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View Full Version : Seeking advice from those in the Denver(ish) area


RacerJRP
02-16-2012, 06:01 PM
So the GF and I are planning a trip out to the Denver area at the end of June as vacation/ scouting mission. Hoping to be out for 6-10 days or so.

We will both be finishing up with school about 14 months from now and are considering making the move out West from here in South Jersey.

Neither of us have been out to CO before but we know a few people that have moved out and love it. Sounds like a great place for active people. While we are out in CO we'd like to look at some of the towns within about an hour from Denver and figure out where about we may like to be and get a feel for the job market, cost of living in different areas, and just I guess get an idea for the way of life out there.

Obviously getting jobs will dictate what we do after school, and unfortunately the market for teachers is soft all over the Country. :crap: The outlook for Dental Hygienists seem a bit more solid at least.

My GF will be graduating from Dental Hygiene School and I will be graduating with a BS in Health and Physical Education... Hey, somebody has to teach the increasingly young obese population how to live healthier right?!

Any CO teachers on the forum with a line on a job? ;)

So I guess what my rambling is getting at is...do any of the locals have suggestions or tips as to what/ where we should be looking when we head out?

Thanks!
:beer:

firerescuefin
02-16-2012, 06:10 PM
PMd you

Louis
02-16-2012, 06:26 PM
I'm no CO expert, but IMO Boulder's a pretty neat place. Not sure what the job market is like there.

oldpotatoe
02-16-2012, 06:29 PM
I'm no CO expert, but IMO Boulder's a pretty neat place. Not sure what the job market is like there.


Unknown as to dental field or teachers but with the place surrounded by openspace, it's expen$ive to live here, housing wise. Took me 5 years to find as place I could afford AND want to live in. BUT it is a neat place, why I live here.

Should also look at the '4 Ls'..Louisville, Longmont, Lafayette, Lyons.

Ralph
02-16-2012, 06:46 PM
The front range area in Colorado extends a long way. Lots of places to check out. Colorado Springs to Fort Collins. Lots of varied economies.....just like where you are now. There also are neat towns further West....GlenWood Springs-Aspen area along the river. Visit Durango and Grand Junction too. All these places offer active lifestyles ....and living W/B fine with a decent job.

bargainguy
02-16-2012, 07:14 PM
I heard somewhere that Colorado is the fittest state in the nation. I would think that would be in your favor as a health and phys ed instructor. Have a great time.

Don

Gummee
02-16-2012, 07:23 PM
Boulder is an acquired taste. Like Santa Cruz... I'm not particularly fond of either. Everywhere around Boulder's OK. LOTS less $$ to live just outside city limits.

Despite what y'all think, there's a large anti-cycling population in/near Boulder. Just watch for the comments in all the accident reports on the news sites. Seems we're our own worst enemies...

If you don't need to go to Denver, Ft Collins is a great little town. Ditto with Cheyenne. Cheyenne's got the stigma of being in WY. That's both an up side and down side. :nod

HTH

M

firerescuefin
02-16-2012, 07:23 PM
I heard somewhere that Colorado is the fittest state in the nation. I would think that would be in your favor as a health and phys ed instructor. Have a great time.

Don

Outdoor recreation and peoples' leisure time is the "religion" in Colorado. I have never seen so many fit people that are everyday people in my life.

Louis
02-16-2012, 07:27 PM
The front range area in Colorado extends a long way. Lots of places to check out. Colorado Springs to Fort Collins. Lots of varied economies.....just like where you are now. There also are neat towns further West....GlenWood Springs-Aspen area along the river. Visit Durango and Grand Junction too. All these places offer active lifestyles ....and living W/B fine with a decent job.

I agree with this. I'm not familiar with the NW corner of the state, but other than that, anywhere west of I-25 is cool in my book.

(Unless we're talking some godforsaken place at 10k feet that's just a collection of shacks, and there are plenty of those.)

One of my favorites: Tincup

http://www.allstays.com/Features/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/ghost-towns-co-tin-cup.jpg

Aaron O
02-16-2012, 07:33 PM
I don't live in Denver...but I recently stayed out there with a friend and I have to tell you...I LOVED IT! The weather was fantastic...even when the temperatures were low, it felt warmer. The people were mellow and fun...just honestly friendly. It took some getting used to as a neurotic east coaster. Whenever you asked someone what they were doing for the weekend it was always something crunchy granola - like kayaking.

