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Old 03-29-2009, 11:33 PM
 
Location: New York City
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So far, my research has been limited to online, and Boise is starting to look really good to us. Colorado Spriings is also a contender. Can you give me an idea how these two cities are similar and how they are different. I'm thinking in terms of natural beauty, a variety of things to do and the general culture of both places. We are looking at areas that have VA hospitals for a potential job transfer. I know Boise has a hospital and CS has a community based clinic. Otherwise, schools and quality of life are important. Thanks so much.
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Boise-Metro, ID
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This topic has come up before on the forum, I'm pretty sure...have you had a chance to check the search engine on here yet? I think if you put in Boise vs. Colorado Springs or Colorado Springs vs. Boise you may pull up some threads that offer insight. I know I've seen threads that have compared the two cities and other cities the poster might be checking out, so you might have to play around with the search engine a bit to find what you're looking for.

Haven't lived in Colorado Springs, but have lived in Boulder.....so can't offer you any comparisons, maybe you'll have some luck in the search engine field or maybe another poster will come forward.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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I've never actually lived in Colorado Springs, but I had a cousin in the AF Academy and my sis lived in Ft. Collins, so I've been through there often enough to get a local feel. I grew up in Boise, and pretty much still know it as a home away from home.

Both areas expanded rather quickly for their infrastructure, though both seem to have caught up after a great deal of painstaking construction. Both areas have prominent traditional conservative or consequential libertarian movements, and this is very apparent to any folk who tend to find themselves interacting with local power seats (e.g., legislature and city council) on a regular basis. Social liberals and rights-based libertarians will find too little or too much local government options/activity, respectively.

That being said, Boise is much larger and offers much more economy within the city itself. Boise actually has two major hospitals on top of the VA hospital (reference St. Luke's and St. Alphonsus). Colorado Springs relies more on Denver for all "big city" amenities, and is within itself much more centered around the Academy, recreational commuters, and church activities (the mountains toward Denver and plains to the South can isolate Colorado Springs in some winter snows, by the way). In general, a behavioral comparison will find that, ironically, Colorado Springs tends to function like a big city in a small town, whereas Boise tends to function like a small town in a big city.

This is a good time to note that Colorado's alcohol regulations are quite similar to Utah's, as is the frequency of religious observation (just more Protestant than Mormon). Once again, Boise's larger size leads to more diversity and things like alcohol, activities, and business hours are therefore more accommodating. Depending on your personal lifestyle/beliefs, this could mean nothing or it could make or break either locale.

As hinted above, Colorado Springs will get a lot more regular snow and the cold and precipitation are more intense than Boise. Both areas have great outdoor access in all directions, with mountains to the North and desert plains to the South. For recreation, Boise offers more within a half-day trip radius while Colorado Springs offers closer access to fewer activities. Boise has a lot of wilderness access while Colorado Springs has more "park" access. Both are rather similar in recreational options, aside from that distinction. Also, in both you can take a leisurely drive and escape the city within minutes. For "natural beauty", this is quite subjective and therefore can be argued. Plenty of trees in both places. In general, the view from each locale would put Boise with "rolling mountains" and Colorado Springs with "rocky mountains".

In this poster's obviously biased opinion (I just know Boise better), Idaho urban culture is more inviting and friendly than Colorado urban culture. It seems to me after growing up in Boise and watching relatives grow up in Colorado, your children would have an easier time making friends in Boise schools.

Overall, I'm just saying all that stuff to give you an idea of cultural, scenic, and recreational differences I've observed, personally and vicariously. Really, the only difference I can nail down for absolute sure is the city size and resultant offering of amenities. Boise is substantially larger than Colorado Springs, and substantially easier to commute than I-25 and urban Denver. That size also makes Boise more diverse and thereby accommodating of a variety of beliefs/lifestyles. Colorado Springs is great if you want your kids innundated with church and military perspectives (and all associated over-done backlashes) in their social lives... once again, a make or break, depending on your world view.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:38 PM
 
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I have read often that Boise is more liberal than CS and that downtown CS is kind of dead and awaiting a re-birth while downtown Boise has been growing and maturing into an attractive hub for a large extended market area that stretches into Eastern Oregon and Northern Nevada and of course Southern Idaho. Boise is the big city for a large radius and offers more big city amenities than CS does from what I have heard. CS struggles with being an outlying burb of Denver even though it is its own city. Boise is more independent while CS is more dependent on other nearby cities. I'm not sure about the quality of life in CS but Boise is known for its great quality of life and quality hospitals, and access to the great outdoors.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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I can't believe nobody has mentioned the difference in elevation. Colorado Springs is over 6,000 feet in elevation, where Boise is just 2700 feet. For those with breathing difficulties, that can obviously be an issue. Also, Boise is not substantially larger than Colorado Springs. CS is bigger both city and metro.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
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Yeah, Colorado Springs is larger as noted above. I believe Boise may feel a little bigger because of the downtown area and the Metro is very spread out. My parents were considering relocating to Colorado Springs. I haven't lived there but after research I gave it a big "no." lol
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pw72 View Post
I can't believe nobody has mentioned the difference in elevation. Colorado Springs is over 6,000 feet in elevation, where Boise is just 2700 feet. For those with breathing difficulties, that can obviously be an issue. Also, Boise is not substantially larger than Colorado Springs. CS is bigger both city and metro.
That's a very good point! I was fit in my youth, camped in mountains constantly in college, and lived in Los Alamos (7,400 ft) and Albuquerque (~ mile high at the base of Sandia peak where I live), so I had never taken that into consideration. Due to my asthma, I did have some rough experiences with that when I first came from Idaho to New Mexico, but acclimation set in after about 2-3 weeks and there wasn't a second thought when I'd visit Colorado, except in the mountains. Anyone with respiratory issues definitely wants to mind that, though.
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boi2socal View Post
Yeah, Colorado Springs is larger as noted above. I believe Boise may feel a little bigger because of the downtown area and the Metro is very spread out. My parents were considering relocating to Colorado Springs. I haven't lived there but after research I gave it a big "no." lol
Hmmm... well fancy that... I had to see the numbers to believe it, but Colorado Springs does have a LOT more population for what seems like a nothing-to-do town crammed in a forested valley and gulches. I always just thought the bad traffic was a result of Denver, 'cause when you look at a lot of the businesses it's like everyone's hiding or something.

