Relocating To Wyoming!

  1. Hi !

    Visisted Yellowstone Park last month and fell in love. We are planning on relocating next year. Any advice on the best places to live? We are looking for a quiet town with lots of wildlife. I guess we have to be close to a big city in order to find jobs? I am a Pediatric outpatient RN and work in a doctors office ; my husband works in the kitchen cabinet business. How is the job situation out there? Salary? I would love any input you could offer. We are so ready to go!!

    Thanks!
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Nickle
    Grasshopper, there ARE no big cities in Wyoming!

    I'm glad you had an awesome trip. Here's the scoop:

    The largest cities are in the SE corner: Casper, Cheyenne, and Laramie. However, the SE corner is a great deal different (not just in appearance) than the NW corner you visited. Jackson Hole (as sort of the hub of Yellowstone) is very ritzy, very touristy, and very atypical Wyo, in my opinion. I'm not saying that's bad; just if that's the extent of your experience, you need to do more research. Jackson is a VERY expensive place to live. How long were you there and where did you go? What did you do? What cities/towns did you visit?

    As far as awesome places to live - the Wind Rivers are a beautiful range and awesome for outdoor enthusiasts, if that's what you're looking for. That said, be warned that the winter lasts for 9 months, and I am NOT exaggerating, and I was born in northern MN!

    Wyoming, generally speaking, is very economically depressed. The pay is poor. Social problems abound - alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, suicide, depression, isolation. It is really a tough place to live - it takes a certain kind of person to make it there. Educational opportunities are very limited.

    All that said, I love Wyo. I lived in SW Wyoming for three years. (This was before I became a nurse.) Please don't flame me in defense of Wyoming! I am NOT knocking the state, I've just seen a lot of people visit and love it, transplant, and then "fail to thrive." I had some of the best experiences of my life when I lived there, and met some of the brightest, funniest, WARMEST people I have ever known. Wyoming has a very special place in my heart.

    Grasshopper, where do you live now? What stage of your career are you in? Any kids? I'm not trying to discourage you, just give you a heads up! Hope this helps!
  4. by   hope3456
    Nickle,

    You hit the nail on the head!! I grew up in the Wind River range (lander and riverton), and I remember so many people moving there from out of state, and then leaving in a year or two b/c it just wasn't what they expected and they couldn't make it. But then again, neither could my husband or I, that is why we are now in colorado. We look back at people we grew up with that are still there, and agree that leaving the state was the best thing we could have done.

    I agree, the wind river range is one of the most beautiful places on earth, I'm not so sure about the people, however. The area is quickly becoming a mecca for retirees, but other than that, the local population is very distrusting of one another and seclusive, and plagued with the problems you listed - domestic violence, poverty, alcoholism, ect.

    Anyways, great post!!
    Quote from Nickle
    Grasshopper, there ARE no big cities in Wyoming!

    I'm glad you had an awesome trip. Here's the scoop:

    The largest cities are in the SE corner: Casper, Cheyenne, and Laramie. However, the SE corner is a great deal different (not just in appearance) than the NW corner you visited. Jackson Hole (as sort of the hub of Yellowstone) is very ritzy, very touristy, and very atypical Wyo, in my opinion. I'm not saying that's bad; just if that's the extent of your experience, you need to do more research. Jackson is a VERY expensive place to live. How long were you there and where did you go? What did you do? What cities/towns did you visit?

    As far as awesome places to live - the Wind Rivers are a beautiful range and awesome for outdoor enthusiasts, if that's what you're looking for. That said, be warned that the winter lasts for 9 months, and I am NOT exaggerating, and I was born in northern MN!

    Wyoming, generally speaking, is very economically depressed. The pay is poor. Social problems abound - alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, suicide, depression, isolation. It is really a tough place to live - it takes a certain kind of person to make it there. Educational opportunities are very limited.

    All that said, I love Wyo. I lived in SW Wyoming for three years. (This was before I became a nurse.) Please don't flame me in defense of Wyoming! I am NOT knocking the state, I've just seen a lot of people visit and love it, transplant, and then "fail to thrive." I had some of the best experiences of my life when I lived there, and met some of the brightest, funniest, WARMEST people I have ever known. Wyoming has a very special place in my heart.

    Grasshopper, where do you live now? What stage of your career are you in? Any kids? I'm not trying to discourage you, just give you a heads up! Hope this helps!
    Last edit by hope3456 on Sep 25, '05 : Reason: grammar
  5. by   Nickle
    Thanks, Hope! It's great to be validated by a local. I expanded my thoughts last week in a PM to Grasshopper - here are some highlights:

    Quote from Nickle
    Now, I'm not saying that you couldn't find a nursing job in Wyoming, just do your research. Just because it's the sticks doesn't mean there are no docs or hospitals! There's a big market for high-end custom everything in Jackson, so your husband would be okay if he could break into the business. A lot of self-employed artisans/craftsmen there fold since it can be cutthroat and competitive.

