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  1. #1
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    Help me Colorado

    My wife and I are planning on relocating to Colorado sometime in the next year. We will be semi retired so we are looking for an area that will have some opportunity for employment.
    Some of the locations we are looking at are Fruita/Grand Junction, Villa Grove/Saguache, Pagosa Springs, and Manitou Springs/Woodland Park area.
    As always, great Mt. biking. The closer the better.
    Your thoughts and opinions please.
    Because, one is never enough.

  2. #2
    Team Velveeta™
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    Saguache? really?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2BeerJoe View Post
    My wife and I are planning on relocating to Colorado sometime in the next year. We will be semi retired so we are looking for an area that will have some opportunity for employment.
    Some of the locations we are looking at are Fruita/Grand Junction, Villa Grove/Saguache, Pagosa Springs, and Manitou Springs/Woodland Park area.
    As always, great Mt. biking. The closer the better.
    Your thoughts and opinions please.
    You name off four pretty different locations. What kind of employment might you be seeking/qualified for?

    I live about half an hour from Villa Grove/Saguache. Land there is almost free. Employment is pretty much non-existent without a fair amount of driving. Even with a 30-45 minute drive, opportunities are limited. The long views are pretty spectacular up there, but winters are grim. Very cold and windy. Nearest real grocery store is 30-40 minutes one way. Mountain biking other than long dirt roads is very limited. There's one fairly close trail that's nice, 15 miles or so from the Villa Grove metro area. 25 or so from the Saguache urban center. Culture? Somewhat variable but a large contingent of survivalist/off grid/semi-hermits and lots of goat ropers.

    Manitou Springs is really part of Colorado Springs. Real estate there is Colo Springs +35%. Lots of employment, but chances are you'll drive to CS for it. Woodland Park is cheaper real estate, but local employment is much like Manitou. It's a bedroom community. Drive down to Colo Springs where the jobs are is 25 minutes unless there's weather, which is fairly often. There's one highway down. It gets busy during rush hour because virtually everyone who lives up there works in the Springs.

    Can't comment much about Pagosa or GJ/Fruita. I'll let the western slopers go there.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  3. #3
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    I can tell you that as far as the riding goes, Fruita *in my opinion* is 10X better than Pagosa. I have looked at property in Pagosa and I love that you can live "in the forest" and still be back into town in less than 10 minutes. However, the town itself is soooooo touristy so I'd definitely go the Fruita route myself. As a matter of fact, if my wife can find a job there in a few years, that's on the short list for me.

    How about Durango? Not a ton of "industry" but alot of different type of businesses so it's probably easier to find a good job and the riding is awesome. Besides, everybody from Pagosa that really needs anything has to drive 50 miles to Durango for the Home Depot, Wal-Mart or a full service hospital.

  4. #4
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Durango.

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  5. #5
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    My vote would be for Junciton/Fruita. For me personally, at least, Moving to Grand Junction has been one of the best things I've done.

  6. #6
    RYD W/ FLO
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    I have been living and riding in GJ since 1995. The riding is possibly the best in the state, if you like things technical and chunky, and it's only getting better. Not to mention the multitude of other world class activities to do around the area.

    The city leaves a little to be desired. Tough economy of inflated cost of living and low wages. Being semi-retired, that may not be much of an issue to you.

    If it were me, and I had my choice of places to live in the state, not worried about a job, I would pick Paonia, Ridgeway, or Salida. If the job/income mattered and was dependent on the local economy, I'd move to the Front Range.

    Just my .02

  7. #7
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    Carbondale/Glenwood Springs is nice too.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by karatemonkey View Post
    I have been living and riding in GJ since 1995. The riding is possibly the best in the state, if you like things technical and chunky, and it's only getting better. Not to mention the multitude of other world class activities to do around the area.

    The city leaves a little to be desired. Tough economy of inflated cost of living and low wages. Being semi-retired, that may not be much of an issue to you.

