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Topic: Thoughts on living in CO Springs< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2013, 12:27 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi all -

My wife and I have been mulling over getting out of Chicago a lot lately and my wife has had a couple interviews with a company in CO Springs.  We are much more familiar with Fort Collins and Denver, and have never actually been to CO Springs.  

What are everyone's thoughts on the area?  We want to leave Chicago for:  a more outdoor-focused lifestyle, cheaper cost of living, less crime, less traffic, and a nicer climate.  Would CO Springs warrant a visit to really feel it out or should we continue looking elsewhere in the state?

Thanks!


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2013, 9:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Personally, I would look just east of Co Springs.  You will have less traffic on your commute, and the sun will be at your back.  Living on the prairie can be beautiful, and the mountains are still just a short drive away.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2013, 10:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am a CC Grad and lived in and around the Springs for almost 20 straight years.

With all due respect to LB I wouldn't live East of the Springs unless you're unlucky enough to be working on the East side; even then I wouldn't. They might really start to frack that area up. The City has awesome water from Pikes Peak and the Continental Divide.

If you want to live out of town I reccomend lower Ute Pass or Palmer Lake area. Both can have traffic problems [nothing by many standards] , but the entire Front Range is in the same boat. Public Transportation sucks in the Springs.

The Springs do have some crime problems with the transient military population. I'm not a fan of the prevailing politics BUT I love the Springs. Soem great people that contrast with Focus on the Family, etc. Incredible City Parks and the absolutely awesome Pike NF just to the West. What is IMO the glory of Colorado, the Sangres, are just 1.5 hours SW. The Collegiates just 1.5 hrs. West, Breckenridge the same. Then there is the fact that in just 3.5 hrs. you can be in Taos. The area North of there is an increible escape in later fall, earlier Spring. The San Luis Valley is something really special.

Where you choose to live is indeed crucial.I like the Old Northend, Westside, Manitou, and what I mentioned previously. If you're more on the Conservative side the malaise out East off Academy Blvd. might be right for you and LB might haqve steered you in the riht direction to begin with. The Westside and Manitou and the pass before Conservative Woodland Park are more like areas around Boulder and Ft. Collins.

The Springs is a place people either love or hate. As an outdoor enthusiast you really can't find a place with more than a half million people that comes close to offering what the Springs does.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2013, 10:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you are going to live on the prairie you might aas well move to Kansas :-)

The Springs is a great place..much more in touch with reality than Denver or Boulder...stay more to the north to avoid the criminal element. It is not what I would call cheap unless you are moving from Chicago! (or California)

The transient population also means people are more open and welcoming since most of them are not natives


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2013, 5:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All joking aside, I live about 20 miles east of Denver and work in Aurora.  I have a 30 minute commute, with the sun at my back.  I know people that drive longer to get from one side of town to another.  I can sit on the porch at night and hear coyotes and nighthawks....instead of rap music.  We routinely see deer, antelope, badgers, coyotes, and fox.  I need to put a fence around my garden to keep the rabbits out.  You can buy a lot more house to the east that you can in the foothills.

We have a fracking tower about 5 miles away....yes, it's coming if it's not already there.  I'm not thrilled about it, but out water (well) is still crystal clear.  There are worst things to have in the neighborhood...
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 16 2013, 8:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That's awesome LB, just a difference of opinion on the Springs. Before that I'll be in Denver in a few weeks. Maybe get Rem and Stew to have a beer?

Bill mentioned looking North instead of South, very good point. Even though our Military will be shrinking consolidation has always been very good to the Springs. East of the Springs might be Aurora in not too many years. Did El Paso finally become the most populous county in CO?

I have several friends that live in the Black Forest. They love it, but man can it rain. No weather shadow from the Peak there. Of course the Forest wouldn't be there without the precip.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 26 2013, 12:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the input!  Sounds like we will be adding the Springs to our itinerary of places to check out soon.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 28 2013, 1:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Also, if you're making this big of a move, set your goals high and think about even further North... perennial "Best City in the USA," Boulder, Colorado...far from the density, crime, and caustic right-wing politics of Colorado Springs...

Boulder Valley is a high-tech, jobs-creating mecca and has one of the best public school systems in the U.S... it's home of the University of Colorado, and, although you probably can't afford to live in Boulder itself, the nearby towns of Longmont, Lafayette and Louisville are still surpisingly affordable. (Check it out.)

