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Old 11-06-2009, 09:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 9,109 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello everyone!

My wife and i are relocating to Eagle County and must live in Eagle County due to our employment.

We will be taking a scouting trip in a few weeks and are trying to do as much research as possible prior to that trip. If anyone can answer any of these questions it would be much appreciated. We can research most of this so I guess I'm looking more for recommendations or opinions. Even the shortest answers would help immensely so thank you in advance!

I've seen that the initial responses to asking a question about living in the mountains usually involve setting expectations for low paying jobs, high cost of living, etc. To set some parameters, jobs are not an issue with us. We are both older doctorate level professionals and are coming from another insanely expensive resort location.

Off the top of my head....

1) Can someone describe commuting daily on I-70 during the winter. We've heard from a few people that between the great plow system and sun that the treacherous times are mostly limited to during an actual bad snowstorm. Is this your experience? Are snow tires a must? (we have 4x4 Suv's).

2) Can someone give a quick rundown of Avon, Edwards, Eagle-Vail, and Eagle terms of life / lifestyle for a local?

3) Recommended gyms?

4) Recommended Yoga studios?

5) Best grocery stores?

6) Restaurant recommendations? All types of food, price ranges, locations - if it's good food I'd love to know about it!

7) Cell phone coverage. We're currently with Sprint, anyone else have experience with them in Eagle County? Any provider that is recommended (or not recommended)?

8) Where we are coming from we can get a local discount on many things (activities, some restaurants, etc.) Anything like that?

9) This may sound stupid but how valuable is residential covered parking in the winter? As in, will be be cursing not having a garage every morning for 6 months b/c we have to get up early to scrap and shovel snow / ice of our windows?

10) Anything else that you think someone moving to Eagle County should know???

Thanks so much!!
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:51 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,149,672 times
Reputation: 14903
Where are you working in Eagle County? It makes a heck of a difference in what your "best" options are for housing due to cost, access, and commute times.

Ideally, you don't want to be commuting any further than necessary; ie, if your job is in Vail, than downvalley is about as far as you'd want to commute due to the icy highway and blizzarding road conditions that frequently are encountered. The weather is milder downvalley for some months of the winter, but it's still a drive. A good alternative, if you have the budget, is East Vail, especially since it's pretty well served with the local buses to get to the VVTC. While the highway plows do a very good job of clearing snow, and the sunshine after the storms can clear the roads a lot, it's still a trying drive to do when you "must" be to work on a schedule and it's storming.

I don't have a garage at my East Vail house, so spend a lot of time clearing off my car. It's not uncommon to have 12"-18" of fresh snow overnight, and it melts onto the windshield from the day's warmth and freezes up. A garage, or even a carport, would be nice to help alleviate this chore. I've got a pretty steep driveway, too, so it's a real challenge to keep it plowed or cleared. All in all, I spend a lot of time and energy on these issues in an average winter. If you can minimize these issues with indoor parking and/or a very short driveway to the cleared roads, it will make life a lot easier.

While quality snow tires would be a "plus", I don't use them except on my RWD cars. My AWD Subie wagons do just fine on moderate quality "all-season" tires on the highway, city roads, and the outlying streets of the area. However, if you do get housing in a more remote location where deeper snow may be an issue, then snow tires may be a benefit. For the most part, just about any SUV can handle the area on all-season tires unless you're off-roading.

Shopping? You've got two major grocery stores in West Vail, and they are very competitively priced with their Denver branch stores. Just a bit downvalley from Vail, you've got everything from WalMart to big box stores to industrial suppliers to some fairly high-end retailers. Years ago, the valley was very pricey compared to the front range, and I always brought my groceries and supplies up from Denver. Now the area is much more built up, has a lot more population base, and the local prices for goods are very competitive for the region.

Restaurants? Lots of choices, although I rarely go out to eat in Vail unless we have company in from out of the area ... and they're buying. For the most part, I think you'll find a lot of decent restaurants in the area and at a wide range of price points.

Locals discounts? Yes. Very common to get these from many businesses, once you've "established" yourself. Usually an introduction or referral from a long-established local will be all that's needed to get hefty discounts at some restaurants, for example. I know one of my tenants gets 50% off from a lot of restaurants and he's gotten "comp'ed" for everything from demo ski gear to guided fishing in the area. We've gone out a few times and the bar tab at a restaurant got comp'ed, too. If your car is recognized as being one of the local vehicles, you'll also find that parking in places (esp during the winter season) will be tolerated while "tourists" might get towed or denied parking in those areas.

Sorry, can't help you on gyms or yoga studios. Frankly, there's so much to do outdoors all year around that I've always had a very physically active lifestyle. You'll find that the winter season revolves around the snow activities, but the late spring/summer/fall is actually the most intense time of the year for a wide range of activities. You name it, we've got it ... hiking, camping, bicycling, sailing/boating (over the hill at Dillon Res), fishing (lakes and streams), outdoor markets, concerts ... and much more.

My cell phone service is Verizon, and I've been satisfied with their service in the region for many years.

