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Old 05-26-2016, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,618,037 times
Reputation: 4942

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Both Salida and BV are great retirement areas. For years that part of the Arkansas River Valley has been known as a banana belt, which means that winters are milder than other Colorado mountain areas.

We own a house and spend 3-4 months (summer) there very year. If we didn't have the house in Hawaii, we would live in BV year round. The scenery is gorgeous and the people are friendly. BTW, OP, we can see all the way from Mt. Harvard to Mt. Shavano in the Collegiate Peaks from our front deck. Our house is located about a mile west of BV, no trees around, and the wind does blow quite a bit. But other locations don't have that problem.

Yes, tourism can be a hassle for BV and Salida in the summer. Tons of river runners, fisherpeople, campers, bikers, hikers coming through. In fact, don't even try driving up Highway 285 out of Denver on a Friday afternoon or going back into Denver on a Sunday afternoon. And the locals in BV know that they need to get their grocery shopping done by 9:00am because the grocery store is small. But you just learn how to work around the extra people and it really is no big deal.

In fact, the main difference between the two towns is that Salida is over 5400 population and BV is 2700. Salida's downtown is much bigger (and busier), the grocery store is bigger, and they have a bigger artist community. And, Salida has WalMart and several fast food places, not that I find either of them to be a asset.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:45 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,196,196 times
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Salida has 3 breweries.
Boonie has 1.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
603 posts, read 732,647 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Salida has 3 breweries.
Boonie has 1.
BV does have an excellent distillery though, Deerhammer. I like BV and they have a great walking trail they have been expanding along the Arkansas River. Winter is a bit colder than Salida and I do think they experience more wind. Both can get very busy with tourists mostly mid May through mid October then they quiet down.

Fairplay is pretty conservative and has less busy tourists than both Salida and BV despite its proximity to Summit County. They have a brewery now, and the Brown Burro Cafe is also pretty decent for a meal. It is colder than BV but not as cold as Leadville.
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,904 posts, read 6,496,831 times
Reputation: 7353
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarrySkiesAbove View Post
BV does have an excellent distillery though, Deerhammer. I like BV and they have a great walking trail they have been expanding along the Arkansas River. Winter is a bit colder than Salida and I do think they experience more wind. Both can get very busy with tourists mostly mid May through mid October then they quiet down.

Fairplay is pretty conservative and has less busy tourists than both Salida and BV despite its proximity to Summit County. They have a brewery now, and the Brown Burro Cafe is also pretty decent for a meal. It is colder than BV but not as cold as Leadville.
The wind in Fairplay is horrendous.
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:15 PM
 
9 posts, read 18,417 times
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Thanks so much for all the information! This has been a huge help. smdensbcs, none of us is familiar with Westcliffe and really appreciate you bringing it to our attention. Road trip to check it out soon.

Thanks, too, everyone, for the perspectives on BV vs Salida. Much to consider. Leadville is in the list, too, thought it is harder for me to forget it as a Superfund site 35 or so years ago when there were odd looking puddles of fluorescent water along the roadside. We did go through there a year ago and it looks like a great place.

Thanks, again, for your help!
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,618,037 times
Reputation: 4942
K-Jay, I don't know where you or your family members live now, but I can't imagine that someone of retirement age would want to live in Leadville at 10,000 feet. And check out the weather statistics on C-D; it gets really cold there in the winter
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Old 05-27-2016, 01:28 PM
SQL
 
Location: The State of Delusion - Colorado
1,337 posts, read 842,335 times
Reputation: 1492
Maybe they could check out SW Colorado. Warmer climate, not as much tourism.
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Old 05-27-2016, 07:24 PM
 
9 posts, read 18,417 times
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Dreaming of Hawaii, thanks for your info. I think they will be "escaping" the worst of winter, using a place we all have down on the TX coast. Your description of splitting your time between HI and CO sounds close to what I think they will end up doing. I am at 8,000 feet on the front range and winter lasts forever! (45 degrees was the high today. Sick of it!) When these family folk visit this year, we will spend time in BV, Salida and Leadville. Also sounds like Westcliffe is worth a look, though a smaller town than they probably are after.

Your input is much appreciated!
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Old 05-29-2016, 11:10 AM
 
Location: central Arizona
65 posts, read 74,953 times
Reputation: 168
Buena Vista is getting a major music festival in August, called Vertex. Planned to be an annual event, I've heard, starting this year.
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Old 05-29-2016, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,618,037 times
Reputation: 4942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelin Mann View Post
Buena Vista is getting a major music festival in August, called Vertex. Planned to be an annual event, I've heard, starting this year.
Something that I'm not pleased about at all. It was approved even though it's surrounded by residential properties and even though most of the neighbors were in opposition. I just hope that they do a really good job of traffic control and keep the concert-goers off of my HOA-maintained dirt road!
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