Forget Colorado Springs...due to declining military budgets, it's a beautiful but vastly overbuilt city on a downhill slide...
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 28 2013, 2:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

And, because of its hard right, anti-inclusionary, anti-science, anti-women, anti-gay, anti-immigration politics, Colorado Springs can never begin to attract the world's new, young, highly educated high-tech workforce or their industries that Colorado Springs desperately needs to replace the declining U.S. Federal Government's overwhelming presence in their economy.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 28 2013, 3:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(highpeakdrifter @ Mar. 27 2013, 11:38 pm)
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Also, if you're making this big of a move, set your goals high and think about even further North... perennial "Best City in the USA," Boulder, Colorado...far from the density, crime, and caustic right-wing politics of Colorado Springs...

Boulder Valley is a high-tech, jobs-creating mecca and has one of the best public school systems in the U.S... it's home of the University of Colorado, and, although you probably can't afford to live in Boulder itself, the nearby towns of Longmont, Lafayette and Louisville are still surpisingly affordable. (Check it out.)

Forget Colorado Springs...due to declining military budgets, it's a beautiful but vastly overbuilt city on a downhill slide...

I'm sorry, but I could never agree with a recommendation for Boulder.  A couple of reasons:  First of all, it is not far from crime.  Boulder is a big college town, and we are fairly regularly getting news reports out of that town about various crimes, most college-related.  The other reason is that the feel of that city just isn't right.  It is the only city I've ever been in where the outdoor crowd comes off as being snobbish, or "wannabes."  

Colorado Springs has the reputation you mention, but without merit.  I get there 2 or 3 times a year, and have never felt the type of oppression being present that you talk about.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 28 2013, 3:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Burntfoot,

How are you doing? Riego carrying your beer yet?

With all due respect Colorado Springs has arguably the worst crime on the entire Front Range because of the transient military that make those college kids look comparatively angelic. Unfortunately Fort Carson is the last stop for many troublesome troops. The city is big with robbery, etc., but it was #1 in America in rape when I was in college 30 plus years ago. Although I disagree with Bill on "reality" his advice to stay farther North is REALLY important when it comes to crime.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 29 2013, 7:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

DC, thanks for the update.  I was unaware of the problems related to Fort Carson.  Except for the music convention in January at the Broadmoor, most of our trips to the Springs are to the eastern side, as that is where the Asian Markets and Filipino stores are where Gwen stocks up on food.  Not much evidence of crime over there.  I've never felt unsafe.  Downtown and the western side of the city might be different, and probably are for reasons you mentioned that seem reasonable.

But, I do stand on my statements about Boulder and the snobbish atmosphere there.  That whole town reeks of snobs.  When their university orchestra or band comes to the Broadmoor for that convention, the members of those groups have an air about them that is not good.  Once, I was there presenting my music research paper on India, from when I lived there.  The university students were trying to impress each other, and their professor, by trying to pick apart my research.  And, it spills over into other areas, as I mentioned, including the outdoors crowd.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 29 2013, 8:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(burntfoot @ Mar. 29 2013, 7:47 pm)
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But, I do stand on my statements about Boulder and the snobbish atmosphere there.  That whole town reeks of snobs.

They don't call it "the bubble" for nothing. :;):

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 29 2013, 11:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, I'm just an auto mechanic and all four of our kids completed Junior High, High School and graduated from University in Boulder. Although we were always at the low end of the income scale here, not once did any of us sense the "snobbishness," referred to in the previous letter.

What we did sense was smart, young, artistic, tech-savvy community, full of positivity and high-hopes and high achievers, along with a public school system that is phenomenal.

What a great place for your children to have positive peer-pressure from their friends.

Our kids loved Boulder so much that all four of them moved back to raise their families here. We now have four grown children, five grown grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, all living with 15 minutes from our house. We all ski together.

And I don't think a one of them is snobbish.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 29 2013, 11:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So, highpeaksdrifter, how so they afford it?  Living in Boulder, that is?

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2013, 12:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Tomato - tomato. Compared to Chicago any place in CO is great!
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2013, 12:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well, Hikerjer, unlike my wife and I, our kids were all hard workers and good students, (straight A, just like their Boulder friends.)

Several years after they graduated from CU, our four kids moved back to Boulder,(two of them were actually living in Russia, one of them has a Masters in Russian Languages,) and they quickly found good jobs in the local high-tech industries, they all soon started their own little companies, (that's what you do in Boulder,) and now that they are in their fifties, they are extremely well-established, with businesses that collectively employ hundreds of people...