And from my aforementioned vicarious experience, your big "no" was a good bet for the average bear.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:17 AM
 
Location: Boise
2,684 posts, read 6,654,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gimme it View Post
So far, my research has been limited to online, and Boise is starting to look really good to us. Colorado Spriings is also a contender. Can you give me an idea how these two cities are similar and how they are different. I'm thinking in terms of natural beauty, a variety of things to do and the general culture of both places. We are looking at areas that have VA hospitals for a potential job transfer. I know Boise has a hospital and CS has a community based clinic. Otherwise, schools and quality of life are important. Thanks so much.
If being near by to a true big city matters, then you should go to Colorado Springs. I have many friends from all over the US (Mainly Atlanta & Pittsburg), that initially thought Boise was po-dunk, but then decided they loved the laid back culture, personal freedom, and general "you do your thing. I'll do mine" that Idaho had to offer.

Boise is not anywhere near Denver in the big city aspect and you should consider this. So if you want what a "big city" can offer you (like designer clothing stores, and major league sports teams), go to Colorado Springs. If you want a laid back area where you are free to live your life in close proximity to some of the nation's wildest frontiers (literally, about thirty minutes away) then come to Boise.

Also Co Springs seems (So I've read) to be a very religious area, in the fundamentalist sense. Boise is predominately Catholic, but once you get into the Meridian area and suburbs it is very charismatic or Mormon.

My personal perspective is this, I was raised here, I believe in a very "granola" yet libertarian ideology. (If that made sense you belong in Boise) I am very typical.

This is an area for individualists. I welcome anyone who comes, but please don't try to change our culture from that.

PS I had one grandfather live in the VA in Boise, it is very old and depressing. (very dingy, a very sad place to visit) On the other hand, the Pocatello, Id VA where my other grandfather lived out his final years is brand new and very nice. Better than many retirement facilities.

Best regards,
Justin
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:31 PM
 
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Hi,

We are considering a move from the Boulder area to Boise, and Boise looks really good actually.

However, years ago, I lived in Colorado Springs, and I think a lot of things that have been said here about The Springs are completely bogus:

"This is a good time to note that Colorado's alcohol regulations are quite similar to Utah's..."

That is so wrong! The only reason Colorado does not sell alcohol to 18 year olds is because of threats from the Federal government. When I lived in Colorado Springs, there was a liquor store on about every corner, and the night life was very active (I was about 27 when I left The Springs for Boulder). Colorado has more micro-breweries than per capita than any state except Wisconsin, and The Springs had a couple of great ones!

"That being said, Boise is much larger and offers much more economy within the city itself. "

Colorado Springs population is around 400,000. Boise's is around 250,000. Enough said. Well, maybe not enough... if you want big city amenities you can drive to Denver. If you want that in Boise, you probably have to fly to Seattle. I'm liking Boise, anyway, but this is not a reason to dis The Springs.

"I have read often that Boise is more liberal than CS and that downtown CS is kind of dead and awaiting a re-birth..."

I will say this: I'm sure that Boise's culture is not as conservative as Colorado Springs, because I can't imagine a large city anywhere being more conservative than The Springs. It is dominated by the Air Force Academy, Peterson Air Field, and Ft. Carson. There are indeed a lot of fundamentalist Christian organizations in the region, too. I believe conservatism to be individualistic... your mileage may vary.

Now, I lived in Colorado Springs a number of years ago, but back then, downtown was just fine, and a great place to socialize.

"I always just thought the bad traffic was a result of Denver..."

No, the bad traffic is a function of bad planning and geography. If you ever noticed, Colorado Springs is built on a series of hills, mountains and ravines. There are no straight roads in the whole town. This lends itself to bad traffic. Denver is not close enough to be a factor.

"Boise actually has two major hospitals on top of the VA hospital (reference St. Luke's and St. Alphonsus). Colorado Springs relies more on Denver for all "big city" amenities, and is within itself much more centered around the Academy, recreational commuters, and church activities (the mountains toward Denver and plains to the South can isolate Colorado Springs in some winter snows, by the way)."

Colorado Springs has Penrose-St. Francis and Memorial Hospitals. There is also the excellent medical facility at the Air Force Academy. No, you do not have to go to Denver for fine medical care.

By Colorado standards, there are no "mountains towards Denver", there is only the Palmer Divide, which is just a big hill. It does affect weather, and you can get heavy snows in The Springs and nice weather in Denver... and vice versa. But Colorado Springs is too big to be "isolated." The Academy is on the northern edge of Colorado Springs, and is by no means the center of the town.
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