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Old 02-22-2011, 03:54 PM
Status: "Will soon be put on a long timeout" (set 24 days ago)
 
3,053 posts, read 2,370,343 times
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Default If I can't live in Denver, but have 3 choices

then which do I choose ?

I need to be able to visit Denver frequently. Ideally it would be every 2 or 3 weekends take a quick trip. And once every couple months take a few days or a week to come to Denver. It's for family.

I can't live in Denver because there's no job there.

But I have job opportunities in
Casper, WY
Tulsa, OK
Tucson, AZ

Which of those cities is the best to live in for frequent travel to Denver ? The obvious answer would be Casper, WY ... but ...

1) I'd make much less there, and would be less able to afford these trips

2) Driving that road (I-25) in Wyoming can be dangerous, and it takes 4.5 hours. It would take less time to fly from Tulsa or Tucson

3) Plane tickets from Capser to Denver are much more expensive than tickets from Tulsa or Tucson, as much as double the price.

Currently I live in State College, PA and can't visit for just a weekend. It doesn't make any sense when it takes 9-10 hours or more to get from doorstep to doorstep, with a fairly high risk of flight cancellations due to winter storms and overbooking of small flights to State College.
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Warm Springs, GA
1,373 posts, read 1,888,581 times
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If there's Nothing else in your life besides trips to Denver, then pick the place that has the best compromise between cost to get to Denver, pay (so you can afford trips as often as possible) and time off from work.

If there are Other things you want out of life... then that's where it gets more difficult. But only YOU know what you want out of life. For instance, if you want small town feel then Casper is the best option. If you want no cold weather, then Tuscon becomes the leader. But listing those Here, in a Denver forum, won't really help.

From the Denver aspect, always remember that while a flight may be less than the 4 hours it takes to drive from Casper, you have the drive to the airport, parking, security, waiting on the flight, the flight and then the drive from the airport to your destination. Those all Easily add 2 hours, if not 3 or more, to the trip. It's also much harder to be spontaneous when you're relying on flights. Oh, I should mention I'm a Wyoming native, so I do have a bias in that direction.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:14 PM
Status: "Will soon be put on a long timeout" (set 24 days ago)
 
3,053 posts, read 2,370,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_M View Post
If there's Nothing else in your life besides trips to Denver, then pick the place that has the best compromise between cost to get to Denver, pay (so you can afford trips as often as possible) and time off from work.

If there are Other things you want out of life... then that's where it gets more difficult. But only YOU know what you want out of life. For instance, if you want small town feel then Casper is the best option. If you want no cold weather, then Tuscon becomes the leader. But listing those Here, in a Denver forum, won't really help.

From the Denver aspect, always remember that while a flight may be less than the 4 hours it takes to drive from Casper, you have the drive to the airport, parking, security, waiting on the flight, the flight and then the drive from the airport to your destination. Those all Easily add 2 hours, if not 3 or more, to the trip. It's also much harder to be spontaneous when you're relying on flights. Oh, I should mention I'm a Wyoming native, so I do have a bias in that direction.
As a Wyoming native, then, perhaps you would have an idea of how often it is simply unsafe to drive from Denver to Casper.

I can imagine myself getting stuck in Denver and unable to get back to work because of the extreme winds on I-25. Not to mention, driving all that way all the time would get really monotonous. Flying is easier on you because at least you can take a nap. Driving Denver to Capser you have to concentrate hard for 4.5 hours, and if you fall asleep you're dead. I drove Denver to Fort Collins a lot years ago, and sometimes that felt a little long, I'd get tired and have to roll down the window to stay awake. And that's only 1/3 of the trip to Casper. And it's the easy part, weather wise.

I've heard a few opinions on the Wyoming forum about I-25. Several posters have said that doing I-25 in Wyoming is worse than doing I-70 in the mountains of Colorado, and I know how bad that can get. Do you get used to it, or is that simply one dangerous road in which you really put your life on the line if you're on it frequently during the 9 months of winter ?

