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Old 03-08-2017, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Buffalo, NY
13 posts, read 30,750 times
Reputation: 15

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I am considering applying for a teaching job in Summit County. I'm married and have two kids so we would need a 3-bedroom place to live. Obviously, cost of living is a huge factor. Prices of Summit Co. rentals (not to mention homes for sale) are astronomical.

That said, looking for feedback on Leadville, Fairplay, and Idaho Springs. Here's what I know - or think I know - so far:
-Leadville is another word for winter. Winters here in Buffalo are COLD, but we do have four seasons. It's 43 degrees today. Not too bad. I must say, snow in the summer scares me.
-Fairplay is very remote
-Idaho Springs is the most expensive of the three

Any and all information would be greatly appreciated. Much thanks!!

Last edited by gonzo_ishmael; 03-08-2017 at 10:01 AM..
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,688 posts, read 2,903,957 times
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All three have major passes to go over to get to work in Summit. Where in Summit the job is could have a bearing as well.

Idaho Springs via I-70 may be the most consistently kept open during winter months.

Leadville is the biggest of the the three, so will have more immediate access to grocery, shopping, healthcare, although Idaho Springs being on the interstate means it has easier access and lower overall prices for goods.

Leadville gets more press than Fairplay, but is only incrementally higher (200 ft). Alma, between Fairplay and Summit Cnty, is higher than Leadville at 10,360', and has a number of commuters to Summit Cnty. However, there are virtually no services there and it is a bedroom town in nearly every sense of the word.

All three are nea,t historic towns. Leadville is certainly a big rough around the edges since it is still an active mining town. Leadville does a fair job at promoting its self and does get pretty busy with touristy stuff year round, but does not get nearly as much traffic as Idaho Springs. Fairplay is a speed trap on the way to Breckenridge and a stop over for breakfast or lunch for a lot of Colorado springs skiers. The Fairplay 285 corridor to Denver is getting more populous all the time and may see improvements some time in the far future for trips to Denver. Right now it can be a bit congested at times, but nothing like I-70.
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Buffalo, NY
13 posts, read 30,750 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCHP View Post
All three have major passes to go over to get to work in Summit. Where in Summit the job is could have a bearing as well.
Job is in Frisco.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
5,276 posts, read 10,630,115 times
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I'd try harder to find a place in Dillon or Silverthorne. None of your options make much sense.

Idaho Springs to Frisco is a 45 minute drive on a clear day. Like TCHP said, there is a major mountain pass to go over (Eisenhower Tunnel is 11,000 feet in elevation). On a snowy, icy day, that 45 minutes turns into several hours. One good thing about commuting from Idaho Springs is that you could take the Bustang and not have to drive.

Fairplay is about 45-50 minutes on a clear day. There's Hoosier Pass (11,542 feet) to go over, and I don't know what that's like in the winter.

Leadville is about 45 minutes to Frisco on a clear day, going over Fremont Pass (11,300 feet). I've heard the schools in Leadville are not very good. People who work there live in Buena Vista because the schools are much better.

Fairplay and Leadville are small towns. You should do some research to see what is available in each as far as shopping, medical, etc. Do a little driving around through Google Street View and see what they look like. Idaho Springs is small, too, but at least it's not a bad drive into Denver from there.
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, NY
13 posts, read 30,750 times
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Originally Posted by Dreaming of Hawaii View Post
I'd try harder to find a place in Dillon or Silverthorne. None of your options make much sense.

Idaho Springs to Frisco is a 45 minute drive on a clear day. Like TCHP said, there is a major mountain pass to go over (Eisenhower Tunnel is 11,000 feet in elevation). On a snowy, icy day, that 45 minutes turns into several hours.
Several hours? Yikes
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Buffalo, NY
13 posts, read 30,750 times
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Originally Posted by Dreaming of Hawaii View Post
I'd try harder to find a place in Dillon or Silverthorne.
I'll look deeper but the rents in these places seem just as bad as Frisco, Breck, etc.
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Old 03-08-2017, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
625 posts, read 841,772 times
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My brother lived in Fairplay for a while and worked in Breck, it was a brutal commute. Hoosier Pass which you go over every day is over 11,500 feet in elevation and slow going hairpin turns on the descent into Summit County. It can be a real bear in winter (November to May). Although the distance mileage wise is not far, the drive is slow, usually an hour not wistanding really bad weather. The savings on rent gets impacted by fuel costs, wear and tear on your vehicle and the extra time every day spent driving.