As you've identified yourselves as "seasoned" resort area residents, I'm sure that you are familiar with the "party central" and "worker bee" mentalities that can affect these places for full-time residents. I think you'll find Eagle County to be no different in that respect. If it's convenient for your residence location, there are Eagle County residential areas that won't be so afflicted ... but they are "pricey" and somewhat exclusive areas, and generally are second (or third, or +) homes for their owners. If you are accustomed to housing in the 7+ figure range, then you'll have lots of good options.

To give you a "quick run-down" on local life, I think a lot of the "perspective" of life in the area as a local full-time resident would be tempered by one's expectations of what is "normal" and "affordable" and the social network that you'd prefer to be in. There's a lot of retired professionals in the area, and a fair number of 2nd homeowner professionals that spend a lot of time in the area, too. To some extent, it's also somewhat cosmopolitan ... I've met many people from out of the area and even from out of the country who spend time at their homes in the area or make it a point to spend a month or so at some of the condo's every year.

PM me if you've got a specific need/request, such as a realtor referral, or more location specific questions, and I'll be happy to help you. I've been in and around the Colorado mountains since 1964, in Vail since the late '70's, and a VV homeowner since 1982. I've been flying the rocks since the 70's, too, so I know the mountain airstrips and destinations for GA pilots ....

Last edited by sunsprit; 11-06-2009 at 08:30 PM..
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:51 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,517,355 times
Reputation: 7597
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingtoEagleCO View Post
Hello everyone!

My wife and i are relocating to Eagle County and must live in Eagle County due to our employment.

We will be taking a scouting trip in a few weeks and are trying to do as much research as possible prior to that trip. If anyone can answer any of these questions it would be much appreciated. We can research most of this so I guess I'm looking more for recommendations or opinions. Even the shortest answers would help immensely so thank you in advance!

I've seen that the initial responses to asking a question about living in the mountains usually involve setting expectations for low paying jobs, high cost of living, etc. To set some parameters, jobs are not an issue with us. We are both older doctorate level professionals and are coming from another insanely expensive resort location.

Off the top of my head....

1) Can someone describe commuting daily on I-70 during the winter. We've heard from a few people that between the great plow system and sun that the treacherous times are mostly limited to during an actual bad snowstorm. Is this your experience? Are snow tires a must? (we have 4x4 Suv's).

2) Can someone give a quick rundown of Avon, Edwards, Eagle-Vail, and Eagle terms of life / lifestyle for a local?

3) Recommended gyms?

4) Recommended Yoga studios?

5) Best grocery stores?

6) Restaurant recommendations? All types of food, price ranges, locations - if it's good food I'd love to know about it!

7) Cell phone coverage. We're currently with Sprint, anyone else have experience with them in Eagle County? Any provider that is recommended (or not recommended)?

8) Where we are coming from we can get a local discount on many things (activities, some restaurants, etc.) Anything like that?

9) This may sound stupid but how valuable is residential covered parking in the winter? As in, will be be cursing not having a garage every morning for 6 months b/c we have to get up early to scrap and shovel snow / ice of our windows?

10) Anything else that you think someone moving to Eagle County should know???

Thanks so much!!
1. There can be plenty of tough mornings commuting even if it's just a few miles away, so snow tires are highly recommended. Some side streets and roundabouts can be very slippy and you want every edge you can have. 4x4 is nice but it's all about grip on the road from the tires.

2. Avon is kind of the business end of the lower vail valley with retail, banks, some restaurants and shops. The residences vary from illegal alien slums with the police in there every 30 minutes to multi million dollar homes. The neighborhood of Wildridge is up above the town with it's own fire station and is quiet and has regular houses.

Edwards I like a lot with decent neighborhoods in Homestead and Singletree. Clarks Market is a tiny grocery with obscene prices but grocery shopping is available elsewhere. Has a nice mix of shops, restaurants and other commerce.

Eagle Vail is an area with residential neighborhoods and an industrial/commerce area on Highway 6

Eagle is a town totally outside of the "geographic" Vail Valley. Has grown much over the years. Much lower in elevation with less snow, warmer in summer. However you are basically 30 miles from the town of Vail itself. Plenty of residential options in a high desert area. Has shopping, some restaurants. Also the regional airport for "Vail" is there.

3. The Avon Rec center has everything.

4. Yoga? Can't help you there.

5. I used to shop at a mix of the Supercenter Wal Mart and City Market. There is also a Safeway in Vail but I was never really a fan. The supercenter Wal Mart I used for more bulk items and City Market for more specialty items. The new(2004 or so) Supercenter Wal Mart was a huge help for those of us in the valley working tourism based jobs since most shops in the valley sell higher end items. There is a new Costco in Eagle that I have never been to.

6. 2009 Vail Valley Dining Guide

Favorites: Larkburger, Avon Bakery, French Press, The Saloon, Chili Willies, Pazzo's, Vendettas(little pricey tho), Joe's Deli, The Gashouse, Outback

Probably most of the places I picked are more rustic, lower priced options but ultimately they are my favorite. There are plenty of "artistic" dining options where the presentation is most important with high prices and small portions. Some people love all that but mostly when I ate at those places they left me unfulfilled.

