albuquerque and are planning to head north in the next two years. We are around 30 years old, well-traveled, liberal politics, open-minded, nature-loving, snow-loving, community-loving people. We are exploring many smaller cities and large towns in NM, CO, and CA.

My man is still in grad school (anthropology & urban design), so we don't know yet exactlly what his job needs will be. I am a midwife, so we need to be somwhere where people are having babies! We love being outdoors, so both the immediate nature and easy access to wilderness is important to us. Ultimately we would like to live off-grid, but still close to a vibrant community. We're not interersted in living in a place where everyone is content to live more or less in isolation through the winter.


Thoughts on Pagosa? We have not visited yet, and of course we will learn much from a trip. But in the interim, can anyone comment on:

the politics?

age set? Does it feel more like a retirement community or a family community? Ski bums? Working class?

opportunities to create? We both make art and want to be part of a community that celebrates creativity and expression.

what's the architecture/development like? What is the character like? Is it a large enough town to have suburbs? If so, are they unsustainable eyesores?

Does the town feel alive and vibrant? Is there a sense of community?

Any thoughts are much appreciated!
From what you described on what you are looking for, what your politics are and what you need, Durango sounds like the city for you. It is vibrant, liberal, many arts and entertainment stuff to do there, has a fantastic hospital, has many cultures that live in harmony and is a mountain city. Pagosa is a more traditional type of town. It has a mix of blue collar workers and retirees. It has a vibrant little downtown, but it is small. I like the hot springs. You can visit both Durango and Pagosa and I think you'll agree, Durango will fit you better for what you are asking. Durango also has been having a boom on babies, so you can easily find work there. You will also like that Durango is already in the mountains. In twenty minutes you can be hiking in nature, where there isn't a soul around you, yet be back in the hustle and bustle of downtown in no time.
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Old 11-25-2006, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Montana
93 posts, read 426,247 times
Reputation: 53
thanks for the info.

trailrunner, I have been to Park Vity, and actually it is almost the opposite of what we are looking for! Way too consumer/tourist oriented for us. Perhaps there is an actual community nestled in somewhere there, but we've never been able to see evidence of it.

Crackerjack, yes we are considering Durango as well, but it has been easier to get the scoop on Durango online, and we have been there a few times as well. We do like it, but ideally would like to be in a smaller city or large town. What is your experience in Pagosa? Do you know people who live there? Thanks again.

Oh, and I am a homebirth/birth center Midwife, so the hospital scene isn't too relevant to my practice. Does Pagosa have a hospital?
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Old 11-26-2006, 01:37 AM
 
827 posts, read 4,631,042 times
Reputation: 510
Parteira, Pagosa is a nice small city. I love the hot springs and go there at least once a year and soak. The town has a great little historic downtown. It is a pine and mountain type of town. It will be more rugged and rural, like log cabins and log homes as opposed to the southwest style homes in Durango. I don't think Pagosa has a hospital. Mercy Medical would be the one to go to in the area, in Durango. They are building some nice homes in Pagosa Springs, with retirees moving in. It will get more snow than Durango, but not a lot more. When it snows there with the pines and mountains, it looks beautiful.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:20 AM
 
Location: IE CA.
643 posts, read 2,227,832 times
Reputation: 242
I was looking into Pagosa Springs next and thought what I found on it was just beautiful. Is the housing going to be terribly expensive since they are adding more? How about the travel to and from Durango? I was also wondering how large a high school would be there ... or would they go to a neighboring town. One more thing ? ... what is the main source of income/employment do you know???
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:20 PM
 
157 posts, read 588,441 times
Reputation: 79
Hi coltoncity,

I agree, Pagosa is a truly beautiful place. Housing is expensive, but not at the level of Durango yet. I have been told by a person in real estate in Durango that several investors with very big money are making many purchases in and around Pagosa in the last year, not sure what effect this will have on prices. Pagosa does have its own high school -- enrollment about 500 I think. Actually bigger than Bayfield H.S. (enrollment more like 400 - I guessed wrong on an earlier post - oops!) If you haven't already, you might check "greatschools.net" for more info on the schools.

