An Honest View of Moving to Gillette Wyoming (Casper: for rent, loans)
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It is so nice to hear the great things about Gillette. We are on the count down till we arrive! My husband is already out in Gillette and really likes it. We have moved alot in the last 20 years and I totally agree that 90% is attitude. Just a quick question does anyone know of any realtors that deal with rental homes? Having a little bit of a hard time finding homes.
Thanks everyone I appreciate it.
Hello everyone! I am in the process of moving to Gillette. I believe it is the right decision for my life right now, but I'd love some input from those of you who have lived here a while.
I'm 40, single, female, no kids, full time working professional. Not into the bar scene. Where does one go to meet people? I'm not just talking about dateable men, but in any new town it can be hard to make friends outside of work and church. I'm open to suggestions!
Does Gillette have a dog park? If not, how can we get one started?
Are there any major book stores, or should I just use amazon.com?
I've already found a church and a hair stylist, and I LOVE "Back to the Rack" for clothes shopping.
That's all for now, but I'm sure to have more questions in the future! Thanks in advance.
Aside from your place of employment and/or professional associations?
Gillette has a huge new recreation center that sponsors all kinds of activities throughout the year. Facilities (http://www.ccprd.com/html/facilities.html - broken link)
If you're into visual arts at all you can check out the AVA Center. They always have classes of one kind or another going on, from painting to sculpture to pottery and what-have-you. http://www.avacenter.org/
Service clubs are always good. There are two active Rotary International clubs (one that meets weekly for lunch and another that meets for dinner), Kiwanis Club, Toastmasters, etc.
Basically, there's something for almost every interest, and if you're willing to volunteer some of your time, you'll have no problem keeping busy and meeting people. At one time I had meetings more days and nights than not. Some were more serious and some were just for fun, but I met lots of people at all of 'em.
One thing you'll probably like about Gillette is that it's made up of a BUNCH of transplants. I'm pretty sure that most of the adult residents moved here from somewhere else, mostly out-of-state. As of last week I've been here for 40 years, but when I hit the two-year mark one of the few genuine natives informed me that in Gillette, two years of residency qualified one for native status.
There is currently no dog park, but there is a push to get one going. You're just in time to get in on the ground floor.
No major book stores. Sorry. There is a good library.
Although it's not a "major" book store there is a Hastings, so there are books available and they can order something in if they don't have it. I am involved in several women's organizations here. I will send you a personal message about those when I have a few minutes!
Wow, I feel like you were reading my mind and our life story. We are packed, ready to go and looking to find a place ASAP in the Gillette area. My husband is ALL WYOMING (he's hopefully coming to the rail yards too) I am ALL South Dakota.
So, since you've been to Rapid City for shopping do you see a BIG difference in the land of Peidmont/Sturgis and Gillette?
We also come from a town of 900....you are FREAKING ME OUT!
Yikes. What to do.....
Originally Posted by DJFrog71
I used this site prior to moving from a small town in southern Illinois to Gillette wyoming, I posted questions and concerns and researched everything I could about living in Wyoming, but I promise you, living here is quite different than reading about living here!
Most people are nice here, but it has taken us 6 months to make friends and the people we have gotten to know are already moving away because it is a very transient place. The people here are usually very friendly but we have run into a few very unfriendly ones too. While drivng here, if someone lets you merge during while rush hour, wave, because you have probably just met me, I seem to be the only one who does it!
