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Old 05-07-2019, 09:40 AM
Location: Utah
36 posts, read 20,800 times
Reputation: 52


Hello, native Floridian, moved to Minneapolis 18 months ago. I love the area, but nearly everything I read on City Data about Minnesotans was true. Minnesotans are “nice,” but rather closed off and emotionally unavailable. Passive-aggressive? Yes.

I’m interviewing in several different areas. Currently, I’m interviewing in the Vail area. Obviously, due to the recreational aspects of the area there’s considerable transience. Can you give me some advice on the suitability of Vail for a 57yo single (extrovert) professional female with some added commentary on the cost of living for a full time resident?

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Old 05-07-2019, 10:06 AM
Location: Aurora, CO
6,983 posts, read 11,112,875 times
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Colorado's mountain resort towns tend to be prohibitively expensive. If you can afford to live there it's great, but many of the people who work in resort towns year-round commute from other places.

The resort town I'm most familiar with is Steamboat Springs. A lot of people commute to Steamboat from Craig, Hayden, Yampa, and Oak Creek because you can actually afford to live in those places on a typical middle-class salary.

With that being said, Vail's cost of living is considerably more expensive than Steamboat's. My guess is a lot of Vail's year-round workforce lives in Leadville, Eagle, Gypsum, and Minturn.

There can be a lot of cliquishness among the year-round residents of resort towns because when you remove the tourists and seasonal workers they're small towns at heart.

Another thing to consider (especially if you end up in a place like Leadville) is how short summer is. Average highs in June, July, and August are in the 60s-low 70s, and average overnight lows are in the 30s.
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:16 PM
662 posts, read 963,185 times
Reputation: 1712
Paging Dogmama...
(she is a forum regular, lives in the Vail area)
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Old 05-07-2019, 05:36 PM
1,087 posts, read 676,840 times
Reputation: 1670
It’s a resort town with seasonal residents. It’s remote, relatively speaking. It’s cold. It is expensive. It’s in a valley with an interstate right through the middle. Cars, trucks 24/7. If you ski, it’s heaven, if you don’t, it’s probably hell.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:56 PM
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,343 posts, read 7,562,184 times
Reputation: 7208
I'm here, I'm here.

Ok cost of living is high, healthcare is the highest in the country so be sure whoever offers you a job offers good health insurance, not a contribution to a plan. My healthy neighbor family of four pay $3500 a month because they own their own business.

You don't need to live in Vail if you are working there but be sure you have parking or don't mind taking the bus. Living in Vail is really too expensive to bother with unless you plan on living with a bunch of other people and skiing daily. Eagle-Vail, Avon, Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum are your choices in order of closest to furthest. I'm guessing you aren't in the mood for a roommate at 57 so you'll be looking for a lockoff or apartment. There aren't a ton of apartments here but they are slowly building more affordable housing because we have a serious issue with that here. So the price for a lockoff/apartment can range from $1800 closer to Vail to about $1000 in Gypsum. If you are on Facebook, Eagle County Classifieds and Vail Mom's Classifieds are good groups to join and see what's out there. You can also look at the Vail Daily and Craigslist for the high rockies, if it seems too good to be true, it is. River Run is an apartment complex near Vail that does have some 1 bedroom units, you can check their site for pricing and availability. There are some more in Eagle and Gypsum, Red Table I believe is one of them

57 is still considered young here, it's an active community and you'll meet plenty of people in their 70's+ skiing, golfing and hiking daily. I have easily made close friends here just walking in my neighborhood, I think it's harder for younger people because they are more transient. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer and meet people along as long as you are open.

Feel free to DM me if you want to ask anything directly or want a biased opinion on who you are interviewing with. It's a small valley with some great companies and some not so great ones. Would hate to see someone move for something that is unstable.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:55 PM
11,273 posts, read 45,558,584 times
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Dogmama50 has some good points.

As a Vail 2nd homeowner since 1982, I've watched the character of Vail central (from East Vail through to West Vail) markedly change over the decades. Where once a core community of full timers who were invested in the community and social fabric of the town, enjoying the winter and summer seasons here …

it's become horribly expensive for any but the top 'o the heap earners to live in town. That includes "professionals" with high wage scales and overtime; ie, years ago, I had an RN lease one of my 2bd/2ba units. As the market rates, taxes and insurance (primarily due to the Colorado forest fires with a general increase for all mountain residences, especially ones like mine backing up to a steep hillside of the nat'l forest), so my lease rates went up, she moved into a 1bd/1ba smaller unit. 5 years later, she moved into my 4bd/2ba house with 4 roommates (all nurses) to split expenses. The dynamics of their arrangement didn't work out and they left at the end of the 1st year lease. She then moved downvalley to a much lower cost apartment. That was 16 years ago.

With the more recent build-out and upgrades to the core town areas, the target marketplace is managed recreational properties or 2nd homes catering to those who can afford to keep a seasonal/limited use residence in the ski town. Many of those 2nd residences are in managed facilities and generate revenue for their owners. Relatively few are unused except when the owners or their guests show up.

The bottom line is that a very small percentage of Vail's housing capacity is allocated or priced for the worker/support community. Down valley housing and commutes are the norm for most wage earning people, or shared housing in the core village area. TOV Zoning requires off-street parking for housing, but even that can be strained over capacity with tourists and visitors taking over parking that a local full time resident may need in an unassigned parking lot at many multi-unit residences.

