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Old 03-09-2013, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
550 posts, read 1,107,788 times
Reputation: 650

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Wolf View Post
The trouble with most of those nice small towns is finding employment.

If there was employment, they wouldn't be small anymore.
Exactly.

The town I live in has about 9,000 people. When the biggest factory in town closed down it really affected the local economy. My wife likes it here and doesn't want to move. But her commute to work is just over a mile. The only job I could find with my degree was 60 miles away from home. So, yeah I really want to move one day.
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Old 03-09-2013, 09:42 PM
Status: "All in all, you're just another brick in the wall" (set 22 days ago)
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
5,086 posts, read 4,576,155 times
Reputation: 10980
Quote:
Originally Posted by civic94 View Post
If i can have a decent house, dont have to worry about money, and commute to work in 2 minutes, its good.
I imagine that everyone would be attracted to a place - large or small - which offered those amenities!

To answer your question, I think much depends on a town's location and whether it has more than one or two major employers. I live in a small, isolated town in the far SW corner of Colorado. The major industries here are agricultural (we're the pinto bean capitol of the world!) and tourism, since the town is located near some of the most beautiful National Parks in the country.

Unfortunately, drought and the recession have hit us hard. Hay is going for the staggering price of $300.00/ton, making it very difficult for individual ranchers and farmers around here. For several summers now, people from the US haven't wanted to spend the gas money to drive so far out of the way to visit our chief attraction, Mesa Verde National Park. It's been the tourists from Europe who have helped us hang on. And with all the economic problems the EU has been having, I wonder what that will do to the number of European travelers who arrive each summer.

And then there's the sequester. I'n not interested in arguing the politics of it, but the uncertainty it has caused makes people in this region nervous. Will the National Parks have reduced hours due to funding cuts? Will some of them even have to close? Or will it just be business as usual? If tourists decide to go elsewhere due to less access to the Parks, our small town is going to take a very heavy hit.

Someone posted just yesterday on the Colorado forum that she had decided to change her plans to visit Mesa Verde because she didn't like all the uncertainty. Hopefully, that was just one person's isolated comment - not indicative of the feelings of the majority of those planning their vacations this year.

Yes, THIS small town is having a very hard time.
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Old 03-09-2013, 10:37 PM
 
Location: IN
21,101 posts, read 36,592,204 times
Reputation: 13653
Small towns are facing increasing economic headwinds all the time, so unless the town offers certain amenities that attract people with monied interests it will remain an uphill battle to attract the right mixture of entrepreunrial people who desire to live in such a place.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:44 AM
 
1,020 posts, read 2,878,922 times
Reputation: 583
Quote:
Originally Posted by High_Plains_Retired View Post
I've seen small towns on the Texas High Plains come and go. That scenario doesn't seem likely to change.
when you said "come and go" do you mean by towns disappearing, where homes become abandoned, or is it just everyone is broke, and their homes get foreclosed, so they live in a motel or find somewhere else to live?

the small town that i lived in when I was in college, the college was its main source of employment, and also, the gas stations, barber shop, car repair shop, restaurants, grocery store, motel, etc, all catered to the college. if the college went, i can imagine every business will do down except for the grocery store that accepts food stamps, and the motel, as the town was about 30 miles away from another small city.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:51 AM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,925,002 times
Reputation: 3083
Read the book "Miles from nowhere" - it is a great overview of counties in the USA with <2 people per square mile population density. Small towns mostly linger, they are neither dead nor alive.

As for telecommuting from a small town: in Europe the Internet is considered a utility and the governments there heavily subsidized its spread EVERYWHERE, even to the smallest, tiniest places. In United States, if it doesn't make profit, the telcos are not interested in it.

I live a mile or two from a town of 3000 people, 12 miles from a town of 50,000 with a huge State University and 40 miles SW of Austin, TX - the tech hub of the country. Guess what, the only offering in my area is wireless internet. Often unstable, speeds are all over the place, dies a lot. My phone (4G LTE) does not have great connection speeds either, it is only 3G in this area. My employer is happy for me to work from home but how exactly am I supposed to do that?

OD
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:48 AM
 
5,876 posts, read 5,354,986 times
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I don't think it ever has been or ever will be accurate to say "all small towns in America are dying".

It depends on what natural resources are needed at any point in time and where they are (small towns in central and western ND are in a gigantic boom phase now)

It depends on whatever moon regional economies are in at any given moment (with the current stability of the farm economy lots of midwestern small towns are doing really well. It's educational to see where Merrill Lynch offices are located!)

