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Old 04-11-2012, 08:48 AM
 
9 posts, read 23,970 times
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Was hoping anyone who has lived in both Tulsa and Denver area could share their thoughts/experiences. We have an opportunity to move from Tulsa to Denver area but having a tough time making this decision. We have 3 kids...9, 6, 3. We see moving to Denver as more opportunities for our kids to be active and more to do! Climate is a big factor.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:46 PM
 
Location: C-U metro
1,368 posts, read 2,979,501 times
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I lived in Denver for 3 years and have lived in Tulsa for the past 2. There are a couple of pluses and minuses for either location. I think it depends on what you want in life and what industry you are in.

Tulsa has a better job market for energy positions but is worse in technology. I think health care, financial, and service industries are about even if you account for the size differential between the metro areas. Denver MSA is somewhere between 5 and 7 million where as Tulsa MSA is just under 1 million.

Tulsa's COL (Cost of Living) is far lower than Denver. A good chunk of that is housing but it is also higher food costs in Denver and gasoline. You can expect a 150k house in Tulsa to be 250k to 300k. A run-down fixer upper in poor neighborhoods is about what you find for 150k in Denver MSA and is likely in Aurora, CO which is not the best part of town. Tulsa also pays "better" than Denver as Denver companies pay a little less than Tulsa. Given the higher COL and lower wages, make sure that you use a good evaluation calculator like on salary.com.

Denver has a much better outdoor living culture than Tulsa. Tulsans tend to be much fatter and eat greasy fried foods than Denverites. Office donuts are rare in Denver. It is frowned upon to bike or walk here in some parts of Tulsa as that's for those "evil eco-weenies". They are everywhere in Denver and it is common for people to want more walkable and bikeable communities. Taxes are higher but there are more city parks (not necessarily larger) and HOAs often can become very oppressive and violate Colorado's Homeowner Bill of Rights, which regulates what HOAs can and cannot do.

Denver is closer for mountains and skiing obviously but it isn't that close. Denver proper is over 3 hours away from the nearest decent ski resort. There is also a huge number of biking trails and smaller lakes or reservoirs for boating. Denver International has more connections to places but if you want to fly internationally direct, there are about 5 or 6 options. You'll have to connect through Chicago, Dulles or Houston for most destinations.

Denver is also very liberal, ie those "evil eco-weenies". There are conservatives there but most of the conservatives live in Douglas County rather than Arapahoe, Denver, Jefferson or Adams Counties. If you are a hard core social conservative person, you'll have a tough time making friends as most people would be described as libertarian or liberal. Most of the social conservatives live in Colorado Springs (El Paso County) and commute.

Personally, I think Colorado's economy has peaked and is headed back down. The state is a huge hole for military and government spending. Military spending cuts will hit the area hard as many contractors are relocating bigger offices closer to DC but it will fare better than California. The end of wind subsidies will likely kill the eco-energy sector there.

The Colorado state government is a mixed bag, sometimes helping, sometimes hurting businesses. The oil boom may die a slow death by NIMBY as even conservative Colorado Springs doesn't want fracking inside the city limits. I think Oklahoma's legislature is attrocious and holds back our economy by hiding bills and just plain old corruption. If it can be cleaned up, Oklahoma becomes much more attractive to businesses and Tulsa is actually better than OKC on demographics and topography. Military spending is a significant portion of the OKC economy and Tulsa has a much smaller military sector.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Wind comes sweeping down the...
1,586 posts, read 6,435,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcat2k View Post
If it can be cleaned up, Oklahoma becomes much more attractive to businesses and Tulsa is actually better than OKC on demographics and topography. Military spending is a significant portion of the OKC economy and Tulsa has a much smaller military sector.
Do what again...LOLS...haha. Keep to Denver vs Tulsa. Trying to bring in OKC for a your lil personal smack makes zero sense.


Thankkss!

Last edited by happytown; 04-13-2012 at 04:05 PM..
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Jenks, Ok
1,122 posts, read 1,645,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happytown View Post
Do what again...LOLS...haha. Keep to Denver vs Tulsa. Trying to bring in OKC for a your lil personal smack makes zero sense.


Thankkss!
Smack? Grow up. How is his statement incorrect? Tinker is a massive part of Oklahoma City's economy with over 27,000 employees.

One note, Tulsa's metro area is right at one million people, but Denver's is not 5-7 million, Denver's CSA is just under 3.2 million.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Floyd County, IN
23,365 posts, read 40,485,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingcat2k View Post
I Tulsa also pays "better" than Denver as Denver companies pay a little less than Tulsa. Given the higher COL and lower wages, make sure that you use a good evaluation calculator like on salary.com.
Evidence? Pay rate is highly correlated with a particular career field. Denver MSA overall has a much higher median household income compared to the Tulsa MSA. Colorado has the highest median income county in the western US, Douglas, as well.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,565 posts, read 7,229,587 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjh5 View Post
Was hoping anyone who has lived in both Tulsa and Denver area could share their thoughts/experiences. We have an opportunity to move from Tulsa to Denver area but having a tough time making this decision. We have 3 kids...9, 6, 3. We see moving to Denver as more opportunities for our kids to be active and more to do! Climate is a big factor.
Tulsa and Denver are two very different places. Hopefully from everything you hear - here or elsewhere - you can get a good idea of what each city is like, so you can make a good decision. Tulsa leans conservative and has a strong Southern influence, right down to its geographic attributes and surroundings. Many folks interests there, even in the city, lean to the rural variety. Lots of fishing, hunting, boating, lake swimming, etc. I'd argue the people in Tulsa are going to be much more humble and friendly, but that's relative. Denver has a much more urban culture, lots of liberalism and yuppies. Younger demographics. More highly educated. More newcomers and less folks who have lived there or in Colorado all their lives or for generations. I haven't been to Denver though and don't really know it. But from what I do know, I personally think I like Tulsa better. But the things I do like about Denver are the mountains, lightrail, urban development, Cherry Creek (upscale shopping), and relative lack of ghetto and its overall effect on a city.

