U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-03-2010, 03:59 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,193,673 times
Reputation: 9067

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5054now View Post
Thanks for the good laugh about the graveyard fall - great memory i'm sure. I will not have to sell my car and I do have some wealth - but only enough to do it right the first time. I am 56 yrs old - single - love the mountains and have a daughter/ grand daughter in Durango. My questions were more of the social and community aspects. Is Durango a GREAT place or just a beautiful place to live. I hear things about how expensive homes still are - I am downtown Santa Fe now and the housing in Durango are just so out of wack for what you are getting, IMO. My daughter is on the edge of "I may never be able to buy a house here" situation unless she lives far out of town. I have always commented about how nice the people are when I visit her, the girl at a drive up fast food place was the nicest and friendliest I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. That just does not happen in SF. Do I have rose colored glasses on?

Anyway - is it really great or....
Durango, for all of its geographical charms, is just another resort town. As a long-time native Coloradan, I do not find it an especially friendly place. Yes, a lot of customer service people are at least superficially friendly to the tourists--that is how they make their living. But to the point of general community friendlinees, I would rate it middling, at best, in that regard. I know a number of ex-Durango natives who have left there for economic reasons, but a number of them cite the secondary reason that "Durango is no longer a friendly small town, anymore." Those friends of mine include some people who are from multi-generational long-time Durango families, too. Quite honestly, if you want genuine small-town friendliness in Colorado, the best thing you can do is avoid the resort areas entirely.

Durango is generally a very difficult place to make a living--especially in a lot of small businesses. As I have posted before, there is tremendous turnover because of people trying to live the "Paradise Syndrome."

Now, I don't consider Santa Fe a "real" place, either. As a long-time, but now ex-Santa Fe resident friend of mine referred to it, "Aspen built out of adobe." He worked for the State of New Mexico, and left Santa Fe literally the day after he retired. He looked seriously at moving to Colorado, but decided against it because he saw too much of the tourist/second-home nonsense community and economy in the places he looked at in Colorado, too.

As I have posted earlier, my familiarity with Durango goes back over 40 years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-03-2010, 04:09 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,975 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you so much for the reply. Would you include the Bayfield area in your assessment with Durango.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2010, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,932 posts, read 8,955,014 times
Reputation: 2474
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5054now View Post
Is Durango a GREAT place or just a beautiful place to live.
I personally feel that if you like living in a very small town that is a long distance from major cities, and you can afford Durango, then it would be a GREAT place to live.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2010, 05:04 PM
 
20,383 posts, read 37,955,333 times
Reputation: 18196
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
I personally feel that if you like living in a very small town that is a long distance from major cities, and you can afford Durango, then it would be a GREAT place to live.
Not to mention the scenery and the year round outdoor activities. Plus, Durango is within a day's fair weather driving from Cheyenne, Denver, Albuquerque, El Paso, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.
__________________
- Please follow our TOS.
- Any Questions about City-Data? See the FAQ list.
- Want some detailed instructions on using the site? See The Guide for plain english explanation.
- Realtors are welcome here but do see our Realtor Advice to avoid infractions.
- Thank you and enjoy City-Data.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2010, 05:58 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,193,673 times
Reputation: 9067
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5054now View Post
Thank you so much for the reply. Would you include the Bayfield area in your assessment with Durango.
Pretty much. It is basically a more affordable "suburb" of Durango--since most people who actually have to make a living in Durango can not afford to actually live IN Durango.

Let me be clear about this, I think Durango has one of the nicest climates (if one likes some snow and a four-season climate with precipitation winter and summer), and some of the nicest geography in Colorado. Unfortunately, it has attracted both an affluent "leisure class" that I do not necessarily look at as a positive social force in a community at the same time that it has developed an economy that is pretty inhospitable to making a normal living there. The latter now especially true since the construction and real estate speculation economy (an economy that I also consider fundamentally distorted and unhealthy) that has driven much of the recent economic activity in rural Colorado is now dying an inglorious death.

Mike is partially right. Durango is "a day's drive" (albeit a pretty damned long day in some cases) from the metro areas he mentions. Unspoken, though, it that it is still 200 miles or more (some a LOT more) from any of them. How practical or affordable "escaping" from places like Durango will be when gasoline is $6 or $8 per gallon or more--which is I believe is coming in the relatively near future--is not a silly question. In fact, Durango lived for decades in pretty stark isolation until cheap gas and pork barrel highway building connected it better to the outside world. That is very likely to revert to something like it used to be in the next few years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-12-2010, 11:35 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,193,673 times
Reputation: 9067
Default More on Durango

I thought I would bump this thread up since I had lunch a few days ago with a long-time friend of mine who still lives in Durango.

