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Old 07-31-2011, 03:40 PM
 
12 posts, read 29,475 times
Reputation: 11

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All,

My wife and i are considering a move from Las Vegas to Denver. We have 2 infants and I don't think Las Vegas is somewhere I want to raise kids. Living in Las Vegas, I miss trees, water and the availability of outdoor activities which I think Denver and the mountains will offer. We are looking at Denver west because of the proximity to the mountains. Some of our concerns are as follows:

1) How will we handle the winters. We haven't been in a cold climate for almost 15 years. How tough are the Denver winters.
2) Living close to the mountains, I wonder if they are really accessible or will it take a 1 plus hour drive to get somewhere where we can hike, camp, backpack, etc.
3) We will rent for a period of time but all of the places we have seen on the web in Denver west look like a Brady Bunch 70s homes. There must be some new construction on the west side of town
4) Is there much to do downtown if we decide to spend a day exploring. How safe is it by 16th street
5) How good are the schools in Denver.

Any comments are appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 07-31-2011, 05:06 PM
 
17 posts, read 34,914 times
Reputation: 28
So lets start from the beginning: Vegas to Denver, will you will used to the dry weather right off the bat! Winters and summers are dry. Summers have thunderstorms like the desert and winter is snows, obviously, however rarely not too much. Rule of thumb on snow, closer to the mountains you live, theoretically the more you get, but if in West Denver areas, then not too bad as the foot hills are gradual in my opinion.

1. Winter: Rarely too much to handle, usually melts same day or after. Sometimes they stay around for a while. Blizzards aren't like they are back east, smaller, intense if from Vegas like it was for us being from California. However, a snow shovel usually does the trick. The news is good about announcing school closures or delays if any. Some people believe you need a 4 wheel drive vehicle or all wheel drive. Some say not, its all preference unless you are in the mountain living! If you are confident and careful you should be fine. Plows usually only clear highways and main streets, not neighborhoods.

2. Mountains: West side of Denver metro, well thats close! You hit the foothills immediately, but remember "Foothills" is subjective! Denver's foot hills typically start at 6000 feet on up to 8000! In California, those are called mountains! Hiking, biking, camping all within easy reach!

3. West Denver: I assume you mean West Denver Metro? If you consider portions of Lakewood, Arvada, Erie, outskirts of Boulder, Golden areas then there are new developments within the price range you want. If you want to look a little farther south near Highlands Ranch or Littleton, then definitely some new developments exist in price range. If you are looking at somewhere near 285 and 470 then yes too!

4. Downtown Denver: Yes it is safe generally! 16th street mall during the day is fine from one end to the other. Plenty of things to do. In Denver you got lots to do from sports to Aquarium, Zoo, Museums, Lots of restaurants, nightclubs, Amusement park, malls, science centers, etc. After dark can obviously like any major city has its dangers. There is a good light rail system and plenty of places to see. Obviously avoid alleys and let night trips to downtown unless you have some basic street smarts! I know some people will disagree with me, but I worked law enforcement down town and know the goods and bads well. My family and I still go down there without issue!

5. Schools: Denver schools or DPS? Will again that is subjective! I personally think DPS sucks! However, all counties in the area are small and therefore there are lots of different school districts. I would say top school districts are Douglas county schools, Cherry Creek. Jeffco schools are fine, Aurora's is ok for most.

Bottom line: School districts play a significant role because of kids, but also property values too! Mountains are wonderful, plenty to see and do up there. Denver Metro is a nice metro area to be in full time in my opinion especially compared to Southern California! Hope this helps!
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,712,630 times
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If you want trees and water you are looking at the wrong place... you need to be another 1-2 states further to the east.
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Old 07-31-2011, 09:45 PM
 
Location: N. Colorado
345 posts, read 786,289 times
Reputation: 286
We are sorely lacking in the tree and water dept. The mountain trees are being killed by beetles it is mostly pine trees up there. Down here neighborhoods plant a few trees but not many and lots are cottonwoods.
Water we have not much of by way of lakes, streams and such. That stuff starts at Missouri and goes East, KS has even less of that stuff then we do Westward, Idaho has trees and water? Not sure.
So I would say it starts 2 states away not really one.

Denver is not that close to the mountains. Depending on where you are able to get employment you may well be an hour or more from the mountains. Employment would be the most important thing to secure, after a visit to see if you like it here.
I have driven from Vegas to here, 11 hours with very few stops. But my kids were not infants at the time.

I find the Winters here to be unpredictable. Some days it is 60 and nice other days it can be below zero. Snow can come and go fast, but ice well that can hang around longer. It can snow in Sept/Oct but leaves fast. It can snow in April and May. Hanging around long enought to make me shovel so it could melt on it's own 4 hours later March is the heaviest wettest snow.
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,875,789 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by DEW3 View Post
All,

My wife and i are considering a move from Las Vegas to Denver. We have 2 infants and I don't think Las Vegas is somewhere I want to raise kids. Living in Las Vegas, I miss trees, water and the availability of outdoor activities which I think Denver and the mountains will offer. We are looking at Denver west because of the proximity to the mountains. Some of our concerns are as follows:

1) How will we handle the winters. We haven't been in a cold climate for almost 15 years. How tough are the Denver winters.
It gets cold. It will be a big shock for you after coming from Vegas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEW3 View Post
2) Living close to the mountains, I wonder if they are really accessible or will it take a 1 plus hour drive to get somewhere where we can hike, camp, backpack, etc.
Yes a one hour plus drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEW3 View Post
3) We will rent for a period of time but all of the places we have seen on the web in Denver west look like a Brady Bunch 70s homes. There must be some new construction on the west side of town
Yes there is lots of new construction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEW3 View Post
4) Is there much to do downtown if we decide to spend a day exploring. How safe is it by 16th street
Yes there is lots to do in Downtown Denver. You'll enjoy it. Probably it's safer then most parts in Las Vegas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEW3 View Post
5) How good are the schools in Denver.
Depends on which School District.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:38 PM
 
