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Old 05-13-2007, 08:22 AM
 
Location: Overland Park, KS
5 posts, read 53,450 times
Reputation: 11

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My wife and I have been planning to move to the south Denver area for about a year. Neither of us have found a job yet (which is why we haven't moved), but recently I stumbled upon a possible good paying position in the Durango area and am flying there next weekend to interview/check out the area.

With that said, we have never even considered that area and am wondering if someone can compare various differences between south Denver (e.g. Highlands Ranch) and the Durango area (besides the obvious 2.8 million people difference), specifically:

Climate
Lifestyle
Age (are there a lot of people late 20s/early 30s)
Quality of skiing nearby
Housing
Church community
Opportunities for Registered Nurse
Etc.
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Old 05-13-2007, 01:44 PM
 
106 posts, read 331,484 times
Reputation: 189
I can't comment on Denver but I have lived in Durango most of my life. The climate is mild compared to other parts of CO. We get snow but not *that* much, summers are pleasant, up the 90's. Durango is far more liberal then most of CO.

Durango Mountain Resort is the nearest ski area, it's overpriced for what it is IMO. Wolf Creek is about a 1.5 hours away and is great, Telluride isn't that far away either but is $$ as well.

Lifestyle in Durango is varied. Many people are very active, we have quite a few mountain bikers, hikers, rafters, rock climbers, etc... If you love to be outdoors then it is a great place to be. Business is booming here as well so there are many more "professonals" now then there used to be. 20's-30's year old are everywhere. Fort Lewis College is here so there is some nightlife, nothing like you would find in a big city but it exists.

Housing is $$, I'm not up on what it costs in south Denver but the median price of a house in Durango is slightly under 400,000. If you are renting then it is cheaper to do that then to buy. That is an in-town house, if you go out of town then prices get a little cheaper. There are many houses to rent, out of towners buy properties here and then rent them out.

There are quite a few churches here, you can probably find one that mets your needs.

The hospital is always hiring for RN's, Mercy Regional Medical Center. It is brand new just built last year, we also have Animas Surgical Center that offers 24/7 care along with an ED. There is one nursing home in town, and an assisted care as well. There is a nursing school here, but I've never found a shortage of nursing jobs (I'm an RN myself).

Durango is in the middle of an overhaul meaning things are changing. Durango has been a tourist town, Camino Del Rio is the main street through town has always been full of mom and pop motels, today if you drive down it you will see office buildings replacing those motels. One by one they are coming down and other business that don't depend on tourists are coming in. Downtown is still very dependent on tourism in the summer but also has a strong local support. Downtown it's self is undergoing a new face lift, many of the historic buildings are being restored and improved.

HTH, Amy
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:56 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,511,378 times
Reputation: 1457
How to begin? Metro Denver and Durango have nothing in common. Highlands Ranch, being a suburb of Denver, has even less in common with Durango. I know little to nothing about Highlands Ranch, so I won't comment on it specifically, but I think you'll find the lifestyle in a resort/tourist/mountain town like Durango as far from Metro Denver as you can imagine.

I live in Denver and love it, but if you have a chance to earn a good salary in Durango, I'd say go for it. That's really the main problem with the mountains and Western Colorado -- the difficulty in finding quality high-paying work. If you found it in Durango, I'd consider yourself lucky and go there.
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Old 05-13-2007, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,961 posts, read 98,776,620 times
Reputation: 31371
One thing I would say about the decision is that there are probably considerably more RN opportunities in Denver than Durango. I can't offer any statistics on this, but in general, nursing opportunities are better in the larger communities. You could google Durango and find out what kind of health care facilities there are there. My guess would be one hospital, some nursing homes, a public health dept and some dr's offices and health clinics. Denver has the University hospital, Children's Hospital, several hospitals with major trauma centers, rehab centers, etc. Plus the health depts, nursing homes, etc. If you can't get a job in the closest location, you may be able to find one a little farther away with a still reasonable commute. There is no big "nursing shortage" here. Nursing jobs are much less abundant than in other parts of the country.