RacerJRP
02-16-2012, 11:06 PM
Awesome, thanks for the responses. Always a helpful bunch here!

Bradford
02-17-2012, 12:15 AM
You should also look into the foothills towns like Conifer, Evergreen, and Genesee. They are close enough to Denver to enjoy the city, but more of a mountain-like setting. If you don't have to commute into Denver or the Tech Center every day, it would be a cool place to live.

oldpotatoe
02-17-2012, 09:09 AM
Boulder is an acquired taste. Like Santa Cruz... I'm not particularly fond of either. Everywhere around Boulder's OK. LOTS less $$ to live just outside city limits.

Despite what y'all think, there's a large anti-cycling population in/near Boulder. Just watch for the comments in all the accident reports on the news sites. Seems we're our own worst enemies...

If you don't need to go to Denver, Ft Collins is a great little town. Ditto with Cheyenne. Cheyenne's got the stigma of being in WY. That's both an up side and down side. :nod

HTH

M

2 things-

1)"there's a large anti-cycling population in/near Boulder". Worse up north in Larimer county(sheriff is a di_k), There is a anti-cycling crowd around Boulder, but I woudn't say it's 'large'. Stay to the right and you are OK.

2)"Seems we're our own worst enemies" No truer words spoken. When riding, I am pretty militant about people running red lights, happens ALL the time. When I say, cyclist, please stop at red lights', I have always gotten the same responses. Either ignore , or F__K UUU. Nice.

BUT when a person on a bicycle runs a red light, see item number 1 above.

But Boulder really is, "35 square miles surrounded by reality"..I DO like it and all the Boulder-ness.

People's Republic of Boulder

Chance
02-17-2012, 09:26 AM
But Boulder really is, "35 square miles surrounded by reality"..I DO like it and all the Boulder-ness.

People's Republic of Boulder
Have only driven through on way to Estes Park and it is a great looking place. Would like to explore more of it myself.

Gummee
02-17-2012, 09:30 AM
How bout 'vociferous' then? That a better description?

I was living in Westminster and then above Lyons for a while. Rode thru Boulder lots.

M

gdw
02-17-2012, 09:48 AM
"2)"Seems we're our own worst enemies" No truer words spoken. When riding, I am pretty militant about people running red lights, happens ALL the time. When I say, cyclist, please stop at red lights', I have always gotten the same responses. Either ignore , or F__K UUU. Nice."

+1000 Unfortunately Boulder's cycling population has a high percentage of idiots. Riding without lights, running red lights, stops signs, interferring with traffic in the canyons, buzzing other trail users on the bike paths are standard procedure for these a**hats.

biker72
02-17-2012, 12:46 PM
My observations as a visitor:
No shortage of bike shops.
Bicycle friendly and savvy car drivers.
Hundreds of miles of paved bike paths.
Overall population seems to be fairly fit.

Only downside is the traffic. Very surprising considering how many people bike to work.

firerescuefin
02-17-2012, 01:18 PM
My observations as a visitor:
No shortage of bike shops.
Bicycle friendly and savvy car drivers.
Hundreds of miles of paved bike paths.
Overall population seems to be fairly fit.

Only downside is the traffic. Very surprising considering how many people bike to work.

Accurate Observations

tiretrax
02-17-2012, 03:25 PM
I almost moved to CO but moved back to TX instead. I wish I were there, but I have family obligations here.

I'd look for a job for your gf first, then see what school systems have openings. I am sure you will end up someplace idyllic.

kenw
02-18-2012, 01:22 AM
[QUOTE=oldpotatoe]2 things-

1)"there's a large anti-cycling population in/near Boulder". Worse up north in Larimer county(sheriff is a di_k),


From Larimer County: got a new sheriff; donʻt know his cycling policy, but rode 7100+ miles last year, mostly in Larimer County. Blatantly blew off a stop sign a few weeks ago in full view of a sheriffʻs deputy (couldnʻt have missed me) and he kept right on going. I donʻt ride in or near the Larimer/Boulder County line; maybe things are different there. Once or twice a month there is a letter to the editor grousing about unlit students on unlit bikes running stop signs, or about "those idiots in spandex".

