Living and working in Denver
Denver, Colorado is a dynamic and energetic city that welcomes newcomers. The ‘Mile High City’ – so named because one point is exactly one mile above sea level – developed in the 1850s as a frontier town to service the gold mining industry. Despite its rather Wild West origins, it’s now a modern-looking city with a thriving economy and great quality of life. It’s a great-sized city to relocate to, its population just over 600,000 in the city and 2.7 million in the metropolitan area. With glorious views of the nearby Rocky Mountains – skiing weekend, anyone? – It enjoys more days of sunshine per year – about 300 days – than either San Diego or Miami.
Metro Denver can boast some great statistics: The area has consistently experienced growth above the national rate since the 1930s, and by 2030, its population is expected to grow by almost 50 percent, leading to the creation of 800,000 new jobs.
Denver’s economy is strong, and median household incomes are 15.6 percent higher than the national average. In addition, a spring 2013 study placed Denver as the best working environment for small business employees in the US.
Don’t jump on a plane just yet, however – when planning a move, it’s always advisable to plan ahead first. Unless you’re lucky enough to have been offered a job before you leave, you should plan a week or two to check out local recruitment agencies and log up some interview time.
Try the local Chamber of Commerce, as it is sure to have a pamphlet produced specifically for those considering relocation to the area.
Remember to connect with your local community, whether this means enrolling in the local fitness center or jogging in the nearby park – by focusing on the pastimes, you love you’ll soon meet like-minded people who are sure to help you through your transition. Colorado residents are known as a friendly, welcoming bunch, and you are certain to have no problem making friends.
Denver has many opportunities to entice and encourage new residents, such as its many green spaces. More than 200 parks and 29 recreation centers serve as a breathing space in the city. In addition, mountain parks in the surrounding region provide important leisure opportunities for active Denverites. It is also one of the most bike friendly cities in the US, with a pioneering bike sharing program, so this is an ideal base for those who enjoy a fit and active lifestyle.
Some of the most attractive neighborhoods in Denver include the historic and trendy LoDo neighborhood (short for “Lower Downtown”); eclectic and youthful Capitol Hill; Washington Park, an attractive mix of historic and contemporary architectural styles; the Victorian townhouses of Five Points, one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods and one which sports a fine jazz heritage; and Belmar, a new district combining modern shopping, entertainment and residential blocks.
Which neighborhood is best for you depends a lot on your lifestyle. Do you enjoy the buzz of being close to the center or the more salubrious charms of the ‘burbs? Do you have children to think about, or are planning a family? Do you already have a job lined up and, if so, how long is the commute?
It’s advisable to spend a few weeks or months renting in the city before purchasing real estate there, and you’ll probably need to find a place to store your things. There are a number of possibilities for cheap storage, Denver has plenty of options for you to look at – giving you time to concentrate on more important matters.