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Tulsa is a very liveable and affordable city. Clean, very friendly etc. It just doesn't have the mountains. The Ozark 'mtns' are 2- 3 hours to the east and SE Okla has 'mtns' also but the Ozarks would be foot hills in Colorado.
Tulsa can be very hot and humid in the summer. Winters are good but we can get snow and cold also. We just love the mtns and our oldest son lives in Co Springs, so that is why we are considering it. The cold doesn't bother me as I grew up in S. Dakota. Housing prices are some of the best in the USA here in Tulsa. Depending on where you live in CA, if you sell a house there, you can buy much more here.
I have lived in many areas of Colorado including both Montrose and Grand Junction (Also Pagosa Springs, Denver, and Craig). Many of these have been covered but I thought I throw in the pros and cons that I've noticed:
Grand Junction (lived in GJ for 20+ years)
-Best job market on the western slope.
-Decent college offering up to bachelor's degrees in most subjects. Also offering a few adjunct master's and their own MBA program.
-Decent shopping (No Macy's or Coach stores but the local economy wouldn't support that price range very well).
-Pretty friendly people, much more so than larger cities.
-If you're used to a larger city commute the max 20-30 minute drive time to work will be pleasant.
-30 minutes to a decent ski resort.
-Extremely close access to beautiful hiking and mountain biking.
-Housing prices are still reasonable.
-The most traffic of anything else on the Western Slope, but still much less than larger cities.
-The job market is nothing like what you will find in Denver or Colorado Springs. The pay is low, yet higher than places like Montrose and Delta.
-The population is not very racially diverse but it does continue to change more and more every year for the better.
Montrose (lived in Montrose for 1 year):
-More of a mountain-feel than Grand Junction.
-Very fast commute to work in most cases.
-Still feels like a small town, your neighbors may wave when you drive past them and people are more courteous than larger areas overall.
-One hour to Grand Junction for shopping.
-Bad job market. Few jobs and bad pay.
-Few places to shop. Especially for clothes.
-Seems to have a higher population of what I'd call "Small town weirdos".
-Cheaper to live in than Montrose and Grand Junction.
-Reasonable drive to work in Montrose (20ish minutes) and Junction (30ish minutes).
-Very small town.
-Pretty much have to drive to Montrose or Grand Junction for work.
-Lots of scary small town folks.
-Poorer population and location make Delta really look run-down.
OK...anyone out there that can give me a 'heads up' about Montrose? Good and Bad.
I have never been there, but I am familiar with Grand Junction and surrounding areas.
I have lived in snow country (Cheyenne, WY and Fort Collins, CO), Desert (Page, AZ and So CA), Rain (Portland, OR) and Mixed (Folsom, CA). Just wondering if there is anyone who is in the know about the area.
I may have a chance to get relocated there, and I think the smaller town would be good to grow my 3, 4, and 5 year old. And...I'm not shy about small towns. That seems to be where I am most comfortable.
Is there a Home Depot nearby, or is Grand Junction about it?
I have lived in areas where the nearest Depot is about 2 hours away. Kind of a hassle, but liveable.
Good news: we have our own Home Depot. We've also got 2 City Markets, 1 Safeway, 1 Super WalMart, 1 Office Depot. Coming soon: JC Penneys and probably Target.
Bad news: the south end of town is starting to sprawl and is home to more and more Big Box stores all the time. We're growing quickly, and the growth is running far ahead of planning.
But back to the good news again: it's still a small town, and we absolutely love it here. There are so many things to do here, from outdoor recreation (fantastic!) to art shows, concerts (no, we don't get the really big acts, but we get some remarkably good shows here), plays (our little local theater group is astonishingly good), and community events. People are very friendly and helpful.
...and I have caught a couple of concerts in Fruita while just driving thru. Who would have figured!
We seem to get pretty good school info and stats from 'greatschools.net'.
Are the surrounding areas about the same? Olathe seems to have an extremely low crime rate. Guess that is not too hard to accomplish when the town is small. 1 year without major crime, and the stats go thru the roof. Still nice and low. I actually am aquainted with someone that lives in Olathe, and will talk with them soon.
Are the 'Outsiders' driving home prices thru the roof like everywhere else? Are prices staying relatively competitive?
Delta, Olathe, and Montrose is not what it seems (same goes for Ridgway and Ouray). Don't be taken in by the beauty of the Cimarrons and San Juan mountains! A place is defined by its people, not its topography.
I strongly suggest you read my previous post about Montrose and Delta here in city-data.com:
It takes time to really learn all the nuances about an area. Beware of taking advice from people who have only been there a few months, or from retirees. It took my wife and I about a year to wake up. Only when you work with the natives for a while, are on the road on a daily basis, and shop in their stores that you really start to see what an area is all about.