    There is a tiny "bedroom community" to Jackson Hole called Driggs, just over the Idaho border. That means that people work in Jackson, and drive over the border to live where things are more affordable. In Jackson, the locals live in the trailers, and the movie stars have all the stunning VACATION homes. Can you imagine!

    One of my friends - a Wyoming native from Riverton/Lander (in the Wind River mountain range I mentioned) who also lived in SW Wyoming - Bridger Valley/Green River/Rock Springs areas - said she'd always wanted to live up in Sheridan, which is on the Montana border. As for Idaho, I would check out Boise - good sized hospital and university.

    The West in general is not the most tolerant region. Lots of "I'm politically incorrect and I'm proud" chest thumping and the like. Be forewarned if that bothers you. It does bother me.

    People in the West tend to be especially cautious and reserved around "outsiders." They sit back and watch you for a while. It takes a lot to earn the trust and respect of the lifers out here.

    There's a funny thread posted in the premium member's lounge you should read. http://allnurses.com/forums/showthread.php?t=118868
    If you can laugh at any of it, I say head west for a research trip!

    (p.s. re: the above thread - Sushi is my favorite food. If you like it too, you can get awesome sushi in the resort areas in the West. Not just at the bait shop. Just don't advertise your preferences. :chuckle )

    Now, don't take any of what I've said as gold. Do your own research and talk to other people. This is just my experience. I would contact both the Travel and Tourism boards in WY/ID/MT/CO, and some Chambers of Commerce for some more info. You can probably find out a lot online. Also on your trip next summer, pick up some real estate magazines at the grocery stores.

    Hope this helps, and best wishes!
  6. by   grasshopper1972
    Hi Nickle,

    Kudos to you for such great info! For some reason, Im thinking that wyoming may NOT be the place for us, perhaps a little too risky for my blood. Have been thinking about the possibility of Montana, close to the wyoming boarder. This is such a great forum for us nurses and I appreciate all your help!!

    Grasshopper

    Quote from Nickle
    Thanks, Hope! It's great to be validated by a local. I expanded my thoughts last week in a PM to Grasshopper - here are some highlights:
  7. by   hope3456
    Grasshopper,

    Out of curiousity, where are you located now? If you are considering a move to the rocky mtns, another place to think about would be northern colorado, which is where I relocated, and I really like it here. The area is booming, and is a very hot housing market, so probably a good place for your husband to get work. Nurses come by jobs pretty easy, as well - although I hear we don't have the shortage like the rest of the nation/state. Consider especially the Ft. Collins, Loveland area. They are fairly big towns, but not to big. Great geographical area, however. Only an hour to Denver, but close to the mountains, and all kinds of outdoor recreational areas. You can drive 20 miles out of town and feel like you are the only person on earth. =-) We are also close to wyoming - People from this area go up there all the time to go camping, backpacking, fishing, ect.

    If you do look at this area, I would consider One wyo town - Cheyenne, it is actually only a couple miles from colorado - so not really a typical wyoming town. Housing is alot cheaper there, and you would get to take advantage of wyoming's biggest perk - no state income tax!

    I would, as well, consider Mont., but definately Idaho - I hear they are one of the fastest growing states in the nation (probably good for the job picture) and I think Id. is beautiful - it seems that most towns are pretty close to the mountains.

    Keep us posted on what you decide and good luck!
    Last edit by hope3456 on Sep 26, '05
  8. by   grasshopper1972
    Hi Hope,

    I live about 20 minutes south of Boston right now. Born and raised down in Cape Cod and then moved closer to the city for college, and I have been stuck here ever since! My husband and I cant wait to make it out west. Wyoming seems a little difficult, so we have been thinking about montana, around Bozeman. So you love Colorado? Whats the weather like in the summer/winter? How come you chose Colorado? Its definately a possibility for us and thats why this forum is so great! We just know we can't live here forever. We dont have kids yet, and would like to get "settled" before we take that on! We have a trip planned to wyoming in July '06, for a nursing conference in Jackson Hole and will do a lot of driving to check out as much as we can. Do you think most nurses have jobs set up before they relocate? It would be nice, but we want to move so bad that we may just wing it! Let me know about Colorado, ok????