This is a little off the subject, but I just read a post that said something about the Mormon kids being in control and not allowing other kids of different religions participate in Green River school activities, well that is a typical reversal of the truth! We are the minority (usually) and even if we are not, we are very nice and caring people as a whole. I have never rejected another because of thier religious choices, but I have been more times than I can count!!! Our best friends are catholic and asked us to be god parents to thier one child that they tried to have for years, an honor to us even though it is not what our beliefs teach but something they held very dear to thier hearts, but we were rejected by thier priest who said we were not christians. Until moving here, my kids had been the only mormons in thier school. They have never seen other kids as anything but other kids, someone to play with, be friends with, to have fun with, not nessessarily church companions. I joined one of my sons into the local wrestling program and as we watched the kids practice, I was speaking to several of the Mom's, the conversation turned to "Did we have a church and would we like to attend thiers." At this time I told them that I was Mormon, but thanked them for the invitation. The conversation quickly came to an abrupt end! It was very uncomfortable for me to return after that happened. I just think it is really sad that the same people who would never dream of insulting a person of a different skin color don't think twice about insulting someone who is a Mormon. And usually thier ideas about who we are and why they dislike us are unfounded.
Back to my point about living here in Wyoming. My husband had worked for Ford In Hazelwood, Mo. for 12 years when they decided to close his plant, so we went on the lookout for a job that would bring us out west and closer to my family in Utah. He had originaly taken a job in Rock Springs, we looked prior to coming out, (for weeks) for affordable housing for our family, (3 boys and 2 dogs) We actually had people hang up on us after telling them we had a dog. With our house sold and the truck packed even without housing we headed out, we mistakenly believed that once we got to the area there would be more things for rent that we could see around town, signs in yards, ect. Boy were we wrong! After putting our stuff in storage and sitting in a hotel room (at 140.00 a night because we couldn't even find another cheaper room that would allow our kids and dogs) for three weeks while we searched and searched for a rental in green river or rock springs, we finally gave up and left and headed to stay with family in Utah.
Rock Springs was such an unpleasant area, but as far as looks and feel, Green River was by far the nicer of the two towns! If you live in a city setting already you may do well in Rock Springs, but we lived in a rural community with 900 people but close to several other small and large communities (30 miles outside St. Louis) and it was such a shock to even drive in and see the town, so little greenery and trees. I felt like Rock Springs was a large truck stop community.
We gave up the job in Rock Springs for a railroad job in Gillette and actually posted an ad in the local paper for 3 weeks asking for a land lord who would allow our dogs. (Sorry but when you have children who love thier pets and you are uprooting thier lives by moving them half way across the country, you let them keep thier dogs). We finally got an apartment, 950 square feet, tiny dirt yard and in not so nice a neighborhood for 1100.00 a month!!! We live in what is commonly refered to as "the popular Westover hills area". It is a nice area, two blocks over, but there is also 2-3 roads that consist of mainly apartments and condos, it is quite run down. We see police cars in our neighborhood at least once a week, in fact we had one knock on our door because of a fight our neighboor had. While visiting one of our sons, a boy had his bike stolen from right next to our cars, we found it at one of the apartment houses. Last night someone was jiggling our door knob trying to get into our house, good thing our dogs barked and they left. My husbands job takes him away for days at a time, it sucks being here and being scared to live here.
Early in our lives, we were military and my husband took jobs that forced him to move so it isn't like we have never been anywhere, with Illinois being the longest at 12 years, prior to moving there we lived in Utah, Tennessee, Colorado, and Nevada, the only place we have ever felt this unsafe was while in Reno Nevada. And we left that job quickly!
There are more people living in travel trailers and mobile homes here than I have ever seen, even in a camp ground!
There is also a huge problem with drugs here, meth and pot. Our oldest son is opting to go to his senior prom solo because every girls he has been initially attracted to has offered him a cigarette or pot! He said the kids here think of pot as just another cigarette.
We did not want to purchase a home until we knew the area better and if the job would work out. The housing costs are are beyond ridiculous! For the home we sold in Illinois for 95,000.00 we could have sold it here for 200,000.00 or more! The houses in the areas that we want to live, safer, same school, church, ect. we will have to carry at least a 250,000.00 mortgage, the utilities are about the same (250.00 a month for electricity, water and garbage pickup). The groceries are more expensive here, on average the things I bought on a weekly basis are about 10-20 cents more per item, (I know that doesn't sound like much but it adds up)! The gas was steady at 2.27 for months but it up to 2.80 now. The cost of a happy meal here is the cost of an adult meal in St. Louis. If you are looking for shopping, you will need to drive into Rapid City as Wal-mart and Kmart are the biggest stores here. A lot of smaller strip mall stores but they tend to have little in selection and prices are quite high. Restaurants are lacking too, we have went to about 1/2 of places in town in the last six months and have been disappointed almost every time. We have only gone to one place twice!
