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Moving to the mountains full-time?

BonStarlet

Diva in Training
#1
DIVAS - I've long threatened to leave the City (Chicago - all the cold/snow, none of the fun things to do with it) and just...move to the mountains. I'm pretty fortunate that my job will definitely allow it (just need to be airport-handy). Does anyone live in Park City full-time? Looking for an honest take on how easy/hard it would be to start over, make friends, have an amazing time as a single not 29 anymore (almost 40) year old who is just plan tired of all the concrete.....
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#2
How exciting! Can't answer about moving to Park City, but I moved from Pennsylvania to Vermont 13 years ago, and it's one of the best things I ever did. No, I didn't know anyone, but you'd be surprised how quickly you find friends, especially in the ski universe. Best of luck, and keep us posted!
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
I have a retired friend who moved from Michigan to Summit County (A-Basin, Breckenridge, etc.). It's a very active community and she became involved quickly. Her only issue was finding affordable housing.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#4
DIVAS - I've long threatened to leave the City (Chicago - all the cold/snow, none of the fun things to do with it) and just...move to the mountains. I'm pretty fortunate that my job will definitely allow it (just need to be airport-handy). Does anyone live in Park City full-time? Looking for an honest take on how easy/hard it would be to start over, make friends, have an amazing time as a single not 29 anymore (almost 40) year old who is just plan tired of all the concrete.....
My husband is from Chicago. Don't think he missed the cold weather after migrating to CA for grad school and ending up in NC. I know my mother hated the cold wind off the lake as a grad student at UChicago back in the 1940s. She wasn't much interested in outdoor sports in general. Cold in mountains is much more fun than on the flat plains of the midwest. :smile:

There are certainly people who live in Park City full-time who aren't directly associated with the ski industry. The only ones I know are good friends of a Diva. They retired to Park City. Clearly enjoy the town as a community. I think they like the fact that they can take the bus and don't need to drive all the time.

Hasn't been much discussion about moving to Utah lately. Found these comments from @altagirl in 2015 in a thread about cities in general.

• Where do you live? Sandy, UT Where have you lived? PA, MI, VA, AL, NC, TX, Germany. Where are you originally from? PA
• Name a a few things that makes your city great. Scenery, great mountain biking and skiing, proximity to the mountains. Lots of fun people who moved here for the sports related stuff. We actually have a fabulous yoga community too, which you wouldn't really expect. And there are some surprisingly good restaurants with a variety of ethnic foods. The weather is generally good - sunny and not humid, so even when it's hot, at least it's not muggy. Job market is apparently great - I think we have one of the best unemployment rates in the country.
•.....and not so great? Air pollution can be terrible when we have inversions. I mean, really terrible. Politics/government is frustrating to see being dominated by the local church. There is definitely a lack of diversity and I'm right there with bounceswoosh. The last few days I've seen a handful of minorities at Whole Foods and I start feeling like a crazy person wondering/wishing if I can/should do or say something to make them feel more welcome.
• Do you foresee a lot of change coming (economics/diversity/development, etc...) ? Probably more and more development as the job market is so strong.
• Name cities/regions you are interested in living. Um... not sure. We've talked about moving to Denver - it would actually be easier for me to work there, BUT I don't think we could deal with the long commute to the mountains. I've worked in Portland (just traveling frequently), which is nice. And we could see living in Bellingham (man, would that save on drives to the Whistler Bike Park!), but work would be tough. There are all sorts of places that would be fun to live if I didn't have to work, but we definitely need some proximity to a city for work.
@contesstant moved to Utah several years ago. She got some advice during the planning stages in 2012.
Living near Snowbasin--need help from UT Divas
 

BonStarlet

Diva in Training
#5
I have a retired friend who moved from Michigan to Summit County (A-Basin, Breckenridge, etc.). It's a very active community and she became involved quickly. Her only issue was finding affordable housing.
I do love Summit (Break, admittedly, is my favorite place in the world)....but I will continue to travel every week for work and the commute to/from DIA is just brutal....
 

BonStarlet

Diva in Training
#6
My husband is from Chicago. Don't think he missed the cold weather after migrating to CA for grad school and ending up in NC. I know my mother hated the cold wind off the lake as a grad student at UChicago back in the 1940s. She wasn't much interested in outdoor sports in general. Cold in mountains is much more fun than on the flat plains of the midwest. :smile:

There are certainly people who live in Park City full-time who aren't directly associated with the ski industry. The only ones I know are good friends of a Diva. They retired to Park City. Clearly enjoy the town as a community. I think they like the fact that they can take the bus and don't need to drive all the time.

Hasn't been much discussion about moving to Utah lately. Found these comments from @altagirl in 2015 in a thread about cities in general.