    If it were me, and I had my choice of places to live in the state, not worried about a job, I would pick Paonia, Ridgeway, or Salida. If the job/income mattered and was dependent on the local economy, I'd move to the Front Range.

    Just my .02
    Very good advice! I live down in Moab and Junk Show is where we head when we need the big city items. The Grand Valley is amazing. If you dig the desert the riding is really second to none. Way better than the rest of the state if you ask me as I much prefer the rock slab.

    As beautiful as the valley is, GJ and even fruita certainly leave a little to be desired. As the name indicates, it was, and still is, very much a cross roads town. All the things you'd expect in such a town are present - mostly in the form of industrial type influence. What do you do for a living? Economy doesn't seem all that awesome but coming from other places, the cost of living is pretty reasonable as well. Winters are also going to be milder here compared to your other locals.

    Glenwood and the rest of the roaring fork valley is indeed very nice. It's also very spendy! I'd take a string look at Durango as well. The town it self sits right on the cusp of Colorado Plateau that is Moab/GJ/Sedona and Colorado alpine. In town it's really almost desert riding while the Alpine is still real close. The town is nice, close to Moab and just the right size IMO. Only reason it's not a billion bucks to live there is it's not really easily accesible by anywhere with a large economy.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the info. I'm strictly blue collar when it comes to jobs. The Wife on the other hand is the brains of the operation and has a number of degrees, most notably in management and human resources. Judging from what everyone seems to be saying, we'll probably focus on the Springs and GJ/Fruita. We're still open to other suggestions though.
    Because, one is never enough.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BeerJoe View Post
    Thanks for the info. I'm strictly blue collar when it comes to jobs. The Wife on the other hand is the brains of the operation and has a number of degrees, most notably in management and human resources. Judging from what everyone seems to be saying, we'll probably focus on the Springs and GJ/Fruita. We're still open to other suggestions though.
    Mercury Payment Systems is expanding here in Durango. There is plenty of blue collar work.
    We don't really like to say it too loud in front of out-of-towners, but Durango is a great place to live, including, but far from limited to, the mountain biking,
    Craig, Durango CO
    "Lighten up PAL" ... King Cage

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BeerJoe View Post
    Thanks for the info. I'm strictly blue collar when it comes to jobs. The Wife on the other hand is the brains of the operation and has a number of degrees, most notably in management and human resources. Judging from what everyone seems to be saying, we'll probably focus on the Springs and GJ/Fruita. We're still open to other suggestions though.
    I was screwing around on the help wanted pages for Fruita/GJ last night and the hospital there (Family Health West) is looking for an upper level HR person. Maybe your wife would be interested?

  12. #12
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    I have homes in Fruita and Co. Springs, and have lived in each town for many years. They're both very good places to be. My experience in Fruita has been from ~92 onward, homes were cheap in Fruita then. Between then and now I spent about a decade in Co. Springs, living right at the edge of Garden of the Gods.

    Grand Valley riding has changed and developed a lot in the past 20 years - it frankly is wonderful, and it continuest to grow and evolve. And we have great outdoor rec. opportunities of nearly any flavor within 20 miles. If you enjoy this sort of terrain, it's a great environment. Work wise, well, it's not a broad employment base, but a capable person can find work anywhere. It's not a micro town, so there's sufficient opportunity.

    Springs - also a nice place. It has a 'conservative' reputation, and generally that's pretty true, but I'm no conservative and I enjoyed living there. Riding opportunities have grown over the last few years, and there's some nice stuff locally - ridable from the west side of town. The larger more metro feel is apparent in comparison to the western slope, but it's still not a major metro area. Better variety of work opportunity there.

    Good luck in your search.

    Scott
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  13. #13
    Get to dah choppah
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BeerJoe View Post
    My wife and I are planning on relocating to Colorado sometime in the next year. We will be semi retired so we are looking for an area that will have some opportunity for employment.
    Some of the locations we are looking at are Fruita/Grand Junction, Villa Grove/Saguache, Pagosa Springs, and Manitou Springs/Woodland Park area.
    As always, great Mt. biking. The closer the better.
    Your thoughts and opinions please.
    I'm from Colorado. I also intend to semi-retire in the next year and my priorities are similar to yours. I spent about a month driving around the state, looking at houses and the cities/towns.