The town of Fairplay is isolated, very windy and cold. There is a small limited grocery store, Prathers Market. Very little for kids to do. The schools in Fairplay aren't great, my brother kept his daughter in Summit County schools since he was commuting. I personally don't care for Fairplay but there are some who do. He moved there because he was tired of renting in Breck and wanted to buy a house. He ended up selling his house in Fairplay and moving back over the pass to an apartment in Frisco.

He lived in Summit County for about eight years but has since moved to Boise, Idaho once his daughter graduated from high school; he got tired of the resort culture and high cost of living. He felt like he kept falling behind financially every year, he made about $60K a year and it was just him and his daughter. Summit County can be hard going for a middle class income. What drew him there and kept him for a time was skiing, he is a semi pro skier but in the end he decided living that close to skiing was not worth the financial sacrifice.

I caution you to think long and hard about applying for a job in a resort community that you can't easily afford to live in especially if you have to consider commuting from other distant mountain towns. There have been several storms and rock slides this winter that have shut down I-70 at the Eisenhower Tunnel for hours. I think the commute from Idaho Springs to Frisco is pretty challenging as well.

Last edited by StarrySkiesAbove; 03-08-2017 at 07:05 PM..
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Old 03-08-2017, 07:03 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,436 posts, read 7,849,786 times
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Frisco and Breck are expensive, look at Silverthorne and Dillon for slightly less expensive. Up here commuting is not a realistic option you really need to live within about 20 minutes of where you work and expect that on a bad day it could take 40 minutes to a hour.

You are also coming from an area with modern conveniences like Wegmans living somewhere like Leadville will not afford access to anything but the most basic of those. There was a news story last night about FairPlay not even having a Dr. in the town they have a fully outfitted clinic but can't attract a medical professional to run it because the financials only manage to pay for support staff and not a Dr.

As an educator I don't think you would want to send your kids to school in Leadville.

Cost of living is much higher here, there are programs that help locals buy houses in the area they are called "deed restricted". Here is one in Frisco: “Locals Price” Deed Restriction | Peak One Neighborhood - Frisco, Colorado

Overall, the lifestyle is really great in the mountains if that is what you are seeking but it isn't traditional or inexpensive.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
232 posts, read 261,901 times
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I know you posted another thread about Woodland Park, which is where my wife (who is a teacher) and I live. And one of the reasons we live here is because we wanted to be in the mountains, but didn't want to have to work 3 jobs each or drive treacherous commutes or rent for the rest of our lives to make it happen.

If money was no object we'd definitely live in Summit. But we would not do that commute. If you have to do it, and will live outside the county then Fairplay is your best option if the school is in Breckenridge. Leadville might be a better option if the school is in Frisco. But Leadville's winters are brutal (way more snow than Fairplay). If the job is in Silverthorne / Dillon I'd look up Hwy 9 N toward Heeney. It's much more rural but you might find something up there you can afford to rent. I would never commute Idaho Springs to Summit. At the least I'd try to get closer to Silver Plume or Georgetown. But the I-70 corridor is all too often a traffic jammed mess.

Honestly if you are on teachers wages and really want to be in the mountains, I'd look elsewhere. Or even look for jobs in towns like Idaho Springs or Fairplay themselves. It'll be a lot cheaper and a lot less of a commute.
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Old 03-09-2017, 07:17 AM
 
Location: 0.83 Atmospheres
10,564 posts, read 8,496,158 times
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Work in Summit, live in Summit. Commuting in to Summit every morning would be brutal in the winter.
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