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Move to CO?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 

Hello fellow snow lovers,

 

I'm currently living in the Midwest (and have for the whole 23 years of my life) and I need to get out.  I want to move to the mountains.

 

I've done a little research and have narrowed it down to either Aspen/Snowmass or Summit County (however, I don't know if I would want to live in Breck or Keystone or Vail or one of the small towns in between like Frisco or Silverthorne).  But I could be convinced of other places.

 

However, I don't know much about these areas apart from being a tourist. Any insight about the pros/cons of each ski area.  Here's a small list that I've started...but I don't know if some of these thing are true:


Aspen/Snowmass:

-Pros:  Slightly 'hipper", awesome music venue-Belly Up, better ski conditions (I've heard Summit Country referred to as Scrummit Country because it's colder and windyer), lots to do in the off season

-Cons:  more expensive, more uppity/pretentious

 

Summit County:

-Pros:  closer to Denver (it's nice to live in the mountains, but I want to visit a city every now and then...live music, sporting events(Avalanche games!!), clubs), cheaper, easy to find year-round jobs, more laid back

-Cons:  poorer skiing conditions, less to do in the off season because the towns are smaller

 

I want to live out there full time, so it's important that I like it for reasons beyond just the skiing.  It would be great if either of these areas offered soccer leagues (I realize that's very specific, but skiing and soccer are what I live for).

 

I understand that most of the jobs are service industry and you have to put your time in before you can move up.  I have no problem with this.  Additionally, I've been saving money so I have a little nest egg to help me start.

 

Feel free to include any other general advice about making the move.

mb

post #2 of 45

Slummit kinda sucks, it feels like a shopping mall surrounded by ugly condos, probably because it is.

post #3 of 45

Well, I'll start by clearing up some misconceptions.  Vail is in Eagle County, not Summit County and is over another mountain pass.  Silverthorne and Frisco are not "little towns" between the others, in fact they are the major towns, along with Dillon and Breckenridge in Summit County.  I'm not sure why you think that Aspen offers more to do in the off season than Summit County.  For starters, let's go with Lake Dillon which offers all sorts of water sports (kayaking, sailing, canoeing etc), plus great mountain/road cycling.  I'm not sure about soccer for adults so I'll let someone else chime in there. 

 

Question for you, have you visited here? 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbizzles View Post

Hello fellow snow lovers,

 

I'm currently living in the Midwest (and have for the whole 23 years of my life) and I need to get out.  I want to move to the mountains.

 

I've done a little research and have narrowed it down to either Aspen/Snowmass or Summit County (however, I don't know if I would want to live in Breck or Keystone or Vail or one of the small towns in between like Frisco or Silverthorne).  But I could be convinced of other places.

 

However, I don't know much about these areas apart from being a tourist. Any insight about the pros/cons of each ski area.  Here's a small list that I've started...but I don't know if some of these thing are true:


Aspen/Snowmass:

-Pros:  Slightly 'hipper", awesome music venue-Belly Up, better ski conditions (I've heard Summit Country referred to as Scrummit Country because it's colder and windyer), lots to do in the off season

-Cons:  more expensive, more uppity/pretentious

 

Summit County:

-Pros:  closer to Denver (it's nice to live in the mountains, but I want to visit a city every now and then...live music, sporting events(Avalanche games!!), clubs), cheaper, easy to find year-round jobs, more laid back

-Cons:  poorer skiing conditions, less to do in the off season because the towns are smaller

 

I want to live out there full time, so it's important that I like it for reasons beyond just the skiing.  It would be great if either of these areas offered soccer leagues (I realize that's very specific, but skiing and soccer are what I live for).

 

I understand that most of the jobs are service industry and you have to put your time in before you can move up.  I have no problem with this.  Additionally, I've been saving money so I have a little nest egg to help me start.

 

Feel free to include any other general advice about making the move.

mb

 

 

 

post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 

I've been to Breck/Key once.  It was a very short trip and we stayed right on the mountain and never really left the base, so I didn't get to see the surrounding areas. I've been a couple other places skiing, though (Jackson, Whistler, Copper, Steamboa, Winter Park).

 

I knew the Vail thing, I was just being dumb and not paying attention to what I was typing.  Same parent company as the Breck/Key, but different area all together.  Duuurrr.