This would have never happened if we had stayed in the narrow, negative, anti-intellectual, right-wing religious environment of Northwest Iowa, where my wife and I were born...

Moving to Boulder in 1977, although it horrified our family and friends, was the smartest thing we ever did.
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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2013, 11:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

highpeakdrifter -

I am going to take your advice with a grain of salt.  My wife and I both grew up, went to public schools, went to college, and attended grad school in Iowa, and it is by no means a "narrow, negative, anti-intellectuall... blah blah blah".  We are both extremely successful professionals.  There are a few backwaters of Iowa, just like any other state, that are filled with bigots and idiots, but overall, it is a state that embraces hard work and good values.

That said, there is not much to do outside in Iowa, hence the reason we would not consider moving back.  Chicago has been great, but it is time for a change of pace...


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2013, 11:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Burntfoot,

IMO your observations of Boulder could fit almost any University town, but that's cool, we all look at the world differently. People talk that away about my alma mater a lot more than CU.

Crime in the Springs is highest in the south and the next worst area is the southeast that you were talking about with the Markets. You don't see the crime in the middle of the day unless you're around the bloodbanks off of Bijou, B Street, or one of the Apartment complexes out East.


Cadesun,

There is a lot to what HPD is saying although I believe he exaggerates to a degree. Before I give you an enthusiastic upside to the Springs let me convey what I believe to the reason for the ken of folks like HPD:

The biggest industries in the Springs are 1) Guns and 2) God. There is significant intolerance when it comes to citywide politics. The "churches" profess a lot of benevolence but when it comes time to invest in the community there's no encouragement from the pulpits, in fact just the opposite. Here in Jackson Wyoming we have a better bus system than that city of a half million. They'll spend 25 million dollars on each of multiple intersections but they will not invest a few measley million dollars in a bus system so the less fortunate can actually get to work and their children can travel the city freely. I don't care what anyone tells you but the catastrophic fires of last summer were ENTIRELY THE FAULT OF THE LOCAL COMMUNITY. the anti tax folks had cut emergency services so far to the bone there was essentially no local response to the fires, and by the time someone had the motivation to call in resources from outside the community it was too late for more than 300 homes. That IMO is unforgivable. There is a heightened frequency of callous hypocrisy you will see in the Springs you will not see anywhere else in the Centennial State. You get out East and you have the same thing that's hurt us all over the country, neighborhoods full of people that would rather have technology raise their kids and keep them in their own rooms out of their hair. Columbine could have just as easily happened in a number of places in the Springs.

All that said if you were to move to the old Northend, just north of CC, you would think you were in Boulder or Ft. Collins, several strong neighborhoods. The Springs has one of the best park systems you'll ever find. Garden of the Gods, Monument Valley, Palmer, Cheyenne Canon, Ute Valley...its a big list of exquisite urban retreats. The Downtown has been seriously revitalized, it is no longer the cultural wasteland of the 90s.


On balance I love the Springs, but you'd be wise to take HPD's observations with far more than a grain of salt.

I would suggest that if you settled in the Old Northend, just north of CC, you'd think you were in a progressive city like Fort Collins or Boulder. The Westside also has some soul,m and culture.

CHECK IT OUT, but check several areas of the city out.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 30 2013, 2:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(highpeakdrifter @ Mar. 30 2013, 12:19 am)
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Well, Hikerjer, unlike my wife and I, our kids were all hard workers and good students, (straight A, just like their Boulder friends.)

they quickly found good jobs in the local high-tech industries, they all soon started their own little companies, (that's what you do in Boulder,) and now that they are in their fifties, they are extremely well-established, with businesses that collectively employ hundreds of people...

Good for them and congrats to you.  You apparently did something right when you raised them.  Got to be satisfying.

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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 31 2013, 6:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well.....


I've lived in the Springs and Boulder. I hate the people of the Springs, but love the surroundings. As DC has pestled into us, it has great access to many more southerly locations. I do truly hate the culture there. I have a good friend in Manitou and greatly enjoy visiting him and his family there.

