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Old 03-09-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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My girlfriend and I have recently moved to Houston from NJ and are not liking it too much. To us, Houston seems like a giant strip mall. Coming from the northeast (near Philadelphia), Houston just seems HUGE and dirty. The only nice places to live are either very far from the city center or very expensive. We really want to live in a place with the small town feel like the northeast has but also want to be reasonably close to the city. I've been looking at CO because it would be nice to be near mountains for motorcycle riding, skiing and biking and the state economy isn't as bad as other nice areas (like NJ). We are planning on moving in about a year and a half when my girlfriend finishes her degree in school psychology.

Anyway, we would like to come visit to check things out and go skiing in early to mid-April. I was planning on flying down on a Wednesday night and skiing Thursday-Friday and then doing most of the exploring on Saturday-Sunday. I was thinking of staying closer to Denver to keep costs down (as opposed to the mountain towns). Maybe Golden? I heard it's nice there. Also, that way we could stay in the same hotel for the whole trip. What ski areas are recommended that wouldn't be a super long drive from Denver? We have our own ski clothing but need to rent other equipment. Any suggestions or thoughts would be great. Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
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Just keep in mind that you'll have to drive up and down the mountains each day if you are skiing and staying in Golden.

Winter Park isn't a "super long drive". Rent your equipment in Denver. You'll thank me later.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:49 PM
 
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Thanks for the quick response. To clarify, I would like to find a hotel no more hopefully less than 1 hour away from the ski area and definitely no more than 1.5 hours. If anyone can suggest any more areas to stay close Denver with a reasonable route to the mountains, that would be great. Maybe one with a cool main street and small town feel?
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Spokane, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesr242 View Post
Thanks for the quick response. To clarify, I would like to find a hotel no more hopefully less than 1 hour away from the ski area and definitely no more than 1.5 hours. If anyone can suggest any more areas to stay close Denver with a reasonable route to the mountains, that would be great. Maybe one with a cool main street and small town feel?
Golden.

Metro Denver isn't known for it's "cool Main Street's" and "small town feels".
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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First of all, many of the ski areas may be closed by mid-April, depending on the weather--that is at the ragged end of the ski season.

Second, if you are expecting something like the bucolic small towns of the NE, you aren't likely to find it in Colorado. Colorado is basically three things: sprawled suburbanized metropolitan areas, relatively recently developed resorts, and some older small towns--but those are not like what one finds in the East. Some of the resort areas have been built in or around historic mining communities, but that "core" is usually a relatively small nugget in an expanse of plastic resort crap.

Finally, as I've posted many times before, people get fooled looking at economic stats about Colorado because the state typically lags the rest of the country entering a recession and it frequently lags the rest of the country emerging from it. Just because things look better here now, compared to other areas of the country, does not mean that things will stay that way. Colorado has festering economic and fiscal problems that are not likely to go away quickly.
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Ned CO @ 8300'
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You can still ski mid-April. Winter Park closes April 18, Loveland will be open until May and A Basin until June. Driving should not be an issue. If you stay in Golden it's only about an hour to WP and Loveland, a bit more to A Basin.
Or you could stay in Evergreen, that will put you a little closer. It has a nice small town feel: http://evergreenchamber.org/
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:35 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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While I agree with some of what jazzlover says, (minus some of the inflammatory rhetoric), I think you should come for a visit. Take David and Neditate's advice. Once you're done skiing, you may want to take a look around at other parts of the metro area besides Golden. Arvada, Louisville, and Littleton are three communities that have "cool main streets". I think Louisville has a small town feel, as does parts of Arvada. There is a huge chunk of the SW metro area that has Littleton addresses, but Littleton itself is not huge. These places are scattered around the metro area.
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
First of all, many of the ski areas may be closed by mid-April, depending on the weather--that is at the ragged end of the ski season.

Second, if you are expecting something like the bucolic small towns of the NE, you aren't likely to find it in Colorado. Colorado is basically three things: sprawled suburbanized metropolitan areas, relatively recently developed resorts, and some older small towns--but those are not like what one finds in the East. Some of the resort areas have been built in or around historic mining communities, but that "core" is usually a relatively small nugget in an expanse of plastic resort crap.

Finally, as I've posted many times before, people get fooled looking at economic stats about Colorado because the state typically lags the rest of the country entering a recession and it frequently lags the rest of the country emerging from it. Just because things look better here now, compared to other areas of the country, does not mean that things will stay that way. Colorado has festering economic and fiscal problems that are not likely to go away quickly.
From your posts, it almost seems like you hate Colorado. It's gotta be better than Houston (except maybe for jobs). I do like small towns but the don't have to be exactly like the northeast. Here are some of the things I am looking for and why I'm considering CO compared to where I've lived previously (TX and NJ):

Let me know if you think my expectations seem realistic.

Housing

-Looking to get a newer (<20 years) 3-4 bedroom first house for around $300K (cheaper than going back to NJ)
-House in a low crime suburb within 30-40 minute drive to city center
-Decent size yard (houses not on top of each other) 1/2 acre maybe? Privacy is important
-Town with local independent shops (hardware store, restaurants, etc) and maybe a centralized main street
-Significantly lower property tax

Nature/Mountains:

-My main hobby is motorcycling. Would love to be able to take mountain rides after work in the warmer months
-Living within 1-1.5 hours of great skiing
-Mountain biking available around 30 minute drive from home or less
-Driving on Houston highways is depressing; hopefully some trees on the side of the road instead of stripmall after stripmall

People:

-Just looking for more laidback people that treat others with respect and are open-minded. The people I've met in Houston so far seem a little uptight (obsessed w/ work) and generally unfriendly to outsiders. Even though I was born in Houston, I haven't lived there for 13 years and I still feel this way.

Employment:

-I'm an entry level Mechanical Engineer currently working in the Oil and Gas field with some experience in the Aerospace industry as well. I understand both of these industries are in the Denver area. I expect it to be more difficult than Houston to find a job, but I have time.

Let me know if you have any suggestions on specific areas to check out!
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:37 PM
 
10 posts, read 16,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
While I agree with some of what jazzlover says, (minus some of the inflammatory rhetoric), I think you should come for a visit. Take David and Neditate's advice. Once you're done skiing, you may want to take a look around at other parts of the metro area besides Golden. Arvada, Louisville, and Littleton are three communities that have "cool main streets". I think Louisville has a small town feel, as does parts of Arvada. There is a huge chunk of the SW metro area that has Littleton addresses, but Littleton itself is not huge. These places are scattered around the metro area.
Those towns sound like places I want to see. Any specific entertainment, restaurants or activities you can think of in those spots to recommend?
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Old 03-09-2010, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
85,043 posts, read 98,964,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesr242 View Post
Those towns sound like places I want to see. Any specific entertainment, restaurants or activities you can think of in those spots to recommend?
I only really know Louisville well. There are several neat restaurants in downtown. If you like spaghetti, there's the Blue Parrot, a Louisville institution. There's the Waterloo Ice House, a neat casual type place. Several others. There's a coffee shop on Main and Spruce, I think the name is Vic's that I like. I can't think of any specific activities in April, kind of a transitional season.
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