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Old 06-22-2013, 06:49 PM
 
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Currently living in Portland area, want to move to either ID/MT or UT mainly because Portland (OR) is way too liberal both socially and fiscally and I'm also tired of the gloom/clouds from Oct-June.

I'm attracted to Idaho Montana Utah, but trying to narrow my choices based on the parameters of:

-fiscally/socially conservative (opposite of Portland)
-as warm as possible of a winter... I realize there will be significant snowfall compared to Portland winters, but the warmer the better.
-cheap housing or at least pretty affordable (considering I am coming from Portland this shouldn't be too much of an issue)
-As strong economy as possible, or at least is growing and has potential. I don't want a situation where I move to a city with a population around 50k for a job, and then get laid off and have to move right away.

Based on this, thoughts on Pocatello/Idaho Falls ID? Billings MT/Helena? Salt Lake area? St. George UT? I have spent limited time in Salt Lake and was very impressed with how clean the city was compared to Portland i.e. lack of homeless people/nice choices for food etc. Is that a typical observation of Salt Lake City, or was I just in a good area? Thank you.
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Old 06-22-2013, 07:35 PM
 
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Idaho and Utah are more conservative than Montana (though Montana is much more conservative than Portland). Bill Clinton won it and Obama almost won it in 2008. Idaho and, especially Utah, are also more heavily Mormon than Montana. Salt Lake City also tends to be liberal and its former mayor, Rocky Anderson, ran for president as a liberal independent last year.
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Old 06-22-2013, 11:51 PM
 
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My dad lived in Idaho though I have never visited he seems to like it and overall has affordable living. He has stated that they have been getting more snow over the last few years but the sun is out often so by afternoon a lot melts. I would assume it is sunnier then Portland. If you go on weather.com you can compare climate. Also there is a site called best places and I really like this site cause you can compares cities of things like cost of living,climate,people etc.
I have no facts on this but for some reason I felt UT and OR would have similar type of living. Why I don't know.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:56 AM
 
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You can mark Montana off your list. There aren't many jobs in Montana and there is nothing warm about their winters. I lived in Butte in 2008 briefly as my brother lives there. Many places in Montana get snow as late as June and as early as September. Housing is affordable, but the jobs don't pay well at all and there are not many of them to boot.
Utah is conservative if you are outside of Salt Lake City, however, outside SLC, the state is overwhelmingly LDS/Mormon. If you are non-LDS outside of SLC, you can expect it to affect you in some form or fashion.
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Old 04-23-2014, 09:27 PM
 
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I'm considering a move to St. George for retirement in foreseeable future. I'm a former Mormon, born and raised in Idaho. Currently reside in the great state of New York, and wish to be closer to some family in the West. I don't wish to get mired back in Mormonism though, and St. George seems to be a good choice as there's a diverse retirement community there from other parts of the country.

St. George strikes me as fiscally and socially conservative, and does have a strong Mormon presence. However, because of a growing retirement community in the past couple of decades, there is much more diversity there now than used to be. I've read online that to advance in career there helps to be LDS; by virtue of LDS promoting among their own as opposed to "outsiders." For retirees that shouldn't be as much of a problem since they aren't actively seeking employment or advancement.

St. George also seems more liberal and progressive from what I've been finding online. It has some fantastic national recreational parks nearby, a community college, and is relatively close to Las Vegas for night life.

Having lived in Idaho for my formative years, and from what I know from relatives still living there, it is in a time warp and a funk. People there can be very clannish, especially the LDS population, unless they're trying to convert you. Children growing up there are ostracized for being different say if they consider themselves gay. The other kids have literally bullied some of these kids to their death. That doesn't happen in places like New York, or California. Yet it does in Idaho.

The weather is much colder than southern Utah, and Portland, OR. SE Idaho is high in the Rockies, as is Salt Lake City. They've been known to get horrific winters, and the cold is a dry cold, not humid. SE Idaho and parts of Utah also pick up the Santa Ana winds from southern California, and that causes dissonance and can lead to depression among locals; who may not even be aware that the winds are known scientifically to cause this. Large swaths of Idaho is high desert country.

Compared to Portland, you'd probably like southern Utah the best, or Salt Lake City. As someone else pointed out though, the Mormon influence is still strong there; but other religions and secularists seem to do better in the more progressive zones. Which Salt Lake and St. George are more with the times than conservative Idaho. As for Boise however, is more progressive than SE Idaho and somewhat more liberal. Having gone through university in Boise, I can vouch for its liberalism. Boise is a lovely community, and its winters are milder than SE Idaho's. Boise is near a fruit belt where there are wineries nearby, owing to the somewhat milder temperatures than the other side of the state.

Finding gainful employment is difficult, even in a place like Boise. The university graduates there still go outside of state after college to find work. There are jobs in Boise, but they don't pay a lot unless you're in a highly specialized profession. Cost of living compared to Portland would still be lower, like housing for example.
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Old 05-23-2014, 10:39 AM
 
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Economy = no to Montana

I think SLC is warmer in winter than Boise. Due to economy, SLC and Boise are the only two cities that are actually on your list.
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