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Old 09-19-2008, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
505 posts, read 1,950,230 times
Reputation: 257

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Hi there,

We moved from Southern Oregon to N Michigan over 2 years ago, and I've been wanting to move back to the mountains almost ever since. There may be a job opportunity in Montrose, possibly even Grand Junction, but I'm wondering what it's like. I was in W Colorado 25 years ago, and I'm sure much has changed.

Has anyone been to both Montrose and Medford? Are the schools good there (we have kids)? Is there a good hospital to work at (I'm in health care, but a SAHM now). Is there much smoke during the summer from wildfires? Is there a good place to get natural foods? Are there activities for kids there? Are people friendly? Is the population rather transient, or stable? Can you grow a nice garden? Is water a big issue?

If given a choice between Montrose and Grand Junction, what would you choose?

I've read a bunch of threads (thanks), but obviously have more??'s. TIA
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Denver
109 posts, read 204,366 times
Reputation: 98
I have been to Montrose, because my grandparents live there. It is a small town, people are generally friendly,but there is not much to do, as far as i've seen. There's a public swimming pool tho for the kids. I believe there is only one hospital. And when i was there this spring, i did not find a natural food store, though my family was looking for one; We could have just not searched hard enough though. Still Montrose is a beautiful place to live.
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Old 09-19-2008, 10:58 AM
 
13,288 posts, read 25,444,182 times
Reputation: 20347
The hospital has been upgrading and expanding- just opened a new cancer center. A friend of mine worked there for many years, and speaks well of the expansion and services.
A lot of retirees are going to Montrose (my friend retired from distant Ridgway!). I don't know about particular family things- it's always been a "regular" place for families, I think the recent growth might be somewhat a lot of retired people.
I think it's a very nice town, although I only visit, have not lived there. I would live there, but can't speak as a family person.
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Old 09-19-2008, 12:12 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,766,425 times
Reputation: 9132
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebird39 View Post
Hi there,

We moved from Southern Oregon to N Michigan over 2 years ago, and I've been wanting to move back to the mountains almost ever since. There may be a job opportunity in Montrose, possibly even Grand Junction, but I'm wondering what it's like. I was in W Colorado 25 years ago, and I'm sure much has changed.

Has anyone been to both Montrose and Medford? Are the schools good there (we have kids)? Is there a good hospital to work at (I'm in health care, but a SAHM now). Is there much smoke during the summer from wildfires? Is there a good place to get natural foods? Are there activities for kids there? Are people friendly? Is the population rather transient, or stable? Can you grow a nice garden? Is water a big issue?

If given a choice between Montrose and Grand Junction, what would you choose?

I've read a bunch of threads (thanks), but obviously have more??'s. TIA
Montrose is a fairly nice town, but getting overpriced if you have to rely on local income to make a living. I know some health care people who have actually left there for that reason. It is also growing rapidly--and not smartly. Montrose gets some smoke from springtime agricultural burning, and can occasionally get smoke from wildfires, but nothing like what can happen in California. A bigger problem is winter air inversions, which can trap smoke, particulates, and dust. Most areas in and near Montrose have ample domestic water, but water for outside irrigation can be a problem if you have any acreage--having decent water rights is a must then. Gardening is possible, but requires irrigation--period.

Montrose has long had a reputation of being kind of clannish--and sometimes unfriendly to newcomers. These days, the newcomers are just about overrunning the town, so that is changing. Unfortunately, a lot of the newcomers are ex-urbanites, and bring their "big-city" attitudes with them. That creates some friction. Montrose schools are fairly good, but they do have some gang "wannabes" and other problems. There is a quickly growing Hispanic population in Montrose--many of them immigrants--legal or otherwise.

Overall, Montrose is OK, but it is nothing like it was 25 years ago. I would choose it in a heartbeat over Grand Junction, which has been posted about extensively already. The worst thing that has happened in Montrose in the last 3 or 4 years has been the invasion of the big box stores, strip malls, fast-food restaurants, and other assorted crap along Hwy. 550 going south of town. Drive through there and you might as well be driving through any tasteless/generic/obnoxious metropolitan suburb in America. "Pave over paradise, and put in a parking lot" was never a truer statement. I guess all those former suburban transplants "need" that to feel comfortable, even though they constantly opine that they really wish to "escape" that kind of environment. Funny, how that s*** tends to follow them wherever they move . . .
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Old 09-19-2008, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,870 posts, read 9,608,333 times
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I don't know Medford, but both Montrose and GJ are very dry. Montrose is very flat, with farming surrounding the town. I think you need to drive 30-45 minutes south to get to the most gorgeous mountains in the state.
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Old 09-23-2008, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Montrose
63 posts, read 309,639 times
Reputation: 19
Default Montrose..

