T Nation

Life in Denver, CO?

My family and I are contemplating relocation to Denver. Although the Rocky Mountains is an area we enjoy visiting and have actively pursued moving to, we have concerns about living in a city the size of Denver.

At present, we live in a small town of rouhly 30K people. Our children are in the 11th and 8th grades and have expressed both excitment and reluctance to moving. My wife, who enjoys her job as a school teacher, says the choice is up to me.

Our company was taken over roughly four years ago in a hostile merger. Our former regional office, which housed rougly 150 employees at the time of the merger, was reduced to 25. My position, like others within my former group, has been reduced to one that requires very little thought and effort, thus making the days exceptionally long and difficult. On several occasions I have requested additional work but have been told to look for work outside the company if I did not enjoy what I was doing. To make matters wost, I work for an individual that is a racist that has often expressed interests in replacing me with a ‘diverse candidate’.

Any way, I am looking for input from people who have experience in living within the Denver area. Likewise, I would also like to hear suggestions regarding communities witin the Denver area in which to settle. Our main priorities include quality of secondary education for our children and proximity to the downtown Denver area as to that is where my new position would be located.

Any insight is appreciated!

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1126025991272.highlands-ranch-sundown.jpg

Been in Denver for about 12 years now. Spent the majority of my childhood, academic, and now (short) professional life in the Denver-metro area.

For someone who is concerned about his families well being (ie: good schools, nice neighborhoods), Highlands Ranch is a great area. Its about 10-15 miles south of downtown, and 20 miles from the mountains. It’s located in the Cherry Creek School District (one of the best around), and close to just about everything you’ll want. Highlands Ranch does not have the feel of a big city. Its mainly a suburban area (shopping malls, schools, restaraunts, etc.), and the few buildings that are over 4 stories or so are just offices, not skyscrapers or anything. Hope this helps.

Check out the “where do you live”? thread…tons of good reasons to move to Colorado in there. Denver has a lot of great suburbs also that won’t make the commute too long.

[quote]aburke22 wrote:
Been in Denver for about 12 years now. Spent the majority of my childhood, academic, and now (short) professional life in the Denver-metro area.

For someone who is concerned about his families well being (ie: good schools, nice neighborhoods), Highlands Ranch is a great area. Its about 10-15 miles south of downtown, and 20 miles from the mountains. It’s located in the Cherry Creek School District (one of the best around), and close to just about everything you’ll want. Highlands Ranch does not have the feel of a big city. Its mainly a suburban area (shopping malls, schools, restaraunts, etc.), and the few buildings that are over 4 stories or so are just offices, not skyscrapers or anything. Hope this helps.[/quote]

I have to second aburke22 on this one. Though I no longer live in Denver (moved to Fort Collins up north), it’s a fine place to live and a place like Highlands Ranch is definitely a good choice. A relatively short commut to downtown and a beautiful location.

-daMOJO-

I live in Littleton, a SW suburb of Denver. Depending on traffic, downtown is 20-30 minutes away. I’ve lived in several of the burbs and like this one the best. I’m right at the base of the foothills so there’s terrific mountain views anywhere you look, and this area also has rolling hills and a lot of mature/natural landscaping. From any of the hillocks you can see downtown lights (very pretty at night) but you are far enough away that you can also see the stars.

There are two major highways up into the mountains within 10 minutes of my house so any hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, etc type of activity is right at hand. There is also an extensive network of open space parks and paved bike/running trails (several go straight downtown or to Cherry Creek).

I think I’m a little biased on my particular part of town… :wink:

My opinions of other 'burbs
Lakewood (just north of Littleton) is also called LakeHood. Same pretty scenery, though.

Arvada (north of Lakewood) is rather flatter and ‘drier’ looking with fewer trees and parks. Home to some mega size trailer parks, has a bit of redneck/white trash going on.

Broomfield (north and east of Arvada) and Thornton/Northglenn (north of Denver) are flat, ugly and barren. You can’t even really see the mountains (odd but true).

Heading around to the east corridor you have Englewood (east of Littleton, south of Denver). This is a toughy. About half of Englewood is very, very nice (Bronco, Avalanche players and prosperous business people’s homes) and the other half is ghetto. Scenerey varies also, half is rolling hills/green/lots of trees, half is flat and barren.

Aurora (east of Englewood) is predominantly ghetto.

Smoky Hill (east and north of Aurora, near the airport) is a newer 'burb and has all the proper markings. Barren landscape, can’t see the mountians, new cookie-cutter housing communities, immature trees (what trees there are), strip malls every 15 feet. Housing prices are indeed lower out there though.

