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  1. #1
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    Prescott Locals... what's the scoop on your town?

    Had a great day riding there the other day. Just wondering what the skinny is on your town? Housing, schools, economy etc.

    we're really thinking of relocation, what with another baby on the way. So Cal is my home but just too crowded.

    I know I know.... stay out.

    any general scoop would be great tho.

    thx!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cajonezzz

    any general scoop would be great tho.

    thx!


    http://www.city-data.com/
    -- Evil Patrick

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    Ride everything! Remember, Elvis died pushing.

  3. #3
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    I moved from So Cal to Prescott about 4 months ago.

    My own observations:

    Housing market: depressed as it is everywhere. Good values available. Wide range of neighborhoods/house styles to choose from.

    Economy: No major industries/employers.

    Schools: Don't really know. There are 3 colleges in town.

    Other: Demographics an eclectic mix of retirees, college students, new-age hippies, and a couple of cowboys. Has a small-town, off-the-beaten-path feel. Very friendly. Lots of nice restaurants. A great area for mountain biking/dirt biking and other outdoor stuff. Always something going on downtown (host of the only free major bluegrass festival in the country). Mild weather. Seems as if just about every male resident owns two or three motorcycles.

    Hope this info is helpful.

  4. #4
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    A great place for kids to grow up! I also have one on the way and a 6 year old, wouldn't want them to grow up anyplace else. Lots of mnt biking with all the realms of it from XC to Dhill (short drive).
    Small town feel, for now.
    JRA

  5. #5
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    I moved to Prescott in '96. I moved away to Alaska from 2000 to 2003, but ultimately ended up here again after exploring every state in the west for a new home. Prescott is pretty awesome in my opinion.

    There is no better weather. I won't blather on about that. We have seasons. None of them are extreme. Let's just say you can ride year round no problem.

    Jobs? Not too easy to find. Our jobs start pretty low on the salary scale. I'm a banker. I can't tell you how many people I come across who earn $30-35,000. Seems like the magic number.

    Housing? Great time to rent. Rentals are everywhere and CHEAP! Personally, I'd not buy anything here for a little while to come.

    Schools? Dunno. Education in Arizona sucks anyway doesn't it? Sounds like it's getting better. If you care about your kid, you can find good schools. If you don't care about your kid, our educational system will happily accommodate that as well.

    Other bonuses: Proximity. Within a day's drive you can be in Moab, Vegas, Durango, Silverton, Telluride, Baja, Santa Fe, etc. Sedona is an hour away and Flag is a short hop futher. Pick your weather and drive to it.

    The town is pretty chill. A tad bit of an older resident vibe. Doesn't feel as young and hip as Flag, but not nearly as touristy as Sedona. Cost of living is very reasonable. It's one of those towns that is what you make of it, which I think is the charm.

    Trails? Growing by about 50 feet every Thursday. What town can boast of that? Some people (Jayem) like to knock our trails, but they're a massive improvement over what they were 10 years ago and improving weekly.

    More: www.ravensingletrack.com

  6. #6
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    It's a nice place to live without question. I'd make a point to settle on the west side of town, makes riding to ride much more pleasant. Real Estate is waaaay more reasonable than it was when we moved there back in 2006.

    The public schools are not so good, which is generally the case throughout AZ. I know Heli sends his kid to private elementary school which is excellent.

  7. #7
    sonoranbiker
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    Schools-wise, check out Skyview Charter School. It's a very progressive (and highly ranked) charter school based on multiple intelligences theory, and it also has a high emphasis on experiential education (i.e. learning by doing, rather than sitting at a desk being talked at). I believe it has kids from K-8.

  8. #8
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    We moved here in 2001 and will probably never seriously consider leaving.

    Ride to work most days, ride on the weekends, great places for the kids to explore without leaving town.

    I have been very impressed with the professionalism/dedication of the public school teachers and administrators I have been in contact with.

    The only thing Prescott lacks that my wife would like is a great lakes, or ocean type of beach. I like that there are no sharks in Prescott.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  9. #9
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    Moved up from the stinky city down the road (Phx) about 2 years ago. Never regret it, great place to raise kids. We have our 4 year old son at Taylor Hicks pre-school a couple times a week and he loves it. We will put him in a charter school next year. Plus there are a couple of Charter school teachers that are top-notch MTBers! (Zach and Sara).

    As some of the locals have mentioned above the trails are awesome and plentiful and if you get tired of these it's a short hop to Sedona, Flag, BCT or all the desert riding around Phx.

    Decent restaurants, great atmosphere downtown always something going on at the square.

    Not sure what kind of employment your looking for, I'm self employed so I'm not privey to all the local job market info, but with large amount of retirees the hospital/health field is always brisk, as mentioned above there are the 3 colleges (you will have grow dreads and not bathe for 3 weeks like Velokid before you can get a job there ). I think Printpak out here in PV is the big employer on this side of town.

    Rover is right, real estate is tough right now. There a great deals to be had if you cash or you have financing set up, here in Prescott Valley some friends just bought a house that my wife and I looked at when we first moved here, they paid about $125K less than the asking price then!

