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Old 01-07-2007, 07:37 AM
Location: mid wyoming
1,975 posts, read 5,717,107 times
Reputation: 1771


I would like to add my thoughts to this. My family moved to Wyoming in the winter of 1974. In the Oil Boom and the end of the Uranium Boom. We got there and did enjoy the boom. Good money, housing shortage, everybody had fun and did well. In 1982 when the Bust was really going strong.With company closing, bankruptcys, ect. I witnessed people with no jobs leaving the state by the hundreds. We had a joke going around then. With the closing of companies, mines, stores, ect. "Don't lend nobody money, they will lose their job and use it to leave." Towns in the state had thousands of empty houses. Just like in the movies. In casper the unemployment reached 14% at it's worst. The state barely existed, uranium mining died, oilpatch was on it's knees, coal was doing o.k. But the rest of the jobs of the state did horrible. The state mainly exists on the mineral industry, ranching, tourists. Companies looked past Wyoming as a place to open new projects in. The state did as best as it could and the new boom that started a couple of years ago is on. Remember this. There will be a bust. The mineral industry will go back in survival mode and people will lose incomes. The trickle down effect will happen to all jobs, in the state.The world will have a temporary answer to the energy shortage again. You will have better opportunities in other parts of the U.S. So you can go. You will not have any way to survive at the high paying jobs you will be used to. But you will heve the bills for sure.
I was good enough to have a job through the bust. It meant moving at my employers whim, taking a lesser paying/position at the company, working overseas, or whatever I had to do to keep the job.Through buyouts, mergers, takeovers, ect. I finally got tired of the work ethics of companies that I had been with and seen other people work for. I left in late 2004. I will be back in the state when I can afford to live on either lesser wages. Meaning paid off house, vehicle, ect. When I get there. Or my own business like I have in Tennessee. I plan on moving back in the bust, it should be in about 8 years. Unless the state legislatures get their heads out of their butts. And diverisfy the state to spread out the dependence of monies from the mineral industry. To other parts of it's economy. The ranchers and mineral industry have had a strangle hold on the legislative people of Wyoming forever. So that will probably continue. Good Luck! I will see what's left when I get back.
I'm sure this will envoke alot of replies. Great! I been there and done that!!! My friends and the people of Wyoming before you got there will agree with ME.
Most of you are used to things like medical care, 24 hour gas stations, going only 10 or 20 miles to get to the next town, shopping malls within easy driving, concerts, and such as life can be in more populated parts of the country. If you don't find what you want you just go to the next town and find it. Well in wyoming you won't find medical care at every town, sometimes you may have to drive for hours to get it. Gas stations 24 hour maybe but don't count on it. Have gas in the tank to get where your going and then some,oh take a spare tire, keep it full of air. Shopping malls, maybe. It may also be at the whim of the local merchants, ha ha. This can be terrible. Most malls are in large wyoming towns, can be hours away for the drive. Concerts, bands are going between denver and billings and saltlake. Catch them while you can. Your going to have to learn to think for yourselves.
Some of you will not like this letter, o.k. Some will think it's a personal attack, o.k. Some will just think I'm trying to keep you out of the state, o.k. Some will like it, here too o.k.
But remember it is a state like no other, has grand things, great places to see and go. Great people and animals. Don't spoil it, try to meld to the natives already there. Don't show up and change it to what your leaving behind in your state.
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:34 AM
10,630 posts, read 39,408,004 times
Reputation: 13342
I'd second most of the above post.

The only folks who can survive this cyclical situation are those with independent incomes, or those who have been here long enough that they are still on the lower cost cycle of a previous housing/land boom, just hanging on.

The Wyoming places that are the most desirable for views, scenic beauty, and tourism are expensive. Most of the idyllic places ... you're thinking small town, small economy, low costs similar to those small out of the way places in high density population states ... have been bought up by out of state weathy people ever since the 1930's, and used as their personal playground (hunting, fishing, gentleman ranching, etc).

FWIW, the same is true of much of the west in New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana ... the really desirable areas and productive ranch/farm land was quietly bought up a long time ago in large parcels by Eastern old money seeking recreational opportunities remote from their Adirondack summer homes and coastal compounds and all the other places that are associated with the ultra-wealthy set back East. The big ranches are not sold piecemeal today, they're still big places. When they sell, it may not be for an outrageous cost per acre, but there's enough acreage it comes up in the multi-million $ range far in excess of it's productive capacity.