To the south, Castle Pines (south of Denver along I25) is a rather wealthy community. Horse property, country clubs, world class golf course. Scenery is very nice, rolling partially forrested hills, some interesting rock formations, pasture areas, great mountain views.

Further south along I25 is Castle Rock, a very nice community without the blueblood feel. On the newer side, but rather small scale and quite nice. The golf course and outlet mall are both big draws.

Sedalia is everything Castle Rock is minus development. :wink: There’s a lot of horse property and strives for that ‘small farming town’ feel. It’s the very west of the southwest areas and probably wouldn’t be considered a 'burb.

Each of the Denver 'burbs would have a similar commute depending on just where you lived with in it and where you worked downtown. I’d figure 20-40 minutes average. The southern areas would be more along the lines of 30-60 minutes.

And of course, there are nice areas and not-so-nice ares in each of the 'burbs, but the above is the general impression you get driving the main streets.

I also can’t really comment on secondary education as my kiddo is only in 4th grade but I’ve heard many good things about the Cherry Creek school district.

[quote]~karma~ wrote:
I live in Littleton, a SW suburb of Denver. Depending on traffic, downtown is 20-30 minutes away. I’ve lived in several of the burbs and like this one the best. I’m right at the base of the foothills so there’s terrific mountain views anywhere you look, and this area also has rolling hills and a lot of mature/natural landscaping. From any of the hillocks you can see downtown lights (very pretty at night) but you are far enough away that you can also see the stars.

There are two major highways up into the mountains within 10 minutes of my house so any hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, etc type of activity is right at hand. There is also an extensive network of open space parks and paved bike/running trails (several go straight downtown or to Cherry Creek).

I think I’m a little biased on my particular part of town… :wink:

My opinions of other 'burbs
Lakewood (just north of Littleton) is also called LakeHood. Same pretty scenery, though.

Arvada (north of Lakewood) is rather flatter and ‘drier’ looking with fewer trees and parks. Home to some mega size trailer parks, has a bit of redneck/white trash going on.

Broomfield (north and east of Arvada) and Thornton/Northglenn (north of Denver) are flat, ugly and barren. You can’t even really see the mountains (odd but true).

Heading around to the east corridor you have Englewood (east of Littleton, south of Denver). This is a toughy. About half of Englewood is very, very nice (Bronco, Avalanche players and prosperous business people’s homes) and the other half is ghetto. Scenerey varies also, half is rolling hills/green/lots of trees, half is flat and barren.

Aurora (east of Englewood) is predominantly ghetto.

Smoky Hill (east and north of Aurora, near the airport) is a newer 'burb and has all the proper markings. Barren landscape, can’t see the mountians, new cookie-cutter housing communities, immature trees (what trees there are), strip malls every 15 feet. Housing prices are indeed lower out there though.

To the south, Castle Pines (south of Denver along I25) is a rather wealthy community. Horse property, country clubs, world class golf course. Scenery is very nice, rolling partially forrested hills, some interesting rock formations, pasture areas, great mountain views.

Further south along I25 is Castle Rock, a very nice community without the blueblood feel. On the newer side, but rather small scale and quite nice. The golf course and outlet mall are both big draws.

Sedalia is everything Castle Rock is minus development. :wink: There’s a lot of horse property and strives for that ‘small farming town’ feel. It’s the very west of the southwest areas and probably wouldn’t be considered a 'burb.

Each of the Denver 'burbs would have a similar commute depending on just where you lived with in it and where you worked downtown. I’d figure 20-40 minutes average. The southern areas would be more along the lines of 30-60 minutes.

And of course, there are nice areas and not-so-nice ares in each of the 'burbs, but the above is the general impression you get driving the main streets.

I also can’t really comment on secondary education as my kiddo is only in 4th grade but I’ve heard many good things about the Cherry Creek school district.
[/quote]

sarcasm Whats’ wrong with aurora? ‘taint nothin’ like getting mugged by someone wearing nikes, and a cowbay hat!

Well I think ~karma~ gave you about as detalied a breakdown as you’re going to get. I agree with her statements, as I too live in CO (Littleton).

I moved here about a year and a half ago and love the area. The only thing as a word of caution would be that housing prices IMO are very inflated, so you might take that into account. But, the school systems out here are good and you can’t beat the scenery.

