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Old 09-04-2009, 03:21 PM
 
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For starters there are no cities in the mountains. Denver is near the mountains as all Front Range cities but not in the mountains.

Mountain towns in Colorado consists of:

1. Ski resort towns- million $ real estate, nice views, long winters from october-may, to get good jobs it takes several years of living there to get the good ones.
2. Mining towns- towns presently or most likely formerly engaged in the extraction of minerals and oil and gas from the ground. Usually scruffy run down places far away from extensive urban civilization. Towns boom and bust depending on commodity prices.
3. Ranching towns- small towns barely alive that cater to the locals engaged in ranching or other agriculture. Small towns like Walden or Fairplay come to mind.
4. Ghost towns- self explanatory

Probably the nicest places to live are ski towns. However fantasies like having a yard is a joke unless you have a million $ trust fund from mummy and daddy. As new grads getting a flash job is tough. You'll have to start at the grunt level at minimum wage and work your way up. Both my sis and bro in law started out in wait staff jobs and such 8-10 years ago in Vail and they worked very hard and have good jobs now in the event and real estate biz. I also started out at the grunt level and worked my way up and if I had chosen to stay could have taken a management position with the company I worked for in Vail.

So it can be done but it is very, very hard compared to a big city that has a lot of opportunities. For skiing, biking and hiking the ski towns fit the bill, but be prepared to work 2-3 jobs during winter and summer and for little work in the very brief fall and spring. I used to work 70-100 hours a week in Vail to make it there. At a minimum in the winter I used to average at least 13 hours a day of work, seven days a week.

Keep in mind your real estate costs will be very high compared to the income you earn and you have to save for the off seasons when work disappears or slows down. One thing you'll notice in a town like Vail is that there is a demographic divide as there are very young people that do the seasonal jobs and the older people(+50) that can actually afford to own a home there. You don't see a lot of young families around that actually live there. As I got older and fellow friends and coworkers aged towards 30, I noticed a lot of people leaving for Denver or other cities where they could actually make a living and have a real home with a family. I ended up leaving myself since I didn't fancy paying an outrageous mortgage for a place the size of a closet.
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
If you have lots of $$$$, most Colorado mountain towns will fit the bill. If you have only a small amount of $$$ there truly is no place in the Colorado mountains that will provide what you are looking for, unless you are OK working a couple of minimum wage jobs each ( if you can FIND a job that is ) and living in relative squalor.....then you can make it work in the Colorado mountains. Young folks do it all the time, but it a lifestyle that quickly grows old for most people who choose to live that way. Go for it if that is what you really want. A few years down the road, when you're back in the city somewhere, you can tell great stories about your Colorado mountain experience, around the cooler, to your peers who are all 10 years younger than you. Good luck!

BTW...Ruidoso, is a very nice mountain town ( not to be confused with a Colorado mountain town ) that would be very livable if you can find a job there. Finding a job however could be quite a challenge during this economic upheaval.
I think for young people it's a great experience to live in the Colorado Mtns. It certainly was always a dream for me and one in which I fulfilled. Honestly though when I visit for my sis's wedding this fall I will probably do more in the week I am there compared to when I lived there since I was working all the time.

So I'd encourage any young couple or individual to go for it, just have the eyes open.

Eventually reality bites and for me as I got older the quality of life versus what I had to pay meant I couldn't justify living there anymore. Here in PA I have an excellent river to kayak, one of the best mtn bike trails in the country 10 minutes away, a nice small town, hills, comfortable 4 season weather all without money flying out of my wallet at an incredible pace like living in Vail. And I can still visit Vail or any other Colorado mountain town anytime it strikes my fancy to fly out there.

As I find instructing in motorsports many people find the reality of driving a race car is way different to the fantasy created for them by the media. Same with the Rockies. It's a nice fantasy "living in the mountains", the reality however is a lot of commitment and desire most people don't have.
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Old 09-04-2009, 03:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Plain Jane 3953 View Post
Evergreen and Georgetown come to mind. Georgetown is right in the mountains - so much so it felt claustrophobic. One could possibly commute to Denver from these places.
Evergreen is realistic if you can tolerate the variable foothill weather, Georgetown I'd never recommend commuting from. I've seen too many nightmare scenarios in the foothills driving in the winter on I-70. Many that haunt my dreams to this day. Floyd Hill is completely sketchy and coming down from Genesse Park at mile marker 254 down to mm 260 has limited sight lines and in bad weather people go way too fast then can't stop in time creating some terrible accidents.

Georgetown also gets blasted with downdraft winds that are hurricane force sometimes. I watched on several different occasions semis getting flipped on their side on I-70 from the wind right at Georgetown!
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Old 09-04-2009, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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Originally Posted by BAHOWELL View Post
My husband and I are both very young, and soon to be graduate. We are looking to move from Houston, Texas to the mountains to start a family. I have rummaged all over Colorado (online of course) and it seems like you either get the big hustle of town without much immediate mountain viewing or access, or the complete opposite like Telluride.
Not true. There's a bunch of places that are close to the mountains or even in the foothills but at the same time really close to the city. For example, Littleton, Golden, Boulder, lots of Denver suburbs.