I currently live in the "bubble". Gosh, sometimes I really do hate Boulder, too. I am fully aware of the outdoors snobbery that pervades here, such a wannabe-inspired snobbery that often makes me feel supercilious for being better than all of them when it comes to the outdoors, but less of a braggart, if that even seems possible!  :D  For example, I just did 7 days solo in the remote backcountry of southern NM, with a very healthy mixture of cross-country travel involved. Yet I feel that I am one of only a few in this town (GoBlue included) who could actually pull off such a feat, despite all of the North Face and Marmot pullovers and puffies walking around. I hate this place, but would I rather be in the Springs? Umm, no. I think I'm going to move back into the mountains and deal with the 30 minute bus commute. Boulder, however, has the highest density of hottie college chicks around than any other place in the world, perhaps.

Conclusion: both Boulder and the Springs cause me to despise humanity even more than I already do, but for entirely different reasons.


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PostIcon Posted on: Mar. 31 2013, 7:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Reminiscence @ Mar. 31 2013, 6:56 pm)
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Boulder, however, has the highest density of hottie college chicks around than any other place in the world, perhaps.

Ya know, I'm kind of an old guy, but not yet dead.  But when I visited Boulder last year for the first time in about 20 years, I came to the same conclusion. I mean, it was actually the thing that impressed me most.  Truly amazing. Place like that can't be all bad. :D

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 12:31 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The neat thing about Boulder is that it didn't happen by accident. The whole idea of a town surrounded by "Open Space" was invented by Frederick Law Olmstead Jr., the foremost landscape architect in the world, (and son of the man who designed NYC Central Park,) who was contracted by the Boulder City Council in 1910 to provide a hundred-year landscape plan.

Now, Boulder has 50,000 acres of "Open Space," with bear, mountain lion coyote, deer, bald eagles,and hundreds of other native species, all mixed in as a part of our daily lives...(Not always a good thing.)

I've been backpacking in the Western US and Alaska for 40 years, but I've never seen as many bears, mountain lions, eagles and peregrine falcons as I see, surprisingly often, on the streets and trails of my own hometown.

(Oh, yes, Boulder is also extremely anti-gun, so we're left to fighting off wild animals by striking them violently with our purses or our man-bags.)
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 1:56 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Apparently, the full-grown mountain lion had grabbed the boy's entire head in her mouth and was dragging him to her den. The boy's mother attacked the mountain lion with sticks and stones...

Just shows that when your kids grow up in Boulder, they grow up tough....

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 10:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I last visited there, I think I read something about the good citizens of Boulder passing a bond or mill levy - maybe it was a sales tax (I can't quite remember) - or something a number of years ago that was dedicated to funding recreational activities such as bike /walking paths, parks, etc.  Pretty progressive IMO.  Wish my city would be as much.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 10:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Still plenty of cows in that open space on the drive to Broomfield. Or maybe that's private property. I'm about to bicycle over to the CU campus...entirely on bike paths.

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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 01 2013, 10:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have absolutely no opinion to offer about living in Colorado, but thought you might get some use out of this site.  Neither do I have any affiliation with this website, but I find it very useful and interesting for comparing towns.

http://www.city-data.com/city/Colorado-Springs-Colorado.html

City-data.com has oodles of factual information as well as links to personal and anecdotal feedback.

Cadesun, hope your move works out.  Enjoy
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 02 2013, 8:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

llamapacker -

Thanks for the link, it has some great comparison info!

Just to be clear, we are not solely considering CO Springs, we just were not all the familiar with that area of the state and wanted to get an idea for what the locals thought.  Fort Collins is still our number 1 choice, but I am guessing any city in CO beats Chicago!

CO looks to have it pretty good in terms of crime:  If the Springs is the worst the Centennial State has to offer, compare its 2011 murder rate of 26, or 6.1 per 100,000 residents to the Chicago murder rate of 431 or 15.2 per 100,000... and 2012 had over 500 murders here!


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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 10:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(toejam @ Mar. 30 2013, 12:15 am)
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Tomato - tomato. Compared to Chicago any place in CO is great!

+1


Now I would recommend Denver. Plenty of breweries, eats, affordable compared to Chicago. Plus it's not right wing like the Springs and not pseudo Hippieish, I am KBCO crap like Boulder oh I'm Brett Saunders the worlds biggest tool box.
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PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 6:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Call be out of touch but it's always bothered me to see folks wearing high end Marmot and North Face clothing at the mall or using expensive Black Diamond tents for car camping.  I wonder what percentage of expensive gear (jackets, tents) never is actually used in the mountains? I'll bet it's more than 50%.
Just venting.
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