Western Slope weather can be much mellower than Front Range weather. The Front Range can have tree-trashing snows as late as early May and as early as late-September (if not earlier). Hail at most anytime. My in-full-blossom fruit trees (apple, cherry, apricot, plum) were mostly trashed last June by a heavy hail storm. If you want more rants about the local weather, just ask.

RacerJRP
02-21-2012, 01:31 PM
Plane tickets have been purchased. I will be out in CO June 19-27. :D :banana:

Gummee
02-21-2012, 02:06 PM
Plane tickets have been purchased. I will be out in CO June 19-27. :D :banana:
Should be a good time. If you have the time, ride the Morgul-Bismark stage of the old Coors Classic. :nod That wall really is a wall.

M

John Price
02-21-2012, 06:25 PM
My wife and I do. Lived here 12 years now and have no desire to leave. We live in Aurora - part of the greater Denver area. When you say an hour from Denver realize that Denver is a LONG city so if you end up say getting a job in South Denver then living somewhere like Westminster (north side of Denver) (let alone Boulder) would require a LONG commute through.

Good luck, enjoy your trip (drive up to the the top of Mt Evans if you get the chance - see what 14000 ft feels like).

John

Tailwinds
02-22-2012, 10:46 AM
I moved to Denver from Florida 9 years ago and LOVE it! Cold here is MUCH easier to tolerate than the cold in the Northeast (been there, too). Cycling is excellent, and there are infinite other outdoor activities to enjoy.

Schools in Douglas County (Castle Rock, etc., south of Denver) are supposed to be the best around here. I don't have kids so I'm not speaking from personal experience, though. I lived in Castle Rock for a couple of years, and the views are phenomenal. The cycling is okay, but there is easier access to everything by bike in Denver. I now enjoy living in Denver where I can walk or ride everywhere and hardly ever need to drive my car. Over 650 miles of bike paths actually go to real places around here! :p

There is an area west of downtown (and west of an expensive, older area called the Highlands) called Edgewater, and it is relatively affordable, although I'm not sure about the schools there (if you're planning a family).

I think living in Golden (just west of town) would be nice if you could find jobs nearby.

Good luck to you guys!

MadRocketSci
02-22-2012, 04:49 PM
check out "the Springs" (Colorado Springs) too...though culturally it is -1*Boulder, if that does/does not appeal to you...

The foothill areas are nice but today they are reporting 80mph winds around Golden, Evergreen, etc. Weather a bit crazy up there.

MadRocketSci
02-22-2012, 04:51 PM
Comfort Dental is everywhere around here (no personal experience), but might be an easy place to start the search for hygienist positions...

http://www.comfortdental.com/comfort-dental-employment.html

firerescuefin
02-22-2012, 05:02 PM
check out "the Springs" (Colorado Springs) too...though culturally it is -1*Boulder, if that does/does not appeal to you...

The foothill areas are nice but today they are reporting 80mph winds around Golden, Evergreen, etc. Weather a bit crazy up there.

"Troof" :beer:

If you want to be a kite in your next life, riding in foothills in the springtime is great training

gdw
02-22-2012, 06:35 PM
87mph winds today in Boulder. Yeehaw!

oldpotatoe
02-22-2012, 06:56 PM
87mph winds today in Boulder. Yeehaw!


Semi on it's side on Jay Rd, fire on 119th, wife just east of IBM, gotta find another way back to the republic..It has been some kinda windy today..snow tomorrow..ohh boy...

RacerJRP
02-23-2012, 09:02 AM
Thanks again for all the info guys.

Those are some serious winds!

We will head up to 14k ft for sure. I'm gonna go for a jog up there just to see what it's like. As for riding, at this point, I am hoping to be able to get myself a bike for just a single afternoon I think.

Gummee
02-23-2012, 09:06 AM
Before I actually moved to CO and experienced it myself, I always pooh poohed those guys riding with jackets, etc. 'WhyTF do you need those in the summer?!'

Then I moved to Denver (and later Cheyenne) and discovered that there's a HUGE temp differential between even Boulder and Nederland. Getting into some of the higher passes it can REALLY cool down. :nod

So, if you're going out into the mountains in the summer, be prepared for changing weather and cooler temps. IOW bring a jacket!

M

Wilkinson4
02-23-2012, 09:41 AM
Thanks again for all the info guys.