    Anyway good luck with search, if you do decide to move here - just don't tell anyone else!

  10. #10
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    Since we have the feel good turned up to high.....

    The riding community here is really friendly. If you see someone on the trail, you probably know them by first name. If you don't, you will soon enough. We have a couple snooty snoots, but in most cases, they're new to town and eventually we soften them up in short order and convert them to friendly locals. Prescott definately has the small town bike vibe. We have 4 bike shops, and a growing number of bike events on the calendar. All in all a great town for a bike nut.

  11. #11
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    Wonderful place to live! And I'd echo every sentiment above, except:

    - Our 6 year old is in public school (Lincoln Elementary) and I've been extremely impressed. Very progressive teaching methods and the amount that he's learned this semester alone is incredible. We almost sent him to Skyview, which is an excellent school, but I'm happy we changed our minds.

    In general, Prescott schools don't conform to the general educational standards of Arizona statewide, which is abysmal.

    We have a 6-year old and a 5-month old and I consider them very, very lucky to grow up in this town and in these mountains and forests!

    - I would LOVE to have more and more cyclists move to Prescott! The more the merrier. The more mountain bikers we can rope into banging away on new trails and improving the existing (incredible!) trail system, the better. And we need to get more of us commuting by bicycle to get the locals used to it and help them move into the 21st Century, and maybe even park their 8-cylinder vehicles.

    In general I'd say (hypothetically)... remember that really hip, progressive, cultured town you used to live in that had the music scene and the forward-thinkers and the excellent restaurants and thoughtful city planners? Think of that town during the 5-10 years before it became so great... That's Prescott.

    So come help us make it even better!

    Greg

  12. #12
    SHU
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    I second all the great info given above.
    We moved here almost 7 years ago and have not missed Phx. at all. We have 8 yo twins at Skyview. There are other good school choices including public schools. The Principal at Mile High Middle School is a mountain biker.
    I encourage any active family folks to come here.

    If you come here, remember why you came here. Slow pace, nice people, laid back attitude. We are trying to keep it that way.

    Shu

    PM with any other questions

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velokid1
    . And we need to get more of us commuting by bicycle to get the locals used to it and help them move into the 21st Century, and maybe even park their 8-cylinder vehicles.

    Greg
    What if I pull the spark plugs on a couple cylinders??

  14. #14
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    Haha! You dork! I didn't realize you had a big 8. Naughty.

  15. #15
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    I love it when people bag one AZ public schools... the fact of the matter is, the schools(most!) are wonderful.. I'm sure there are some tough areas.. but for normal folks who care about their kids, the public options are wonderful. Anyone can go to any Ivy league school from an AZ public school if you care about that stuff and apply yourself.

    There is only one reason why the "ratings" are poor for the state....

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jperson
    Anyone can go to any Ivy league school from an AZ public school if you care about that stuff and apply yourself.
    An associate of mine just sent his kid to Harvard...



    The kid was home schooled for the majority of his education, so I don't know what that says about Arizona schools.
    Quote Originally Posted by buddhak
    And I thought I had a bike obsession. You are at once tragic and awesome.

  17. #17
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    I'll put my two cents in as well,
    I move here from "the OC" in 94 kicking and screaming...(long story) I still miss the
    San Gab's the ocean, Burger Continental in Pasadena and course my old riding buds.

    here are some things you may have to get used to,
    1. no freeways!
    2. the air is very dry in the winter (your skin will hate you)
    3. NO freeways!!
    4. No June gloom tell noon...just Blue sky right off the bat!
    5. NO FREEWAYS!!!
    6. you can see "real" stars
    7. well you know!!!
    8. No 60 cycle hum (noise) that gos on for 24/7
    9. None of that day light savings time crap
    10. less oxygen...less smog
    and
    11. that's right...NO F-ING FREEWAYS for at least 60 miles anyway

    hope this helped....
    the guys who posted up there gave some very good info on Preskit.
    so I figured someone had to be a wise a** hell, some of them are even fun to ride with
    so post up next time your out this way.

    Cheers, Billy
    Last edited by befoot; 11-19-2008 at 09:17 PM.
    Darwin was an Optimist

  18. #18
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    Not a resident but...

    My mom moved to PV a few years back. She is a school psychologist, and yes, some of the public schools do have issues...but from what I have heard, it is more due to the parents, not the schools.

    I like the area. Like all other folks said, best of both worlds in AZ. Not too cold, not too hot. Ride year round. I'll be there for Turkey Day (riding too) and will probably head over to Sedona for some riding too. Sister lives in PHX, right at the base of So.Mo (great place to ride) but traffic in PHX blows as does the heat.

    AZ public education isn't all that bad. I'm a product of AZ public schools. I don't know if it is still the case, but when I was in HS, if you graduated in the top 10% of your class at your high school, you were eligible to receive free tuition to ASU, NAU or UofA. Only problem is that once at one of those schools, you have to maintain a healthy GPA to keep that free tuition. I ended up with a pretty decent academic scholarship to a private university in the midwest. Got my BSME, currently work in nuclear power and am fortunate enough that my employer is paying me full time to work on my MSME.

