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Old 05-29-2010, 06:56 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,889 times
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My wife and I have both lived our entire lives in the Midwest, Kansas for myself and Missouri for her, and are considering a change of scenery. I've spent lots of time vacationing in Colorado, but am not familiar what areas would be the right ones to settle down and raise a family in. Wanting something smaller and quaint, less touristy, more local. I am a dentist and she is a family physician, so that might mean somewhere closer to a medical facility for her, and a town that is not merely a vacation destination for myself. Would love anyone's input.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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I'm interested in your post because I'm moving to Colorado Springs next week (from the Washington, D.C. area...with a one year detour to Thailand).

I can't speak to your tastes of course, but having also traveled around the state a fair amount and knowing that I someday might retire there, I always had my eye out on possible retirement locations. The more out of the way places I considered included Durango and Grand Junction, but in the end, having now lived a suburban life for many years, I decided they were too rural and isolated for my tastes. I did have a professional colleague who was a school official from Grand Junction and simply raved about the lifestyle there and really tried to push me in that direction.

I rather liked the "feel" of some of the communities in the northern front range area -- Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, for example. While I don't dislike winter, I opted for something with what I think means a little less snow.

The Denver metro area was another option.

I ended up deciding on Colo Springs because of a slightly more moderate climate, location not far from the big city (Denver) but also just a short drive to the natural part of Colorado I love, and my sense that it is a "full" city but on a smaller scale.

Best of luck in your choice, and I look forward to reading other peoples' reactions.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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You and your wife are in one of the very few fields--medical professionals--for which there is some demand in most Colorado towns. Problem is, you likely will find living costs higher than Kansas and incomes lower than Kansas in most Colorado locales--unless you locate in one of the metro areas (which it sounds like you do not want to do). "Family-oriented," in my opinion takes any of the resort towns off of the list right there, as do the exorbitant living costs.

I would suggest towns in the western valleys (Montrose, Delta, Grand Junction--Grand Junction is a medical center, but is getting more "big city" than small town), the San Luis Valley (Alamosa, Monte Vista) if you can stand the very cold winters, the Upper Arkansas Valley (Canon City, Salida, Buena Vista--though Salida and Buena Vista are too touristy for my tastes), or Gunnison (if you could stand the BRUTALLY cold winters). I would avoid the energy areas of northwest Colorado and the whole I-70 corridor from Denver to Grand Junction. Of course, towns on the Eastern Plains are screaming for medical people, but the landscape is not much different from western Kansas.

You also might consider towns in Wyoming--they need medical people and some are fine communities--Lander, Riverton, Sheridan, and Buffalo come quickly to mind as nice towns not totally overrun with either the tourism or energy industries.

A big problem in any of the smaller towns in the Rocky Mountain West is that a very large number of medical patients are either Medicare or Medicaid patients. In my area, the hospital administrator says that only about 20% of their patients are private pay--80% are Medicare or Medicaid.

Truth is, you may be better off staying in one of Kansas' very nice smaller communities and just coming to Colorado on vacation. I know several native Coloradans who have moved to Kansas for the less touristy, less fake kind of communities found there, and now just return to Colorado on occasion to visit.
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Old 05-29-2010, 07:35 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I've been noticing a boatload of cars with Missouri license plates driving around here lately. I wonder what's going on-- is there some mass exodus going on from that state?
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:27 PM
 
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Consider Woodland Park, CO, for which there are a number of threads in the COLO SPGS forum.
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Old 05-29-2010, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Valley of the Sun
220 posts, read 430,429 times
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With careers like those you should be able to live just about anywhere you want to. Just an FYI, I think Ft. Collins got rated as one of the top ten best places to live in the U.S.. They based in things like crime rate, number of parks per square miles, economy, cost of living etc...
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:16 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,159,132 times
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I think it interesting that the OP says he wants something smaller and quaint, and then half the responses list some metro or suburban blob as the place to go. Good indication of how brainwashed and out of touch most Americans are about what a small town really is.

Last edited by jazzlover; 05-30-2010 at 10:41 AM..
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:25 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,523,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I think it interesting that the OP says he wants something smaller and quaint, and then half the responses list some metro or suburban blob as the place to go. Good indication of how brainwashed and out of touch most Americans are about what a small town really is.
I think you're projecting a bit, Jazz. How do we know that the OP doesn't have a similar definition of small, quaint town as the rest of the posters and really does want a Castle Rock or Parker kind of place? Both of them would offer easy access to a medical center and Castle Rock, at least, could use another family physician with an office in town.

