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There were plenty of restaurants but no WalMart (not such a bad thing in my opinion ). The downtown area, where the Springs are located, was very disappointing to me. I didn't really see any shops that I wanted to visit and it just had a strange vibe. But, that's just me. You really should visit and decide for yourself, especially if you're thinking of moving your family there.
AustinTraveler bring up a good point...visit and decide for yourself. Better yet, spend some time living there before you make a committment one way or the other. Remember that everything you read in this thread, is someones opinion based on their unique perception. You perception is likely to be different.
Being a mountain girl from back east, I never thought anything would ever compare to the beauty of those mountains, but my first visit in July to Pagosa Springs left me awestruck. It is the most incredibly beautiful place I've ever been - and I have been to a few places from coast to coast so my realm of reference is fairly sufficient for comparisons - and I would move there in a heartbeat if I could only make a living!
I've lived in PS for two years now, and my experiences here have been bad, bad, bad. Not only has Archuleta County lost $2 million of dedicated road funds (and, no, it has not been resolved yet), but most of the businesses, contractors and real estate agents are shysters.
Because there was $2 million lost from County funds, the roads are in terrible shape. The town of PS proper is very small (1,500) and the new housing where most people live (10,000) is under County jurisdiction, not the town's. Hardly any county roads are paved, most are dirt. You can complain 'til the cows come home, and they won't fix 15" deep x 30' long potholes. A common letter to the editor is regarding the poor roads and increased automobile repairs due to them.
If you do move here, you'll immediately discover from the locals not to trust most contractors since Colorado has no contracting licensing requirements except for plumbers and electricians. This means that anyone can move to town, hang out a shingle, build a home, etc. without knowing anything. The local homes show this lack of knowledge, but people get stuck because they can't see all of the problems before they buy. They then spend thousands of dollars and many years trying to fix everything that's wrong with it.
Locals will also inform you of which auto repair places NOT to go to (which is most of them), and only a few that are trustworthy and honest. The good people are so inundated with work that it's difficult to get into them (if they're taking new customers at all).
I entered into 2 contracts while here and needed an attorney for both of them. In the first instance, the contract was written so poorly, it was invalid from the git-go. In the second instance, an attorney helped me from being reamed by a Century 21 real estate agent in his "rent-to-own" scam. I'm middle aged and have never needed an attorney for contracts that I've signed prior to moving here.
I've found that there are lots and lots of alcoholics in PS. Perhaps this is the reason that everything's pretty screwed up here. Most people in PS support socialist or facist principles.
Overall, I've classified PS as incompetent and stupid. I've taken up Forrest Gump's mamma's saying, "Stupid is, stupid does."
I'm presently trying to move out of here which is another joke. It seems to be working like a trap which I cannot escape from . . .
I was also surprised at how regressive Colorado as a state is. I envisioned it as progressive. It ain't, that's for sure.
Last edited by PagosaSpringsSucks; 10-19-2008 at 06:26 PM..
Reason: left out a word
Like Ouray, Pagosa Springs has become trendy and touristy. It is beautiful though, but I'm sure you'll hear complaints on the direction its been going the last few years.
Well, it's not as bad as Durango, by any means. It depends on what you are looking for. If you like out of door stuff, then you will probably like it. Other than that, there isn't much going on really.
We ate out a few times in Pagosa Springs when we were in Durango and I was not impressed. The best thing about it is the hot springs in the middle of town. That is worth the trip, imho, but I would not necessarily consider it a "family friendly" attraction.
Jeeze...it sure seems like some people on this website just have nothing better to do than to be negative regardless of the topic! My family has had a place in Chama, New Mexico for the past 25+ years. Chama is about an hour from Pagosa. We frequently drive up to Pagosa and even on to Durango and Silverton sometimes. I personally think Pagosa is a nice little mountain town. It is currently the closest town to Wolf Creek so they make most of their money from tourism. I think it is a fun place to go see. I don't know what living there would be like, but if you think it is bad as far as contractors, realtors, etc. Chama is much worse...yet I still love Chama and the good outweighs the bad big time for me. Pagosa is expanding pretty rapidly. I think it is very pretty up there. I'm not sure if I could handly living there for a long period of time or not. I love anything outdoors and there is plenty of that there. I would agree with the people that have said just go check it out for yourself. Durango is even more beautiful in my opinion and a larger city but also is more expensive. Good Luck!
What do you think is pricer, Chama or Pagosa Springs? Which place has more retires, if any? Which place would be better to come in as an outsider? I guess I could live in a tent until I find a honest contractor? Actually, here in OK most contactors do not have license either. I built a house and half way through I found that out. Luckly the house is still standing after 11 years and hopefully will when someone knocks on my door and says I want your place and the whole ranch. Not a good time to sell. I could buy land and wait out a sale on the house and ranch.
I think I'll take another trip up to Pagosa Springs this September while I am in Chama.
Chama is definitely cheaper on the whole than Pagosa Springs. Since there are FEW Pagosa natives who live there, I would say Pagosa would be more welcoming to outsiders than Chama would be, unless "living in Chama" means that you go live in one of the "Little Texas" affluent enclaves out of Tierra Amarilla--they are basically socially detached from the rest of the whole area--kind of self-imposed segregation.
I loved Pagosa when it was a sleepy southwestern Colorado town 30 or 40 years ago. The kind of rural sprawl development that has really taken over there has diminished its attractiveness substantially for me. Also, that kind of development in Colorado, unfortunately, actually produces less property tax revenue than it sucks up in services, so counties like Archuleta also frequently have serious fiscal issues, too. Archuleta County suffered from some real poor county management which left the county in a real financial mess, to boot. That is likely to leave a negative impact on public services in that county for quite awhile to come.
I've said it before and I will repeat: the unraveling of discretionary income, decimated retirement and pension assets, and likely dramatic rebound in fuel prices is probably going to be very unfavorable for retirement/tourist-dependent locales all over the Rocky Mountain West--especially those relatively isolated and distant from bigger metro areas. That bodes very ill for places like Pagosa. Resort wannabes and retirees probably don't like hearing that at all--but, as the old saying goes, "You can't eat the scenery."
In both places, you can pretty much forget about living there if you plan to rely on local income or employment to survive. Most of the people who relocate to those places bring their money--a lot of it--with them.
Thanks for the info.....are there any restraunts at all? Is there at least a small town where there is a walmart or unique shops?
Actually, Pagosa has lots of restaurants and some very good ones. Walmart is 50 miles west in Durango. Pagosa Springs is a tourist destination and you will find galleries and souvenir shops in town. We have a large artist population too, everything from painters to wood crafters.
Pagosa have a large part time population, mostly Spring thru Fall. Wolf Creek ski area is just up the road and we do get some skiers in the winter.
Pagosa Springs, the town, is not large. Population 2000 or so. It sits in in the San Juan river valley. The Pagosa Lakes area is 5 miles West and has a sizable population, perhaps larger than the town itself. There is a newer shopping center there as well as many local businesses.
Pagosa Springs would likely be boarded up if it wasn't for the Hot Springs. I love Colorado and have been vacationing here for 40 years, but this down is boring.
On the flip side, there are some great jeep tours and scenery not too far away.
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