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Advice Needed

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
This is my situation… I graduated with my degree in nursing and I don’t know where to move. I love to ski and want to relocate to an area that has easy access to great skiing as well as being close to a metropolitan area. I’ve been pondering the question of where to go for quite some time and I’m no closer to making up my mind now than I was before. I’ve spent 3 winters working in Alta, but I live in South Dakota so anywhere other than here would be an improvement. Alta was an amazing place to spend three winters at, but I wouldn’t mind trying out a different area. Proximity to great skiing is my #1 concern, but since I can’t ski all the time it would be nice to have something to do when the lifts aren’t spinning. I guess it might also be of value to know what the cost of living in these potential areas are like. I would greatly appreciate any information from people that live in an area they think would fit what I’m looking for. Oh, and if anyone knows about any job opportunities that would also be sweet. Thanks so much!!!
Patrick
post #2 of 21
Check out the Portland, Or area...It's growing fast, but the cost of living is relatively low compared to other metropolitan areas and nursing jobs are in high demand (as well as most places) so finding a job won't be hard.

Depending on where in the Portland area interests you, you can be w/in an hour, or less, to Mt. Hood which will give you Timberline (year round skiing on a glacier), Mt. Hood Meadows (deep powder and big bowls) and Ski Bowl (local expert secret in the upper bowl areas). You will also be w/in 3-4 hours from Mt. Bachelor...You will centrally located to the best skiing the Pacific Northwest.

I've also lived in the Tahoe and Sacramento areas which offers great skiing, but the cost of living has become totally outrageous.
post #3 of 21
A little off the beaten trail is the new Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Colorado. Very close to several ski areas like Durango Mtn Resort (Purgatory) and Silverton, with reasonable access to Taos, Aspen, and the Summit County areas via U.S 24. Seems like this might be a place with some opportunities and lower cost of living, along with a relatively rural lifestyle. Of course its in the middle of nowhere from Santa Fe, Denver, Salt Lake and Albuquerque. Sounds perfect to me.
post #4 of 21
Peggen,

I can't think of any easier access from a metropolitan area to great skiing in the US than Salt Lake. Rumor has it the nursing field is constantly under staffed. You may want to consider working conditions as a selection criteria because you should not have any problem getting a job wherever you want to go. On one of my trips to Whistler, the nurses in Vancouver went on strike because their understaffing was so bad that their working conditions were awful. If they've fixed their problems, Vancouver might be a place to look into. Sacramento and Reno are good cities to get to Tahoe from. Denver would seem like an obvious alternative, but don't overlook Colorado Springs. There's some good skiing close to Boise too.

Finally, there are some small towns that might be worth checking out too. Steamboat and Jackson are real towns. Sandpoint, Idaho is growing by leaps and bounds. Whitefish/Kalispell, Montana is like Aspen with the calendar paged 30 years backwards. Speaking of Aspen, Glenwood Springs is just up the road. Durango wouldn't be a bad choice either.

Reno and SLC will probably be your lowest "big city" cost of living. Sandpoint and Whitefish were fairly reasonable the last time I went through there, but their real estate has exploded in the last 5 years.

I just did a quick check on nurse positions on Monster for a couple of locations. Each had 20-40 pages of listings (1/2 of which were junk, but hey there's still plenty to choose from).

You'll get the most choices of places to ski in Tahoe, Salt Lake and Denver. But if you're idea of "something to do when the lifts aren't spinning" does not include a pro sports team, there's a lot of charm in some of the smaller places on this list. I'm not much of a city guy. I've felt most at home in Steamboat, Durango and Whitefish.