 

Most of this info came from a friend that got his undergrad at Boulder. However, I always got the sense he was never really giving me the full story and was biased towards Aspen for some reason.  He lived there (Aspen) during his summers and had some great stories of things he did.  So, that's what got me thinking there was a lot to do there besides ski.  He didn't even mention Lake Dillon, which after looking it up, sounds sweet.  I also compared town sizes and Aspen was the largest by about 2000.  In my opinion anything less than 5,000-6,000 is small.

 

Also, part of the reason I've narrowed it to these areas is that I have some contacts that live there (two in Aspen, one in Vail, and one in Breck).  Otherwise, I'd consider a wider range of places (I loved Jackson Hole and Whistler).

 

I'm glad to hear your opinion.  It's exactly what I was looking for. 

 

 

post #5 of 45

We really need more people living in Colorado on this board, so we can tell them that skiing in their home state sucks compared to Utah, Vermont or New Jersey.

post #6 of 45

 

 

 

 

 

 

Main thing is can you find an affordable place to live close to good skiing? If one of your Colorado contacts can offer you this it would be a decisive factor.

Here's an old thread that might be informative:

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/59989/best-ski-town-for-a-ski-bum-season

 

 

 

 http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/59989/best-ski-town-for-a-ski-bum-season

 

Mods, is there a wiki on "considerations for moving/retiring to ski country"?

post #7 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

 

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/59989/best-ski-town-for-a-ski-bum-season

 

 

 

 http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/59989/best-ski-town-for-a-ski-bum-season

 

Mods, is there a wiki on "considerations for moving/retiring to ski country"?

 

Main thing is can you find an affordable place to live close to good skiing? If one of your Colorado contacts can offer you this it would be a decisive factor.

Here's an old thread that might be informative:

 

Not sure if there is a wiki, but if you don't find one in a search, you can create one.

Sounds like a good idea for a wiki.

post #8 of 45

I have a pretty decent insight on this one.  Aspen in not bigger than Summit County.  Than Breck, yes, but the Summit County area, not even close.  More to do in Aspen during the summer?  That's tough to say.  In the CO mountains summers usually revolve around cycling, hiking, camping, and going out.  Both areas can equally handle those tasks.  I will say that the Belly Up is fantastic, they get some great shows and do bring some activity to town. Prices, well Aspen is insane and only getting worse.  Summit, moderately insane and only getting worse.  In other words if you are buying a place you'll be able to get more in Summit in Silverthorne or Dillon than you can here.  Even right in Breck you can get a condo pretty reasonably but they are tiny.  You can't go wrong with either location.  The snow conditions really aren't that different in terms of snowfall, the winds and temps in Summit are considered to be harsher.  It's usually a few degrees cooler in Summit and they get some nasty winds.  But that also means that summer time is magnificent.

 

So, my advice, take two weeks off, fly into Denver, rent a car then spend a week in each area.  Look at housing, look at gas prices, talk to people who live there year round (not tourists, not people from other parts of the state but the locals), go out at night. Then make a decision on what you feel

post #9 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

We really need more people living in Colorado on this board, so we can tell them that skiing in their home state sucks compared to Utah, Vermont or New Jersey.

 

I've skied/lived in Colorado for 20 years.  The skiing equally sucks for the entire state.  I torture myself every weekend.  I really wanna move back to New Jersey and ski there.  I haven't lived there since I was a kid but I think New Jersey skiing would be awesome.

post #10 of 45

Cost of housing/length of commute makes Aspen/Snowmass a tough choice over Summit. My guess is that the soccer is better in Summit too. Take a second look at Salt Lake. More snow, more soccer and a lower cost of living/better job prospects.

post #11 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post

We really need more people living in Colorado on this board, so we can tell them that skiing in their home state sucks compared to Utah, Vermont or New Jersey.


Something something West Jersey something something.

 

/I believe I've fulfilled my role now.

post #12 of 45

I wonder if there's anyone who really...

post #13 of 45
Quote:

In my opinion anything less than 5,000-6,000 is small.

That's not a town; that's an apartment building!

post #14 of 45

Not to throw a wrench in the works, but have you thought of Grand County?  Winter Park and Mary Jane are great areas.  There is a smaller hill up the road called Sol Vista, and in the summer it is a fantastic area.  Three lakes, lots of biking, world class fishing, and a lot more "liveable" than the areas around Vail and Breck.

post #15 of 45

I moved to Summit last summer and drove through Aspen just before moving and also did a 4 day trip there this winter...unfortunately, I didn't ski much this year because of November ACL surgery, but this is what I will add:

 

All places have very high elevation 8+ K with Summit (especially Breck) being slightly higher than Vail or Aspen. 