    Thanks,
    Grasshopper

    Quote from hope3456
    Grasshopper,

    Out of curiousity, where are you located now? If you are considering a move to the rocky mtns, another place to think about would be northern colorado, which is where I relocated, and I really like it here. The area is booming, and is a very hot housing market, so probably a good place for your husband to get work. Nurses come by jobs pretty easy, as well - although I hear we don't have the shortage like the rest of the nation/state. Consider especially the Ft. Collins, Loveland area. They are fairly big towns, but not to big. Great geographical area, however. Only an hour to Denver, but close to the mountains, and all kinds of outdoor recreational areas. You can drive 20 miles out of town and feel like you are the only person on earth. =-) We are also close to wyoming - People from this area go up there all the time to go camping, backpacking, fishing, ect.

    If you do look at this area, I would consider One wyo town - Cheyenne, it is actually only a couple miles from colorado - so not really a typical wyoming town. Housing is alot cheaper there, and you would get to take advantage of wyoming's biggest perk - no state income tax!

    I would, as well, consider Mont., but definately Idaho - I hear they are one of the fastest growing states in the nation (probably good for the job picture) and I think Id. is beautiful - it seems that most towns are pretty close to the mountains.

    Keep us posted on what you decide and good luck!
  9. by   Roseyposey
    I am in Cheyenne right now. Cheyenne is not exactly "poor" Cheyenne basically has no middle class. The poor are very poor and the rich are very rich. Real estate is booming here, and a custom cabinet maker could probably do very well. Also, Fort Collins and Denver are within an easy drive. The scenery, however, is nothing like Jackson. But, within a short drive west or south you can be in the mountains. Colorado is going through a recession right now, people are losing money on houses that were previously appreciating over 20% per year, bankruptcy filings are at record highs. Housing in Cheyenne is not cheap; however, I'm assuming if you're a homeowner in Boston, you will be able to easily afford a home in Cheyenne - and besides there being no state income tax, property tax is probably much lower than you're used to. I think right now it's 0.8%/year. My house is valued with the county at ~210,000 and I think we pay around $1590/year. If you have your heart set on the northwest corner of the state, you might check into Star Valley. It's beautiful and less expensive than Jackson...not sure about employment, though. If you're interested in Cheyenne, let me know. I have a great (and honest) realtor who will help you find a house.
  10. by   hope3456
    Grasshopper,

    Sounds like you are pretty serious about moving out west! In choosing a place to live, probably the best thing for you is to decide what you really want from living out here. In your first post, you said "a small town w/lots of wildlife." If you are coming from the east coast, I'm not sure what exactly you would consider a 'small town.' What is considered a 'big town' out here - might be a 'small town' in your definition!

    However, anywhere you decide on, being able to see wildlife won't be a problem -even in the more populated areas. Especially the smaller types, such as deer, foxes,raccoons - they are never that far from town - in many cases - in town. I live in town (on the outskirts - near the mtns.) and see them all the time - esp. at night! And if you want to see the "bigger animals" elk, moose, ect., they are well within an hours drive into the mtns. And if you really enthralled w/ these critters, I know of many places (really small towns) where they will frequent your backyard on a daily basis!

    As far as jobs go, what type of nursing do you want to do or are willing to do? I know you said you worked in pediatrics - it might be harder to find a job in that specialty in any town but Denver. Reason being, even here in N. Colo, it seems that most children are sent to Childrens Hospital in Denver, for anything but the most common childhood illnesses. You never know until you try, though.=-) I'm sure the more flexible you are, the easier it will be to get a job. You shouldn't have that hard of a time, though.

    Have you done much internet research on towns/jobs? I've had pretty good luck with typing in the name of the town and hospital (bozeman montana hospital) into a search engine to get to the hospital website. From there, you can see their job postings, apply or get contact information.

    You said you were interested in Bozeman Mt, it is a breathtakingly beautiful area - however, not far behind Jackson Hole, Wyo, from what I have heard - in terms of cost. It is a ritzy ski resort/university town and is quickly becoming a popular place with celebrities and the elite to buy land and summer homes. Not sure if that is what you are looking for, but it probably would be a nice place to live. Another town to consider in Mt. would be Billings. It is the largest town in Mt.(200k -300k would be my guess) and it seems like a nice place - not far from yellowstone park, either. I considered moving there at one point, and judging from the hosp website, there are quite a few jobs for RN's. It seemed they also advertised a relocation bonus as well.

    Anyway, I've rambled long enough and I got to go get my paycheck!! If you have any more questions -I'm not the expert but will try to help. Also, I'll try to get you more info on Colorado, if you still want it.

    Peace!

    tracy

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