For the record, he is a long-time Durango resident. He's seen a lot over the years. To answer the question about how he has managed to live in Durango, he is one of those people who managed to land a stable, if not great-paying government job there many years ago. He bought his relatively modest home going on four decades ago for less than a car costs now, and it has been paid for since about 20 years ago.

Now, as to Durango, he is very troubled by the economy there. Never in all his years there has he seen so much real estate for sale, with virtually none of it selling. Construction is dead. Sadly (yes, sadly) he said that real estate prices have yet to really decline, which has only served to make the affordability index (local income compared to local living costs) even more unfavorable than it already was. He related that there are low-wage jobs going unfilled simply because no one can afford to live there--even in some of the outlying areas--to take them and make a living. As he put it, uncharacteristically bluntly for him, "The dreamers are all leaving."

The ONLY bright spot in the local economy is gas drilling, which is picking up a little bit. However, most of the workers employed in that are not local, coming mostly from either Farmington, New Mexico or Grand Junction, Colorado.

As for the tourist economy, the middle class tourist numbers have been declining for well over a year now. Upper class tourists are still showing up, but my friend relates that even they have cut their spending. He added that in Durango (like most of Colorado), most small tourist-related businesses say that it is the middle-class tourists that pay the bills, and the upper class ones represent any profit. So, when the middle-class customer base shrinks or disappears, most of those small businesses go into the red or fail altogether.

My friend is nearing retirement age. I asked him if he planned on staying in Durango. He's not sure. Like most Durangoans, his children had to move away to find jobs--they are in a metro area hundreds of miles from Durango. My friend laments that he and his wife only get see them and their families very infrequently.

As an aside, he allowed that this winter, while it has not bothered him, has sent a fair number of "newbie" residents packing--they have found out what a more rigorous winter looks like. My friend allowed that it has helped business at the hospital, with a lot of folks showing up with injuries related to falling on the ice and snow--broken arms and wrists, wrenched backs, concussions, etc. As he put it, "Some folks can't walk on it any better than they can drive on it."

It was an interesting lunch. Oddly, we met up at a meeting held at a resort hotel in "Ski Country." Though I'm sure the weekend business might be busier, nearly all of the few guests staying at the hotel were business travelers when I was there during the week. I would guess the hotel was about 20% full. The discounted rate was nice, though.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-12-2010, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,359,274 times
Reputation: 6816
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Never in all his years there has he seen so much real estate for sale, with virtually none of it selling.
Wouldn't that mean that rents should be falling significantly? I assume many of these are second homes so wouldn't the owners be looking to generate some cash by renting them out? Is that happening?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-12-2010, 01:21 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,087,757 times
Reputation: 7546
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Wouldn't that mean that rents should be falling significantly? I assume many of these are second homes so wouldn't the owners be looking to generate some cash by renting them out? Is that happening?
At least from what I know from friends now, not specifically with Durango, but with the western slope is that there are a lot of people clinging desperately to 2005-2007 and wont let go of either the high rent they are charging or the high price on their home up for sale. Or as in one relative, continuing to value their condo at 2007 prices on their net worth.

I think there are some deals to be had but I don't think they are well advertised.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-12-2010, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,359,274 times
Reputation: 6816
That would indicate people are looking for things to turnaround and are holding on figuring the real estate market is now more like the stock market and will turn bullish again in the future. Perhaps the wisdom of crowds?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-12-2010, 03:43 PM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,087,757 times
Reputation: 7546
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
That would indicate people are looking for things to turnaround and are holding on figuring the real estate market is now more like the stock market and will turn bullish again in the future. Perhaps the wisdom of crowds?
Problem is the stock market and real estate are two separate things entirely. The stock market is an amalgamation of the whole economy while real estate is one sector of the economy. In my estimation, we've had a massive overbuilding of holiday homes/condos and second homes on the western slope(not to mention the massive overbuilding of primary homes elsewhere in the USA) which the economics of the area could never support and it is going to take a long time for prices to bottom out. In other words huge amounts of supply vs. no demand.

I wouldn't call the stock market bullish either when it went from 14000 and right now is hovering at 10000. So it came up from 6500, wow, I'm not impressed. I call it a bull market when we are past 14000 again.

The wisdom of crowds? Well any market I think is driven by perceptions but reality is always there gnawing away in the background. When I was back in Vail last fall, the real estate spinmeisters were working it hard in the local paper spinning all kinds of yarns, but you can only do so much turd polishing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top