Addendum: I see an RN from Durango has already posted about some of the job opportunities there. Anyway, some food for thought.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 05-13-2007 at 09:54 PM.. Reason: Add addendum
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:40 AM
Status: "October is the eighth month" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,676 posts, read 28,486,584 times
Reputation: 6842
I spent a week teaching technology in Durango 11 years ago. I loved the town. It's in a little bowl in the SW corner of the state. The people are friendly. It's a little isolated. You can always visit a big city if you get the notion.
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:11 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
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If I had to choose between Denver and Durango, and Durango offered a job that would allow me to afford to live there (that's the big problem in Durango), then it would be a no-brainer to choose Durango. I've posted plenty on Durango--a lot of people think that's it's negative. The most negative thing about Durango is the affordability problem. If that isn't an issue, then it's not a bad town, and the country around it is outstanding. Sociologically, because of its tourist-based roots, and it's pricey lifestyle, I don't consider it the most balanced place in the world, but as a spot surrounded by some interesting geography, it can't be beat. Just know the real estate market there--I looked on-line the other day; $300K won't buy you much.
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Old 05-15-2007, 01:21 AM
 
476 posts, read 2,088,116 times
Reputation: 190
Jazzlover, I have to say I agree with you totally. And not only on the beauty around Durango but I also agree homes are costly. I had to buy property out in the Bayfield area so someday I can build my home. It is cheaper out there but dont expect dirt cheap, just cheaper than Durango. Durango has two problems that must be addressed and I dont offer any solutions. That is for the brainy set to solve, but one is the area and its people dont want it to sprawl like Denver but it is sprawling. You can go 15 miles, 20 miles out even to the north, south and east EACH way and still be in sprawl! Suburbs and subdivisions are everywhere. It would take a lifetime to visit each one. The other problem is affordability. It basically is the same eleswhere for basic things and even cheaper on things like taxes and utilities but homes are high, not California high, but high for Colorado. A Durango friend told me the other day she read that home prices were falling, so good for us buyers BUT the new liberal city and county governments are rumored to be going to restrict development so guess what that means, if general trends apply, home prices would go way up because demand and no new homes equal higher prices. The answer? I cant figure that one out. They are building condos and clustered homes to save space. A Farmington friend told me that he really thinks within a decade, it may be Greater Farmington-Durango with Farmington and its cities racing to the border of Colorado and people moving to the burbs out toward the NM border, it may be one metro area. The county is bulging with new people and just for newbies, dont let the number fool you on population because most of the people live in the burbs, not many live in Durango itself.
Second thing is be careful and dont buy out in areas with no water. Make sure you can get water. I personally would try to get in an area with running water nearby. An old Native American told me once to make sure you live near running water because that is the sign water is in the area. He said any time he looked for property, he made sure it had either a lake, a creek or a river and then decided to buy. He also said "water is money out here", he is right. Having water on your property means gold out west. Make sure the property has good well water too and last, be careful not to buy up high on mountains, stick with valleys (if in the country, the city hills usually has city water). Mountains have a hard time keeping water as it all goes down to the valleys and should a fire hit, valleys are easier to get to and protect, up high on mountains, it is a challenge and getting water up there as well.
I love Durango and it is beautiful. I just hope they can balance growth with affordability and if anyone knows the answers to that, get your a$$ down to Durango and make it happen.

Last edited by I_LUVNM; 05-15-2007 at 02:11 AM..
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:00 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
Reputation: 9065
I_LUVNM,

You and I are closer to agreement on more things than either of us would probably like to admit. Seriously, though, I like an intelligent discussion and debate on issues.

Sprawl is not just a problem in Durango, or Colorado. It's a national scourge and it is going to eventually threaten the very existence and security of American society. The reason is simple: it is, in the long-term, absolutely unsustainable. No one wants to admit this because most of the American population has most of its net worth invested in it. Perpetrating it has been the major economic activity in this country for most of a generation. Americans can't imagine living any other way. We have exported most of our other industry overseas. Development and construction is what we have left. That is why I am so disturbed about our economic future.

I personally believe when the "crash" comes, it is going to be deep--and breathtakingly rapid. A good chunk of the population will be in shock. If there is any positive part of this coming economic catastrophe, it will be that our sprawling lifestyle will come to a screeching hault. Today, we are building tomorrow's ghost towns all over America--we just don't know it yet.