4 posts, read 8,106 times
Reputation: 10
We are also from the Vegas area and thinking about moving to the Denver area. My wife works in the healthcare field and work in the loan servicing area. So employment won't be hard to find but I am not sure what the area to look into moving too. We are looking for a safe area with a great school for our kids to attend.. The weather is won't affect me as much as it will my wife. She is from Southern California but I am from Oregon. What recommendations do you have as to what area to move too. I was looking at Aurora.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado - Oh, yeah!
833 posts, read 1,438,017 times
Reputation: 1032
Quote:
Originally Posted by DEW3 View Post
All,

My wife and i are considering a move from Las Vegas to Denver. We have 2 infants and I don't think Las Vegas is somewhere I want to raise kids. Living in Las Vegas, I miss trees, water and the availability of outdoor activities which I think Denver and the mountains will offer. We are looking at Denver west because of the proximity to the mountains. Some of our concerns are as follows:

1) How will we handle the winters. We haven't been in a cold climate for almost 15 years. How tough are the Denver winters.
It honestly depends on the year, the day and even the hour... Winters are not the "hole yourself up for 6 month" affair that a lot of people think, but they certainly can be cold. Generally speaking it is alternating warm and cold though. It will snow, get warm and 2-3 days later it is gone and once you wash your car you will never know it snowed. Other times, it plunges below zero with high temps in the single digits for several days. The weather really is schizophrenic, but in a good way.

I have found that generally it isn't the cold temperatures that are a shock, it is the rapid change.
Quote:
2) Living close to the mountains, I wonder if they are really accessible or will it take a 1 plus hour drive to get somewhere where we can hike, camp, backpack, etc.
Unless you are on the west side of town those activities are generally an hour or more away. People tend to think Denver is IN the mountains; really it is in the plains at the base of the mountains. That said, you can get out and ride the bike paths or walk and not worry about spontaneous combustion.

I don't know about the Las Vegas park system, I imagine it is a lot like Tucson's - there are a couple of trees, but don't really want to be outside anyway. Denver has a GREAT park system and you can actually go outside in the summer time and enjoy them.
Quote:
3) We will rent for a period of time but all of the places we have seen on the web in Denver west look like a Brady Bunch 70s homes. There must be some new construction on the west side of town
Since I am looking to move back to Denver and prefer a new home I have been looking into this as well. Generally, there is new construction on the outskirts of town and not just to the west. Look around the C/E-470 loop for most of it.

There doesn't seem to be a lot of infill, but there are some vacant lots in older neighborhoods. You will pay dearly for 'em, but that's the only way to get the elusive combination of a new house, mature trees and more generous lot sizes.
Quote:
4) Is there much to do downtown if we decide to spend a day exploring. How safe is it by 16th street
I was last downtown about 2 years ago and I felt perfectly safe walking the 16th street mall at 9:30pm; my sixty-something mom had no worries meeting me down there after dark for dinner when I was in town on business. I wouldn't try to explore all of the alleys, but generally it is safe.
Quote:
5) How good are the schools in Denver.
I am one of the people that would tell you that DPS (Denver Public Schools) is not the best and while that is based on my experience and prejudices many years ago when I was a student in Cherry Creek (certainly one of the best in the state) it is not horrible.

That said, I'd look at other districts before I went with DPS. The metro area is quite diverse and the schools reflect that - remember, Denver is not just the City and County, it is a lot of cities in a lot of counties and
as a result my stories of SE Denver may have very little in common with someone living just 5 miles away.

As for me, I am planning to focus on the school district and proximity to work; truthfully, I will probably not get to the mountains as much as I would like. I may not get back into camping the way I did when I was younger and I don't know if I will ever ski again, but I and my kids will have all of those options available and if they are 30 minutes further away because I like a neighborhood and school district that have a daily impact on my life that is a trade off I am OK with...
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Colorado - Oh, yeah!
833 posts, read 1,438,017 times
Reputation: 1032
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukeb22 View Post
We are also from the Vegas area and thinking about moving to the Denver area. My wife works in the healthcare field and work in the loan servicing area. So employment won't be hard to find but I am not sure what the area to look into moving too. We are looking for a safe area with a great school for our kids to attend.. The weather is won't affect me as much as it will my wife. She is from Southern California but I am from Oregon. What recommendations do you have as to what area to move too. I was looking at Aurora.
Aurora is huge and varied. Let some of the (current) locals chime in on what areas are good and which ones to avoid; my experience is 15 years out of date.

That said, I'd look at areas after you find jobs - if you are in SE Aurora and working in NW Denver/Golden/Boulder you are going to have a miserable commute.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:44 PM
 
4 posts, read 8,106 times
Reputation: 10
The jobs I will be applying for are in westminister area, My wife is looking at different clinics. But we want something that is affordable area.. Any other area that are good besides Aurora?
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Old 08-01-2011, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Denver
339 posts, read 1,094,352 times
Reputation: 215
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
If you want trees and water you are looking at the wrong place... you need to be another 1-2 states further to the east.
I'm from Florida...there seems to be a lot of (albeit artificial) trees here. I'm actually surprised at how green and humid it has been as this is my first full summer here. Or maybe I've just gotten used to it. I have tropical plants that are thriving on my porch. Hard to believe they'll be dead by the end of next month

Now, between Grand Junction and Las Vegas...there's not as many trees. Or try Amarillo, TX...very few trees.
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