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Old 08-26-2010, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,452 posts, read 2,358,101 times
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I've lived in Seattle and now live in Fort Collins, but the two are so different in so many ways, that whether you like one or the other depends on some "global" preferences. Do you like a large metro area or a small city? Do you like cold winters, hot summers, dry weather, lots of overcast days? Is being near a large body of salt water (although its too cold to swim in) important to you? One question I have is why Lynnwood? That's one of the most generic suburbs in the Seattle area and it's fairly far north of Seattle proper. I lived there for awhile and the only redeeming feature I can think of is that it's not on the Eastside (suburbs on the east side of Lake Washington are much harder to commute to/from even though Lynnwood was at the extreme north edge of the metro area when I lived there).
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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Quote:
I've never understood the hype about Fort Collins. It's a nice town, but that's pretty much it.
I could offer a few guesses:
1.) IMO, Many people in Colorado and much of America have urbano-phobia. I meet people in the 'burbs who sincerely believe that Denver is nothing but Coors Field, the Pepsi Center, the downtown, and a bunch of slums and highways; they've never been to a nice neighborhood in Denver because it's "the City" so they don't go there. Many people prefer the lifestyle of a "nice town" to either city or suburbs. Hence the draw of places like Littleton, Boulder, Fort Collins. (Add to that Denver isn't close to the great outdoors in the same way as Portland or Seattle ...)
2.) For those wanting to live in a college town with the amenities that offers (bike facilities, some culture, music and restaurants, organic food, fairly liberal compared to other places), Fort Collins is much more affordable than Boulder and you can have fun there without some of the problems and wierdness of Boulder.
3.) If you travel much of America, while there are vanilla suburbs a-plenty, a "nice town" can be hard to find (i.e. historic housing stock, a vibrant downtown, good jobs, good schools, and safety with rural areas nearby), particularly one witha good economy.
4.) Like the rest of the Front Range, the sun shines 300 days a year without high humidity and the mountains aren't too far away, and the Poudre is nice for what passes as a river out here; and
5.) The City government is pretty progressive about re-inventing and improving itself and planning for the future.
It's generally an easy place to live. Best place in the U.S.? Maybe not ... It's strange to compare to Portland or Seattle as they are quite different, but I know people who've made to move from the Northwest to Fort Collins to get more sun and live in a college town ... I'd personally take Portland, but admit to not having lived there.

Last edited by docwatson; 09-02-2010 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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My wife and I have lived in Seattle for 20 years and I work in Lynnwood. We are moving to Fort Collins in a couple years. Seattle was great for 10 years, but the traffic has been a constant headache. I-5 crawls during rush hour and side streets can be just as bad. I believe we're one of the worst in the country with traffic congestion and that includes Lynnwood. Stats show that the Seattle population increases by 160,000 commuters every day. Those are people coming in and out of the city from out of the area.....not counting those who already commute within the city. Jobs are hard to come by just like everywhere else and though you can find something note that taxes here are high and are going up. It is expensive living in Seattle and the cost of living will be going down for us in Fort Collins. As a conservative myself Seattle is very liberal say compared to the mid-west. Churches here are quite liberal as well....at least from the dozen I've visited....not all of course. That said we are close to the mountains and ocean and there are outdoor opportunities everywhere which we have taken advantage of....trips with the boy scouts, hiking, fishing, skiing, kayaking and much more. Its a recreation paradise (when its not raining). Late fall the rains come and continue to late spring. Its the constant drizzle and cloudy days that can get to you. So be prepared to spend a lot of time indoors during those months. In the last two years we have made 3 trips to Fort Collins and it is by far the best of the two cities for us. Yes, its hotter and can have more snow, but frankly I miss the 4 seasons which I don't get here in Seattle too often. I would rather have snow on the ground (which melts fast in the Co. North Range (than put up with long endless weeks of drizzle. The other thing I like about Fort Collins and its perhaps the biggest thing.....is that you are in a much smaller city...at least having that small city feel compared to Seattle. For folks in Fort Collins they may disagree but its relative to where you have lived before. I think its hard wherever you move unless you already have a job lined up. I would never move anywhere unless I already had job. We're not moving to Fort Collins until we have at least a year's worth of living expenses saved up in advance and all credit cards payed off, in which we're almost there now. I think what one should look at is what they feel the quality of life will be for them wherever they move to. I agree with another person here in that you need to visit each city and get a feel for it yourself. We just came back from two weeks in the mid-west and the pace is much slower and laid back than Seattle. People are more friendly and helpful and want to be friends with you than the neighborhoods we have lived in here where you don't know your neighbors because everyone is rushing everywhere. Its Fort Collins for us!
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:35 PM
 
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Wouldn't Denver versus Seattle / Portland be more of a fair comparison? Fort Collins is a small city with a state university, so perhaps Eugene, OR, Beaverton, OR, or perhaps even Pullman, WA be a better comparison?

