There was a similar (and sad) article in Rolling Stone a few years ago about high suicide rates for men in their 30s-40s in Northern Mountain states that moved me when I read it. https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/suicide-rate-america-white-men-841576/We had an interesting discussion here once about the dark side of ski towns after National Geographic reported on high suicide rates in ski towns. The article is linked in the first post. Unfortunately it doesn't have the comments anymore. The story resonated with a lot of people, who had shared their experiences in the article comments.
I almost hesitate to put a link to this article here on the forum because it's so dark and troubling. But since many among us dream of living in ski communities -- or live there already -- I thought I'd go with it. Suicide is a real health issue, so it's certainly something we can't ignore. I...www.theskidiva.com
Social media often portrays homesteaders, tiny/alternative home dwellers, on remote tracts, living as if in a faerie garden. As a rural homeowner since 2007, I can honestly say, yes, the increased variety of songbirds at the feeder is pretty neat. The stars at night in the dark sky are breathtaking. The abject poverty of the few people who live in the nearest town south of us (pop 1,100) is depressing and a little frightening. That is the location of our nearest grocery store, hardware store, and hospital. Like so much of the rural US, the opioid epidemic has made its way into the small hamlets nearby, towns that were formerly plagued with alcoholism and myriad disadvantages wrought by poverty.
The town just 8 min north of us has exploded into a wild scramble of new luxury building (homes starting at $1.5MM) and real estate speculation. No, not a ski resort nearby, but related in that it's an upscale destination resort. It's Sand Valley Golf, that has people driving their Porsches from Texas and Tennessee up to our sandy glacial remains forests (yes, I've taken note of the license plates!)
As you may have guessed, the homes are not being bought for full-time use. Many are snapped up by rental investors or law/investment firms to lend to their best clients, or just folks using for a second home (3 hr or less drive from Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, Chicago burbs.) There is no grocery store, just a gas station convenience store and a Dollar General, although in season there is a weekday Farmer's Market.
Currently, there is no "town center" but there is a master plan to build an integrated retail/residential complex with a variety of housing options (condo, townhome, etc.) I'm not sure a large retail complex could be supported by part-timers, even affluent ones.