For the most part, the only other people with good land parcels around here are the ones whose families homesteaded 3-4 generations ago (and paid the personal price to do so and survive in this harsh place) in the 1880's or came from outside affluence for the cattle/sheep economy of that era. Wyoming was a center of "remittance men" from the British Isles, who came for the cattle biz, for example.

The best prospect for Wyoming permanent jobs paying above average incomes are the government sector. You'd best be close to a GS-12 to make it here, and two household incomes are just about needed if you're going to purchase acreage and that idyliic privacy and land to call your own.

Even today, go to the downtown commercial section of any Wyoming city (remember, our largest handfull are only 50,000 people!), and you'll see all the vacant storefronts today from magnificent (well, that's kinda relative) brick and stone buildings from a previous boom era. And the empty lots where buildings have been razed. It's the same thing in a lot of towns ... business start up costs may be prohibitive when coupled with the cost of trying to live nearby.

Perhaps I can put this in perspective for you out-of-staters in a more general concept. If I told you that I wanted to relocate to Martha's Vineyard, or Marblehead, or Naples, or Newport, or Hilton Head, or Little Moose Lake, or Darien ... and have scenic views and acreage and a nice little house and some privacy, would you think that's possible on a modest wage? That's what you're asking to do in Wyoming. This state has been a playground for the wealthy for many years, and they're buying up the private lands around the public (Wyoming is about 50% public lands!) lands and landlocking them away from the rest of us.

There's other significant issues here, too. Those of you from areas with lots of natural water cannot begin to fathom that most of Wyoming is a high altitude desert. Our forests aren't thickly wooded with hardwoods, and there aren't a lot of year round rivers and streams and creeks flowing everywhere across your land. Much of the state is very rocky "soil". You can fly over the remote ranches and see where the green lies ... where they have water .... and where the edge of water exists, it brown except for a little bloom in the spring with the snow melt. Water is a key aspect of survival and economic productivity and scenery, and most of the state doesn't have much. Where there's more water, the land prices are the highest.

Water law here is quite different from the rest of the country. The state owns all the water, and has awarded it's use all the way back in the 1880's. If you're lucky enough to have a stream running through your property, you may have no right to it except the view. In our recent drought, water rights have still been enforced at the point of a shovel in many places.

It's been a harsh place since it was first settled, and remains so.
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Old 01-07-2007, 05:39 PM
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
35 posts, read 143,215 times
Reputation: 16
ok... i was suppost to be moving to the casper, wyoming area in march of 07 and i have now changed my mind! what i thought was going to be a great place to live, has now become somewhere i never want to live. i was looking foward to moving to the area, but now after reading your two post, i have changed my mind.
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Old 01-07-2007, 07:55 PM
Location: Cody WY Off Of Belfry Hwy
721 posts, read 2,709,311 times
Reputation: 211
Thanks for the posts.It is great info to have....sort of a reality check for some. This isn't the first time I have seen posts with regard to the energy boom, but it's nice to see it put this way.
Lots of areas of the country have cyclical times Amanda. Just make sure your prepared, and try not to be in debt when it happens. That will be the time if you have the money to buy properties by the boatload for almost nothing, and then when the economy picks up, you're good (sounds good in theory). In my case, I plan to not have a house payment, or at least a very small one, when I make my move. Don't be scared, just be prepared.
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:12 PM
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,173 posts, read 14,635,102 times
Reputation: 7888
Default Thank you!

I admit that I am used to modern city conveniences, like 24-hour drug stores and markets, the ability to buy alcohol wherever and whenever I choose, the ability to choose from more than ten different Target stores within a 20 mile radius, and so on. I've often wondered if I would do well at all in a remote area of Wyoming or Montana. I could learn to be more self-sufficient, but how happy would I be? The weather alone is enough to make me pause, quite honestly.

On the other hand, next door to my apartment is a family who screams at each other in Spanish day and night. On my other side is a woman who bangs on the wall at 8:00 at night if my son is making the least bit of noise in his bedroom. I can't afford to move from my apartment complex because it's under rent control. I'd have to pay $400 more per month with no guarantee that I'd have better neighbors.