I’m a little biased. I have lived in CO all my life, love it here. I would have a hard time moving. Grew up in westminster/broomfield and loved it. I would have to disagree wit karma as you can see the mountains and it’s beautiful, also cheaper than areas like highlands ranch. Lived in ft collins for school. To me, you need to be in school or retired to live in fort collins. Currently live downtown and love it. I’m 10 minutes from anywhere and right by the highway. Of course, I don’t have any kids yet so it’s perfect for me. Let me know if you have any questions.

Monopoly

[quote]~karma~ wrote:
I live in Littleton, a SW suburb of Denver. Depending on traffic, downtown is 20-30 minutes away. I’ve lived in several of the burbs and like this one the best. I’m right at the base of the foothills so there’s terrific mountain views anywhere you look, and this area also has rolling hills and a lot of mature/natural landscaping. From any of the hillocks you can see downtown lights (very pretty at night) but you are far enough away that you can also see the stars.

There are two major highways up into the mountains within 10 minutes of my house so any hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, etc type of activity is right at hand. There is also an extensive network of open space parks and paved bike/running trails (several go straight downtown or to Cherry Creek).

I think I’m a little biased on my particular part of town… :wink:

My opinions of other 'burbs
Lakewood (just north of Littleton) is also called LakeHood. Same pretty scenery, though.

Arvada (north of Lakewood) is rather flatter and ‘drier’ looking with fewer trees and parks. Home to some mega size trailer parks, has a bit of redneck/white trash going on.

Broomfield (north and east of Arvada) and Thornton/Northglenn (north of Denver) are flat, ugly and barren. You can’t even really see the mountains (odd but true).

Heading around to the east corridor you have Englewood (east of Littleton, south of Denver). This is a toughy. About half of Englewood is very, very nice (Bronco, Avalanche players and prosperous business people’s homes) and the other half is ghetto. Scenerey varies also, half is rolling hills/green/lots of trees, half is flat and barren.

Aurora (east of Englewood) is predominantly ghetto.

Smoky Hill (east and north of Aurora, near the airport) is a newer 'burb and has all the proper markings. Barren landscape, can’t see the mountians, new cookie-cutter housing communities, immature trees (what trees there are), strip malls every 15 feet. Housing prices are indeed lower out there though.

To the south, Castle Pines (south of Denver along I25) is a rather wealthy community. Horse property, country clubs, world class golf course. Scenery is very nice, rolling partially forrested hills, some interesting rock formations, pasture areas, great mountain views.

Further south along I25 is Castle Rock, a very nice community without the blueblood feel. On the newer side, but rather small scale and quite nice. The golf course and outlet mall are both big draws.

Sedalia is everything Castle Rock is minus development. :wink: There’s a lot of horse property and strives for that ‘small farming town’ feel. It’s the very west of the southwest areas and probably wouldn’t be considered a 'burb.

Each of the Denver 'burbs would have a similar commute depending on just where you lived with in it and where you worked downtown. I’d figure 20-40 minutes average. The southern areas would be more along the lines of 30-60 minutes.

And of course, there are nice areas and not-so-nice ares in each of the 'burbs, but the above is the general impression you get driving the main streets.

I also can’t really comment on secondary education as my kiddo is only in 4th grade but I’ve heard many good things about the Cherry Creek school district.
[/quote]

I second most of what karma said. I grew up in a small town, so the move to Denver took some adjustment. I live in Arvada, which does have a minor red-neck feel, but housing is cheaper than most other burbs, and we don’t really have a ghetto. Another plus side, I catch the bus in Westminster (5 minutes from my house) & I am downtown in 15-20 min. Jefferson county schools are some of the best in the state, so we have that going for us also.

Thank you all for your input. I truly appreciate the insight.

In my heart, I know it is a good move for us. Now I just have to convince my head of it.

I live in Westminster and it’s not as bad as you say. With all the new development, many of the once-barren open areas have filled up.

[quote]GWJ wrote:
At present, we live in a small town of rouhly 30K people. Our children are in the 11th and 8th grades and have expressed both excitment and reluctance to moving. My wife, who enjoys her job as a school teacher, says the choice is up to me.

Any insight is appreciated!
[/quote]

I would not recommend your child spending his/her final year of high school at a new school. If you are going to move, you should do it soon and allow them more than a year in the new school.

How come no one mentioned the tax payer bill of rights, this is perhaps the single best part of CO. Maybe you don’t realize how great you have it.

Guys, guys, guys! Did I not say that there were pockets of good and pockets of bad in all the 'burbs? Geez…

Those were just my impressions and opinions of various areas. Granted, I didn’t make a tour of the entire city in the last 24 hour period so there may be a new tree planted here or there, or an empty lot developed into something worthwhile.

GWJ, let us know when you decide to move and if you make the move out this way. Like others have said, you won’t regret it.