Crackerjack is right on (as always) -- many retirees are buying homes in Pagosa as second homes for the spring/summer/fall. Somewhere, he also mentioned the proposed development of a large ski resort on Wolf Creek Pass outside of Pagosa. My understanding is that this will be of the "Aspen, Vail, Telluride" variety. This is a controversial development and is not a certainty yet, but it may change the size, the prices, and the culture of Pagosa in the coming years.

Travel between Pagosa and Durango -- well maintained 2-lane highway (4-lane in some places), 45 minutes to an hour, more when it snows, watch out for deer on the roads in the evening and at night especially.

Main source of income or employment? ... uh ... I don't really know. I'll see what I can find out or maybe someone else can help.

BTW - I think that I read in another post that your daughter is Latino (if I'm wrong, my apologies). I grew up in Durango and, while I am white, many of my friends (past and present) are Latino or mixed race. I guess we were all just raised such that we never saw color differences. I have always been a little confused by race issues because it wasn't a part of my mindset growing up. Anyway, I guess what I am saying is that I think your daughter would fit well in Durango, Bayfield, Pagosa, or anywhere around here - just my opinion.

PARTEIRA: FYI, I believe that Pagosa approved the building of a new hospital ($12mil sounds right) in May.

best wishes.
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Old 12-12-2006, 04:09 PM
 
Location: IE CA.
643 posts, read 2,227,832 times
Reputation: 242
Thank u so much for your information, it is a huge help. Yes my daughter is Latino and I believe your right in everything you were saying. When My Dad retired from the A.F. we moved to N. Florida and what a culture shock ... so Im pretty sensitive to it all and I dont want her to have to go through it.
I know one thing, I sent a pics out and the ones of Pagosa Springs EveryOne wrote back on how beautiful it was. The lake pic reminded me so much of a summer place we went to when in Maine ... just gorgeous! I wonder if they have a private school there? It sounds like this summer is ther time to buy, do they already have the subdivisions planned? Do you know of a good realtor? I was wondering if the town was bigger or smaller then Bayfield? Thank you so much for all your help ... you are wonderful!
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
9,164 posts, read 16,570,617 times
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My wife & I have taken 2 vacations to Pagosa and have fallen in love with the place. What we mainly like is that, despite it's beautiful scenery, mild climate, and proximity to great skiing and other outdoor activities, it's relatively undiscovered and has that small mountain community feel that places like Estes Park and Aspen had 20 years or so ago.

Property is high, but not as high as many areas of Colorado. If you don't have a significant amount of money to put down on a house, it may be tough to find employment that will pay enough to allow you to buy much unless you want to commute to Durango. Most of the jobs are in the service area, such as banking, insurance, and real estate. Lots of jobs in the hospitality sector too, of course. Not much in the medical field right now, but of course that would change if they do get a hospital.

Pagosa is quite a bit bigger than Bayfield. I don't remember Bayfield being much more than a wide spot in the road last time I was there a couple of years ago, but I know they've been developing it as a bedroom community for Durango.

Pagosa Springs is definitely our first choice of places to move to in Colorado; hopefully it doesn't change much by the time we're able to move there!
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:09 AM
 
Location: IE CA.
643 posts, read 2,227,832 times
Reputation: 242
This is an odd question from a person living at sea level for a very long time. I was wondering how far down in altitude does Pagosa Springs reach? Isnt it at about 6500 ft or is that at the highest mark of Pagosa Springs?

I ordered the relocation packet and the lady from Chamber of Commerce was very nice, says she is very happy with the schools. Only about 20 kids per class. She even looked up the dance schools for me. How nice to just order a relocation packet without having to pull out a credit card!!!

For 2002 year it says Pagosa has a population of 1,624 and Archuleta County has a population of 10,942. How much do you think it has grown since then? I couldnt imagine Bayfield being able to be smaller. I wish I could get some pics of the area and downtown. Any information about the people and teens in the area?

Some places are more accepting or more wild then others. Help with this would be so wonderful. Thank you for being so nice about it all!
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