My family would not like me to move out to Wyoming and visit them frequently to help them out, only to die 5 months later in a wreck up in Chugwater. That would kind of defeat the purpose of the whole thing.
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Old 02-22-2011, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Warm Springs, GA
1,373 posts, read 1,888,581 times
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I grew up (and returned to for a few years) Lander, my trips to Denver involved secondary roads to I80, then secondary from Laramie down to Ft Collins before getting onto I25. 6 hour drive, but I always thought of that as a short drive, into Denver for a late lunch on a Saturday. But I also put 22~25k miles a year on our car. Anyway, I can only remember one time when I80 was closed and we absolutely could not get through. There were other times when it was probably dumb to be on the roads (usually going home), but they were open. It just took twice as long to get back safely.

Sounds like you've ruled out Casper fairly easily already and have a stated preference for flying over driving. Look to Tuscon and Tulsa.
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Old 02-23-2011, 10:53 PM
 
487 posts, read 824,971 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_M View Post
I grew up (and returned to for a few years) Lander, my trips to Denver involved secondary roads to I80, then secondary from Laramie down to Ft Collins before getting onto I25. 6 hour drive, but I always thought of that as a short drive, into Denver for a late lunch on a Saturday. But I also put 22~25k miles a year on our car. Anyway, I can only remember one time when I80 was closed and we absolutely could not get through. There were other times when it was probably dumb to be on the roads (usually going home), but they were open. It just took twice as long to get back safely.

Sounds like you've ruled out Casper fairly easily already and have a stated preference for flying over driving. Look to Tuscon and Tulsa.
Also, probably worth pointing out that at least according to Southwest's web page, there are a lot more flights between Tucson and Denver over a weekend than there are between Tulsa and Denver.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:34 PM
 
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I live in Tulsa and get up to Denver at least twice a year. I drive though, and it takes 10 hours via 412/35/70. Flying is 1.5 hours with daily flights on Southwest and United.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:43 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 8,503,777 times
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One things we discuss on this board regularly is that Denver is not really close to any other major cities. It has the vast emptiness of the great plains on one side and the the towering Rocky Mountains on the other. Other than other front range cities like Colorado Springs and Fort Collins, Denver is a very isolated city and that's one reason why outdoor lovers like it here.

Casper, is, in relative terms pretty close to Denver. There are very few cities or towns of any size within a 5 hour radius of Denver that are not on the Colorado Front Range (Fort Collins to Pueblo). Other than Grand Junction, CO -- you're probably talking about Cheyenne / Laramie, and Casper as some of the very few.

So, short of being in Colorado, Casper is about as good as you could possibly hope for other than Cheyenne or Laramie, and actually closer to Denver than some parts of the state of Colorado, such as the Four Corners area. In winter (or summer for that matter), the I-25 corridor is certainly much more accessible than I-70, in which severe winter weather and paralyzing tourist traffic are a nearly constant problem.

Only you can determine whether the financial hit you'll take in Wyoming is worth it compared to other distant locations. Wyoming is a very low tax state, possibly the lowest, so that should make up some of that income. Cost of living is relatively low there, compared to Denver, though you could easily find lower (I would guess that both Tucson and Tulsa may be lower COL if you take taxes out of the picture).

Of course, you have to consider where you'd LIKE to live. Most Denverites, given your three locations, would probably choose Tucson iover each of the other locations, though Tulsa is probably a bit geographically closer than Tucson. That's because Tucson would be culturally very similar to Denver. Tucson's cost of living is also heavily affected by the recession so cost of living there is very low compared to Metro Denver.

You might also consider "connectedness" to other places. Casper is in driving distance to Denver, but there's no airport to speak of in Casper (just tiny commuter flights to Salt Lake City and Denver), and Denver might very well be the closest sizable commercial airport (Billings seems to be very slightly closer).

One thing to consider about air travel is that fares of late are going up due to fuel supply disruptions, and we may be entering a period of high fares. On the other hand, in recent years Denver is one of the cheaper large airports in the country for airfares due to continuous fare wars between our three hubbing airlines: United, Frontier, and Southwest.
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