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Old 04-06-2010, 09:50 PM
 
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Default Thinking of moving to Colorado from Montana

My family and I (3 children under 6) are considering moving to Colorado from Montana. We are both nurses. Tired of the long, grey winters and want sunshine, also we would like to be closer to the desert southwest. But we are a little nervous to move somewhere with a larger population and all the problems that go along with it. Another big factor is that our childrens grandparents will move to CO but not MT and we would like to be closer to family. We currently live in a resort town with skiing 15 minutes away and Glacier National Park 30 minutes away. Are we crazy? Anyone have some advice and maybe some ideas on towns in CO.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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The only place in Colorado with a large population is along the Front Range (Denver/Colorado Springs.) Outside these areas, you'll find the experience of Colorado similar to that of Montana, with widely-spaced small towns, agriculture, and rural areas. Colorado, like Montana, is a large state and most of its population is centered along the Front Range.

There are plenty of nice towns that you would like. Which one you choose depends on the type of experience you want. There are mountain towns like Glenwood Springs, Steamboat, and Dillon. There are desert towns that are close to the mountains, like Grand Junction and Montrose. There are "high valley" towns like Leadville that are situated in a large valley in between big mountains.

Some of these towns are very small and may not have the job opportunity you're looking for. While others, like Grand Junction, are regional medical hubs with a large hospital and other facilities.

There are also some small towns an hour outside of Denver, such as Fort Collins, which would give you access to better job opportunities while buffering you from the city.
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:34 AM
 
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If you really enjoy the solitude one can find in Montana, Colorado will be a disappointment. One can find solitude and beautiful scenery here, but if you live in one of the metro areas (which I very strongly DO NOT recommend), it is much harder to find or more difficult to access. The resort areas of Colorado are hideously overpriced with lousy local job opportunities or salaries. It is possible to get nursing jobs in some fairly nice rural Colorado towns, but the market is very competitive. I know a couple of nurses who have left rural Colorado because their salaries were much lower than other locales and living costs were higher. Both relocated to the Midwest.

There are some other considerations. The medical centers in Colorado are in the metro areas and--to a much lesser extent--in Grand Junction in western Colorado. Grand Junction is really a small city (over 100,000 in the "metro" area), but has some crime issues out of scale for its size. Outside of those bigger places, medical care in the rest of Colorado is pretty much your basic rural hospital and clinic kind of industry.

Culturally, Colorado, especially the southern half of the state, is much different than Montana. The southern half of Colorado is heavily Hispanic, with Anglos actually being the "minority" in a few of the southernmost counties (e.g., Costilla, Conejos, etc.). Most of the Hispanic population in those rural places can trace its heritage back generations in Colorado. If you are not used to or familiar with that culture, it can be somewhat of a hard adjustment for many Anglos. Unfortunately, many of Colorado's metro areas and resort towns have some pretty serious problems with illegal immigration--and some of the crime that the less savory of those people bring. Nearly every Colorado metro area has some level of problem with gangs.

I have a very good friend who spent years living in both Colorado and in the area you are from in Montana. He cited Colorado's more sunny weather as the singular advantage to Colorado--in every other respect, he preferred Montana. Interestingly, he now lives in South Dakota, not far from the Black Hills--which he calls a combination of what is good about both Colorado and Montana. Like me, however, harsh winters don't bother him.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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My understanding is that the medial field is always looking for nurses. I would recommend looking at where the jobs are and at what pay. From there, check the price of housing in that particular area until you find a mix that you think you would like. Then spend some vacation time exploring the state to see how those areas meet your expectations. If the grandparents are retired, maybe they can do some of the leg work.

You say you can go skiing in 15 minutes, so if you enjoy skiing you may not be interested in anything on the plains. Metro Denver has the quickest access to the most ski areas via I-70, but there are also some places to ski out of Fort Collins or Colorado Springs. They'll be small and cheaper than the resorts everyone is familiar with.

If you live close to where your jobs are you won't have to deal with a large city "and the problems they bring". I say that assuming you mean traffic and crime. Live close and you don't have to deal with traffic as a large part of your commute. There are also large sections of town that don't have serious crime issues.
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bckr View Post
My understanding is that the medial field is always looking for nurses. I would recommend looking at where the jobs are and at what pay. From there, check the price of housing in that particular area until you find a mix that you think you would like. Then spend some vacation time exploring the state to see how those areas meet your expectations. If the grandparents are retired, maybe they can do some of the leg work.
That is no longer true in many areas of Colorado. I know numerous nurses who have had their work hours cut back to less than 40 per week, and some who are working in hospitals, etc. where there is talk of layoffs.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 04-07-2010 at 10:30 AM..
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Old 04-07-2010, 08:51 PM
 
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Montrose might be a good fit for your family.