It is true that Fort Collins is about an hour up the highway from the Mile High City, but nobody really considers them part of the same metropolitan area.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
13,228 posts, read 24,336,678 times
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Originally Posted by tfox View Post
Wouldn't Denver versus Seattle / Portland be more of a fair comparison? Fort Collins is a small city with a state university, so perhaps Eugene, OR, Beaverton, OR, or perhaps even Pullman, WA be a better comparison?

It is true that Fort Collins is about an hour up the highway from the Mile High City, but nobody really considers them part of the same metropolitan area.
DEN vs. SEA vs. PDX is a better comparison.

Fort Collins vs. Eugene would be too, but Pullman is much smaller than either of those (even if one were to include Moscow, ID).

Beaverton is a regular suburb so it could only be compared with Arvada or something. Perhaps you were thinking of Corvallis?
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:49 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,744,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Aguilar View Post
DEN vs. SEA vs. PDX is a better comparison.

Fort Collins vs. Eugene would be too, but Pullman is much smaller than either of those (even if one were to include Moscow, ID).

Beaverton is a regular suburb so it could only be compared with Arvada or something. Perhaps you were thinking of Corvallis?
Actually I think I was thinking of Corvallis and got confused. Still, you caught my drift. This is an apples-to-oranges comparison.
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:29 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,202,671 times
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Originally Posted by Mike831817 View Post
but frankly I miss the 4 seasons which I don't get here in Seattle too often. I would rather have snow on the ground (which melts fast in the Co. North Range (than put up with long endless weeks of drizzle.
I don't want to burst your bubble. But you will not be experiencing four seasons in Colorado. There are pretty much two season. Winter and Summer. This will lead to 90 degree days in October, and Snow in June. It is very normal to have 85 degrees one day, then snow and 25 degrees the next.

Between the two, I definitely felt Seattle had more of a 4 seasons feel. The spring and fall (more the fall), were definitely more distinct. CO really has no Spring, and especially no fall.

Fort Collins is tough to compare to Seattle and Portland. But I don't think they are really that different, outside of the weather of course (and the size).
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
I don't want to burst your bubble. But you will not be experiencing four seasons in Colorado. There are pretty much two season. Winter and Summer. This will lead to 90 degree days in October, and Snow in June. It is very normal to have 85 degrees one day, then snow and 25 degrees the next.

Between the two, I definitely felt Seattle had more of a 4 seasons feel. The spring and fall (more the fall), were definitely more distinct. CO really has no Spring, and especially no fall.

Fort Collins is tough to compare to Seattle and Portland. But I don't think they are really that different, outside of the weather of course (and the size).
Now this is just not true! Colorado does have 4 seasons, although they are different that the 4 seasons of the PNW. Yes you might have a hot day in October or a cold day in May, but it's not normal to have an 85 degree day followed by 25 the next. Sure it can happen, but it's definitely not the norm. If you are looking for a place that has a long spring and fall, then perhaps the PNW is the better choice. In CO, these seasons are generally short and can be interrupted by an early/late snow and/or heat wave. It's the Rockies, that happens. But if you appreciate snow in the winter, CO is definitely the place to be. It very rarely snows in Portland or Seattle and when it does (even a few inches) the entire city shuts down. They don't have the ability to handle it. For me, I'd much rather have snow that rain. I hate that damp feeling all the time.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:22 PM
 