@contesstant moved to Utah several years ago. She got some advice during the planning stages in 2012.
Living near Snowbasin--need help from UT Divas
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I can't decide if i've lost my mind....or am finally finding it....
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
I do love Summit (Break, admittedly, is my favorite place in the world)....but I will continue to travel every week for work and the commute to/from DIA is just brutal....
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I can't decide if i've lost my mind....or am finally finding it....
Even if you don't end up moving, checking out the possibilities makes perfect sense to me. Perhaps because my mother spent a few years looking for the perfect place for retirement . . . when my father wasn't showing any signs of retiring even though he could. She even spent a few months living in an old friend's basement apartment in Chapel Hill that was usually rented to a grad student. She wasn't working at the time. She and I ended up moving to NC when I was in high school several years before my father actually retired.

I fly to SLC for annual late season trips to Alta. So much better than DIA. Although it will be nice when the new terminal is finished, which is expected in 2020.

For where you need to fly, would Reno work? The drive to ski from Reno isn't bad, at least compared to Denver.

Where have you skied in Utah?
 

BonStarlet

Diva in Training
#8
Even if you don't end up moving, checking out the possibilities makes perfect sense to me. Perhaps because my mother spent a few years looking for the perfect place for retirement . . . when my father wasn't showing any signs of retiring even though he could. She even spent a few months living in an old friend's basement apartment in Chapel Hill that was usually rented to a grad student. She wasn't working at the time. She and I ended up moving to NC when I was in high school several years before my father actually retired.

I fly to SLC for annual late season trips to Alta. So much better than DIA. Although it will be nice when the new terminal is finished, which is expected in 2020.

For where you need to fly, would Reno work? The drive to ski from Reno isn't bad, at least compared to Denver.

Where have you skied in Utah?
So far - that I remember (ongoing debate with my mother where I've apparently skied places as a kid that I do not remember now....) - Park City / Canyons and Deer Valley only. Though I broke my tailbone at Park City in January -- so that should count double!

now exploring Reno / Tahoe......#productivityfail
 
#9
Housing is usually the tricky part; if you can make that happen, why not try it for a year? (The tricky part, you likely know, is finding a long term rental, since so many have been turned into short term rentals.) The fact that you can take your job with you means you can bail if it doesn't live up to expectations, right?

Not to be a downer, but the article linked in this thread might be worth reading. The article used to have comments with some interesting stories from readers talking about challenges of living in a ski town but it looks like those are gone. Since you won't be stuck working 3 jobs trying to stay afloat, not all the risk factors will apply. It seemed to me that this was a cautionary tale mostly to folks that wanted to live the ski bum lifestyle and really struggled with the economic and social realities of a ski town. But again you seem to be in an ideal position to try it.

https://www.theskidiva.com/forums/index.php?threads/why-are-ski-towns-seeing-more-suicides.20834/
 
#10
Why not schedule some weekend trips to some of the places you are thinking about? It sounds like you haven't been to PC since you were a kid. Reno might not be what you are thinking of if you want a mountain or ski town.
 

Abbi

Angel Diva
#11
I do love Summit (Break, admittedly, is my favorite place in the world)....but I will continue to travel every week for work and the commute to/from DIA is just brutal....
If you have to continue to travel you should seriously look at the Salt Lake City area. You do not have to live in Park City to be able to ski it easily. I have a friend who ended up there for a job, originally from the Midwest including Chicago, and even though that job evaporated stayed in the area ever since. There is a lot going on and lots of technology and medical business in the region. The upside of Salt Lake City is the ability to fly in and be on a mountain in less than an hour. So perhaps you could find something less of a commute hassle than the Denver area.
 
#12
So far - that I remember (ongoing debate with my mother where I've apparently skied places as a kid that I do not remember now....) - Park City / Canyons and Deer Valley only. Though I broke my tailbone at Park City in January -- so that should count double!
Fair to say that if you don't remember a ski resort, doesn't really apply for this discussion. My parents were always intrigued by what I remembered or didn't from family trips we took to other countries before I was 12.

As for skiing in Utah, for an introduction to Alta and Snowbird, take a look at these links. Scroll down and look for the Tab for Terrain. Alta is my favorite for skiing in the Rockies and has been for a long time.
https://www.snowpak.com/utah/salt-lake-city/alta
https://www.snowpak.com/utah/salt-lake-city/snowbird

I haven't skied Park City but have read a lot about it. Checked out Deer Valley for the first time last season because of Ikon. I can see skiing there but it's not in the same category as Alta/Snowbird for advanced/expert skiers. The skiing in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon is well worth considering. A key difference is that LCC/BCC gets a lot more snow than Parley's Canyon, even in a good snow year. Combination of elevation and wind direction.

Snowbasin and Powder Mountain in the Ogden Valley are easy day trips from either Park City or SLC. But obviously would be closer to the airport if living in SLC.

Traffic in SLC is nowhere near in the same ballpark as traffic the Chicagoland. There seems to be rush hour traffic, but doesn't seem to last more than an hour. Mass transit exists, but for that Chicago is way ahead.
 