    The best solution for me was Fort Collins. It has as much MTB'ing as most anywhere else, the unemployment rate is low, and housing cost is substantially lower than most of the Denver/Boulder area.
    My advise would be to visit yourself. Your reaction to various locations will likely be difficult to predict before hand.
    Santa Cruz TBc
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  14. #14
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Man... if I were "semi-retiring" it would be as close to these as I could afford:


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Man... if I were "semi-retiring" it would be as close to these as I could afford:

    Where might that be? And thanks everyone for your responses. I just sold a 3 acre lot outside Poncha Springs which was going to be my retirement spot. Unfortunately that will not come to pass for a number of reasons. Keep your comments and suggestions flowing if it's not to much of a hassle for you.
    Because, one is never enough.

  16. #16
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2BeerJoe View Post
    Where might that be?
    Mind your own business!


  17. #17
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    Since we're talking retirement, I'll throw my planned retirement home out there

    I want the big one, but will probably end up with the small one.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Man... if I were "semi-retiring" it would be as close to these as I could afford:

    Five min. from my front door. Wish I was "semi-retired" so I could enjoy it more than just the usual drive-by on the way to work!

  19. #19
    Tigers love pepper...
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtsideup View Post
    Five min. from my front door. Wish I was "semi-retired" so I could enjoy it more than just the usual drive-by on the way to work!
    Dallas divide?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobi View Post
    Dallas divide?
    I was thinking the same.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtsideup View Post
    Five min. from my front door. Wish I was "semi-retired" so I could enjoy it more than just the usual drive-by on the way to work!
    Outside your door and were is that.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwind View Post
    As beautiful as the valley is, GJ and even fruita certainly leave a little to be desired. As the name indicates, it was, and still is, very much a cross roads town. All the things you'd expect in such a town are present - mostly in the form of industrial type influence. What do you do for a living? Economy doesn't seem all that awesome but coming from other places, the cost of living is pretty reasonable as well. Winters are also going to be milder here compared to your other locals.

    Glenwood and the rest of the roaring fork valley is indeed very nice. It's also very spendy! I'd take a string look at Durango as well. The town it self sits right on the cusp of Colorado Plateau that is Moab/GJ/Sedona and Colorado alpine. In town it's really almost desert riding while the Alpine is still real close. The town is nice, close to Moab and just the right size IMO. Only reason it's not a billion bucks to live there is it's not really easily accesible by anywhere with a large economy.
    The only place that I've lived in Colorado is Grand Junction. I don't know if it is the ultimate place in CO to live, but you won't regret moving there if that is what you choose.

    I really like the vibe of Durango during my visits there. I am not sure how that would translate into permantly living there (ie employment, smaller town living, slightly more isolation). I may really like it, but the significant other and fam may not.

  23. #23
    Tigers love pepper...
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    Lived on the Front Range twice. Finished high school in Lafayette. The went to college in GJ. Moved back to Boulder/Longmont after graduation to work for about 2 years. Once I found a job in GJ I moved back in a heartbeat. And this was before I even found out I liked mountain biking!

    I'm just not a big city guy. GJ is big enough for me. Just big enough to have all the stuff you need, yet no traffic and crowds.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobi View Post
    Dallas divide?
    Ding! Ding! Ding!
    Wonder why ya can't afford it?
    Everything short of tree line is owened by Ralph Lauren.

  25. #25
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    Fruita just rocks and the entire Grand Valley has a strong retirement community. Tons of trail, 45 minutes from a great local ski hill, cross country skiing, endless hiking options, the wine capital of Colorado, great medical resources and arts and culture. If you want to be a part of a community, the Grand Valley would be a great choice!

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