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Old 04-16-2010, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Bentonville, AR
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I'm looking to move to CS in the next year. One of my biggest concerns is a feeling of isolation by living in Colorado. I am aware that millions live along the front range and that if I live in CS, between there and Denver, I'll have almost all I need and want. But I'm used to living where I was 3-7 hours of Dallas, Little Rock, St Louis, KC, Austin, ABQ, Memphis. Do any of you in Colorado feel isolated from the rest of the US since you are surrounded by states with smaller populations, or do you not really notice it?
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Old 04-16-2010, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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No.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
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No! In fact I think Colorado has the best of both worlds. We have the front range urban corridor from Pueblo to Fort Collins that is in the top 5 fastest growing corridors in the country. Then we have the plains to the east with towns like La Junta, Lamar and Limon and mountains to the west with a variety of towns from Aspen to Summit County, Salida and some of the best skiing in the world. On top of that if I want to go to any major city, like NYC or LA or Orlando, its a short flight as Colorado is in the middle of the country. That is one of the main reason I love living here.
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Old 04-17-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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I certainly don't feel culturally isolated in Colorado, or anywhere else in the Rocky Mountain West. While there may not be the cultural opportunities in the abundance that there are in other places, there are still some. Moreover, how many people who live in places like New York (as an example) really avail themselves of the opportunities in their locale? Not that many, I think. They work, go home, and do it the next day just like most of us do. In fact, if you live in in this region, going to the "big city" once in awhile for a cultural event really can be a "treat."

I agree with Bob--if the "shrinking" of the world has made more things accessible from Colorado, I think the trend has been more negative than positive. We now have "big city" problems all over Colorado--and not just in the big cities--that were unheard of 40 years ago. Personally, more "isolation" in this region would be a positive thing, in my opinion.
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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It's true that Denver is the most isolated large city in the lower 48, when you consider its location relative to other large cities. (Although by many standards, it's only 70 miles to a major city -- Colorado Springs, but that of course depends on your definition of "major"). The closest cities of comparable size and prominence would be Salt Lake City and then Kansas City, but Denver is a step bigger and more prominent than either. To find a city of undeniably greater size and influence, one would have to travel all the way to Dallas, a lengthy trip indeed.

Personally, I find this refreshing. I don't often feel a need to get away to cities even larger than Denver -- mostly when I want to get out of town, I prefer to go to smaller towns or to remote locations.

Also, Denver's isolation has brought it a stature that is a bit outsized for its actual population. There's no other city or metro of our size, for example, that has the number sports franchises that we do. (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, plus MLS and several other sports).

Some people may find that Denver isn't quite "big city" enough for their needs, and yearn for a true mega-metropolis within easy reach. Colorado or the Rocky Mountain West probably isn't the right place for someone like that.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:03 AM
 
Location: western Centennial, CO
654 posts, read 1,756,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
It's true that Denver is the most isolated large city in the lower 48, when you consider its location relative to other large cities. (Although by many standards, it's only 70 miles to a major city -- Colorado Springs, but that of course depends on your definition of "major"). The closest cities of comparable size and prominence would be Salt Lake City and then Kansas City, but Denver is a step bigger and more prominent than either. To find a city of undeniably greater size and influence, one would have to travel all the way to Dallas, a lengthy trip indeed.

Personally, I find this refreshing. I don't often feel a need to get away to cities even larger than Denver -- mostly when I want to get out of town, I prefer to go to smaller towns or to remote locations.

Also, Denver's isolation has brought it a stature that is a bit outsized for its actual population. There's no other city or metro of our size, for example, that has the number sports franchises that we do. (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, plus MLS and several other sports).

Some people may find that Denver isn't quite "big city" enough for their needs, and yearn for a true mega-metropolis within easy reach. Colorado or the Rocky Mountain West probably isn't the right place for someone like that.
Great post

I do feel isolated sometimes mostly when I think about how long it takes to drive anywhere. When you are in most places, say Memphis you will come to a crossroads and it will say 'Little Rock' this way 'Saint Louis' this way 'Nashville' this way, etc. You will be able to go a lot of ways and get to major metropolitan areas. In Denver, the signs say 'Grand Junction', 'Limon', 'Fort Morgan', etc. For that moment in time I think about how far everything is.

I once wondered the same thing about metro area that was larger than Denver was closest to Denver. I was amazed when I came to Dallas.

Here's a good question - which city that has a larger city population than Denver is closest to Denver? It's El Paso!
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,740,115 times
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I've lived in Colorado all my life so my answer would be "no" simply because I've never known otherwise.

I've visited a lot of places where it's not that far to another population center and felt like I never really left where I was previously. For a lot of people it's a bit of culture shock when they move here but living in C Springs, you have so many options with Denver near and then you have the smaller communities (Cañon City, Cripple Creek, Summit County with their odd combo of towns) that have their truly unique flavor.

For me it's "just right".
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:07 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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When I lived outside of Philly (well, more Lancaster) for a little while, we would travel into Philly, and Harrisburg, Reading, Allentown, Hershey...occasionally we'd make it to Baltimore and more often Wilmington. NYC and DC were both options but not really frequented destinations.

Fact is, there just wasn't much point in going to the other big cities that much. They were just far enough away, and most of what there was to do was within an hour or two of us anyway.

I don't see Denver as any different. I'm an hour from Boulder, Colorado Springs, and numerous towns and wild areas with plenty of history and natural beauty. Denver itself is a large enough city to support the major cultural venues for the region (particularly because of it's "isolation") and in doing so probably enhances the viability of arts and culture in other cities in the region.

I've done the Megalopolis thing. Sure, it's fun for a year or two, but after that, where do you live? Even the Denver Metro is in danger of becoming too big for it's own good.

Besides, I think part of the point of living in Colorado is having access to "isolated." Both the East Coast and the West Coast made me constantly claustrophobic. Sometimes it's nice to get away somewhere with very few people.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
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No doubt about it, there's a feeling of isolation in these parts. Not so much on the Front Range (Denver, CO springs). But yes in the rest of Colorado.

Take Grand Junction, for instance. We're the biggest town in western Colorado (80,000 people). The next biggest towns are Denver (250 miles) and SLC (250 miles.) Once you head west from Grand Junction, into Utah, across Utah and Nevada, the isolation is even more noticeable. There are very few towns, and they are really small and far apart.

Sometimes you'll hear someone in Denver complaining that when they get "bored" in Denver, there's no place else they can go. It's such a long drive to any other major city.

This is the West, after all. Wide open spaces. Small populations of people. Long distances to drive between towns. It's part of the charm of the West, but it can also be isolating to those of us who like the big city.
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