The post in the other thread is pretty amusing. This person thinks people are being "traffic *****" because you can get a ticket for running red lights and passing by crossing the double-yellow lines? I think we are very lucky that he/she moved away!
Not that I'm trying to encourage everyone to move here -- I'd like it to stay small! -- but we've been here a bit over a year, and have made friends here who've been here a few months, a few years, all the way to Montrose natives, and people whose families have been here for generations. Shopkeepers are friendly and fair, people are generous, and we've met literally hundreds of people working as volunteers to help others in the community.
OK, so we're retired, and we haven't looked for work here. It's not unusual for smaller towns to have fewer high-paying jobs available than large cities.
Crime / drugs / suicide? I have no idea where that other post got its "information", but this area doesn't seem to have any worse problems with those areas than other places I've lived.
Just as I suspected, Winglady is retired. My parents still spend every summer there and I still draw a blank face from them when I try to tell them what this area is really like (actually, I've given up). With few exceptions, a retired person will take much longer than a few years to figure out what an area is all about. Lets face it Winglady, you are not on the road twice a day and working with these people... how can you know? You go to special events (happy occasions), chat with the nice lady at the check out register, chat with the nice waitress when you eat out... how can you possibly know?
As for the traffic situation, let me explain in more detail. Some of the locals deliberately drive slow to provoke you into passing on the double yellow or on the shoulder. They then call the police and you get a ticket. Come on, what kind of people do this? It's sick... only when you work with the locals do you really understand. I did Payroll and HR for a large company in the region, supervised six people, talked to many others and learned about their personal problems, so I know what I'm talking about. My wife also worked for a large company and I heard her stories too.
I had alot of acreage in Delta and started to develop my land and took it to "preliminary plat" approval before selling it to a large developer. Let me tell you, you also learn alot about the locals and your neighbors when you do something like that. I also tried to create a walking trail along the uncompahgre river that would go up into the park in Delta and met with stiff resistence from natives... that was also a learning experience.
Also, when we decided to leave and started to complain to people about the area (i.e. why we were leaving), we heard alot of interesting stories. For instance, it was one of the local branch managers of a bank (whose wife is a real estate agent) that told me that for every two people that arrive in the area, one leaves.
Winglady, I'm glad you are enjoying your retirement there. My parents will be going back this summer to enjoy the region... there is nothing wrong with that... but that place (in my opinion) is the pits in terms of living and working there. As I mentioned in the other thread, be careful when buying things in small stores owned by locals... keep an eye on the price on the shelf and whats charged at the checkout... I bet before long you will find a discrepency, and it won't be in your favor.
Wow, I am amazed & amused at all the posts here! As a Montrose native (born & raised) I can see both sides of the situation. The bottom line is this: Montrose is suffering from growing pains. The last several years have seen an an absolute explosion of new housing developments. As a result, the character of the town is changing. Most of the natives (i.e. the people driving slowly on the roads) are still "small-town folk" and have been there for years. My family has been in the area for several generations, and many of them are still involved in agriculture. Occasionally you still see cows being moved across the major highways. However, most of the homes in new developments are being sold to people relocating from out of state, and many are accustomed to more urban environments. Basically, the town is starting to feel more like a suburb or small city, but the traffic control is lagging behind. Driving in Montrose is painful during "rush hour" but the town is small enough you can still get anywhere in 15 minutes, so what's the rush? So, I will second what WingLady posted: But back to the good news again: it's still a small town, and we absolutely love it here. There are so many things to do here, from outdoor recreation (fantastic!) to art shows, concerts (no, we don't get the really big acts, but we get some remarkably good shows here), plays (our little local theater group is astonishingly good), and community events. People are very friendly and helpful.
One more thing... I'd advise against Olathe. If you want a town smaller than Montrose, go to Delta, but not Olathe.
P.S. I've lived in the city, and I'm definitely NOT retired.
TrailRunner, I read through some of your other posts and discovered you've been living in Utah for almost 4 years! If you agree with WingLady that Montrose is so wonderful, then why did you leave?
Also, Olathe is where my parents spend their summers and they love it. It's loaded with mexicans... I sure hope that's not why you're telling people not to go there. Quite frankly, I found the mexicans to be extreemely nice.
While living in Delta I immersed myself in the history of Western Colorado and discovered the Ute Indians were there until the late 1800's. These so called European "natives" act like their ancestry in Western Colorado goes back for thousands of years and get upset at the newcomers who dare to come on "their turf". If anyone out there should be upset at newcomers it's the Ute Indians.
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