7. Cell phone coverage has gotten better once they added another tower a few years back. Interestingly cell phone coverage at the high end hotels like the Ritz was lacking and irritated many guests.

8. Sometimes proprietors will cut you a locals discount but don't count on it.

9. I would have loved a garage when I lived in Vail. I spent many, many mornings clearing off 1-2 feet of snow and trying to defrost my car. No fun.

10. Well there is certainly plenty to do in terms of outdoor and cultural activities. I think the summer and fall I always enjoyed the most. Winter was too long and I was burnt out on that by March every year. Also found it could get a bit insular living in that valley or you could describe it as "cabin fever" so I liked to get out of town from time to time.

I would pay close attention to where you live. Some places get plenty of sun in the winter(which I like) yet half a mile away across the valley you get almost no sun sometimes. Also all too many places in the valley have a view or the sound from I-70 so keep that in mind.

Personally if I could chose any town to live in it would be Edwards. Good mix of everything there and at 7200 ft(average) compared to Vail a thousand feet lower, the weather is better and more moderate. Last month when I was back in town we rented a house above Edwards and liked it quite a lot. For those with me that had not lived there like I had they all enjoyed it.

If you still need income then I would have a good job lined up. Vail is in recession like everywhere, maybe worse, and every single person I know there, including family, has been financially hit with a loss of income or their job. Vail is a small community in reality and it is very much a "who you know" type of place. I have worked with plenty of PhD's and Dr.'s in jobs that definitely don't use those degrees
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:04 AM
 
2 posts, read 9,109 times
Reputation: 11
Sunspirit & Wanneroo: Thank you so much. That was the exact type of info I was looking for. Very helpful indeed!
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Old 11-07-2009, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,898,547 times
Reputation: 710
I-70 around that area is super simple to drive unless there's a huge (I mean massive) snow storm.

I used to make the trip from Grand Junction to Colorado Springs once or twice a month during all weather and they keep the roads pretty well maintained. My only beef was the area around the Minturn turn off through to Avon and Edwards west of Vail. Those curves around that area can be horrible, especially at the Minturn junction because of how the interstate gets the shade there.

Other than that, I-70 Vail west through to De Beque (with Glenwood Cañon being a bit iffy at times though) is a pretty easy drive in the winter even in adverse conditions.
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Old 11-07-2009, 05:07 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,517,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COflower View Post
My only beef was the area around the Minturn turn off through to Avon and Edwards west of Vail. Those curves around that area can be horrible, especially at the Minturn junction because of how the interstate gets the shade there.
It's called Dowd Junction and I think it has one of the highest accident rates of any stretch of interstate highway in the USA.

I've actually had accidents happen right in front of me there. One friend was riding in a vehicle there in bad weather and went over the side in several impacts 150 ft down to the eagle river.
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:28 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,149,672 times
Reputation: 14903
Quote:
Originally Posted by COflower View Post
I-70 around that area is super simple to drive unless there's a huge (I mean massive) snow storm.

I used to make the trip from Grand Junction to Colorado Springs once or twice a month during all weather and they keep the roads pretty well maintained. My only beef was the area around the Minturn turn off through to Avon and Edwards west of Vail. Those curves around that area can be horrible, especially at the Minturn junction because of how the interstate gets the shade there.

Other than that, I-70 Vail west through to De Beque (with Glenwood Cañon being a bit iffy at times though) is a pretty easy drive in the winter even in adverse conditions.
Could have fooled me ...

I've driven I-70 from Vail Pass down through the downvalley area ever since I-70 was completed, and it's been a skating rink more times than I can count.

Even the few mile stretch from East Vail to Vail can be treacherous with ice from the time the sun sets over the area, and that's in the late afternoon due to the shading of the narrow canyon the highway goes through.

Heading downvalley from there is often times a snowpacked with ice on the surface road, even during modest snowfall events. And I've seen Glenwood canyon closed many times ... even more frequently now with the tunnels than the old two-lane road before I-70 was finished in that area.
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:51 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,517,355 times
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Actually one of the worst places on I-70 according to the state patrol and from my own experiences is "dead mans corner" right after the Wolcott exit at MM 157. It's in the high desert but when bad weather hits it can get very icy and the corner itself is a 90 degree sharp turn. You wont miss it if you drive through. I bet I myself have seen 2 dozen semi trucks go off there in big accidents.

Glenwood Canyon I have driven on sheet ice a number of times. Not my favorite place in bad weather.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:05 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,143 times
Reputation: 10
Default Eagle County???

Moving to Eagle County. Gypsum to be exact. Can anyone tell me about the schools etc?
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:54 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
3,178 posts, read 7,015,349 times
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I don't have kids so I can't help on the schools. The town of Eagle has a little more going on compared to Gypsum, they are about 10 minutes apart. There are a few threads on the subject that may help when you do a search.
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