Here is a link to the hospital's job openings. MMH Employment Opportunites
They are hiring nurses. The town has about 15,000 people with beautiful views of the San Juan mountains. Telluride is 65 miles away. Housing costs are probably average for the state (that's just a guess). I think the schools are good. There is an airport that connects to major cities with some better choices during the ski season. Lots of sunshine. Good rec program for kids (soccer, swimming, baseball, karate, etc) And they're actually hiring nurses. Did I mention that?
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:35 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 2,493,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
That is no longer true in many areas of Colorado. I know numerous nurses who have had their work hours cut back to less than 40 per week, and some who are working in hospitals, etc. where there is talk of layoffs.
Hospital layoffs are occurring nationwide. Since Colorado tends to lag the nation in recessions and recoveries, I'd expect more layoffs here before we're done.

amednews: Hospital mass layoffs matching last year's record levels :: April 5, 2010 ... American Medical News
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Old 04-10-2010, 01:31 PM
 
Location: cemetary
363 posts, read 539,607 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamG View Post
My family and I (3 children under 6) are considering moving to Colorado from Montana. We are both nurses. Tired of the long, grey winters and want sunshine, also we would like to be closer to the desert southwest. But we are a little nervous to move somewhere with a larger population and all the problems that go along with it. Another big factor is that our childrens grandparents will move to CO but not MT and we would like to be closer to family. We currently live in a resort town with skiing 15 minutes away and Glacier National Park 30 minutes away. Are we crazy? Anyone have some advice and maybe some ideas on towns in CO.
So moving from Kalispell area or thereabouts and want the sunshine. Don't we all... May I recommend Grand Junction instead of Montrose? A much larger town than Montrose and Gunnison with more to do with the children and better chances of finding work.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
2,978 posts, read 4,784,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamG View Post
My family and I (3 children under 6) are considering moving to Colorado from Montana. We are both nurses. Tired of the long, grey winters and want sunshine, also we would like to be closer to the desert southwest. But we are a little nervous to move somewhere with a larger population and all the problems that go along with it. Another big factor is that our childrens grandparents will move to CO but not MT and we would like to be closer to family. We currently live in a resort town with skiing 15 minutes away and Glacier National Park 30 minutes away. Are we crazy? Anyone have some advice and maybe some ideas on towns in CO.
What other interests are you looking for in a town/city? This may help with the recommendations. Colorado is a pretty diverse state, like Montana, so knowing what you want to be close to and what you can live without could help narrow down the search.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:36 PM
 
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Wink Thoughts on a cloudy day

Presumably you are talking about someplace like Whitefish, as opposed to Browning. If so, you might seriously wish to reconsider and remain in Montana. A lovely area, as you know, with good access to a magnificent national park (even if the glaciers are melting). Trying to find a similar situation in Colorado will prove a challenge, particularly if suitably employed now, and of course looking in any new location.

Colorado does naturally enjoy a fair amount of sun. Something somewhat similar to your home could be Estes Park, CO, with its close proximity to Rocky Mountain National Park. However there is no downhill skiing nearby, and even if your area sees its share of tourists, in comparison to Estes Park it might seem kind of quaint. This due the relatively easy access from northern front range communities, Denver through Ft. Collins. The largest job market is there of course, but not the lifestyle you are accustomed to.

In vague approximation of that called home you might try Durango, in the far southwestern corner of the state. If it matters, it is not nearly as Hispanic as the San Luis valley. In part due cost, with the regions popularity of the last several decades having witnessed steadily rising real estate prices. If you can stomach that, it remains a lovely town in a beautiful location. Some might say too 'yuppified,' and in comparison to most of Montana probably true. But less so than many of the resort towns in Colorado that thrive on skiing. It remains a town, all the larger now, and the largest in size, market and services in the region. The only thing close is nearby Farmington, NM to the south, but it poses no threat to Durango in ambience.

Skiing is more than 15 minutes, but still close at Durango Mountain (formerly Purgatory) north via US 550. More hardcore, both in the drive and mountain, is extreme skiing at Silverton. Find yourself in Silverton and you'll be in the middle of the San Juan mountains, with Durango but at their southern edge. Absolutely magnificent mountains and wilderness, with lots of space and few people. Perhaps wonderful enough that you will not miss Glacier National Park too much.

Or perhaps sun alone not enough reason.
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