    So, if you are a strong parent that takes an interest in their kids education, AZ public schools won't be an issue.

    But above all else, the area is neat, has good riding, is affordable, weather is good, and has good proximity to lots of other good places to ride.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enel
    An associate of mine just sent his kid to Harvard...
    do NOT think that AZ will keep your kids out of a "prestigious" school. Lots of good school systems here, but our averages are affected by our rural areas - no different than any other rural state. The AZ kids I knew in school were from Paradise Valley and Scottsdale, which again speaks to your local school or school system, not the state as a whole. if you work hard in high school and have good parenting you can get in anywhere. In fact, the Ivy League schools give you a bonus for being from somewhere "exotic". An AZ kid has an advantage over another kid from PA or NY.

    The makeup of a typical Ivy League class has a lot of factors that work against the west, but are not grade-related. An enormous number are alumni kids, and vast majority of Ivy League grads stay on the east coast. There is also an incredible cultural element at work - between the travel and the weather and the East Coast-private school mentality (very real and sometimes ugly for an outsider), lots of western kids really don't like the big east coast schools and don't want to go. I will say that the East Coast culture does focus more on colleges and subsequently breeds within kids (and parents) a focus on college prep more so than the west, but that is where parenting and guidance come in.

    However, comparing your college options in AZ to where I grew up near Philly is just apples to oranges - there were dozens of very good schools within 3 hrs of my house, that is simply not the case in AZ, so the AZ and CA schools become a much easier option and contribute to the perception you cant get in to the "big" schools. The nearest "prestigious" schools to Phx are...Stanford, Rice, Berkley? all flights or long drives. You could be anywhere from Boston to Chapel Hill with that same range on the East Coast.

    Any of the admissions offices could give you summaries on where a class comes from, where they've settled etc.

  20. #20
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    Great Info all.


    Is there any kind of live music to be had there? clubs / venues?

    We're going to be coming out Xmas week to just hang out-- I think we'll post up in Prescott for a couple days along with Sedona, and get the lay of the land.

  21. #21
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    My standards in live music are high (i.e. 'unreasonable'?) because I moved out here from a town in the Midwest with one of the best music scenes in the country (and a town without freeways, in gorgeous landscape, with an incredible university and one of the best cycling communities in the country), but I can tell you that if you're into live music, you'll be disappointed in Prescott's music scene, and Arizona's in general.

    There's a little bit of interesting stuff going on in Phoenix, but not much. There's a little more in Tucson, but it's a 4-hour drive. Not very daddy-seeing-music-on-a-weeknight-friendly.

    Flagstaff brings in some really good shows several times a year. And I don't mind driving the 90 minutes north to spend the afternoon and evening in a pleasant little college town.

    However, as I said above... that is changing. Slowly. The Raven Cafe, which opened here about 2 years ago, has tried to bring great shows to town. Unfortunately, when they bring really great artists here, the crowd is either small or completely disruptive during the show. Prescottonians just don't "get" live music yet.

    Outside of the Raven Cafe, some interesting (very small) artists come through Prescott College. Beyond that, you're looking at a bunch of lame cover bands playing Tom Petty and Bob Seger tunes in a bar full of white-collar bikers.

    The Arizona music scene is a sore subject for me.

  22. #22
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    I moved to Prescott Valley 18 years ago from Atlanta and would say that for half that time I had to go to Phoenix (1.5hrs) for many things. Now we have just about everything you need including 2 Walmarts, In & Out Burger, a brewpub, multiple Starbucks and a few bike shops.
    What more could you ask for?
    We have sent our kids to various private schools and we were quite happy with them. Some of the same issues are here that you have elsewhere such as drugs, alcohol and minimal gang type activity.

    The music scene sucks....unless you like country music. Here in PV we have an arena get some good bands from time to time such as Godsmack, Heart and Weird Al. Also a hockey, indoor football and basketball team.

    You heard about the biking scene, it is very good with everyone very friendly. I would recommend looking for housing in Prescott near the various trails as I have to drive at least 15 minutes to get to a good trail.

    Good paying jobs are kinda scarce although as mentioned companies like Printpack pay a good wage for the area and we also have a McDonnell Douglas (I think thats what is called) air traffic facility.

    Jeff

  23. #23
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    I'm appalled you people are dissing our music scene. Aside from the above mentioned Weird Al concert, it should be noted we also had visits from the Vienna Boys Choir and there's that one dude downtown with the two stringed guitar who plays a mean tune when he's not passed out in front of Matt's.



    My current venue for local music is iTunes. What does that tell ya.

  24. #24
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    Dont let em scare you away with words like progressive to describe Prescott. That can be perceived as a dirty word IMO. Prescott has its share of freak shows, but for the most part, its just a nice, small town. Opinions get voiced, but respected. Good Mexican food.

    Just for fun, I like to slap on a California sucks bumper sticker on my Jeep every now and then and watch half the town give me the ol stink eye as I drive past.

    ~jeff

  25. #25
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    Don't let az1jeff scare you off.

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