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Denver, Seattle or San Fransico?


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#1 of 46 OFFLINE   JeremySt

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Posted November 01 2007 - 09:07 AM

I'm trying to decide where to to live.

My next job, which will have me traveling across most of the western USA via airplane, will require me to leave my small Montana town for a major western US city. The primary reason is, most of the major business Ill be doing is in these cities.

Ive never lived in a town over 70,000 people, but moving to big city doesnt scare me. Denver is probably where I should go, for one reason. Its a major airport, and I can get almost anywhere in 1 flight. Im trying to keep my time away from home to a minimum, and Denver seems to offer that. Also, when Im handling Denver customers, I wont be traveling at all. This may be true of the other cities, but I think Denver will have the most local clients.

My better half is moving with me, and this is good news for her, because her Masters Degree in Bio Science will certainly get her a higher paying job in one of these big cites.

She's a new yorker, who went to college in Salt Lake City. Although she looks back at her time with good nostolgia, and has many great friends there, she has no desire to move back. She has never been to Denver, but she has been to San Fran and Seattle. She would really like to be in a ocean town again.

I guess what im trying to say is, what are the perks of living in each town? What are the downsides? Ease of getting in and out of the airports from the local population? Cost of living? My salary will be north of 60k a year with travel expenses paid.

#2 of 46 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted November 01 2007 - 09:31 AM

Jeremy, I think cost of living would completely eliminate SF. Unfortunately, 60K is poverty wage out there. I know that sounds absurd, but it is true. I am quite familiar with both Seattle and Denver. Both have the Airport well out of the city, though Tacoma is actually where the Seattle airport is, and it's no tiny town. I really like Colorado. I grew up here, lived many other places, then moved back. Denver is pretty expensive, but if access to the airport is important, you could look at living in Berthoud, which is a nice, smaller town, is cheaper and has excellent access to the airport. it also is not part of Denver proper and avoids the constant traffic.

I hope I'm not getting my town mixed up. I think Berthoud is the one I mean. It is just North of Denver and East of I-25. This is a great area, and if water is important, there are tons of recreational lakes.

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#3 of 46 OFFLINE   JeremySt

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Posted November 01 2007 - 09:43 AM

Thats all great info. I should also add my brother lives in Denver. Ive been asking him about it a lot, but i was looking for some unbiased views. He loves Denver, but has never been to SF or Seattle.

I did not mention this in the OP, but Los Angeles is also a possibility. I just don't want to live there.

#4 of 46 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted November 01 2007 - 10:27 AM

Quote:
My salary will be north of 60k a year

I was making $140K a year in San Jose and wasn't really "making it". You have to see it to believe it when it comes to the cost of living in the SF bay area. My family moved to the SF bay area back in the 1860's when it was cheap, but it has gotten progressively unaffordable over the last century and a half. Posted Image

My nephew moved from a condo in Pacifica to Seattle. He split with the GF but his half of the take from said condo is enough to get a much nicer place in Seattle. Living in MT you are used to worse weather than Seattle so I would go for it. Seattle was my second-choice after Boise but I prefer the red-state politics in Boise. Go read the Seattle PI website http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/ and you will see what I mean.

Can't comment on Denver. It's the cheapest of the three and has great national air connections. Both SF and Seattle have better international air connections but that's not your concern.
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#5 of 46 OFFLINE   Michael_K_Sr

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Posted November 01 2007 - 10:33 AM

Love the Bay area...there's so much to do out there. But as others have said, it's insanely cost prohibitive.

#6 of 46 OFFLINE   Greg_R

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Posted November 01 2007 - 11:05 AM

Seattle is nice but traffic will be ridiculous to and from the airport. You could look at Olympia or Tacoma (both close to the airport) as an alternative. As far as work / flying goes, I think Denver is going to be your best bet (in terms of 1-hop destinations). However, Tacoma & Olympia are close to large bodies of saltwater and have a lower cost of living (Seattle is more $$$).

#7 of 46 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted November 01 2007 - 11:33 AM

What parts of the ocean appeals to you, is it the general beach type atmosphere or do you like to surf, kayak, sail, fish, etc.?

Idaho seems to be the new hot spot, I have a friend in Meridian who is a big whitewater rafter and flew into Boise after coming back from Alaska and it's a nice place, it was pretty hot when I got there, it's an arid climate but its got some very nice whitewater rivers (Salmon) and some good MTBing (Sun Valley) and some nice hiking (Sawteeth mtns) and stuff.... But no ocean if that is your key. And of course, depending on where in Montana you are from, might not be much of a move...

Bellingham would be a great place to live if you don't mind the wet PNW for kayaking, sailing, etc... the San Juans come to mind.