You can clearly see the Rocky mountains from the Denver airport which is on the opposite side of the city. Admitedly it's quite far away, but there they are, nonetheless.


Quote:
We want a town where there are mountains towering over you.
Littleton, Golden, Boulder, Gunnison, Pagosa Springs, Granby, Aspen, Vail, Glenwood Springs, Edwards.

Quote:
Or at least ones you can see very clearly from your yard. It seems like the other towns only have small foothills and not consistently or the mountains are blurs in the background.
We despise the climate in Texas and ARE moving to the mountains and would like real assistance with finding a good, stable town to settle in.
coming from Texas I think you'll be more than content with the mountain access and views you get in any of the above towns.
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:26 PM
 
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I would have to agree with many others who have posted here.
The vast majority of "mountain towns" in Colorado are VERY expensive to live in and raise a family.
But....if money is NOT an issue, I agree with another post here and think that Summit County has PLENTY to offer.
But, being that the county is FULL of massive ski resorts......expect what goes with that. The Colorado Rockies are sooo well known for their skiing......people from all over the world will flock here every winter.
Silverthorne, Frisco, Breck......all GREAT RESORT mountain communities with the ski season and tourism....THE driving force of the local economy.

One GREAT town that is far less expensive than anything you'll find in Summit County, Telluride, Steamboat or the Aspen area and does NOT have a ski resort nearby.......to ME is:
WOODLAND PARK. (Population= about 10,000?)
Awesome views of Pikes Peak here, just 20 miles NW of downtown Colorado Springs and a far easier commute up to Breckenridge than those coming from the Denver-area. It's all 2-lane wide open highway with only one pass to get over (Boreas Pass....almost 12,000 feet elevation).
Woodland Park, IMHO......is a good qualifying "mountain town" that isn't too big....yet, but HAS grown a LOT....since 1989 when I first went through there.
EASY commute in to Colo. Springs with a 4-lane highway....but a steep grade does exist just above Manitou Sprgs. that will get tricky in a snowstorm, hailstorm?
Also.....Woodland Park is in such close proximity to some of the BEST wilderness that Colorado has to offer!
The Lost Creek Wilderness Area which is a HUGE chunk of Central Colorado.....that begins just to the northwest of WP, has MANY, many square miles of woods, streams, mountains, boulders, cliffs, camping and trails. Very remote and very BEAUTIFUL!
Estes Park could be another option too. It's quite touristy though and at the (east) entrance to Rocky Mtn. Nat'l Park. It also has great mountain views without being too far from the Front Range (Boulder and Ft. Collins).
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:51 AM
 
16,502 posts, read 20,890,596 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Evergreen is realistic if you can tolerate the variable foothill weather, Georgetown I'd never recommend commuting from. I've seen too many nightmare scenarios in the foothills driving in the winter on I-70. Many that haunt my dreams to this day. Floyd Hill is completely sketchy and coming down from Genesse Park at mile marker 254 down to mm 260 has limited sight lines and in bad weather people go way too fast then can't stop in time creating some terrible accidents.

Georgetown also gets blasted with downdraft winds that are hurricane force sometimes. I watched on several different occasions semis getting flipped on their side on I-70 from the wind right at Georgetown!
Wanneroo is right. I've seen several semis flip over as well. Then there is the issue of the truckers who are going too fast down Mt. Vernon canyon. I'll never forget the trailer that tipped over that was hauling horses, this was many years ago. The interstate was shut down for several hours and the horses was jumping around all over the road. It was a huge mess.

I don't know if all the port of entries do this, but the one just west of me at the Loma exit has videos available for truckers, showing the road and offering pointers on how and where to gear down.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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Try Grand County -- Granby, Kremmling, Grand Lake, Fraser, Winter Park. Colorado Springs / Manitou Springs. Bring lots of money.
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Woodland Park is the perfect mountain town in my books, which is why we live here. It's at 8500', so not terribly high. The town is a little higher than the base of Pikes Peak, so the views are fantastic.

WP is 80 miles to Breckenridge/Keystone, about 1.45hrs if you take your time. WP is 18 miles to Colorado Springs, if you ever need a "big city" for ammenties. We can be in Denver for sporting events/concerts in just over a hour.

Housing is very reasonable here as well. We just bought a 1985 2700sqft 1.5 story house on .35 acres for $235,000.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 09-08-2009 at 02:02 PM.. Reason: Cannot post copyrighted pix from other sites.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:40 AM
 
Location: NW. MO.
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Why don't you check out some of the outskirts of Denver?
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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My first thought is that you might want to forgo Colorado and look toward Utah. Seriously. It's gorgeous there.
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