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Old 11-25-2009, 01:35 AM
 
26 posts, read 123,564 times
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Hi all,

I recently interviewed for jobs in both Rapid City SD and Jackson WY and Lord Almighty I was offered one job on the spot and the other a few days later. Now I've got to make a decision in terms of where to go! So what are the key differences between these two towns? Are there big differences in amenities, lifestyle, quality of life? What's it like living in each town? I can read the facts online, but I'd much prefer to hear it from actual human beings.

I've never been to Jackson but I have been to Rapid City (albeit very briefly) and I was quite surprised at how lovely the Rapid City area was. Of course I was there in the height of summer and it was beautiful weather. I've been told by friends that I would love Jackson, and while I've been to quite a few places in WY, I've never managed to make it to Jackson. I found the rest of WY nice, but I'm not sure I'm in love with it and I understand each city/town is different from another, hence why I'm asking about Jackson in this post. I'm originally from San Diego, but I've lived in Utah and Colorado for the last 7 years and really loved it. I'm not currently married, but I do have a little one and so I'd like a family friendly town, a safe town. Not Mayberry or anything like that, but a place with enough resources to make family life convenient. Good schools are always a big plus and I'd like a place with a little culture; I'm not talking about art galleries and opera houses, but a little something nice every so often is always a good thing in my opinion.

And how's the winter weather in these places? As I said, I've lived in the Mountain West for sometime now and I'm quite used to both snow and cold weather, but I hear these stories about the extreme harshness of both SD and WY winters and I can't believe they can be so much worse than Rocky Mountain winters, right? Maybe I'm completely off target, and if so, hopefully someone on this board can help set me straight. Thanks, thanks!
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
1,372 posts, read 2,594,675 times
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They're probably quite a bit worse than say, Utah or Colorado winters.
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:31 PM
 
1,645 posts, read 3,190,393 times
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If given the choice between the two, I would probably take South Dakota, although I'm not sure about the weather. I know Wyoming and Montana can get bitter cold, but that's a great region otherwise (I loathe cold weather as well). South Dakota would probably be a bit more interesting long-term though. MT > SD > WY.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:18 PM
 
Location: STL
1,124 posts, read 3,225,044 times
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I briefly spent time in both cities during the summer on vacation... If it was my choice, I'd choose Jackson, WY. Here is an excerpt from a previous post of mine about my observations of Jackson, WY, after spending an afternoon their.

We went to downtown Jackson to get groceries for our trip and I couldn't help but like Jackson's vibe. It seemed really diverse and the mountains in the background were great, too. Also, for a town of only 8,000, downtown was very quaint and suprisingly big.

From walking the streets of downtown and in the grocery store, I found the women very attractive. Granted most of them were probably tourists, but still, when I thought of Wyoming, I never really thought of supermodels .
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:39 PM
 
Location: IN
20,846 posts, read 35,927,262 times
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South Dakota. Wyoming is a little too desolate.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
608 posts, read 811,818 times
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I'd take Rapid City over Jackson, WY any day. Jackson is beautiful, but is very expensive and isolated. Without tourism, Jackson would be a troubled town in this economy. Rapid on the other hand is more than just a tourist destination. Along with the Black Hills, there's tons of shopping and restaraunt choices, Deadwood (gambling), interstate highways, and numerous hunting and fishing areas near city limits. That's my take anyway, and no disrespect intended towards the people of Wyoming.
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,143 posts, read 19,184,528 times
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Personally, I like the area around Jackson a lot, but you'd better be taking a job with REALLY good salary to live there. Jackson itself is a tourist hell-hole and property is insanely expensive. But if you like mountains, hunting and hiking there are few places in the world that can beat it.
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:11 PM
 
26 posts, read 123,564 times
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Wow, shows how much I know about Wyoming. I thought it would be rather inexpensive to live anywhere in that state compared to cost of living in San Diego, but having read these posts and doing a little internet research of my own, I can see I was a bit mistaken on that point. How's the real estate in Rapid City? I'm not looking for a huge place, there aren't that many of us in my family. And someone mentioned Montana as being first on their list of places to go, something like MT>SD>WY. Where in Montana are we talking about? I work in a field that allows me a lot of options in terms of location, I would just need to find a position, apply and cross my fingers, but to be honest I hadn't really considered Montana...I'd love to add it to the list, if I had some idea of a good place in Montana to add. Any suggestions?

Now in terms of lifestyle, which has more to offer in terms of 'normal life'? (I know, 'normal life' is a vague statement, but I mean it as a good quality of life, nice sense of community, etc.) I read that Jackson is pretty touristy and a bit isolated, but Rapid City, if I recall, isn't exactly super close to anything. I mean it is a larger city (by far) but it's still kind of out there, yes? Does Rapid City have better schools? Is Jackson not terribly family oriented because of it's tourism emphasis? And how cold are we talking about here? Because I thought winters in Northern Utah were COLD. Like pretty darn cold.
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Old 11-27-2009, 10:24 PM
 
3,970 posts, read 11,824,145 times
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Jackson is prettier, closer to the mountains, and is a resort town. Much more expensive.

Rapid City is also scenic, (most don't realize that W. South Dakota is mountainous), more isolated, but less expensive.

The economies of both states have been doing better than the country as a whole. That's a wash.

Rapid City is warmer year-round, only because Jackson is higher in elevation.

Jackson is hipper and more fun than RC.

Guess you need to determine what elements are most important for you.
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Old 11-28-2009, 07:26 PM
 
Location: IN
20,846 posts, read 35,927,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalimara View Post
Wow, shows how much I know about Wyoming. I thought it would be rather inexpensive to live anywhere in that state compared to cost of living in San Diego, but having read these posts and doing a little internet research of my own, I can see I was a bit mistaken on that point. How's the real estate in Rapid City? I'm not looking for a huge place, there aren't that many of us in my family. And someone mentioned Montana as being first on their list of places to go, something like MT>SD>WY. Where in Montana are we talking about? I work in a field that allows me a lot of options in terms of location, I would just need to find a position, apply and cross my fingers, but to be honest I hadn't really considered Montana...I'd love to add it to the list, if I had some idea of a good place in Montana to add. Any suggestions?

Now in terms of lifestyle, which has more to offer in terms of 'normal life'? (I know, 'normal life' is a vague statement, but I mean it as a good quality of life, nice sense of community, etc.) I read that Jackson is pretty touristy and a bit isolated, but Rapid City, if I recall, isn't exactly super close to anything. I mean it is a larger city (by far) but it's still kind of out there, yes? Does Rapid City have better schools? Is Jackson not terribly family oriented because of it's tourism emphasis? And how cold are we talking about here? Because I thought winters in Northern Utah were COLD. Like pretty darn cold.
Rapid City offers the best amount of amenities and outdoor activities at a moderate price tag. It is a bit isolated, but has all the basics covered.
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