It depends on how close the "small town" is to a big city (lots of people on this forum complain about city people turning their small towns into overpriced bedroom commuter towns)

It depends on what area is the cool new place to be (I never know what is "hip", but other people seem to. Tiny houses and frugal living are a current trend that some small towns are riding.)

Someone else already noted that the fates of small towns ebb and flow and always have, and I agree. Economies change, needs change, wants change.

With the large number of people on CD searching for that mythical "Mayberry", I think there will always be people who choose small town life, no matter what the economic or environmental circumstances.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:49 PM
 
12,683 posts, read 17,008,681 times
Reputation: 24548
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluff_Dweller View Post
It's hard to live rural with the gas prices so high.
Lol! Inflation caught up with me the day I retired. I retired about the same time as you but I do agree that gas prices also keep me at home a lot. Sometimes my F150 stays parked in the barn a week or two before I go anywhere. When I do go somewhere, I have to first wash off all the dust and cat footprints. The good part is I don't have to change oil or tires often. And too, sometimes any tractor work I need to do has to be delayed because I can't keep gas in the gas tanks because this new gas goes bad very quickly. Even my old antique tractors, which will nearly run on kerosene, won't run on old modern gasoline.

Yes, our small local grocery, that was about 3.5 miles away, just closed its doors. We have only an expensive convenience store if you don't want to drive 40 miles to the city. The convenience store carries gas and diesel but gas is usually $0.20/gallon higher than most of the area. My closest lake is about 60 miles away and it is only a reservoir which is typical for Texas.

Yet, I've lived in a couple of major cities. I much prefer high gas prices over high traffic and crime rates.

Last edited by High_Plains_Retired; 03-10-2013 at 12:58 PM..
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:03 PM
 
1,472 posts, read 2,029,820 times
Reputation: 1152
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdwell View Post
Yes many are. Unless a town has something special to attract retirees such as a lake or mountain, they just decay and decline a little more each day when mills shut down and poverty overtakes. I could name many many towns in that shape; ones that I drive through daily. Really sad.
I have a House by one Small Town on Interstate which is thriving because of this.And a Cabin by a Small Town on a Large C.O.E. Lake actually between two Large Lakes but no Industry.

Both get a Great Economic boost durring warm weather because of Lakes and River and some durring Firearms Deer Season.

brushrunner
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:14 PM
 
1,472 posts, read 2,029,820 times
Reputation: 1152
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado Rambler View Post
I imagine that everyone would be attracted to a place - large or small - which offered those amenities!

To answer your question, I think much depends on a town's location and whether it has more than one or two major employers. I live in a small, isolated town in the far SW corner of Colorado. The major industries here are agricultural (we're the pinto bean capitol of the world!) and tourism, since the town is located near some of the most beautiful National Parks in the country.

Unfortunately, drought and the recession have hit us hard. Hay is going for the staggering price of $300.00/ton, making it very difficult for individual ranchers and farmers around here. For several summers now, people from the US haven't wanted to spend the gas money to drive so far out of the way to visit our chief attraction, Mesa Verde National Park. It's been the tourists from Europe who have helped us hang on. And with all the economic problems the EU has been having, I wonder what that will do to the number of European travelers who arrive each summer.

And then there's the sequester. I'n not interested in arguing the politics of it, but the uncertainty it has caused makes people in this region nervous. Will the National Parks have reduced hours due to funding cuts? Will some of them even have to close? Or will it just be business as usual? If tourists decide to go elsewhere due to less access to the Parks, our small town is going to take a very heavy hit.

Someone posted just yesterday on the Colorado forum that she had decided to change her plans to visit Mesa Verde because she didn't like all the uncertainty. Hopefully, that was just one person's isolated comment - not indicative of the feelings of the majority of those planning their vacations this year.

Yes, THIS small town is having a very hard time.
I moved to Salida because my BIL said there was all kinds of Jobs there.Well there wasGood Jobs but I wasn't the right race.I did get a Job as a Photographer and my wife worked cleaning Motel Rooms.

brushrunner
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,146 posts, read 50,304,308 times
Reputation: 19849
Most of the mills in this state have closed. One pulp mill operating can support a fairly large town, and a great many surrounding small towns.

Our town has one store-front business, the men gather there every Wednesday morning for coffee. My Dw calls it our Mayberry barbershop.

We have two seasonal construction companies here in town. Both of them combined dont have more than 6 or 8 employees, and neither of them have any employees that live here.

Are small towns dying? Some are, some are not.
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