BTW, is there a CO T-Cell? If not, we should get one started. Heck, since T-Nation is based out of Co. Springs, that sounds like a good meeting place to me. Of course, who knows if they’d let us in, but I think it’d be cool to see the office.

[quote]~karma~ wrote:
I live in Littleton, a SW suburb of Denver. Depending on traffic, downtown is 20-30 minutes away. I’ve lived in several of the burbs and like this one the best. I’m right at the base of the foothills so there’s terrific mountain views anywhere you look, and this area also has rolling hills and a lot of mature/natural landscaping. From any of the hillocks you can see downtown lights (very pretty at night) but you are far enough away that you can also see the stars.

There are two major highways up into the mountains within 10 minutes of my house so any hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, etc type of activity is right at hand. There is also an extensive network of open space parks and paved bike/running trails (several go straight downtown or to Cherry Creek).

I think I’m a little biased on my particular part of town… :wink:

My opinions of other 'burbs
Lakewood (just north of Littleton) is also called LakeHood. Same pretty scenery, though.

Arvada (north of Lakewood) is rather flatter and ‘drier’ looking with fewer trees and parks. Home to some mega size trailer parks, has a bit of redneck/white trash going on.

Broomfield (north and east of Arvada) and Thornton/Northglenn (north of Denver) are flat, ugly and barren. You can’t even really see the mountains (odd but true).

Heading around to the east corridor you have Englewood (east of Littleton, south of Denver). This is a toughy. About half of Englewood is very, very nice (Bronco, Avalanche players and prosperous business people’s homes) and the other half is ghetto. Scenerey varies also, half is rolling hills/green/lots of trees, half is flat and barren.

Aurora (east of Englewood) is predominantly ghetto.

Smoky Hill (east and north of Aurora, near the airport) is a newer 'burb and has all the proper markings. Barren landscape, can’t see the mountians, new cookie-cutter housing communities, immature trees (what trees there are), strip malls every 15 feet. Housing prices are indeed lower out there though.

To the south, Castle Pines (south of Denver along I25) is a rather wealthy community. Horse property, country clubs, world class golf course. Scenery is very nice, rolling partially forrested hills, some interesting rock formations, pasture areas, great mountain views.

Further south along I25 is Castle Rock, a very nice community without the blueblood feel. On the newer side, but rather small scale and quite nice. The golf course and outlet mall are both big draws.

Sedalia is everything Castle Rock is minus development. :wink: There’s a lot of horse property and strives for that ‘small farming town’ feel. It’s the very west of the southwest areas and probably wouldn’t be considered a 'burb.

Each of the Denver 'burbs would have a similar commute depending on just where you lived with in it and where you worked downtown. I’d figure 20-40 minutes average. The southern areas would be more along the lines of 30-60 minutes.

And of course, there are nice areas and not-so-nice ares in each of the 'burbs, but the above is the general impression you get driving the main streets.

I also can’t really comment on secondary education as my kiddo is only in 4th grade but I’ve heard many good things about the Cherry Creek school district.
[/quote]

I can agree with alot on here… but having grown up in Colorado (35 yrs) let me input some more.

Some of the least expensive housing right now is on the southeast and far east sides of the metro area. Cherry Creek Schools have pretty high standards and seem to be the best district in the state.

Now as for Arvada being all trailer parks I have to argue with you on that one Karma. I volunteer up there and the only trailer parks are technically in Wheat Ridge right on the border to Arvada.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1126042337279.cripsint.jpg

I’m with Karma… Aurora sucks and thats the end of it!

Grew up in Lakewood, (as someone just called “LakeHood”) as for a hood, you’re absolutely right! It’s ghetto as hell growing up around all those 1.5 million dollar houses and country clubs (too bad I’m not from one!).

But really, Denver is pretty dope/sweet-ass-sweet!

Right now I live in Boulder, it’s a great college town.

I think a T-cell here has been tried a couple of times. I was not involved in the deal, but it would be cool if we could put something together.

[quote]Monopoly19 wrote:
I think a T-cell here has been tried a couple of times. I was not involved in the deal, but it would be cool if we could put something together. [/quote]

A few years ago we tried it. I think there were about 5 people that said they’d get together. In the end it turned out to be 2 - myself and JC#10. Rather a let-down. Just got done checking out the DC T-Cell thread and I gotta say it that strongman stuff looks fun! We didn’t have aspirations that high - just wanted to get together and shoot the shit. In retrospect it may have been better had we had a schedule of events to “draw” people in.

If anyone wants to try it again, I’m game!