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Old 03-02-2011, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Northern Minnesota
2 posts, read 4,371 times
Reputation: 10

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Greetings,

We've been seriously considering a move to the Northern part of Colorado, for instance Loveland or Ft. Collins. We currently live in Northern MN and are frankly very tired of the 5-6 month winters, little sunlight and a depressed economy with very few options, in fact it was -20 the other morning. We are officially on our 5th month of winter and the Minnesota nice is beginning to fade drastically. People in our region are depressed, broke and down right unpleasant. I've traveled the country and something about Colorado appeals to me, therefore I have a few questions.

I have an 16 year old daughter that will need to finish high school - What is the quality of the education system in these areas? How are their financial situations? What kinds of things can we expect for a transplant student? I would also like her to attend a decent college not too far away.

I've heard the weather is wonderful and there are few bugs to deal with - from some research it shows 300 sunny days per year compared to 180 here. Is it really this way? How long does winter last, from Dec to Feb? We would welcome more sun, for sure.

How safe are these areas? Again, I've conducted some homework, but nothing beats live feedback from people who actually live there. My first and foremost concern is my daughters safety. Could she go to the mall with her friends or cruise around without be hassled? (keep in mind we live in a small town and know virtually everyone!)

Sorry for the length - any insights would be helpful.
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Old 03-02-2011, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins
97 posts, read 243,183 times
Reputation: 44
The schools here are fabulous. Poudre School District is great. There are some budget cuts but I have not noticed anything significant. If you have not checked out www.greatschools.org do so they give you ratings on the schools and parent reviews. Colorado State University is the local college and it is great. University of Colorado is down in Boulder and another great option. Yesterday it was 60 degrees. You get a snow storm and a few days later it's 55-60 degrees. The weather is really fabulous here. There really are no bad areas of town. There is some crime of course but I think of Fort Collins as sort of like Mayberry. It is a pretty large city 140,000 that has a small-town feel. The mall here is not so great, but they are looking to revamp it. You r daughter would be perfectly fine going to the movies or Old Town by herself and hanging out with her friends. Hope this answers some of your questions. Good luck in your move it is awesome here!
Allison Klein
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:02 AM
 
598 posts, read 1,365,652 times
Reputation: 550
Yeah FC is a nice enough town. i'm sure alot more people would be living there (including myself) if the job market was better. You say everyone in MN is broke...not much different in FC. If you need to work make sure you have a stable position BEFORE relocating. My and my DH experience of even applying for $13/hr jobs is you are up against a crazy # of applicants.
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:47 AM
 
Location: Northern Colorado
711 posts, read 1,784,843 times
Reputation: 785
Winter lasts several days at a time between late September to early May, with stretches of springtime in between. As a kid, one of the biggest snow storms I remember in Fort Collins came on May 5. It had probably been in the 70's just days before.

Typically we get some snow in October and a cold stretch in November. Our snowiest month is March. With many of our snows, the sun comes out a few days later and often the snow melts off quickly. One big difference between here and the mid-west is our lack of humidity. Cold here does not feel nearly as cold as the same temp in a humid area.

My 16 year old daughter goes to movies and to Old Town with her friends regularly and feels safe, as do we while she is out. We feel like she is getting an excellent education, with many college level classes offered at her school.

For higher education, Allison mentioned CSU and CU, our two biggest schools in the area. For other options, UNC in Greeley has some good programs, including a great nursing school. There are a few options to the south, including Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado School of Mines (great engineering program) in Golden, and Regis in Denver, among many other options.

You will experience fewer bugs here than in many mid-western states. Our most common insect pest is the mosquito, and these are not always bad, depending on the season and proximity to wet areas.

Like rya700 said, it would be a good idea to check into the job situation before making the move.

Good luck in your search!