You will see it has changed since you have been here..

We love it.. Lived in Cali ,NV and Maui...

Need to take a trip here and see how it has changed for the better..

Beautiful is the word and many are moving here from OR .


HM
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:11 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,766,425 times
Reputation: 9132
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMontrose View Post
You will see it has changed since you have been here..

We love it.. Lived in Cali ,NV and Maui...

Need to take a trip here and see how it has changed for the better..

Beautiful is the word and many are moving here from OR .


HM
Oh, please. You call that sprawling crap on 550 south of town "a change for the better?" Montrose is turning into another suburbanized Colorado town--squandering its formerly pleasant character so it can be like every place else in the United States. It's sad that there is such a total lack of originality, vision, or prudence in how we choose to inhabit one of the most beautiful remaining landscapes in America--instead of trying to preserve the character of small town Colorado. But the developers (and their real estate lackeys) don't want to hear that--do what's cheap, easy, and most profitable for themselves--and stick future generations with an impractical future mess--that is their creed.
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Old 09-24-2008, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
505 posts, read 1,950,230 times
Reputation: 257
Thanks. After talking with DH, I don't think we're ready to move quite yet. So those jobs will go to someone else. With the horrible economy, I doubt we'll be able to afford to move pretty soon, unless I go back to work for a while here. I'm keeping CO in our places to keep in mind though. DH thinks there's too many people there, but there's not nearly as many as Michigan, plus most of my family has either moved, or will be moving soon to Texas (post-Katrina), so I'd like to be closer to them eventually (but don't want to ever live in the South again... SE or SW).

As I've mentioned on other posts, after living here in Michigan, I now see development in a much different light. When you can't sell your house or buisiness no matter how hard you try, and live in a town that's dying, development starts to look better. Funny, I hated the fast growth in Oregon, but here stores get boarded up and never reopen. Most folks left are those who can't afford to leave, so poverty is much worse here than in the West. Same was true with the South. There does need to be a balance though.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-24-2008, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,829,401 times
Reputation: 9316
jazzlover wrote:
Oh, please. You call that sprawling crap on 550 south of town "a change for the better?"
Although I'm inclined to agree with you because I'm not too fond of the anywhere in America look, not eveyone sees things the same way. A change for the better is in the eye of the beholder.


bluebird39 wrote:
As I've mentioned on other posts, after living here in Michigan, I now see development in a much different light. When you can't sell your house or buisiness no matter how hard you try, and live in a town that's dying, development starts to look better. Funny, I hated the fast growth in Oregon, but here stores get boarded up and never reopen. Most folks left are those who can't afford to leave, so poverty is much worse here than in the West. Same was true with the South. There does need to be a balance though.
It's all a matter of perspective, aint't it?
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Old 09-26-2008, 02:22 AM
 
189 posts, read 636,042 times
Reputation: 195
Default Here's my 2 cents on "perspective"

That stuff south of town on 550 (Penny's, Petco, Target, etc.) is welcomed by lots of people around here, including me. I moved here 4 years ago, and all we had was Home Depot, WalMart and 3 supermarkets. Personally, I want a lot more stores around here, including a Barnes and Noble. We've also gotten a lot more restaurants in the past 4 years -- good news for people who like some variety in their life.

I moved here mainly for the mountain views, but mountain views get old fast if there's nothing to do in the town. There still isn't much to do around here other than shop, so I say bring on the development.

On several occasions, I've met mountain-town people in the checkout line at Penny's. They all say they hate to come to town (Montrose), so then why do they come here? For the shopping, that's why. There's nothing in the mountain towns around here unless you like trinket stores. People have to shop somewhere, and, frankly, I and many others here got tired of running to Grand Junction for everything. What I can't find in Montrose, I get via mail order catalogs (i.e., LL Bean).

By the way, if I lived in one of those little mountain towns, the main reason I'd want to come to Montrose often would be for the sunshine. As a tourist many moons ago, I thought Ouray, for example, would be paradise to live in until I went there in the winter and discovered you don't see the sun till 10 a.m. nor after 2 p.m. Also, who wants to drive 35 miles for a decent grocery store? Not I, especially with gas prices nowadays. See, if you're rich (and you have to be now to live in Ouray), you can afford to escape often. I can't imagine spending all my time there for long stretches -- it would drive me nuts, in ANY season.

So, although I have my issues with this town, I'm glad I'm here for the time being because of the presence of retail AND the sun! There's nothing like a trip to the big box stores along 550 on a sunny day!!!
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