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Old 03-25-2010, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
3 posts, read 8,691 times
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Next summer I will be moving out of my parent's home in Fort Collins, CO. I absolutely love it here, but I would like to explore some of the world around me by moving to a different town. I am not interested in the Denver/suburb area, Pueblo, or eastern colorado (anything east of I-25 is too east for me) I am interested in the western slope, but I really have no idea what expect there. I will not be in school, and will be living on a relatively low income (not sure on exact numbers), however I may be sharing housing with one other person. If you live in Colorado and know the Fort Collins vibe, I am kind of looking for the same open-minded, relaxed flow. I am also looking for a town with a higher population (ideally over 5,000). Help?
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:12 AM
 
20,337 posts, read 37,854,657 times
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I'm fond of Durango, for the scenery and the tourist train. Not cheap to live there, but does have a certain vibe. One of my train buddies from back east (a SPED teacher) went there and immediately hit it off with a local couple who invited him to stay with them on his next visit. Though just one anecdote, I find it indicative of a good healthy attitude.

There are many threads in here with great info on towns all over the state; look in the index or use the search tool.

Some places that come to mind are Silverton, Ouray, Montrose, Delta, Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Pagosa Springs, Monte Vista, Gunnison, Buena Vista, Salida, Alamosa and other towns that may be to your liking. Many have harsh winters, some are very small like Silverton, some are not really on the western slope, etc. But there's a lot to explore.
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Old 03-26-2010, 11:35 AM
 
2,437 posts, read 7,116,609 times
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I'm certain that Grand Junction will be your best bet to find a decent balance between job availability and cost of living. If end up looking for work in any of the resort towns, know that you will probably have to commute some distance in order to find and affordable place to live.
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Old 03-27-2010, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,210,790 times
Reputation: 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by treedonkey View Post
I'm certain that Grand Junction will be your best bet to find a decent balance between job availability and cost of living. If end up looking for work in any of the resort towns, know that you will probably have to commute some distance in order to find and affordable place to live.
As someone who knows the Fort Collins vibe well (I lived there from 1994-1999), I would definitely not move to Grand Junction! It certainly does not have the same vibe. I lived in GJ for almost 7 years and hated it! It was affordable, but I would rather live in a very small, beat up place in a good vibe city, than in GJ. Grand Junction is absolutely boring!

If you are interested in the Western Slope of CO, and want a similar feel as Fort Collins, your going to need to look at Durango or Gunnison. Both are college towns. Durango would be my pick, although it's not real affordable. But, if you are looking to rent and not buy, and will settle for a minimum wage type job, then I bet you can find something there, especially if your hours are flexible (unlike most college students who fill those jobs). The weather in Durango is much better than Gunnison too.

I also think Mike's suggestion of Salida or possibly Montrose are good. It depends on exactly what part of the Fort Collins vibe you are looking for.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:05 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, CO
3 posts, read 8,691 times
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Thanks All! Mike, thanks for the great list. I have visited Durango and like it a lot, my main concern would be cost. Thanks to delta for the advice on that. Also, thanks for the opinions on Grand Junction. It has caught my eye, although I have never been there before. Most people I ask say to definitely visit before moving there and i appreciate delta's opinion on it, especially coming from Fort Collins. Treedonkey, I agree with you on the resort town's. I am surprisingly not too much of a skier so I would like to rule those out. Any opinions on Salida? I really don't know much about it.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,210,790 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tk716 View Post
Thanks All! Mike, thanks for the great list. I have visited Durango and like it a lot, my main concern would be cost. Thanks to delta for the advice on that. Also, thanks for the opinions on Grand Junction. It has caught my eye, although I have never been there before. Most people I ask say to definitely visit before moving there and i appreciate delta's opinion on it, especially coming from Fort Collins. Treedonkey, I agree with you on the resort town's. I am surprisingly not too much of a skier so I would like to rule those out. Any opinions on Salida? I really don't know much about it.
Salida is located in one of the most beautiful parts of Colorado, IMO. It is a bit isolated though, but does have a few conveniences so you can get by without traveling to the big city much. It's located in a bit of a banana belt as well. So even though it's in the mountains, the weather isn't nearly as bad there, as further north in Leadville or west in Gunnison. It's small though. Not sure what the actual population is these days, but I would say approximately 15,000 at the most. I could be wrong though. I used to for the Pike/San Isabel National Forest, and spent a lot of time in the Salida area, although I wasn't stationed at the Forest Service office there. I would have moved there in a heartbeat if I could get a job. I think that will be a major limiting factor there, unless you look into seasonal work (raft guide in the summer, ski resort worker in the winter). I've also heard housing has increased quite a bit. I don't know how that reflects on rent.

It sounds like you need to take a road trip to check these places out for yourself! I would plan on going late May/early June so that you can see what they are like in the spring/early summer and compare. You will find some places cold and some extremely hot by that point in the year. I would suggest driving I-70 to Grand Junction, then take Hwy. 50 south through Delta and Montrose. Then continue on Hwy. 550 south to Durango (and heck visit Mesa Verde while your down there, beautiful). From this point you have several options depending on what you want to do and how much time you have. You could head west through Mancos and Cortez and then head back north to Dolores and Telluride to Ridgway and back to Montrose. You can also backtrack up to Montrose and then follow Hwy. 50 to Gunnison and Salida, or you could take Hwy. 60 over to Pagosa Springs and head north through Del Norte and Saguache and then up to Salida bypassing Gunnison. From there you can either follow 285 through Fairplay eventually to Denver, or follow Hwy. 24 through Buena Vista and Leadville and back to I-70.

You have lots of options. I would take a tent and a campstove. There are plenty of national forests and BLM land to camp on so you could make the trip cost effective. The southwest portion of the state is so beautiful, you really need to see it all!
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:27 AM
 
1,742 posts, read 2,622,844 times
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Best of luck finding any work in Salida, my friends are getting economically eliminated left right and center. RP
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Old 03-30-2010, 11:29 AM
 
2,437 posts, read 7,116,609 times
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Originally Posted by delta07 View Post
I would definitely not move to Grand Junction! It certainly does not have the same vibe. I lived in GJ for almost 7 years and hated it! It was affordable, but I would rather live in a very small, beat up place in a good vibe city, than in GJ. Grand Junction is absolutely boring!
I guess it depends on what the OP's highest priorities are... reliable work and affordable housing, or good vibes and recreation.
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Old 03-30-2010, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,210,790 times
Reputation: 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by treedonkey View Post
I guess it depends on what the OP's highest priorities are... reliable work and affordable housing, or good vibes and recreation.
True, but as the OP stated, they are looking for a city with similar vibes to Fort Collins. As someone who lived in both Fort Collins and Grand Junction, the vibes are about as different as two similar sized cities can be. To each his own though!
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Old 03-30-2010, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,920,108 times
Reputation: 2439
There's a small town on the Western slope called Collbran. It's a mountain town located on the east slope of the Grand Mesa. Very affordable. Beautiful area.

If that's not your thing, you could also try Delta and Crawford. These towns are located roughly along the Gunnison river.

Since your requirement is "affordable" stay away from Grand Junction. Housing/rent is ridiculous here for what you get.
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