Mike Weber
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:56 AM
 
102 posts, read 302,684 times
Reputation: 42
I've heard that we'd miss the greenery of WI if we moved to northern CO... is that true? How much less green is it out there compared to here? You do have grass, right? LOL
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Old 03-19-2011, 12:06 PM
 
22,545 posts, read 41,429,239 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamnlisa View Post
I've heard that we'd miss the greenery of WI if we moved to northern CO... is that true? How much less green is it out there compared to here? You do have grass, right? LOL
Most grass is only found around homes that use sprinklers. Water is scarce here, about 13-inches per year. It's VERY brown.

But, you live INSIDE the house. We came from lush, semi-tropical, high-humidty DC area and we LOVE the dryness and do not care about the amount of brownish vegetation. Officially, this region is called an Alpine Desert, and for good reason. Very few bugs.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Nutmeg State
1,171 posts, read 2,298,552 times
Reputation: 628
I actually think FoCo is one of the greenest towns on the front range (much greener than Boulder or the Springs). It's quite green down around the Poudre, and off of the many creek offshoots in town.
Compared to WI or MN it will seem brown, but compared to the rest of CO I think it is pretty green. (all the parks don't hurt either)
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,494 posts, read 2,522,003 times
Reputation: 1886
Quote:
Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
I actually think FoCo is one of the greenest towns on the front range (much greener than Boulder or the Springs). It's quite green down around the Poudre, and off of the many creek offshoots in town.
Compared to WI or MN it will seem brown, but compared to the rest of CO I think it is pretty green. (all the parks don't hurt either)
I don't agree. All of the Front Range cities have simulated green environments and I think they all are pretty much the same in the amount of greenery. If anything, Boulder's man-made landscape is probably a little greener then FC just because there are far fewer new neighborhoods there. And CO Springs and Boulder certainly have better views of the mountain pine forests above the cities. But in a natural sense, the primary color is brown.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:51 AM
 
Location: The Big CO
198 posts, read 1,152,535 times
Reputation: 162
Fort Collins is not in the desert, but i understand what people are trying to say. The entire state of Colorado, with the exception of the elevations in the mountains that are like 10,000 feet in elevation, CO is pretty much a desert climate. On the front range, you dont really hit an actual desert area and desert lands till you approach Pueblo. With that said, the NorCo area does have a high desert climate, seeing as its a dry climate with only about 14-15 inches of rain per year.

It does snow off the mountains in CO, but snow here melts extremely quick, and is often short lived. A typical winter week for me in CO is where one day will be colder with the high only in the 20's or 30's and the low on that day will probably be under 10 degrees. Than there will usually be about 5 days a week where the high will be into the 50's and the low will probably be around the 20's. And we usually have one day a week atleast in the winter where the high is in the 60's and the low may only be about 35-40 degrees.

All in all, we have great weather in colorado. yes it gets a little bt wolder when the sun goes down. But we get SO MANY days in the winter that are well into the 50's and 60's. So our winters are pretty comfortable for the most part. Definitely much better than winters in the midwest and the northeast. Actually, i may be crazy, but I would take CO winters over the humid winters in southern states like kentucky, tennessee, virginia, west virginia, even north carolina. Thats just me, and i hate the humid climates in the non-western regions.

As far as crime in the FoCo area, its really not bad at all. Southeast of FoCo there is greeley and the crime may be a little more there and have more school issues and gang problems, but fort collins is very nice. NorCo really only has gang problems and crime issues in Greeley, Longmont, and maybe a tad bit in Loveland.
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,494 posts, read 2,522,003 times
Reputation: 1886
Climatically the CO plains are usually considered semi-arid instead of arid. But unlike many desert plants, grasses use avoidance as a survival mechanism for dealing with unfavorable growing conditions. The native grasses are warm season so they avoid cold temperatures and dry conditions in the same way: by becoming dormant until conditions are favorable once again for growth. That's why semi-arid grasslands in the temperate zone are among the brownest regions in the country. I have to reemphasize that I don't think brown is bad, but you see a lot of it when you live here.
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