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Yes, in many respects Seattle and Portland are similar. I've visited Portland many times, and live just outside Seattle, and commute by bus downtown for work. There are many things to like about Seattle, but after living here my entire life, I am in need of a change and want to move out of the area - permanently. Seattle, much like Portland is very temperate, mild weather even in the winter; hardly any snow and really, it's not very humid at all. Seattle schools are pretty good. Like any major city, there are good neighbor hoods and bad neighborhoods; within Seattle proper: Greenlake, Greenwood, Ballard, Queen Anne Hill are good. Fremont is fun and quirky. By quirky I mean naked bike riders with body paint - the "Solstice Parade," an annual event! Belltown is downtown and not very residential. Neighborhoods in the southern areas of Seattle are debatable; White Center and Georgetown in particular. If you have a family I would recommend areas other than these last two I mention. The cost of living is pretty high in Seattle, and then especially on the eastern side of Lake Washington. Granted, the schools on the "Eastside," being Kirkland, Bellevue (particularly Bellevue), Issaquah, Sammamish are very good; consistently being among the highest in the country. What I am most tired of is the traffic. I've experienced Portland's - and it's not good; if I'm not mistaken Seattle has some of the worst traffic of any metropolitan area. The zoos are nice, lots of nice wooded areas, parks, attractions and things to do; some very family-friendly activities. If you choose Everett; it's okay but look forward to a horrible commute if you or your spouse commute into Seattle. Rents are better outside of King County. Snohomish and Pierce Counties have better rents and more affordable housing. If you live in either area and commute into Seattle it WILL be bad. Seattle is densely populated, and we have all that water to contend with; so the city was built around that as 'best' as possible. Washington has about 6.6 million residents; approximately one-third of that residing within King (Seattle), Snohomish (Everett) and Pierce (Tacoma) Counties, attributing to the dense population and terrible traffic; one big megalopolis much like Portland and their surrounding cities. Once you get over the Cascade Mountains it's a different story all together. The pace is drastically different, people are friendlier and life just seems easier, which is part of the reason I want to move there. To that end, you might think about the Spokane area; the amenities of a large city - traffic is unheard of and I think the schools are reasonably good. The weather in Eastern Washington is decidedly different; four distinct seasons and it is likely to snow every winter and summers have a 'drier' heat compared to Seattle.

Summers do arrive late here in Seattle and yes can get humid but it's not that bad; it's generally very nice after the fourth of July into early October. When it does snow, it's not much; although it tends to sideline schools and bus service - last year is a prime example. Because for the most part it doesn't snow much, people don't know how to deal with it. Same with the rain - yes it rains a lot here and people forget how to drive in it. The city of Seattle took a lot of flak for last winter's snow storm (which was highly unusual) with the lack of good public transportation and city services during the duration of it. When it comes to living on the eastern side of Lake Washington and commuting into Seattle, it is also important to note that it was recently voted on to build a second bridge going across the lake. I don't recall if the current I-520 bridge will be demolished after the second bridge is built, but starting next spring, there will be a toll on going across this bridge of up to $8 EACH way. It will be automated by way of a transponder of sorts. Buses won't be affected by this, but individual drivers will. So thank God I commute by bus. Tolls going across the I-520 bridge haven't happened in over 30 years, so this will be huge for this area.

Another thing to note, relating to the cost of living on the "Eastside". Bellevue, while it has great schools and some pretty darn good shopping, is terribly expensive. Keep in mind Microsoft reigns supreme in this area. Redmond and Bellevue aren't cheap! If you want a condo in downtown Bellevue, it would be a safe bet it will be $500,000 at least. The mall in Bellevue has a lot of high-end shops. But, if you want even higher end shops; Louis Vuitton, Ferragamo, etc., they've got that too (ha-ha). Lynnwood is about 25 minutes north of Seattle and is reasonably nice; but again, it's grown to be such a popular area, it's busy - especially around the mall at any time of day it seems like. Take my comments with a grain of salt; much of my perspective comes from seeing this area grow out of control and not much fun to live in. I might suggest taking a look at areas such as Vancouver, Tacoma, Bremerton or Olympia; or further northward like Bellingham. Commuting from areas like Bremerton and Vashon Island are often done by ferry; but as of late the ferry system needs a lot of updating and repair. BUT, it is a beautiful area and on a clear morning, it's hard to beat a view of the Space Needle with snow on the Olympics. Good luck though, I hope this helps somewhat!
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Del Norte NM
529 posts, read 1,167,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
I don't want to burst your bubble. But you will not be experiencing four seasons in Colorado. There are pretty much two season. Winter and Summer. This will lead to 90 degree days in October, and Snow in June. It is very normal to have 85 degrees one day, then snow and 25 degrees the next.

Between the two, I definitely felt Seattle had more of a 4 seasons feel. The spring and fall (more the fall), were definitely more distinct. CO really has no Spring, and especially no fall.

Fort Collins is tough to compare to Seattle and Portland. But I don't think they are really that different, outside of the weather of course (and the size).
Don't forget the wind that blows constantly during the spring and the pollution fog on downtown Denver during the winter.

You don't escape congestion and traffic or sprawl in Ft. Collins. It might not be as bad as Seattle, yet but it will get worse. Most of the jobs in that area are in Denver and that's a long commute.
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