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View Poll Results: Which do you prefer?
Tampa, FL 6 26.09%
Omaha, NE 17 73.91%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-15-2009, 11:44 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
6 posts, read 11,991 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello everyone,

I just received a job offer in Omaha, NE, and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestion or knowledge on its comparison to Tampa, FL? We just moved to Tampa this September and we love it for the most part....nice weather, beaches, amusement parks, no state income tax, etc. However, it does have its downfalls: high insurance, long commutes/traffic, tolls, and higher cost of living. My husband and I are both from Kansas City originally and our family is still there. We are wanting to start trying for a baby soon and are thinking that it would be nice to be closer to family. I have only been to Omaha as a child and my husband has never been. Any suggestions, insight, or personal experiences would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2009, 03:47 AM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
13,891 posts, read 19,073,459 times
Reputation: 9094
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortcake3210 View Post
Hello everyone,

I just received a job offer in Omaha, NE, and I was wondering if anyone has any suggestion or knowledge on its comparison to Tampa, FL? We just moved to Tampa this September and we love it for the most part....nice weather, beaches, amusement parks, no state income tax, etc. However, it does have its downfalls: high insurance, long commutes/traffic, tolls, and higher cost of living. My husband and I are both from Kansas City originally and our family is still there. We are wanting to start trying for a baby soon and are thinking that it would be nice to be closer to family. I have only been to Omaha as a child and my husband has never been. Any suggestions, insight, or personal experiences would be highly appreciated. Thanks!
Seeing as how I left Omaha for the Tampa area (not voluntarily, mind you) I think I'm pretty qualified to comment on this issue.

Omaha and Tampa are pretty comparable cities. They are both fairly compact, have solid entertainment options and nightlife and good city government/services.

Pros for Omaha:

- Larger population
- Cost of living is around 30%-40% less than Tampa.
- World-class zoo, College World Series...etc.
- Rapidly improving downtown area.
- Friendly people for the most part.
- Supports local businesses.
- Strong sense of community.
- Better job opportunities
- Great schools

Cons for Omaha:

- Lack of amusement parks.
- Snow
- Tornadoes
- Not much in the way of watersports

Pros for Tampa:

- Very scenic with the water and beaches.
- Downtown area is pretty well established.
- Awesome nightlife with Ybor City, Channelside, downtown. Baywalk in St. Pete is close by.
- Lots of outdoor activities.
- Professional sports.

Cons for Tampa:

- Traffic. Enough said.
- Labor laws. Employers can pretty much do whatever the hell they want to you. Employees have very little protection.
- Job Market. The recession has hit Tampa pretty hard and jobs are harder to come by.
- Cost of living is pretty high.
- Schools. With a few exceptions, to say they suck here would be rather kind.
- Hurricanes.

Tie:

-
Lots to keep you busy in both cities.
- Crime is pretty comparable across the board and average for cities their size.
- Both cities are more family focused. Tampa is not a tourist town like Miami/Ft. Lauderdale.
- Both cities are relatively handicapped by the surrounding, more conservative governments. The Nebraska state government and the Hillsborough County Commission keep Omaha and Tampa, respectively, from reaching their full potential.
- Strong military presence. Omaha has Offutt AFB and Tampa has MacDill AFB. Both are very key installations for our military.

Again, overall both cities are pretty much alike and great places to live. The deciding factor for you will be the weather I presume. You won't get the year round beautiful weather and you'll have to deal with snow. Also, you'll lose some nightlife going to Omaha. Omaha does have plenty of nightlife itself, but Tampa's is certainly better. If you can tolerate the weather and nightlife change, I feel you can transition to Omaha with great ease.

Now I'm sure you're wondering about my story. I was born in Omaha back in 86 and lived there until 96 when we moved across the river into Council Bluffs. My parents were both scuba divers and wanted to move to Florida for years. They only stayed because I was born and they didn't want to move me from my grandparents. By the time 2002 came around all but one of my grandparents were deceased and my dad's health was getting bad, so we finally moved down to Belleair Bluffs over here in Pinellas County. Since then we bounced around to Largo and now Clearwater.

