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Old 05-23-2014, 08:23 AM
 
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I grew up in Wisconsin, but moved away for grad school in 2000, ultimately bringing me to northern California for the past 6 years. I received a job offer last week for a position in Wisconsin Dells. What's the area like? I know it's a big tourist area, but frankly I don't know much about what it would be like to live there since I haven't been there in about 20 years. Also, how is the area for raising kids? I've got three children between the ages of 3 and 7. Thanks!
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:03 AM
 
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
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As someone who worked and grew up in that area I will chime in. Over the last 15 years Wisconsin Dells has grown drastically, not in population, but business.

Many resorts saw expansion in the 2000's. The Wilderness Hotel & Golf Resort, Chula Vista, and hotel-type resorts like Kalahari and Great Wolf, formerly Black Wolf have expanded too.

With the expansions The Dells has become a year-round destination. My wife and I just stayed at Wilderness on the Lake in February. I used to work at Wilderness and Chula Vista. Both are beautiful properties. I've stayed at all 5 resorts. Mt. Olympus is really a bunch of motels painted to appear uniform, they consider it a resort.

As far as the community goes. You have your typical small town drug related occurrences.

Education, I know a local family just donated a large sum of money towards the construction of a new school facility. I'm not sure of the details?

Do you mind sharing what you'll be doing at the Dells, or where you'll be employed. I can offer a wealth of insight to you.
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:25 AM
 
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we looked in that area when we moved to wi and didn't like it as it was what it always was, a tourist trap that's just gotten bigger. so you might want to work in the dells and while living elsewhere or outside of the dells. baraboo didn't seem too bad and portage could also be considered, but on the tourist times, the interstate will be busy going north to/thru the dells, so the other side of the interstate would be better unless you find a deal on a house.
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:23 PM
 
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If I accept, I'll be the pastor of a church there, JoshB, in downtown Wisconsin Dells. From what I can tell, schools seem about average, and while there isn't as much shopping as other bigger towns, (we figured we'd have to go to Madison for Costco and Target, but that's alright, we have friends there), there's still a decent amount of stores and restaurants, more than you'd ordinarily get in a community of that size. What else can you tell me? Anything I need to be wary of? Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
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The traffic can be burden as mentioned. I'm not sure where you plan on living? Baraboo is nice because you can zip right down highway 12 and come into Middleton where we have a Costco. Baraboo will provide you with many of the necessities needed to get by. In the last few years Sear's and JC Penny have left Baraboo.

If you will be working in Wisconsin Dells I would look at Baraboo or Portage. If the church is in downtown Wisconsin Dells then it would be more advantageous to choose a community like Portage. Portage offers what I like to call a "Back-way" into downtown Dells via State Highway 16. If you pull up a map of the Wisconsin Dells/Lake Delton your congestion starts right by Gasser road at Highway 12 in Lake Delton and follows through to the intersection of State Highway 12 and 13. In the summer the traffic in this area is downright ugly.

Where about is this church located?
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Milwaukee Public Television does a cool series called "Around the Corner" that showcased Milwaukee neighborhoods and suburbs at first but has since branched out to cities around the state. This past season included an episode featuring Wisconsin Dells. Each episode might as well have been written by the featured community's Chamber of Commerce and/or Tourism Bureau, so you won't exactly get a nuanced, balanced view but you can still take away some useful insights.

If life circumstances forced me to move to the Dells, I'd be perfectly OK with that -- tourist trap and all -- because there is much more to the general area than just the amusement-park ambiance of the tourist ghetto. And while it's a popular pastime to look down our noses at the kitschy atmosphere of the Dells... let's face it, some of the tourist-y stuff is really quite fun.


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Old 05-27-2014, 09:21 AM
 
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there's a superwalmart at portage and across the street a pierces grocery store too--that has a lounge and free wifi if you're into that. the kwiktrip on the north side of town also has the cheapest fuel around. it had a large hardware place that shut down, but it has two smaller ones.
portage is true to its founding as a place that draws from the surrounding areas.

the downside of portage is their housing stock is low and many of those units in pretty rough shape.
the locals there are pretty low income due to not a lot of money coming in from the outside, but if you find it, there's an amish network there where you can get whole chickens, etc.

sears and jc pennys have been dying off for a while now, but dells has a home depot at one of their exits.
off season it's a ghost town, a lot of russians go there along with the mandatory chicago urban types that either they themselves or have locals set up in the hotels there to sell heroin/cocaine/reefer/etc.

we live in a small town and drive to a larger one to shop, so we have a deep freeze in the basement, two fridgerators and a walk in pantry in the basement the size of a bedroom.

small communities are what i prefer and there are many all around there.
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Old 05-27-2014, 01:18 PM
 
Location: WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milt14 View Post
but if you find it, there's an amish network there where you can get whole chickens, etc.
i believe there is still the Amish store off hwy 22 north of Pardeeville , not that far down 33 from Portage and some of the farmers near there may also sell from their own locations as well.
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Mequon, WI
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Oh the Dells, I always enjoy my time when I travel to Northern Illinois
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:15 AM
 
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yup, north of pardeeville is where a lot of them are, but ya need to get in on their circuit.
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