One need only to look into the Colorado mountains to see what happens when the assumptions that "the boom would never end" are shattered by external events. Over a century ago, the Silver Panic of 1893 shattered the Colorado economy and hundreds of ghost towns were created almost overnight. It took most of the mountain areas of Colorado nearly three-quarters of century to come back from that. The coming crash will be much more profound.

I personally believe that crash will occur within the next decade, possibly earlier. I am working to arrange my personal affairs in a way that I will be able somehow to weather it. Once it happens, I don't think any real recovery will happen in my lifetime. It will be the second Great Depression in a century and probably worse than the last one. Our whole petroleum-dependent debt-fueled economy is just that screwed up. Time to figure out the best community (and it will take a sense of community--the individual "survivalists" won't last very long) to hunker down in and ride it out together.

Lest anyone think that I am total gloom and doom (and many do, I'm sure), if there was anything positive that came out of the last Great Depression, it was that it forged what has been called "the Greatest Generation." We can only hope that this next one will do the same. Greatness usually comes out of adversity, not ease.
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Old 05-15-2007, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Overland Park, KS
5 posts, read 53,450 times
Reputation: 11
Default Main theme, high housing costs

Thanks everyone for all the valuable information. It seems that the general consensus is that if given the opportunity to make a good living, most people wouldn't pass up the opportunity to live in Durango - all things being equal.

With that said (and of course not everyone will agree with the statement above), high housing costs seem to be the most commonly referenced problem. The employer I am interviewing with indicates that most of the workers live in Bayfield rather than Durango. The housing prices seem to be more affordable there, but there must be a reason. Is the landscape not as nice? Also, it appears as though there is little to no retail in the city. Is it a nice place?

Also, anyone have information on the Three Springs development. It looks like it's exactly what we're looking for in a good location however I'm sure it's pricey. Can't tell from the website as they don't list prices. Anyone have information on this development?

Thanks again everyone who has posted this far...
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:13 AM
 
476 posts, read 2,088,116 times
Reputation: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpritcht View Post
Thanks everyone for all the valuable information. It seems that the general consensus is that if given the opportunity to make a good living, most people wouldn't pass up the opportunity to live in Durango - all things being equal.

With that said (and of course not everyone will agree with the statement above), high housing costs seem to be the most commonly referenced problem. The employer I am interviewing with indicates that most of the workers live in Bayfield rather than Durango. The housing prices seem to be more affordable there, but there must be a reason. Is the landscape not as nice? Also, it appears as though there is little to no retail in the city. Is it a nice place?

Also, anyone have information on the Three Springs development. It looks like it's exactly what we're looking for in a good location however I'm sure it's pricey. Can't tell from the website as they don't list prices. Anyone have information on this development?

Thanks again everyone who has posted this far...
I am someday going to be living in Bayfield. It is a nice town with open green pastureland and hills. There are creeks and rivers. I love the area. Yes many more "commoner" people like myself go to Bayfield because it is cheaper. Honestly though it isnt a bad town. It is a cute town. I know that sounds girly but I am a gal. It has the cowboy type of people and the blue collar folks. That kind of town. It isnt a poor town by any means. The area has some nice homes but most tend to be middle class. There isnt much shopping but you can be in Durango within 20 minutes, quicker than many big cities just going through freeway traffic. There is Farmington, NM, an hour away for lots of stores. Farmington is third biggest city next to Albuquerque and Las Cruces in NM, so about everything is here. When you go to Bayfield be sure to go up Pine River Valley which is very pretty. I enclose some links with pictures to help you kind of see what Bayfield looks like. In the last link, Kanakuk, Colorado is close to the Bayfield area.
http://www.bayfieldchamber.org/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sam_duregger/15870166/in/set-455946/ (broken link)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sam_duregger/15870301/in/set-455946/ (broken link)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sam_duregger/sets/455946/ (broken link)

About Three Springs, from what I hear it is going to be a huge development, something like up to 5,000 homes or something. I can see them building them now and I also see shopping and retail buildings going up out there near the new hospital. I wish I knew about home prices but I think they are going to be more reasonable, although it is looking like a suburb in Denver, at least they are going to be cheaper in prices.

Last edited by I_LUVNM; 05-16-2007 at 02:57 AM..
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