Don't worry to much about making the "right" choice. There are plenty of places where you can make a decent living and get some great skiing in. Good luck!
post #5 of 21
I'll second Rusty on Boise and Sandpoint (Spokane isn't too far either) and Steve on the Portland area. I'm kind of in the same boat after my wife finishes school this spring and it is anyone's guess where we'll end up next year. I will say that as a recent and somewhat temporary transplant to Denver (due to wife's grad school) that it is a surprisingly frustrating town to live in as an avid skier. The skiing is great but I70 is maddening. The 45 minutes to Loveland turns into more than an hour very quickly and driving over Berthoud Pass, the Eisenhower Tunnel, or over Loveland Pass on 6 is tough. It seems like lots of bears like living in Denver and driving to the mountains, so maybe the problem is me not the other stuff... The cost of living is good, the city has plenty to offer etc... Good luck.
Have fun.
post #6 of 21
I once had to avail myself of the medical care provided by the on-mountain clinic at Snowbird. Ever after, I've thought that kind of setting would be perfect for a skier in the medical field. There are similar facilities at all the major ski areas.
post #7 of 21
Congratulations, It takes a special person to be an RN. - hopefully you will work three 12 hour shifts a week as an RN and ski 4 days a week.

1)SLC: Don't know what the wage rates are, but you can live affordably down in the valley.
2)Tahoe Area - Hospitals in Reno, South Lake Tahoe, and I believe I recall one on the North Eastern side of the Lake as well. I have to believe the $$ is pretty good on the California hospitals, but the cost of housing is probably high everywhere near Tahoe. Although I would think Reno would be affordable.
3) Lake Placid are of NY - Although it is no Alta, the Adirondack moun tains of NY have a unique charm and some quality skiing at Whiteface. Adirondack Medical Center in nearby Saranac Lake is a beautiful place to work and less than 25 minutes to Whiteface. Montreal is less than 2 hours away, NYC is about 4.5 hours away and Albany , NY is about 2.5 hours. Without any differentials (shift, charge, education, etc) FT employees will earn a base of about $23/hr to start and top out at about $30/hr after 7 years experience (those are 2006 rates).

Fortunately with your chosen profession and the National nursing shortage you can try a place and move if it is not a perfect fit. You are in the right field at the right time.
post #8 of 21
One good area is to live in Placerville or Auburn CA. An hour from Tahoe and 45 min from Sacramento. You can take rail from Placerville to Sac. Cost of living is less than the average for CA. Or Jackson, an hour from Kirkwood and hour and a half from South Lake Tahoe.

Re the cost of living: sometimes it is relative to pay. CA pays higher than most other states. Another consideration is property taxes. I discovered thru another thread on Epic that some folks pay as much $8000 more in property taxes per year in their area for a given valued home as compared to CA. That works out to the equvilant to having an extra $120K 30 yr. mortgage payment (at $670 per month). Except that you never pay off that "$120K mortgage".

In CA you pay $3000 a year on a home that you paid $300K for. $300K will get you an average 3bd, 2ba home in my area. Plus they can't raise your property taxes more than 1% a year without a vote of the people.
post #9 of 21
Have you thought about Europe?

I'm kind of thinking like therusty, I must have picked that up from following him all over Stowe last Dec.

I would add look in to Summit Country rather then Denver there must be a hospital there with Vail, Beaver Creek, Copper, Breck, etc.

Do you know how many of us would love to be in your shoes.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SNPete View Post
One good area is to live in Placerville or Auburn CA. An hour from Tahoe and 45 min from Sacramento. You can take rail from Placerville to Sac. Cost of living is less than the average for CA. Or Jackson, an hour from Kirkwood and hour and a half from South Lake Tahoe.

Re the cost of living: sometimes it is relative to pay. CA pays higher than most other states. Another consideration is property taxes. I discovered thru another thread on Epic that some folks pay as much $8000 more in property taxes per year in their area for a given valued home as compared to CA. That works out to the equvilant to having an extra $120K 30 yr. mortgage payment (at $670 per month). Except that you never pay off that "$120K mortgage".

In CA you pay $3000 a year on a home that you paid $300K for. $300K will get you an average 3bd, 2ba home in my area. Plus they can't raise your property taxes more than 1% a year without a vote of the people.

I forgot about Auburn/Placerville/Somerset...Still a possibility, but the area is growing fast and getting expensive (look at El Dorado Hills for instance). My parents live in Somersett which is getting stupid expensive fast because it's the new wine country.

The problem is that those who work in Sac are running out of affordable housing and are heading into the foothills.

The other issue is that you will be skiing mostly the south shore if you choose to live along 50. This is fine, if you love Kirkwood, Heavanly and Sierra.