Good luck!
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Jenks, Ok
1,122 posts, read 1,645,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Evidence? Pay rate is highly correlated with a particular career field. Denver MSA overall has a much higher median household income compared to the Tulsa MSA. Colorado has the highest median income county in the western US, Douglas, as well.

Household income is only part of the story, you have to look at cost of living too. Denver is ranked 22nd out of 360 metro areas for personal income with an average of $47,510 but Tulsa is not far behind ranked 41st with an average $43,330.

Denver’s cost of living index is 103.2 and Tulsa’s is 88.4. So, Tulsa’s average income is 91.2% that of Denver’s while Tulsa’s cost of living is 85.7% of Denver’s. Incomes in Tulsa are higher than Denver when leveled for the difference in the cost of living.

On average people are better of economically in Tulsa than in Denver.

BEA: News Release: Personal Income for Metropolitan Areas, 2008
The 2012 Statistical Abstract: Consumer Price Indexes, Cost of Living Index

As a comparison, Oklahoma City’s average income is ranked 61st at $40,942 and has a cost of living index of 91.7 so Oklahoma City’s average income is 86.2% of that of Denver and OKC’s cost of living is 88.9% of that of Denver.

People are better off economically in Denver than Oklahoma City, but not Tulsa.
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Floyd County, IN
23,365 posts, read 40,485,171 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swake View Post
Household income is only part of the story, you have to look at cost of living too. Denver is ranked 22nd out of 360 metro areas for personal income with an average of $47,510 but Tulsa is not far behind ranked 41st with an average $43,330.

Denver’s cost of living index is 103.2 and Tulsa’s is 88.4. So, Tulsa’s average income is 91.2% that of Denver’s while Tulsa’s cost of living is 85.7% of Denver’s. Incomes in Tulsa are higher than Denver when leveled for the difference in the cost of living.

On average people are better of economically in Tulsa than in Denver.

BEA: News Release: Personal Income for Metropolitan Areas, 2008
The 2012 Statistical Abstract: Consumer Price Indexes, Cost of Living Index

As a comparison, Oklahoma City’s average income is ranked 61st at $40,942 and has a cost of living index of 91.7 so Oklahoma City’s average income is 86.2% of that of Denver and OKC’s cost of living is 88.9% of that of Denver.

People are better off economically in Denver than Oklahoma City, but not Tulsa.
Yes, that statistical evidence is fine, but Tulsa has nothing like Douglas county within its MSA. COL isn't everything, and many would still pick Colorado over Oklahoma based on amenities or lifestyle so that is subjective.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Both sides of the Red River
778 posts, read 2,153,219 times
Reputation: 1120
Quote:
Originally Posted by swake View Post
Household income is only part of the story, you have to look at cost of living too. Denver is ranked 22nd out of 360 metro areas for personal income with an average of $47,510 but Tulsa is not far behind ranked 41st with an average $43,330.

Denver’s cost of living index is 103.2 and Tulsa’s is 88.4. So, Tulsa’s average income is 91.2% that of Denver’s while Tulsa’s cost of living is 85.7% of Denver’s. Incomes in Tulsa are higher than Denver when leveled for the difference in the cost of living.

On average people are better of economically in Tulsa than in Denver.

BEA: News Release: Personal Income for Metropolitan Areas, 2008
The 2012 Statistical Abstract: Consumer Price Indexes, Cost of Living Index

As a comparison, Oklahoma City’s average income is ranked 61st at $40,942 and has a cost of living index of 91.7 so Oklahoma City’s average income is 86.2% of that of Denver and OKC’s cost of living is 88.9% of that of Denver.

People are better off economically in Denver than Oklahoma City, but not Tulsa.
A personal story, so take it for what its worth...

I was strongly considering relocating to Denver in late 2010. I actually snagged a job interview with a large oil and gas company, as I am currently employed in that field. I was offered the job, but to my disappointment it was a 10K pay cut. I countered at my current salary, with the justification that if I'm moving to a city with a much higher COL, then my salary should be no lower than what I'm making in OKC. The HR guy actually agreed with me, but stated that a flood of people that have continued to move to Denver despite the recession has driven down salaries across the board. He did say however that I would be getting "paid" in Colorado's beautiful scenery. I politely turned down the job. It is for the best though. I had the (dis)pleasure of going through a blizzard in OKC shortly after this happened and realized how much I hated snow.

I've spent considerable time in both cities for business and pleasure. They are pretty different and a bit hard to compare. I think Denver provides a superior quality of life...IF you can afford it. The pay issue just really bothered me, especially considering that I've always regarded CO as an advanced, high wage state that, as recently as the early 2000's attracted a lot of Okies. I actually looked on their forum before typing this and searched "low wages" and it pretty much confirmed my experience. Tulsa, while smaller and lacking the dramatic landscape of Denver, is no slouch in the QOL department and offers a lot for a metro just now breaking 1 million. If you can tolerate the much warmer climate and more conservative sociopolitical scene, then Tulsa is worth a look.
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
13,251 posts, read 9,469,824 times
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Tulsa has a lot of the traditional highbrow culture due to the fact that it basically started as an oil millionaires town.

Although it is nothing like Denver concerning the progressive and artsy, outdoorsy aspect, there is enough of that in Tulsa that you can have a social life being involved in those types of things. It's just that it is a minority of the people doing those things rather than a majority.

The Denver area is one of the best in the world for health concscienceness and exercise lifestyles.

Tulsa isn't a bad place to live though.
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