Essentially, most normal income people (including salaried "professionals") have been priced out of living in Vail proper unless they had the opportunity to buy into the area decades ago as I did. As most of us have gotten up in years, I've watched my friends and neighbors move on to other places and the sense of Vail community have given way to a mostly transient group of folk. Even for those of us with long paid off housing in the area, it's still a pricey place to live with it's focus on tourist revenue. And that includes a lot of "locals" discounts to be had at various merchants and restaurants in town that come with the territory of being a recognized local face frequenting the establishment.

In all candor, I'd have to say that I've been disappointed in the long term with what presents in Vail now as a full-time resident. Personally, the group of folk that I anticipated being able to spend time with socially and recreationally has pretty much vanished over the years. Neighbors in Vail, and many friends on the Front Range of Colorado who used to spend a lot of time there at their 2nd homes … have pretty much moved up/out in the last decade.

I saw this same trend in Aspen many years ago. I've got friends that I used to ski with or sail (on Reudi or Dillon) with for 40 years that own houses in and around Aspen. We could fly up there in less than an hour from KAPA, keeping a car at the airport, or in summer months, bicycle from the airport to their houses. Got up there 20 trips/year. Didn't miss a Thanksgiving or Christmas break at one of their houses for decades. Skied spring break at Vail or Aspen every year, too, whichever had the "better" snow/conditions at the time. Now my last friends in Aspen … with several condo's and a house on the creek out of town near Conundrum Hot springs … haven't been up there in two years. Thankfully, they have property managers who maintain the properties and rent them out for them. Finances are no longer an issue for them with substantial investments and paid-for residences that handsomely cash-flow. But age/health and time have become the bigger issues, and the loss of our time together is sadly noted.

OP, if I were looking at Vail today as a place to set up residency, it would have to be with a secure job/income that allowed me to enjoy the beauty and amenities of the area while living in a "nice" place. That would include enough discretionary income that expenses such as travel/car and time off would not be an issue. There's a tremendous amount of outdoor recreation at your doorstep there, and a lot of folk to share it with … but many of them are working a lot of hours just to survive up there, so are not regularly available socially. Especially in winter months, working 2 or 3 jobs for many people is their opportunity to put away enough savings to be able to make it through the year ahead. And it's not just the "worker bees" that face this economic reality, it's the many small business owners who must make their living during this season, too … think of all the merchants/ski related businesses/restaurants that have got to close enough volume to make it to the next season.

Good luck with your search.

Last edited by sunsprit; 05-09-2019 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:08 PM
9,830 posts, read 20,158,957 times
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When I started working in Vail nearly 20 years ago(hard to believe how time goes by) and until I left, I worked with plenty of older men and women in their 50's to nearly 80, some working full time for the company, some part time. All had their different story how they ended up there, some had been there decades, some were professional drifters, some well off enough but still working for fun.

Certainly the core of "locals" is now in the lower Vail Valley. A lot of Vail itself has been "Beaver Creeked", big 2nd homes and pricey condos, otherwise empty except for tourists and 2nd homers.

The Valley is like any other small town environment. You just have to put the time in to make connections with people if you want that and there are plenty of older people around. In fact I saw something recently that Edwards, CO is one of the oldest in age communities in the USA or was the #1 town trending that way or something like that. And age doesn't really matter I guess, I started there in my 20's and had a bunch of friends in their 50's and 60's.

If you want to live in a ski town and enjoy outdoor activities, go for it. For the true population size of the area thanks to the tourists there is also plenty to do in regards to some shopping and restaurants.

In regards to cost of living, yes it can be high. Depends what you bring to the table in regards to finances, how much you are willing to work(lots of people have part time and seasonal jobs) and what you require for housing.
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Old 05-13-2019, 02:21 PM
Location: Western Slope
145 posts, read 127,749 times
Reputation: 280
Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
It’s in a valley with an interstate right through the middle. Cars, trucks 24/7.

What does Vail CO have in common with every urban metropolitan city center?

A: They both have Interstates splitting them down the middle.

First time I saw Vail I was like "this is it? You can see the interstate and hear it from everywhere"

I always grew up poor and therefore near Interstates. It boggles my mind people pay what they do to live within sight and sound of one in Vail.
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Old 05-13-2019, 03:48 PM
Location: Metropolis IL
1,680 posts, read 2,031,669 times
Reputation: 2558
Before I got into aircraft brokerage, I never knew there was such a connection between the rich and snow skiing. First thing a buyer wants to know, is if a certain airplane can operate safely out of Telluride.

Golf and boating are a given. But I never understood how someone who grows up where there are no mountains or snow, develops such a passion for this sport. It seems they all do though.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:06 AM
9,830 posts, read 20,158,957 times
Reputation: 7625
Originally Posted by AirborneVespa View Post

What does Vail CO have in common with every urban metropolitan city center?

A: They both have Interstates splitting them down the middle.

First time I saw Vail I was like "this is it? You can see the interstate and hear it from everywhere"

I always grew up poor and therefore near Interstates. It boggles my mind people pay what they do to live within sight and sound of one in Vail.

There has been talk for as long as I can remember of putting at least one mile of the interstate underground near central Vail, which would then also open up that land for real estate development at some point, so they say. But I'm not sure what the latest status is on that.

I'm sure no one back 60-70 years ago imagined what it looks like today. My dad remembers it as a beautiful open valley with Highway 6 running through it and almost nothing there back in the late 50's. He remembers a gas station in Edwards and not much more.
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