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Old 12-14-2006, 12:26 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,717 times
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My DH might be transferring from Calgary to the States. One of the places we are considering is Grand Junction. I would love to get an idea of what things are like down there. Housing costs, and which neighborhoods are the best for raising kids in, etc. As well, since I'm a big city girl, how far it is to the nearest bigger city centre. Is the climate as temperate as it seems? I'm all for fresh fruit and good wine, but I still love the snow, and can't imagine winter or Christmas without it. Anything you can tell us would be very helpful.
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
210 posts, read 1,257,300 times
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Hi CanNative,

Can't really help you with the cost of living, but I can try to help you with your other questions.
Grand Junction is a nice town and I think is pretty family-friendly. It's population is about 45,000, but it's a bit of a drive to the nearest city. Denver is the closest city, and is about 3.5 hours' drive from Grand Junction (although that can be longer in the winter, since you go through the mountains). Salt Lake City is about 5 hours' drive. Grand Junction tends to be a little warmer than a lot of the rest of the state, but that being said it's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. But it's temperatures are much more like the Front Range, not mountain temperatures. Not sure how much snow they get up there but you're not far at all from the snow, mountains, skiing, etc there.
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Old 12-14-2006, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,901,514 times
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I lived in GJ for oh, 2 1/2 years back in the mid 90s.

It's a wonderful place, so I think. I would love to go back there.

Anyhow, GJ is the hub of the Western Slope. It's the largest city west of Denver to through Salt Lake. With that in mind the metro area (yep it gained metropolitan status while I was living there) really doesn't have traditional bad neighborhood for the most part because of it's layout. I used to work in selling windows and doors and I got to know the area pretty well and it's strange in their zoning laws. Yes, it has some not-so-desirable place in Grand Junction proper but by and large it's a pretty mellow and nice community.

You'd have a development with middle class housing and next to it would be a small little house with many acres of land. There's the core of Grand Junction which is definately a city in it's own right but to me is was just a small town growing out of it's britches.

BTW, Denver is four hours from GJ. Traveled that route a lot while I was there to C Springs which is five hours...

Winters are chilly in that the cold settles in the valley there but there's not much snow at all. The two winters I spent there, nothing compared to Colorado Springs or Denver. But the cooler temps (when it hits the 30s F) tend to stick around a lot longer. But not much snow. I think the most I had ever seen there was 3 inches.

However, you aren't that far from the snow. I used to travel up the Grand Valley for my job to Glenwood and through the area up to Aspen. I never missed it.

Summers can be difficult if you aren't used to temps reaching 100° F. The nice thing is everyone there is pretty casual as who wants to wear pants when it's that hot to work...I used to wear shorts on jobsites all the time. For relief on my time off I used to take my dog and go hiking around the Grand Mesa (oh my, the scenery from the top!) where it would be in the 70s F of course).

Most of GJ and surrounding areas are okay for raising kids assuming you are good parents (and I assume you are since you asked) as some of the kids there can get very bored if they aren't involved in activities. My next door neighbors there had excellent kids and went to GJ High and whatever middle school they had near me. But a few of the kids find boredom and get into trouble. I had stolen cars submerged in the canal behind my house twice. That was pretty weird.

But they do have opportunities for kids if parents want them to be involved so they don't go that route.

The Redlands area (if you can afford it) is absolutely beautiful. It backs up against the Colorado National Monument and depending on your property, there is a lot of open space and if you like to golf, lots of golfing in that area.

The city's downtown is excellent in the summer months. There are so many street festivals or just nights where they close down the area and have music and such. Good restaurants, decent shopping (lots of little fun boutiques and the like.)

There was the Blue Moon Cafe that I really liked and another one that I can't think of right now (a steak place but it was more Italian) that was very good.

They have some of the big chain restaurants that you might find in any big city in the US.

It's not too far from Moab which is fun to visit. I took the back way and not the highway route, you get there faster and it's much prettier than the highway way...too many powerlines!

Seasonal fruits - too die for. Olathe sweet corn can't be had as good as it can over there.

You are not far from driving to some beautiful locations with recreation. Heck I used to go to the Escalante Cañon area with the dog (in the middle of what is basically a desert) and hike with him there. I would take runs to Montrose and stop in various towns along the way.

They do have a mall (Mesa Mall), a symphony, festivals and other community oriented things that are like you might find in a bigger city but just on a smaller scale.

Can't tell I miss it, eh? I do.
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