Another California option would be the Grass Valley area. Close access to the north/west shore. Gives you Squaw, Alpine Meadows, Donner, Sugar Bowl, Boreal, Homewood, Northstar and Diamond Peak.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Capacity View Post

Do you know how many of us would love to be in your shoes.
Max,

I never knew you were like that!

You should run for Congress. I hear there's an opening down in Florida.



(that ought to teach you not to give me a straight line)
post #12 of 21
i don't know too much about most other places around the u.s. but is there a particular reason you don't want to move to salt lake? if proximity to skiing is your primary concern salt lake seems perfect. from downtown you're just 30 minutes from 7 major resorts and there's plenty to occupy yourself with in the city. and its very very affordable. and not only are you close to the resorts but its some of the best skiing (as you well know) around.
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks again to everyone for all the input, I really appreciate it.

I’ve been checking into a lot of the recommend places and the more looking I do the more sense SLC is starting to make. I would like to check out a new area and I still might, but everything seems to weigh in favor of salt lake. The cost of living is relatively low compared to other areas and I can still have access to a lot of western resorts within a days drive if it’s dumping. In the next few years I would really like to do the international thing, but I think I’ll try to get some experience before tackling that one. I just wish Utah had a deal like the Colorado resort that lets you access a bunch or resorts with one pass. I hope that I make up my mind soon because my new skis are starving for some of the fluff
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by //V View Post
i don't know too much about most other places around the u.s. but is there a particular reason you don't want to move to salt lake? if proximity to skiing is your primary concern salt lake seems perfect. from downtown you're just 30 minutes from 7 major resorts and there's plenty to occupy yourself with in the city. and its very very affordable. and not only are you close to the resorts but its some of the best skiing (as you well know) around.
Some folk are turned off by the Mormon culture. That would be a major factor for me.
post #15 of 21
Anchorage is horrible. Don't even think of coming up here. The cost of living is low. The job market is hot. We have endless daylight in the summer. We have no lift lines and the skiing is...ah...ummmm...horrible. Go to SLC.

Good luck, wherever you go. Change is good. Living close to skiing is healthy.
post #16 of 21
There is a new hospital in Frisco that is still expanding. It looks more like a luxury ski lodge than a hospital. http://www.friscomedcenter.com/

People out here say that they came for the winters but stayed for the summers. We have two great theatre companies, a concert hall, and lots of free concerts at the Dillon Marina in the summer. Season's passes are extremely inexpensive, and there might even be some sort of discount for hospital employees. We also have a free bus system.
post #17 of 21
Just found this:
http://www.postnewsads.com/linda/new...?articleID=191

Not sure if it's helpful, but what the heck?
post #18 of 21
I think SLC, Denver, and Reno are your best bets. All are relatively large metropolitan areas close to skiing. I personally think SLC is the best place, but I understand if you want to try something different
post #19 of 21
You may want to contact our own Bob Peters. I think his wife is a Nurse working up in Jackson Hole. I Know a couple of people working as Nurses here in Utah. The number one complaint is the low pay. I Know a Dr in Park City That worksa night shift in an ER so she can ski all morning. I would guess she skis at least 100 days.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by memosteve View Post
I forgot about Auburn/Placerville/Somerset...
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.
.
Another California option would be the Grass Valley area. Close access to the north/west shore. Gives you Squaw, Alpine Meadows, Donner, Sugar Bowl, Boreal, Homewood, Northstar and Diamond Peak.
I used to live in Grass Valley. Grass Valley to Placerville is a great place to live if you are also interested in mtn biking, kayaking or whitewater rafting. (I used to river guide on weekends.)

If boating is more your thing, look around Auburn and Placerville. If mtn biking is more important look at Grass Valley. (Great biking north/east out RT 49 or 20)

On good roads from Grass Valley, it took me 1:15 to get to Squaw, around 50 minutes to Sugar Bowl.
post #21 of 21
I use to do TONS of mtn. biking in the Grass Valley area, especially along 20. If I were to move back to Cali (highly unlikely at this point) it would be this area. Every year when I visit that area it always feel as if part of my soul is always there.
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