I'm moving back to Omaha ASAP, which will hopefully be next year. My dad passed away in June of 2006 and after that I decided to become a police officer. After 2 years of having no luck finding a job with a department here, I found myself getting increasingly home sick and my younger brother getting ready to graduate, so I'm not needed as much at home for stability...and that's when I decided to head back to Omaha, provided I get hired with Omaha Police.

Now, I really love Tampa. It's an awesome city. But I absolutely H-A-T-E the rest of this area, especially Pinellas County (minus some of St. Pete). It's all a sprawling, suburban wasteland here and that drives me nuts. Pinellas County Schools are bottom of the barrel. Honestly, had we moved to Tampa I probably would have been fine, but that's not how it happened.

Also, Florida is a horrible state for anyone wanting to be a police officer unless you have military experience. In this area, you have to spend several thousand dollars to put yourself through the police academy and THEN try to find someone to hire you. Most places will turn you away unless you have military, college, or previous experience. Tampa PD is a top notch agency, but their pay is very high and they offer great benefits so everyone in Florida wants to work for them. The competition is fierce and I just don't stand a chance at this point in my life.

Omaha PD is also a top notch agency, but being in the midwest the competition is not nearly as fierce, plus I would be trained by the department, earning a salary throughout the academy.

So that's my take on the two cities and a little backstory so you can understand why I'm choosing Omaha over Tampa now. If you need anything, feel free to get in touch with me.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:56 PM
 
6 posts, read 11,537 times
Reputation: 10
What ever happened to quality of life? Yes Omaha is a good place to raise a family simply because its safe thats it. There is no culture! If you consider a small art scene culture a couple museums and galleries then yes but I'm talking about the people. The people here are very nieve and ignorant. They have no experience with different races, and different cultures. There is only Latin and African American here and its very segregated. All the restaurants and bars close a 1am people get married very young and the youth are very bored which explains the increase in violence of late. Its a very red state which makes it very conservative and bland there is no energy here.

First of all lets discuss the options in Florida. You can road trip to several significant cities within the state Orlando, Miami, Fort Lauderdale! You have the beach, pro teams, and beautiful weather! It was freezing in Omaha this winter like - 10 below zero. New York is a two hour plane ride, no rust, no pot holes, and constant construction due to the severe weather changes. Shopping, there is no Macy's or Saks in Omaha just cheap chain stores.

Its a beautiful thing when you have a dinner party and all of your friends are from a different part of the world its what living is all about!!
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Downtown Omaha
1,362 posts, read 4,192,394 times
Reputation: 526
Yeah that extra 40 minutes on a plane to NYC is really the deal breaker.

There is culture here but just because it's not NYC or LA doesn't make it any less. I was talking with a guy originally from NYC but now living in Tampa who was in Omaha a few weeks ago for work and he said he would prefer Omaha to Tampa. He said he sees a lot more potential here in Omaha over Tampa.

I've never been to Tampa but Omaha can certainly hold it's own against most places in the country.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
13,891 posts, read 19,073,459 times
Reputation: 9094
Quote:
Originally Posted by artdealer View Post
What ever happened to quality of life? Yes Omaha is a good place to raise a family simply because its safe thats it. There is no culture! If you consider a small art scene culture a couple museums and galleries then yes but I'm talking about the people. The people here are very nieve and ignorant. They have no experience with different races, and different cultures. There is only Latin and African American here and its very segregated. All the restaurants and bars close a 1am people get married very young and the youth are very bored which explains the increase in violence of late. Its a very red state which makes it very conservative and bland there is no energy here.
There is no more culture in Tampa than Omaha really. Instead of having a culture influenced by white western settlers, you have a latin culture due to the spanish explorers who originally settled in the Tampa area. Tampa is also just as segregated, if not more so than Omaha, so that doesn't carry any weight.

Also, as I've remarked many times on this forum, I made friends of other races and ethnic groups much easier in Omaha than I have in Tampa.

Besides, "culture" is overrated.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Omaha
2,716 posts, read 6,202,649 times
Reputation: 1220
Bosco, culture snobs don't consider anything of white ethnic origin as culture. Culture snobs are usually people who grew up struggling to make friends and fit in, therefore they use that as a tool to excuse themselves from typical American society.

