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I am from the south side of Chicago, moved to Florida, and am ready to move my family out of here, after six hurricanes, too many pretty people, and uneducated rednecks. I want to hear from the transplants in Colorado, what is it like to live in Colorado, how are the native people, is it a good state to raise kids, the Midwest is dying, there are not that many thriving communities left anymore, and if I am going to have to work two jobs to survive, I want to be in near the mountains. So give me you opinions, and native Colorado folks, give me your input as well, about how to successfully integrate into your state. Thanks so much.....
I'm a native. You need to be realistic. In Colorado, you will find plenty of those aggrevating "beautiful people" just like the ones in Florida. The Colorado mountain resort towns are full of 'em. Rednecks? There are a lot of those in the rural areas away from the resorts. Not bad folks, but with a lot of the same values, though, in all candor, I think they are probably better educated than in many parts of the country. The metro areas in Colorado pretty much have the same culture (and problems) of most metro areas. They are big cities, and have big city attitudes and issues.
You also have to recognize that the Colorado economy is heavily reliant on tourism, real estate speculation, government, and service industries. Those fared well during the "bubble," but are unlikely to continue doing so in the future. Colorado has never had a strong industrial base, and has lost a fair amount of what it did have. Salaries and incomes here are often low compared to living costs--the more desirable the location, the more living costs exceed affordability for most working people. The Midwest, for all of its issues (and the Midwest is not universally "dying," as you infer), at least has living costs that are more in line with incomes than most of the Western states, Colorado included.
People see Colorado's pretty mountains and get infected with the "Paradise Syndrome." The mountains are great, but--as the saying goes--you can't eat the scenery. During the protracted bubble in the Colorado economy that lasted a couple of decades, Colorado was probably an easier place to live economically than anytime in the state's history. A lot of people--including many who transplanted during the period--came to assume that those conditions were the norm. They are not, and my prediction (based on a half-century plus in this state) is that we are reverting back to what Colorado was historically--a not especially easy place to make a living where people must be willing to make some significant personal and financial sacrifices to live here. The Pollyannas and Chamber of Commerce folks will say otherwise, but a lot of people like me who work "on the ground" with economic issues daily see things as they really are.
Jazzlover is right. There was a time several decades back that Denver had blue collar jobs, lots of them. In fact, 2 of those companies were only blocks from each other, the Samsonite Company and Gates Rubber co. Samsonite for years employed hundreds, Gates employed thousands.
I much rather would rather see it that way than see thousands of jobs disappear. Jazzlover makes a good point regarding a key cog in Denver's economy.That is real estate speculation. Building homes by the kazillion. I'm not smart enough to debate Economics 101, but yea, the Pollyannas and the C of C will sell you the bill of goods THEY see through rose color glasses.
I have lived in at least six other states and have retired to Colorado because my grandchildren are here. This is my second time to live in the State.
I find the people not as friendly as other areas. The children seem to be better educated. The adults are not "beautiful" people but seem to spend their time and money "going for the burn" or " climbing every mountain" or "never giving in to old age" or "going for another degree." I label them over achievers and over the top. I see very little quality time spent with the family unit....fathers are playing soccer at age 45; children are being taught by tutors; moms are going back to school for doctor's degrees; church are not filled with families; no one walks....only jogs; no one rides a bike for the fun.....must go 60 miles or the ride doesn't count. I have met too many moms playing Bach for the unborn baby and teaching Japanese to the baby within six months of the birth. All of these things are good but I have looked hard for simply pleasures, slower paced lives, listening to your neighbor or your child.
I work part time, volunteer at a museum and a farm, hike, camp, travel, etc. I find Colorado a hard place to live. If economic times change I will move to a more traditional way of live state.....Missouri, Texas??
Yup, folks I meet in rural CO have a very individualistic attitude and are very self reliant. My neighbor climbs 14ers at midnight on full moons in the winter. Thats the hard core real deal.
I think the reason it might be difficult to make "friends" is due to the turn over. In Salida for instance the average new arrival lasts about 3 years and gets economically eliminated. The locals know this and therefore dont expend the time or energy to get to know you. Thats the reality of it. RP
Transplanted here (CoS) in 04. Went through a lonely spell. But there's so much to do and I did meet some nice, friendly people (cycling folk). CoS is very suburban and 'family oriented, ' so that should help if you are into that. Plus, there's always church.
I want to hear from the transplants in Colorado, what is it like to live in Colorado, how are the native people,
We are rare - those of us born and raised in CO.
From a comment I attempted to post in another thread here, but the thread was shut down:
The majority of people in the Front Range cities (from Ft. Collins to even Pueblo) are relatively new. According to the Census, Colorado population has grown 14.8% since 2000 (estimated) while the general US population has only grown 8%. That 14% most certainly isn't a baby boom type of growth but of people moving here from other areas of the country. We gained 1.7 million people from 1990 to 2008 - close to a 50% increase in less than 20 years.
Again, that's not a baby boom population uptick, that's a good shot of people moving from out of state.
(Yay, I finally got to post that part and I am weird, I actually saved it!)
So, there's a difference between natives, old timers and transplants. I would say, and I have said it before, that the majority of people that run up against a certain poor attitude towards new transplants are generally those that have moved here in the last 20-25 or so years, like the quality of life and want to shut the gate behind them. Most of the people I know that are "native" to Colorado don't really think about it since we've seen our population grow so significantly over the last 30 years.
You can't stop that in any state that has seen similar growth. You either live with it or the underwear up the rear starts to irritate you.
I got a job with Intel Corp after leaving the military in 2005 and have been here ever since. My only beef with Colorado is the fact that it seems to be a hugely family oriented state. Also, it seems as if alot of folks that live here are oddly detached and are not interested in making new friends with others. I, like one of the posters above, am in search of somewhere with at least a decent dating potential for single guys where the women (and men too for that matter) are generally friendly, outgoing, and open minded with regards to wanting to meet new folks. Another thing that I have observed is it seems as if everyone is extremely competitive here. For example, just look at some of the cyclists on the trails here. They are not out to enjoy themselves, but to see how fast they can go (and try to run over in my case) in order to see if they can be the next Lance Armstrong. Don't get me wrong, there are a******s and jerks everywhere including the southeast where I am from, but it just seems that they are alot more prevalent here in CO. And yes, people in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, and Texas are a heck of alot more down to earth than people here in Colorado. I find it very refreshing to stop for rest, gas etc in eastern Kansas and Missouri when on my way to visit family in TN. People will actually say hello and are polite in those states and it feels like I have walked into another world after being here for months on end! Very refreshing to say the least!
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