 

Vail tends to get the most snow while the Summit Cove area is popular with locals looking for decent value and gives good access to Keystone & A-Basin (longest season typically from late October to early June).

 

Aspen seems to have the best night life but is the most expensive.  Breck would probably be the second choice for a younger person looking for some nightlife and is not as ritzy  as Aspen.

 

Breck, Aspen & even Frisco feel like proper, walkable towns albeit with a tourism emphasis while a place like Silverthorne (which Karpiel incorrectly describes as all of Summit) lacks ambience and is much more spread out.  Dillon probably fall in the middle depending on what part you are talking about.

 

While the towns of Summit may individually be smaller than Aspen, they are pretty close to one another and collectively make the area bigger than Aspen (IMO).  As noted, Summit, especially Frisco/Silverthorne/Dillion is much closer to a big city than Aspen.

 

Overall, I like Summit, but if I was young, single and money wasn't an object, I would pick Aspen (from your list) as being close to a city is not that important to me.    

 

 

 

 

  

post #16 of 45
Thread Starter 

Oh man, I wish I could take two weeks off and fly out.  The company I work for has VERY limited vacation time.  I only have 4 days right now and I've worked here a year.  I haven't taken a vacation day yet.

 

After reading this a a couple other websites, I think I've ruled out Aspen.  It's more expensive and the only positive difference I have read is that it's a maybe a bit warmer and less windy.  But, I'm from Wisconsin were in the winter it's always cold, always windy, always grey...and we don't get much of the white stuff to go play around in.  Our average snowfall is 80 inches.  A year ago we have over 100" and people FREAKED.  I really need to get somewhere where people smile and get excited when a winter storm is forecasted.  So, temps and wind don't bother me much.

 

I'm leaning towards Breckenridge.  However, I  thinking I should consider Winter Park/Mary Jane.  After looking into it, it's closer to Denver, which I like.  I want to live in a small town, but I like having a metro area accessible.  I'm also a bit sports fan so being close to 5 pro sports team (Rapids, Avalanche, Nuggets, Rockies, Broncos) is a definite plus.

 

How does the culture in Breckenridge/other Summit County towns compare to Winter Park/Mary Jane?  By guess is that they are all kinda the same, but maybe there's a bigger difference.

What do you mean it's more "liveable?" Rent cheaper?  Jobs easier to come by?

 

I've also gotten some recommendations for Park City and Salt Lake City, but I really want to actually live in a ski town...not a city close to a bunch of skiing.

post #17 of 45
Thread Starter 

Something else I forgot to add...does Winter Park have much to do besides skiing in the winter?  From the post above, there is stuff to do in the summer, but I've looked at a few sites and a common theme is that besdies skiing and a few shops/resturants, there isn't a big nightlife or other activities besides the mountain.  Whereas Breckenridge is a legit town and has a good nightlife and things to do besides ski.

 

Obvisouly, the main reason I want to move to the mountains is the snow and skiing, but I don't want that to be the only thing it has to offer

post #18 of 45

Breckenridge is sort of a world unto itself.  It is a true ski town and the mountain gets the most skier visits of anywhere in the country.  With the hordes of tourists come the usual problems.  The town is difficult to move around in during the season.  Parking is hard to come by.  The places you need to go (like the grocery store) will generally be clogged with crowds.  Going anywhere outside of Breckenridge (or getting back in) can be difficult due to traffic.  On the other side of the spectrum, if you are willing to share, the town contains all of the amenities that draw the tourists in the first place.  So before you decide to live there, I would suggest you think about whether you are the type of person that will thrive on living in a tourist town or be completely driven nuts by it.  In my experience, the people that live in Breck love it, but they almost never leave during the season (which includes skiing at other mountains).  Those who don't live in Breck tend to be equally happy and will generally try to avoid the place during the season.

 

Check out the Summit Daily to get an idea on jobs & places to live: http://www.summitdaily.com/

post #19 of 45

It depends on what you like to do; what kind of nightlife? bars or culcha?

 

Grand County is more country, less suburbia than Summit and less little city than Aspen.  If you are an outdoors person rather than a city rat who happens to ski, it might be a good choice. Otherwise, go to Aspen.

 

WP however is closer to Denver for when you need a city fix. If i were going to live in that area, i'd look at tabernash or grand lake, not the WP resort town.

post #20 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbizzles View Post
... 