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#8 of 46 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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Posted November 01 2007 - 12:10 PM

Quote:
Idaho seems to be the new hot spot
Boise has decent but not great air connections CONUS. But there are things that make up for that. Sure beats the heck out of New Jersey. Posted Image
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#9 of 46 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted November 01 2007 - 12:30 PM

Even though I feel the quality of like here is outstanding, the only real advantage I see in you moving to the Bay Area, other than those already mentioned, is there are three good size airports within 30 miles of each other. This means tons of flights for you to chose from. I don't fly much but I'd say SJC and OAK are comparable in size to Denver. Of course, getting to them is another thing all together. The cost of living is as bad as others have said but I've been here for 40+ years and have learned to live like a Pauper. Never been to Seattle but would love to some day. So all in all, I'd think Denver fits your needs better. But who am I to say. Except for a layover or two at the airport, I've never been there either! And don't get me wrong, S.F. has an enormous amount to offer. You just have to be willing to pay for it. And in some cases, put up with it.
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#10 of 46 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted November 01 2007 - 12:50 PM

Denver.

It's one of the few places I can say I really weap about when I leave. The cost of living there compared to where I live is a bit extravagent so I can't really move there without a major lifestyle change.

#11 of 46 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted November 01 2007 - 01:31 PM

FWIW, aside from my recommendation of Denver, I know Seattle and the SF area quite well, as well as Montana, Idaho, and I also passed up a job in Los Angeles, opting for Connecticut, which I ended up despising. If I didn't live in Colorado, I'd want to live in Montana.

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#12 of 46 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted November 01 2007 - 01:39 PM

Other factors to consider. Seattle and San Francisco are on fault lines. Denver's altitude is 5280 feet or one mile high which because of the thinner atmosphere could cause mountain sickness and increase your exposure to the sun.

#13 of 46 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted November 01 2007 - 02:19 PM

Heh, actually Denver is near one of the biggest fault lines in the world. It just isn't active. Posted Image

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#14 of 46 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted November 01 2007 - 03:00 PM

Your better half says "She would really like to be in a ocean town again", so you've got two out of three chances of choosing correctly.

Denver, in addition to not being near an ocean, is different than the other two locations in that it is more conservative, at least by reputation. The strangest thing for me, having lived nearby for a couple years now, is that when the tv weatherpeople show weather maps, the entire state is just a big blank square. There's no crinkly edges of a coast to clue you in on where you are. It is disconcerting. The suburbs around Denver that I've seen look rather WalMart-y, and by that I mean they don't have much personality.

If I were you, I'd compare costs of Seattle versus Denver, and if they are comparable, I'd consider Seattle more than Denver. But I haven't seen Seattle in person.
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#15 of 46 OFFLINE   Jason Harbaugh

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Posted November 01 2007 - 05:50 PM

Well coming from Montana, Denver would be the easiest move. The weather is pretty similar as are the people and 'feel' although Denver is a bit more in the center now compared to Montana which is still pretty conservative. Plus we get more sunshine than Miami. Posted Image

The airport is a huge plus. You can get flights to pretty much anywhere in the US for $250 roundtrip or less. The airport may be way out of town but timewise isn't that bad considering it is all freeway to get to it and 'most' of the time traffic isn't a problem. Heck if you live on the east side of town the airport is pretty close.

I've been here 8 years now after living in ID, MT, NH, NYC, DC, and VA and it is my favorite area so far. If you love the mountains, or outdoor life it is all here just 10 minutes away and you are lost in the woods. But you still have all the conviences of a big city including shows, concerts and the such coming through town, big sports teams etc. There has been a pretty big building boom here as well, especially downtown.

The only downside is if you really love the ocean.

Oh and don't forget, in nearly every single one of those big disaster movies or 'what if' docs with comets crashing in the ocean, or a huge earthquake, all those coastal towns are gone and everyone seems to flee to nice, high and dry Denver. Posted Image

#16 of 46 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted November 01 2007 - 07:54 PM

It's also Judgment City (ever seen Defending Your Life?). In the end, however, I think Francois is completely right. The lack of jagged borders is a deal breaker. Colorado is just a big, dull, box in the middle of the country. Looks like a snooze to me.

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#17 of 46 OFFLINE   Dheiner

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Posted November 02 2007 - 02:08 AM

Slightly OT, but, for air connections, I don't think it's possible to beat Vegas.
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#18 of 46 OFFLINE   JeremySt

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Posted November 02 2007 - 03:14 AM

I didn't think of Vegas, I guess thats a possibilty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francois Caron
Other factors to consider. Seattle and San Francisco are on fault lines. Denver's altitude is 5280 feet or one mile high which because of the thinner atmosphere could cause mountain sickness and increase your exposure to the sun.

I live in Montana, at 5000 feet. The surrounding mountains that I ski top out at 11,000 feet. We are also in one of the most seismically active regions in the USA. The largest earthquake in the USA for the year of 2005 was 100 miles from my house. Neither town would present climate or geology hurdles for me.

#19 of 46 OFFLINE   Will_B

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Posted November 02 2007 - 04:32 AM

(no point)
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#20 of 46 OFFLINE   Mike O'Connell

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Posted November 02 2007 - 09:16 AM

How about Portland, OR?





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