That post contradicted itself saying Omaha is safe, yet violent. We have NO experiences with different cultures, yet there are Latinos and African Americans here. Also, whoever wrote that seems to have an education level in par with a jr high child.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
13,891 posts, read 19,073,459 times
Reputation: 9094
Quote:
Originally Posted by burgerflipper View Post
Bosco, culture snobs don't consider anything of white ethnic origin as culture. Culture snobs are usually people who grew up struggling to make friends and fit in, therefore they use that as a tool to excuse themselves from typical American society.

That post contradicted itself saying Omaha is safe, yet violent. We have NO experiences with different cultures, yet there are Latinos and African Americans here. Also, whoever wrote that seems to have an education level in par with a jr high child.
That's pretty much it.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:22 PM
 
6 posts, read 11,537 times
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Everyone keeps saying Omaha can hold its own against like Chicago or Phoenix. Look, I'm from Omaha to say that culture is overrated is only relevant if your not ethnic. If you are Asian, Latin, black, or Spanish its quite lonely here. Being segregated by neighborhood is allot different then the people being segregated and I mean segregated by interests. Omaha has along way to go! I see the appeal its easy, its cheap, but it's boring. There are things to do here but its very mainstream.

But if you want to raise a family in a safe comfortable environment Omaha is for you. If you want good nightlife, good weather, and more options Omaha is not for you.

Above all Bosco55David have you forgotten about the freezing weather!
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
13,891 posts, read 19,073,459 times
Reputation: 9094
Quote:
Originally Posted by artdealer View Post
Everyone keeps saying Omaha can hold its own against like Chicago or Phoenix. Look, I'm from Omaha to say that culture is overrated is only relevant if your not ethnic. If you are Asian, Latin, black, or Spanish its quite lonely here. Being segregated by neighborhood is allot different then the people being segregated and I mean segregated by interests. Omaha has along way to go! I see the appeal its easy, its cheap, but it's boring. There are things to do here but its very mainstream.
Are you ethnic? If not, I don't think you really have standing to comment on how lonely the minorities are. I knew lots of minorities in Omaha who did fine because they *GASP* made friends with white people as well as other minorities!

Quote:
But if you want to raise a family in a safe comfortable environment Omaha is for you. If you want good nightlife, good weather, and more options Omaha is not for you.
Omaha has plenty of nightlife.

Quote:
Above all Bosco55David have you forgotten about the freezing weather!
Umm, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosco55David
Cons for Omaha:

- Lack of amusement parks.
- Snow
- Tornadoes
- Not much in the way of watersports
Personally, I don't mind the snow. I like snow for the most part, and I like having all 4 seasons.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Omaha
2,716 posts, read 6,202,649 times
Reputation: 1220
Quote:
Originally Posted by artdealer View Post
Everyone keeps saying Omaha can hold its own against like Chicago or Phoenix. Look, I'm from Omaha to say that culture is overrated is only relevant if your not ethnic. If you are Asian, Latin, black, or Spanish its quite lonely here. Being segregated by neighborhood is allot different then the people being segregated and I mean segregated by interests. Omaha has along way to go! I see the appeal its easy, its cheap, but it's boring. There are things to do here but its very mainstream.

But if you want to raise a family in a safe comfortable environment Omaha is for you. If you want good nightlife, good weather, and more options Omaha is not for you.

Above all Bosco55David have you forgotten about the freezing weather!
Whoa! Way to backtrack. Ok, so now there is significant "white" culture. But white culture is boring?

I also don't think anyone has EVER said Omaha can hold it's own against Chicago or Phoenix. I think anyone here - without an agenda - knows "hold it's own" means for cities it's size.

I've been to Tampa, and the only real difference I noticed was an Ocean and relatively warm weather in December.

I definitely suggest you visit and draw a conclusion for yourself. I certainly wouldn't make a life altering decision based on someone who expects a metro of 840,000 to be a global bread basket.

That also goes back to Bosco's point, how relevent to quality of life is diversity? Really, your life is as good as you make it, regarless if your neighbor to your left is from Kenya or your neighbor to the right is from Peru.
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