I don't know where I'll end up, and there is a lot of time for me to look as I'm putting two kids through college at the moment and have no money to move anywhere! However, I can certainly appreciate this information. It helps me make a more informed decision and get a better, clearer picture of what life in Wyoming is like.
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Old 01-07-2007, 08:55 PM
2,630 posts, read 3,452,196 times
Reputation: 928
well there are many reasons to move to wyoming......getting rich likely isnt one of them.most of the state doesnt look anything like it does in the movies.most of the boom areas are in the least scenic[in most peoples eyes]parts of the state.i think its one of the best states in the country to live in and i like it better than any place ive lived.....but a lot of people who move here will suffer a real culture shock.its not a good place for those who dont like to "make their own fun"movies,shopping,etc.are very limited compared to most other places ive been in the country.if you like wide spaces and dont mind driving a lot wyoming may be for you.husbands seem to like it better then wives do.housing costs have gotten crazy in many areas of the state but thats true in many areas of the country.when the latest boom goes bust ,if you really like it there you will find a way to stay there.if you're just there for the money you will leave and hopefully will have learned a usefull skill you can use elsewhere.many will leave even if they are making good money because its not a place that appeals to a lot of people and thats been true throughout history.go out,visit the scenic areas,but go spend some time in places like gillette,wamsutter,rawlins,or rocksprings and see if they appeal to you.....before you commit to a move.most people ive known who've lived or live in wyoming feel pretty strongly ....they either love it or hate it.i could spend the rest of my life there and happily never leave the state while my first wife would likely go a thousand miles out of her way to never cross the border again.goodluck
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:11 PM
Location: upstate NY, looking to move west
24 posts, read 96,199 times
Reputation: 14
Question Still the place for us!!

Well we are making our maiden trip there after my daughter's graduation party in July, for a 10-14 day stay to see what we think. We are hoping for find a camp site or two in the Buffalo area to check things out. We have looked at a lot of web sites about the area and found some affordable houses and apartments for rent. We are only bringing my 12 year old to move with us as my other 3, 18 & older, think we are crazy. So does the 12 year old daughter but she will get over it. My husband has been in contact with the Wy Dept of Trans and they encouraged him to send in an application with his experience and they assured him that he would probably not start at the bottom of the pay scale. He is hoping to get a job out of the Sheridan area, doesn't look like much of a drive from Buffalo.

The shopping and isolation thing are not going to bother me as I love crafts and reading and am not a big shopaholic. Hope to find a job cooking or managing somewhere as I was a manager of a Pizza Hut here, but also had our own bar/reataurant for 4 years as well.

I am thinking that maybe we should just rent for awhile and see what the boom does and see were the housing costs go with it, any thoughts?? If my husband gets the job there, we are there for the duration and can afford to wait and see if things come back to a real price. Real estate seems retty steep there now compared to our prices here in upstate NY.

My husband also wants to know about pistol permits there. Do you have to get one to carry? and how expensive are they if so? He loves to hunt and fish and is ever so anxious to get there to just see the wildlife and I just can not wait for a change in scenery and family or lack of ha ha ha.
thanks for everything, Peggy
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:16 PM
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,813 posts, read 11,709,498 times
Reputation: 2000001255
Shadowwalker's post is brilliant. I don't see it as telling people not to come, I see it as an educational overview of fairly recent history and business cycles, along with some idiosynchrasies pertaining only to Wyoming and his message is in my view:
Come if you've got plans and a job and a good reason, but come with your eyes OPEN.
That sounds pretty reasonable to me.
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Old 01-07-2007, 11:50 PM
Location: Cody WY Off Of Belfry Hwy
721 posts, read 2,709,311 times
Reputation: 211
Originally Posted by Hapetoo View Post
My husband also wants to know about pistol permits there. Do you have to get one to carry? and how expensive are they if so? He loves to hunt and fish and is ever so anxious to get there to just see the wildlife and I just can not wait for a change in scenery and family or lack of ha ha ha.
thanks for everything, Peggy
See this post. It talks about the CCW

Is Wyoming a "Shall issue" CCW state?
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Old 01-08-2007, 06:48 AM
13 posts, read 82,312 times
Reputation: 12

I would NOT be dissuaded. Every place has its unique challenges and everything is relative. I'd use what you find on this site as well as other sites, but I'd give your own feelings some serious credence after checking it out, on the ground, in person.

I posted myself a few days ago in hopes of something exactly like this - insiders' points of view. I greatly value everything everyone has shared with me. You won't get this from any chamber of commerce site, so take it for what it is by definition - city data.

How you give it a context and make it into accurate information is up to you.
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