Those are some serious winds!

We will head up to 14k ft for sure... I'm gonna go for a jog up there just to see what it's like.

Be careful about the jog... Even the most conditioned can succumb to some high altitude sickness. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

What size bike do you ride?

mIKE

gdw
02-23-2012, 09:52 AM
June 18th 2011 - Mt Evans
http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=92181

Ken C
02-23-2012, 02:29 PM
You might also check out Littleton which is South of Denver. My wife is a teacher and teaches in the Littleton Public Shool District. It is one of the better school districts in the metro area along with Cherry Creek and Boulder.

We bought a very nice brick ranch stater home, with a large yard and mature trees, in a neighborhood just south of the Littleton historic downtown. We are in walking distance of the downtown and also to the light rail station where the train goes directly into downtown Denver.

The downtown in Littleton has some nice restaurants and a couple of nice places to grab a drink afterwork or on the weeked.

From our house, I have very easy access to the Platte River bike path which takes me directly to some good riding around Chatfield, up and past Sedalia, and Deer Creek Canyon (and further up into the mountains).

I also work in Golden and would second the recommendation, they also have a neat historic downtown and great access to riding up in the mountains. I would probably say the riding is a little better from Golden than Littleton. They are also currently constructing a light rail line from Golden to Denver.

Having access to light rail into Denver is really a wonderful, it is nice to have public transportation when you want to go out and have a few adult beverages.

Some young couples like living in Denver, my wife and I prefer to live in a little more quiet area. The highlands as suggested above is a really nice area, however home prices are pretty expensive. Most of the homes are cool older homes with historic touches and the neighborhood has a lot of young professionals and cool new restaurants, shopping and nightlife.

I also grew up in Boulder and would love to move back, however as OP suggested affordable housing requires a lot of patience. I love the vibe of the town, the nightlife, the outdoor activities and the fitness lifestyle. It is also wonderful how close the town is to the foothills. You are minutes from a good hike, or climb on a road bike. The only thing I don't love is the students at the University. Most of them are fine, but there is always a few rich spoiled, drunk ones to give them a bad name.

If you have any questions feel free to pm me.

Ken

MadRocketSci
02-23-2012, 07:06 PM
cherry hills - a bargain...

we should pool up some money, buy this place for the forum, and use it as bike storage for everyone over 300 posts...

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/real_estate/1202/gallery.multi-million-foreclosures/8.html

Louis
02-23-2012, 07:15 PM
cherry hills - a bargain...

we should pool up some money, buy this place for the forum, and use it as bike storage for everyone over 300 posts...

http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2012/real_estate/1202/gallery.multi-million-foreclosures/8.html

meh - only two acres.

We need someplace big enough to have our own cross course.

firerescuefin
02-23-2012, 07:22 PM
Ken...l've alwasy thought of the demographic of Littleton as "older". Is that a misperception or do you notice more young families moving in there/ in certain sections?

RacerJRP
02-23-2012, 09:51 PM
Thanks for that Ken. I'm sure i'll be able to come up with a list of questions for you. Littleton is actually one of the areas I plan to spend a little time in, as a friend that moved out a couple years ago has a place there.

RacerJRP
02-23-2012, 09:53 PM
Be careful about the jog... Even the most conditioned can succumb to some high altitude sickness. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

What size bike do you ride?

mIKE


I seem to be one of the few shorter riders on the forum. I'm 5'7 and generally ride around 53.5 TT

Ken C
02-23-2012, 10:12 PM
Ken...l've alwasy thought of the demographic of Littleton as "older". Is that a misperception or do you notice more young families moving in there/ in certain sections?

I think that is changing. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people in my neighborhood that have lived here since its construction in the late 50s, but I do see it turning over. Downtown littleton, with the addition of Merle's and the Tavern to go along with Cafe Terricotta, Toast, and Opus are making it more of a attractive option for young couples. Littleton does a great job with activities for familities with young kids, for example western welcome week, the lighting of the trees during christmas, and block parties held downtown.

I do think it has already shifted for young wealthy couples in the neighborhoods of Bomar and Bomar South. My wife teaches Kindergarden in an area that draws from those two neighborhoods and most of her parents are young professionals, although with her teaching kindergarden that will always appear to be the case. Those neighborhoods are less than a five minute drive from the historic downtown. They are pretty pricy areas, but where I would live if I had unlimited means. They have their own private reservoir and beach. All of the highschools in Littleton are very good.