I've also gotten some recommendations for Park City and Salt Lake City, but I really want to actually live in a ski town...not a city close to a bunch of skiing.

 

Park City and SLC should not be put in the same category.  Where SLC is a city that is close to a bunch of (excellent) skiing, Park City is actually a "ski town" that is also close to a bunch of (excellent) skiing.  Park City is located about 30 minutes from downtown SLC via I-80.

 

PC is nice town and offers more than just skiing (probably similar to Breck).  It has 3 resorts within 10 - 15 minutes, and another 6 resorts within a 1 to 1.5 hour drive.

 

Overall, I'm guessing that SLC may not offer you as much as Denver based on some of the interests you have identified.

post #21 of 45

I have a Breck bias, but I'd be sure you can tolerate the altitude for extended periods.  I've met a number of folks who had to go back to visiting the Colorado high country because they couldn't get enough good sleep to stay healthy.  For me, that would make Utah more attractive.

post #22 of 45

Many, many years ago I moved from Wisconsin to Colorado to ski and I've been living in the Rockies ever since.  I have frequented most of the ski towns in Colorado at one time or another and have met many ski bums.  In my experience coming to any ski town without local contacts, a job or a place to live and pulling off a winter of skiing is very tough.  It can be done, but you'll need a whole lot of luck.  If you have one of the 3 at any ski town I would go with that choice.  With the internet now it is a lot easier to set things up remotely before you arrive, but be prepared to live in your truck for a while if you just come out here and start trying to put things together.

 

I had to live outside, in a wood shed, and on people's floors to complete my move, but I do not regret a minute of it.  If you are determined to make it happen, it will.  You might want to add Telluride to your list.  It is very expensive, but has a year round economy with festivals every weekend in the summer, and it's close to the desert and canyon lands for a change of pace.  Good luck!

post #23 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

Many, many years ago I moved from Wisconsin to Colorado to ski and I've been living in the Rockies ever since.  I have frequented most of the ski towns in Colorado at one time or another and have met many ski bums.  In my experience coming to any ski town without local contacts, a job or a place to live and pulling off a winter of skiing is very tough.  It can be done, but you'll need a whole lot of luck.  If you have one of the 3 at any ski town I would go with that choice.  With the internet now it is a lot easier to set things up remotely before you arrive, but be prepared to live in your truck for a while if you just come out here and start trying to put things together.

 

I had to live outside, in a wood shed, and on people's floors to complete my move, but I do not regret a minute of it.  If you are determined to make it happen, it will.  You might want to add Telluride to your list.  It is very expensive, but has a year round economy with festivals every weekend in the summer, and it's close to the desert and canyon lands for a change of pace.  Good luck!

Mudfoot - I am sure you are very popular with the ladies since you have the good looks of "FRED GARVIN - male prostitute"...  

 

post #24 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestPete View Post

 

Mudfoot - I am sure you are very popular with the ladies since you have the good looks of "FRED GARVIN - male prostitute"...  

 


A ski bum has gotta make a living any way he can.  Whatever it takes to keep skiing.
 

post #25 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

 


A ski bum has gotta make a living any way he can.  Whatever it takes to keep skiing.
 


Sounds like wearing the hernia truss doesn't slow you down on the slopes, although doing a Spread Eagle with a rupture has to be painful!  And I don't even want to think about a Scream'n Sem'n...
 

post #26 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestPete View Post

 


Sounds like wearing the hernia truss doesn't slow you down on the slopes, although doing a Spread Eagle with a rupture has to be painful!  And I don't even want to think about a Scream'n Sem'n...
 

I usually like to start out with a few poses, to loosen up.

 

post #27 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudfoot View Post

 

I usually like to start out with a few poses, to loosen up.

 



 


Edited by MidwestPete - 5/8/2009 at 04:52 am GMT
post #28 of 45

Another thing to consider about WP/Grand County is that the road over Berthoud pass closes more frequently and for longer periods due to inclement conditions than the road to Summit County.  The traffic is better to WP when the road is open. 

post #29 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by COSkiGirl View Post

Another thing to consider about WP/Grand County is that the road over Berthoud pass closes more frequently and for longer periods due to inclement conditions than the road to Summit County.  The traffic is better to WP when the road is open. 

Of course, when the pass is closed, the lines are shorter and the skiing is awesome!

 

post #30 of 45

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post

 

Of course, when the pass is closed, the lines are shorter and the skiing is awesome!

 

Certainly, great if you're there already but if you're trying to drive back and forth to Denver, not so great.

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