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Old 09-23-2006, 08:12 PM
1 posts, read 31,354 times
Reputation: 16


My husband and I are contemplating a move to Traverse City soon. We currently live in Door County, Wisconsin, and it is killing us. We always say, "It's a beautiful place to live, but an ugly place to make a living!" The place just shuts down in the winter, and it is draining us financially. The want-ads ask for housekeepers and cooks ... that's about it. We don't want to make the same mistake again, and need to know what the economy is like year-round in Traverse City?

Also, we have two young sons (2 & 4) and would like some feedback regarding raising a family in TC, and the school system.

I understand from reading some other posts that there are pockets of liberals in TC, and that the arts are alive and well ... how about liberal churches? I currently attend one that teaches a miriad of religions ... anything like that there?

Thank you so much for any feedback. ZM
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:53 AM
Location: Traverse City, MI
622 posts, read 2,702,248 times
Reputation: 393
hello! i lived in TC for 3 years attending college.

I am in love with the place and may be moving back soon.

well, in my very honest opinion, TC is not the place i would go in order to be financially secure. winters are very slow there, many businesses do shut down, but most stay open and just suffer a slow season. many who live in TC are retired, others choose to live there because they are willing to make a financial sacrifice in order to experience the high quality of life (beauty, good people, small town, etc).

i have never been to door county, but after looking it up on wikipedia, it seems to sound exactly like TC! it is a tourist town which sees a huge population boost between memorial day and labor day. because it is a tourist town, you will see lots of help wanted ads for housekeeping and cooks, as you mentioned. not a lot of opportunity...

...but of course, that all depends on what it is that you do. but i imagine if its not working in door county, it probably wont in TC.

sorry to be so negative! this is just my opinion, i encourage you to ask others. i think TC is one of the most wonderful places to live but my reasons do not include job opportunities.

any more questions, please feel free to ask.
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Old 09-25-2006, 11:39 AM
Location: Michigan
687 posts, read 2,026,699 times
Reputation: 484
I think with any place in MI right now things can be touch and go. We lived near TC for a handful of years in the late 90's. Moved back down to SE Mi to be closer to family in mid '99. I worked in TC and Elk Rapids. I LOVED Elk Rapids. What a beautiful little community. And not far from TC either. Like the above poster said, winters can be slow. When we were up there we had a couple really really bad winters. And a bad winter up there means NO snow...not the other way around. LOL Tourism/snowmobiling/skiing etc was really hurt. And for an area that depends a lot on tourism/sports that was a blow.

I'm not sure on the liberal churches etc but I'm guessing it's probably fairly conservative up there compared to downstate. LOL I'm close to Ann Arbor so we see a little bit of everything near us.

Right now I'd probably second guess moving there for the time being. But if it's somewhere you truly want to be then I think you could make it work. It might be tough but doable kwim?
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Old 12-09-2006, 12:35 AM
3 posts, read 40,028 times
Reputation: 12
You will find that Door County is very similar to TC.... great place to live but expensive
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Old 02-21-2007, 05:19 PM
Location: Northwestern Michigan
939 posts, read 2,671,196 times
Reputation: 411
If you need to make a living, Traverse City sux unless you want to sell cars because thats the only decent paying profession in the area.
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:33 PM
Location: San Antonio, TX - Displaced Michigander
2,067 posts, read 5,943,084 times
Reputation: 838
I've lived in TC for 20 years, and although it is a nice place to raise a family, and lovely, the cost of living relative to wages is high. The saying is 'half your pay is a view of the bay', and that's pretty accurate. TC has a wonderful arts community, as well as great shopping and restaurants. I don't give credit for those things to the liberals however, TC is a conservative area. To be honest, that's one of the things I like about it.

I plan on moving out of state in the next year if I can manage it. Sorry to say, Michigan is going down the tubes and people particularly in the SE corner of the state just re-elected a governor that isn't helping matters any.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:48 AM
Location: Ypsilanti, MI
6 posts, read 50,311 times
Reputation: 12
Due to world climate changes, northern (and southern) Michigan's winter tourist industry is suffering. When you said, "the place just shuts down in the winter...want-ads ask for housekeepers and cooks," that pretty much describes Northern Michigan.
NM is awesome in the summer, despite "fudgies" and "cone-lickers" (what locals call the tourists). But in the winter, jobs are scarce.
The schools in Traverse City are pretty good, I've heard. I'm from a small town about an hour from TC, and was heavy into music in high school (jazz band, pep band, marching band, concert band, solo & ensemble, community band). TC has an enviable band program, and always took top marks in all areas.
TC has a good local college and a University Center, which I personally attended and thought was awesome. Imagine being able to get a degree in NM without having to go to U of M, MSU, EMU, etc. (all those colleges have classes at the University Center).

It does sound like your town and TC are alike. But as long as you aren't going into the auto or pharmaceutical industries, you might be fine!
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Old 03-16-2007, 04:56 PM
6 posts, read 66,647 times
Reputation: 13
Default Door County = Grand Traverse County

If you can't stand to live in Door County, don't move to Grand Traverse County. It's the same thing. Honestly, look at a map, we are literally about 80 miles apart on a straight line across Lake Michigan. I have relatives in Sturgeon Bay, same dillema. Unless you own your own business, stay away. Job market sucks, as you say, the only jobs are low paying. Liberal community with a suck-wad liberal newspaper. Oh yeh, people here do not know how to drive. Thankfully, they don't have far to drive to the local hospital.
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Old 03-18-2007, 11:03 PM
2 posts, read 34,087 times
Reputation: 11
Default TC is way overrated!

After living here for 23 years, I can say this place is not worth your time! Here is a list of Pros and Cons:


1. People are not friendly and many rich retirees have relocated here and think they own the town.

2. People do not know how to drive in this town and our nick name is (traffic city!)

3. Economy is based around 4 months of tourism (may-august)!

4. Wages are low and cost of living is high!

5. Extremely cold and depressing winters! (3 months of nice weather in the summer, DO NOT make up for the long winters IMO!)


1. Scenery is nice!

2. relatively low crime, but that is increasing!

3. TCAPS and university center are great schools!

4. Change of seasons!

Summary: This town is mainly geared towards retirees and families!
As a recent college graduate from the University Center, I can say that I have had a pretty decent life so far in TC, but in terms of finding a solid long term career, TC is NOT the place to do it! I do feel the pain for the rest of michigan, especially the auto industry in Detroit. I did not vote for our current gov. BTW and I am sorry that this thread is so negative. However, I believe in being honest and truthful with people. IMO if I was moving somewhere, I would want someone to be honest with me!

Best of luck on your decision!
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Old 03-20-2007, 06:49 PM
50 posts, read 297,407 times
Reputation: 29
The Grand Traverse area is one of the most beautiful areas in the state. I visit there once every few years and I love it.
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