Don't be fooled into believing that the rate of pay will create a balance with the cost of living. We have heard a lot of things about the "Energy Boom" coming to an end here, at least partially, the methaners have had problems with the EPA or something like that, the business are slowing down and people are leaving due to lack of work in that field. Coal is still a boom business here though, which is directly tied to the Railroad. My husband will make approx. the same amount as his best year at ford. If we had not had a large savings account (that is dwindling into nothing) we would not have been able to live here at all.
The weather is very different here too. Mainly the wind, that seems like it NEVER stops blowing!! Sand and dust are a constant, forget trying to keep a dust free home. It is not very green and there really are huge tumble weeds blowing around town along with the garbage that is always along the roadsides. The small yard we do have is always littered with garbage from the dumpsters that are used for the Apartment complexes and are kept along the road side.
It is dry here, I use more lotion in a week then I used in a year in Illinois and bloody noses are common too. Be prepared for a higher altitude, the air is thinner here. I had never even thought of that, but my kids have a harder time catching thier breath here, even to the point of blue lips while hiking when we first arrived. It snows here in Sept and through April and it is cold a lot! At first we were amazed at the fact that there are hundreds of Antelope everywhere, now we barely notice them!
Other things I never thought of where cellular usage and local weather and news reports. We had Cingular for years and they dropped us because we were out of network. Only Verizon and Alltell offer service in Gillette. We have also had Dishnetwork for years as our satelite T.V provider and they do offer service here but no local channels, not even Rapid City, S.D. or Casper, Wy. Our only available local channels are in Denver, 350 miles away doesn't help when you want weather reports. So we get all our news from the local paper a day late or online.
I am sorry if this has been a negative narrative, I guess if we knew how much we would have disliked it here we might not have moved here. Maybe we still would have, but we would have opened our eye much wider and maybe had much lower expectations.
Now that I have allowed myself to vent about all the dislikes here, I will say there are some really nice things here too. For a small community, Gillette has an amazing cultural side, we have seen more plays and concerts here, than we ever did while living close to a metro area. Mainly because it is so close and cheap. Tickets for many events run 6.00 for adult and 4.00 for children. One of our children was even in a play run through the Musula Childrens theater.
The schools here have a great deal more money than we were used to. We did not have to pay for book rental or class fees. A big savings over Illnois. They offer a great deal more classes to younger elementary students, band, chior, even swimming as part of P.E. One of our sons struggles a great deal with schooling, he has improved due to the smaller class sizes and personal attention. They do push athletics in the junior and high school levels more than I would like but the city rec center offers an alternative to the highly competive pace of the school sports (for younger children). Soccer, basketball, football, and wrestling. I think they have hockey too but it isn't something my kids play so I don't know. There is a local rec center and a city pool that I am sure we will frequent this summer. There is also a great deal of places to visit within just a few hours drive from here.
There is a wonderful library in town, they offer many programs for tots to teens. We joined the community garden, where you rent a plot of land and can grow a beautiful garden of your own while getting to know others in town who also enjoy gardening.
I am not sure what my point of writting all of this has been but I hope it helps someone out there who may be considering a move to Wyoming, specifically the Gillette or Rock Springs area. Keep your sense of humor, it may be the only reason we have survived here long enough to begin to feel like we are adjusting to life here. Hopefully the adjustments will continue and we will learn to love it here. I have been told that people either hate it or love it, well if I have to live here I want to learn to love it!
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