So, OP, how do you define smaller and quaint, and what kind of environment are you seeking? If you're taking a weekend away, do you see yourself driving into a city or heading off to ski? Would you be happier on the plains or in the mountains? In addition to needing access to a medical facility, what else do you need? Would you like to be close to a major airport? How about a college/university for continuing education or teaching opportunities? How tolerant of severe winter weather are you? The first blizzard is fun, but the second...third...fourth...etc...not so much, especially when your service is calling for a patient with an emergency and a plow isn't headed your way.

You also say that you're ready to settle down and start a family. Have you looked into the quality of different school districts across the state? Yes, that's a few years down the road, but once you get both of your practices established, it could be very difficult to leave if the schools aren't up to snuff. I'm sure you're already well aware that being a physician and dentist with patients who depend on you isn't going to give you the flexibility of, say, an engineer, who can fairly easily pick up and head for greener pastures if life doesn't work out as planned.

I'm not telling you that you should just throw up your hands and move to the 'burbs if you've always dreamed of mountain living, but thinking deeply about these questions will give you a much better idea of what kind of Colorado lifestyle is truly sustainable for two healthcare professionals and will keep your growing family happy over the long haul.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 05-31-2010 at 11:20 AM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 05-31-2010, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Colorado
486 posts, read 1,238,705 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhopkins View Post
My wife and I have both lived our entire lives in the Midwest, Kansas for myself and Missouri for her, and are considering a change of scenery. I've spent lots of time vacationing in Colorado, but am not familiar what areas would be the right ones to settle down and raise a family in. Wanting something smaller and quaint, less touristy, more local. I am a dentist and she is a family physician, so that might mean somewhere closer to a medical facility for her, and a town that is not merely a vacation destination for myself. Would love anyone's input.
Canon City would fit your criteria perfectly. It is a small quaint, pastoral town which maintains much of its historical, small-town character. It is one of the few towns in Colorado that has NOT been taken over by commercialized tourism, development, etc.

This is wonderful town to settle down and raise a family... great schools, great rec opportunities, swimming pools, and excellent supportive services for children of all abilities.

And the weather here is as close to perfection as you can get - mild winters (very little snow), beautiful spring, long summer, warm fall and no humidity.

And for your wife - there is a hospital in Canon City (St. Thomas More) and this place is very much in need of more family physicians!

Salida is also a very nice town but it is a little bit more touristy/trendy than Canon City. They have a great little hospital there though (Heart of the Rockies Medical Center). And Salida is about 45 mins from Buena Vista - another fabulous small Colorado town that is extremely quaint and quiet.

Last edited by sesamekid; 05-31-2010 at 11:21 AM..
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Old 05-31-2010, 01:04 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,159,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sesamekid View Post
Canon City would fit your criteria perfectly. It is a small quaint, pastoral town which maintains much of its historical, small-town character. It is one of the few towns in Colorado that has NOT been taken over by commercialized tourism, development, etc.

This is wonderful town to settle down and raise a family... great schools, great rec opportunities, swimming pools, and excellent supportive services for children of all abilities.

And the weather here is as close to perfection as you can get - mild winters (very little snow), beautiful spring, long summer, warm fall and no humidity.

And for your wife - there is a hospital in Canon City (St. Thomas More) and this place is very much in need of more family physicians!

Salida is also a very nice town but it is a little bit more touristy/trendy than Canon City. They have a great little hospital there though (Heart of the Rockies Medical Center). And Salida is about 45 mins from Buena Vista - another fabulous small Colorado town that is extremely quaint and quiet.
I would agree with you about Cañon City in most every respect, save one. It has the issue of likely just being a little TOO close to the Front Range metroplex blob to stay a pastoral small town over the long term. That is, unless growth dies an inglorious death in Colorado, which I, personally, sincerely hope that it does. If growth goes away, Cañon City might actually stay a pretty nice place. Otherwise, I have my doubts over the long haul. As a good friend who lives in Cañon says, "The best thing about Cañon City is that it's close to Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver. The absolute worst thing about Cañon City is that it's close to Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver."

As for Salida, it used to be my favorite Colorado town--back when its economy was more centered around the limestone quarry at Monarch, the railroad, ranching, and other "real" economic activity. Now that its economy is mostly centered around tourism, affluent transplants and the associated land development, I find it not very attractive. It was a great town back when, and I had several good friends there. They all got a snoot-full of what the town became and moved elsewhere, though.
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