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#13
Why not schedule some weekend trips to some of the places you are thinking about? It sounds like you haven't been to PC since you were a kid. Reno might not be what you are thinking of if you want a mountain or ski town.
Good idea. We rented for a season before we decided to make the move. It's a great way to see if a place suits your lifestyle.
 

contesstant

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
Park City's cost of living can be prohibitive to many. You could look into the Heber Valley area as well. If you're not LDS, it can still be a bit "odd" here, and the dating scene is cut in half BUT Park City and the other cities are much more diverse.
The climate here is the BOMB! I love it.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#15
If you moved to Summit you could fly out of Eagle-Vail. The secret here is not to travel I-70 during busy times, Fri nights, Sat mornings or Sunday afternoons. Living here in Lakewood it takes us an hour 10 minutes to get to our ski condo in Silverthorne on a Sunday or Monday afternoon. We ski during the week, return on Thurs afternoon.

I was in Salt Lake in Jan. I was appalled at how bad the air pollution was. That's all they talked about on the news. We made the mistake to try to ski on a Sunday. We didn't leave early enough and got stuck in horrible traffic in the canyons due to the single lane roads. Obviously, we needed to take a transit bus but we didn't know where the parking lots were. During the week the skiing, and traffic, were fine. No issues with crowds but it was very overcast and foggy. Seemed to have a lot more humidity than here in Colorado. Maybe that was just the week we were there. Bottom line I could never live there due to the air pollution. Not kind to my asthma issues.
 

sibhusky

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#16
Having done this back in 2003, a couple of tips.
  1. Find out what the local paper is and start following it online. Pay attention to the police blotter and the opinions and the letters. This is going to give you an idea of the social milieu before you're living it yourself.
  2. Visit during the true off season. Because some places that are ski areas are beyond ghost towns. So, spring mud season or maybe October. And remember, most ski areas have a secondary season or might even be the second season, so I mean the OFF season.
  3. Next visit again during the main season, which may not be ski season (it isn't here). Decide you can stand it, trying to live your life with all these people.
  4. Consider if the next town over that you've never heard of might be better for livability.
  5. The West has big distances as a fact of life. Really check out where your hospital, dentist, box store, grocery store, desired cultural amenity, etc., are in relation to the neighborhood you can afford to live in. You've had everything handy, now you might not.
As far as here, the airport is close, traffic like in Colorado is a non issue (it's three hours to an interstate), but you'll be unable to buy capicolla at a reasonable price.
 
#17
There are off the radar larger communities, too. I live in Spokane. We have an "international" airport that connects everywhere with direct connection to many of the largest cities. Five ski areas within 100 miles, one 30 miles from town, plus easy access to Canada. Housing is still some of the most affordable in the nation. Ski traffic is a non issue. Traffic is a non issue except for small town level rush hour. Oh wait, why am I telling you this?
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#18
So, a few thoughts about moves from urban to not as urban parts of the country, in your early 40s as a single woman: (1) if you are used to being in communities with a lot of diversity, it could be a shock to the system. That's not my situation, but I think on the whole, mountain/ski towns are not diverse/have a different type of diversity than many urban areas; and (2) it's harder to make new friends in your 40s without being very intentional about it. In many parts of the country, people in their 40s are raising kids. if you have a kid, this is a great way to meet new people, but if not, your first friends will likely be empty nesters or those who haven't started. Also take into account how traditional your new community may be. While being in your 40s and single is not unusual in major metropolitan areas, it is more uncommon in many areas of the country. People will assume that you're divorced, and if you're not, be ready for that assumption.

I didn't move to a mountain town because of (1) above. But I'd be happy to PM with you about my experience, which is moving across the country solo to a place where I knew no one, just over 3.5 years ago, at a time when everyone my age is/was raising kids.
 
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liquidfeet

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#19
DIVAS - I've long threatened to leave the City (Chicago - all the cold/snow, none of the fun things to do with it) and just...move to the mountains. I'm pretty fortunate that my job will definitely allow it (just need to be airport-handy). Does anyone live in Park City full-time? Looking for an honest take on how easy/hard it would be to start over, make friends, have an amazing time as a single not 29 anymore (almost 40) year old who is just plan tired of all the concrete.....
Vermont pays $10,000 to people to move there, if they work from home and are employed by a company outside Vermont. This link is from last year (2018). I've included a quote.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/31/vermont-will-pay-you-10000-to-move-there-and-work-from-home.html

On Wednesday, Quartz reports, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a bill into law that will pay people $10,000 if they move to Vermont and work remotely for an employer out of state. The Remote Worker Grant Program will take effect on January 1, 2019, and will help cover moving, living and working expenses. Grants can be used for relocation, computer software and hardware, broadband internet and access to a co-working space.
Currently, Vermont has budgeted funds to support 100 grants for the first three years and 20 additional workers each year from then on. Grant recipients will receive $10,000 over two years that will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
 
#20
Vermont pays $10,000 to people to move there, if they work from home and are employed by a company outside Vermont. . . .
Having spent the last few years sampling New England skiing, sorry, but if someone is considering a move from the midwest partially in order to be closer to ski mountains there is no reason to look to the northeast. Only reason would be if they have close family or past living experience in the northeast.

As has been pointed out, the "west" includes a lot of options besides Denver or SLC, even when restricted to locations with a major airport.
 

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