Littleton is pretty large area wise and I don't have much experience with the neighborhoods on the westside that goes out to Ken Caryl.

Wilkinson4
02-23-2012, 10:30 PM
I seem to be one of the few shorter riders on the forum. I'm 5'7 and generally ride around 53.5 TT


Well, you are the same size as me so as that date approaches pm me and we can exchange info. I may be able to hook you up with a bike to ride.

mIKE

MadRocketSci
02-24-2012, 12:14 PM
I'll put in some info on Highlands Ranch...the bedroom community mostly south of C-470, unincorporated, technically part of Littleton, home of 100,000 residents with the best American suburbia has to offer.

Highlands ranch is part of Douglas county, which also has a good reputation for schools. There are four high schools - Highlands Ranch, Thunderridge, Rock Canyon, Mountain Vista. I recall seeing Rock Canyon in a "top 500 public hs" list in some magazine.

It has four rec centers that come with the $127/quarter HOA fee. They all have different activities for families, from batting cages, lazy rivers, water slides, outdoor pools, the traditional basketball, workout areas with weights, ellipticals, etc, lots of organized youth sports, parks, etc. Littleton probably has this stuff too, minus the lazy rivers and batting cages.

It has its own "backcountry" open space. A network of trails south of the area, as well as greenbelts that cut through large areas between homes and subdivisions. Lotsa kids are ripping it on skateboards out there.

Downsides - it is massive suburbia. Lots are small. Chain restaurants like Five guys, Red Robin, Outback, etc. Although, a nice friendly neighborhood pub in Lansdowne Arms and a higher end SW restaurant Old Blinking Light. Littleton will give you more of a classic Americana feel with a mix of older, smaller homes (with large lots) and bigger newer homes (with tiny lots). HR gives you the latest that Shea Homes has to offer.

Demographically, young single types typically live in the city, near Wash park, etc. Families with lotsa kids like HR, lots of SoCal transplants, since apparently out of staters tend to start their search there. Littleton is more mature and for those who want to be close to both the city and open space. Has a classic central downtown area as previously noted.

Lone Tree is HR but smaller and a little bit more expensive. Ken Caryl Canyon is an awesome environment but of course your money gets much less house - plus some parts look like they need a makeover from the eighties.

hope this helps.

RacerJRP
06-16-2012, 06:27 PM
Well the trip is finally here! :banana: The GF and I fly out Tuesday morning. Will do my best to put all of your advice to good use.

We have a list of things to see and do but no set schedule for the most part.

Last minute tips or things we must do /see /eat??

Hawker
06-16-2012, 08:25 PM
Have a great trip! My wife and I live north of Atlanta but I go to CO once or twice a year on business. Generally CO Springs and Denver. I love both places for different reasons and having been there now about a dozen times, we'd both move there if the job situation would allow it. We have friends in both cities and without a doubt the cost of living is definitely more than GA. Taxes and home prices almost double from what I can tell.

Still, I just love the vibe of almost any place in CO. And as others have mentioned Ft. Collins is also worth checking out.

RacerJRP
06-16-2012, 08:58 PM
I had been thinking about a day trip up to Ft. Collins area, but with the wildfires I think its a bit smokey in that area at the moment?

COYO1
06-24-2012, 07:41 AM
I live in Highlands Ranch as well. Good schools, lots of open space, and you can find a home that is quiet but still close to everything. Of course everyone's opinion / experience differs. We're living in an older part of Highlands Ranch that was built in the late 80's. The lots are a bit larger, trees more mature and every house on my street has now turned over to younger famililes. As for cycling, if it is road, I can get to wherever in the denver metro & foothills fairly easy via the cyclist designated shoulders or the extensive trail systems. As for MTB riding, I car rack it to ~ 8 different single track trail heads that are within 25 min from the house. Let us all know how your trip was when you return. Interested in your review.

mo3039
06-25-2012, 12:12 AM
I think you are actually here now? In which case hey, sorry about the record-breaking temps and all the fires. It's an intense year. Still, if you haven't already I'd recommend visiting Fort Collins, great town. I wouldn't ride much given the temps/smoke combo, but worth the visit for sure. Hope you're having much fun!