Morrison, Colorado — Whether you’re visiting this town for a few days on vacation or moving to Colorado for the first time, our state is full of love.
But do we love it to death?
“Humans, historically, love places to death,” said climate expert Dr. Lauren Gifford.
“I-70, in my opinion, is a nightmare,” said outdoor wreck expert Lincoln Davey.
“The quality of life is tough,” said social services expert Lisa Reyes Mason. “Right now, that’s hard to achieve for many people.”
Colorado’s economy is still the model for many states, but is the quality of life declining?
We decided to bring up the 360-degree topic because experts who say it’s still a great destination, but also warn about climate change, and how inequalities continue to affect quality of life. It’s the experts who say they’re a threat, and the people who have moved and moved to this country. This is what happened.
“We’ve been here for 40 years,” said Rich Gerber. “The quality of life, the school system for the children. (Sandy) is in the city of Aurora where he spent 35 years.”
“Oh, I enjoy the outdoors,” said Rich’s wife, Sandy. “Those were the best days”
But like many friends, they recently left Colorado and moved to the Phoenix area, which has warmer winters and a lower cost of living.
“We sold the house in 13 days,” said Rich Gerber. “Yes, the market. It’s time for a change.”
Then there are people like Patti de Rosario.
“People are nice, especially those who have been here all along,” De Rosario said.
She and her military husband traveled the world for years before settling here in Colorado about five years ago.
“Oh my god! I think our house is 50%,” she said. “There’s something for everyone. The only thing we’re missing is the beach. I don’t think we’ll move.”
“Well, I live in Houston. It’s like super city life,” said Jenen, a friend of Patti’s. “It’s great that Denver is outside and she’s not 120. Can we go out to eat, play outside, have coffee outside?”
Gifford agrees. There are many things that make Colorado so appealing.
“There are many smart people,” said Gifford. “There are a lot of smart women out there. She has good food and lots of things to do, so she can always be outside.”
But climate policy expert Gifford says climate change and population growth threaten Colorado’s quality of life.
“So, as we’ve seen here in Louisville, we’ve had mega-city wildfires and 1,000 homes lost,” she said. “It’s mind-boggling, trauma. There’s an incredibly long-lasting trauma here.”
“Do you believe we are facing imminent implosion from climate change?” asked Russell Haythorne of Denver7.
“The fact that 1,000 houses have been burned is already an implosion,” says Gifford.
She says there is no solution to climate change, but one obvious source of lost opportunity is the lack of funding for public transport.
“There are ways to adapt to climate change,” Gifford said. “There are ways to be resilient to climate change, but not at the moment. We really need to fund mass transit. This train that was supposed to go from Boulder to Denver doesn’t exist. We really need to invest in non-car-centric infrastructure.
In terms of recreation and tourism:
Lincoln Davey, an outdoor recreation and tourism expert at Metropolitan State University in Denver, said:
Davey says it’s no surprise that so many people are drawn to Colorado, citing himself as an example.
“I moved here from Montana in 2018,” said Davey. “And oh, it’s a pretty busy state for my outdoor recreational activities.”
But he also sees Colorado as North America’s capital of outdoor recreation and business with VF Corporation, Altera, Vail Resorts, and others.
“There are many industries that are thriving in this space,” says Davie. “It’s easy to come to a place like Colorado and be deeply involved in the industry.”
Davy sees farming and ranching as standard bearers for preserving what we have in Colorado.
“How do we relate to the landscape of Colorado? Tourism is a problem, but if we are going to work on change, it is kind of a good problem.There is a big system at work: food and drink, accommodation, etc. Sustainability at every level, and at every level. We have to think about community engagement in
Of course, living and working in a touristy place like a mountain town isn’t cheap. It contributes to another quality of life crisis.
“From my experience doing ski patrols in my late 20s and early 30s, I know it’s going to be expensive,” says Davie. “And wages are not keeping up with community costs and are getting worse. What made the area special could become so commoditized that it is no longer relevant. This is a big area in which we must proceed very carefully.”
Lisa Reyes Mason, a social work expert at the University of Denver, said: “These inequalities and crises are real and happening in so many parts of the country.
Reyes Mason is Filipino-American and has lived all over the world. She says her quality of life is never experienced the same by two people.
“The affordability crisis is really hard here,” she said. “In terms of housing, in terms of inflation going on. As a relative newcomer – the beauty is incredible, but who has access to that beauty? There is a racial divide.”
And history contributes to these problems.
“Denver has a history of red lining that goes back 100 years,” said Reyes Mason. “Who has access to high-value housing in greener neighborhoods? It affects physical and mental health.”
“We miss this place so much,” Garber said.
He and his wife left the state partly because of affordability issues, and so did some of their friends.
“Of course,” Garber said. “I have a friend who moved to Kentucky. It’s a tough market.”
But as Colorado addresses these quality-of-life issues, Gerber could also see them step back. “If the market changes, we will be back.”
Editor’s Note: Whether it’s access to trails through overtourism, the state’s seemingly unattainable housing market, or the way climate change is changing the way we live and recreate, we is looking for your opinion. How has your quality of life changed since moving here? Send an email to [email protected] or use this form to comment on this. See more detailed stories here.