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Colorado’s changing quality of life | Your Opinion

Posted: 12:55 PM, Aug 29, 2022
Updated: 2022-09-01 16:13:33-04
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DENVER – Colorado gets no shortage of love whether it’s from tourists, those making the move to our state, or people who’ve called the Centennial state home for decades.

But as Colorado’s spotlight continues to grow, what once brought many to Colorado is starting to change.

Whether it’s access to trails due to overtourism, the state’s seemingly unattainable housing market, or the way climate change is changing how we live and recreate, we want Your Opinion. How has your quality of life changed since you first moved here?

  • What’s one aspect of Colorado that’s changed since you’ve been here, and is that making you rethink life in the state?
  • What aspects of Colorado life need to be reconsidered to accommodate for the changes the state is going through?

We invite you to share Your Opinion with the Denver7 360 team and we’ll compile your answers together to share with our audience and readers to help us consider different perspectives to the issues we face.

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Denver7 360 | In-Depth News, Opinion

360 Report: Colorado economy still a model to some, but is quality of life a bright spot?

Russell Haythorn
6:03 PM, Aug 29, 2022


What you're saying

'Colorado life has had a terrible decline'

I've lived in Colorado for almost 60 years. I'll echo what many other people have written: Colorado life has had a terrible decline. In the 60's, 70's, early 80's, it was fun and easy to go hiking, backpacking, skiing, snowshoeing, weekends exploring small towns. Just hop in the car and go - no reservations, no/few crowds, clean. I haven't been to, or wanted to go do any of these things for about 10 years. Colorado is overpopulated. My solution: Round up all the Californians who have moved here is the past 25 years, and SEND THEM BACK! They've brought their bad morals, politics, and home equity money, and are destroying Colorado.

'Colorado has no quality of life anymore'

Colorado has no quality of life anymore. As a native I've had to watch as over the last few years my home has been eviscerated as people from other states move in and vote exactly the same way and bring their problems with them. The mountains can't be enjoyed because they're being blown up to build condos. Neighbors no longer exist here. Friendly people are a thing of the past. The trails can't be enjoyed because the people that have moved in have trashed them. They even leave their own poop next to the trails. It's so expensive here that only the rich can afford to live. I'm trying to figure out how to move, which I never thought I'd ever want to do, but I'm so broke because of how expensive it is and the inflation that I can't afford to move. Like everyone else, I'm working for gas money and then I'm working to figure out how to pay rent. Who needs food anyways? I'm not sure who you interviewed for this article saying that, "there is something for everyone here," but it certainly isn't Colorado natives or people that have been here for most of their lives. No one ever seems to interview natives, only transplants. We want our home back. We want our way of life back.

'I can not take my children to playgrounds anymore'

Our quality of life has, and continues to, decline. Trails are so crowded, you have to arrive before dawn to get a parking spot. My favorite places to hike now require reservations that are hard, if not impossible, to get. Many are trashed. But the biggest change is the onslaught of crime and filth, brought on by the exploding homeless population. People defecate in the creek my kids used to play in. I can not take my children to playgrounds anymore, because they are full of trash, human waste, and needles. Today, an irate and screaming homeless man tried to open my car door while I was stopped at a red light. This is the second time it has happened. A homeless man threw a bottle of liquor at me in the Sprouts parking lot when I refused to give him money. People are constantly getting their property stolen, or being harassed. I feel overwhelmed by the ever growing homeless population, like they are taking control of and destroying everything in my town, and I'm powerless to do anything about it.
Renae Gradl

'Colorado has been sold to the wealthy moving in and those that have made this state unique are moving elsewhere.'

I have resided in Colorado since 2002, I've acquired my undergraduate and graduate educations at CU, I have travelled all over the state. It infuriates me when people move here and say "there's something for everyone". There's nothing for many of us because out-of-state individuals and couples move here, with significant equity, and purchase housing at going-rate or inflate valuation. This pushes others into the rental market, thus driving up the valuation there. I never would have thought I would be paying half my monthly income to rent a studio. I never thought I would meet a college-educated individual who was sharing a four-bedroom house with seven or so others. Colorado has been sold to the wealthy moving in and those that have made this state unique are moving elsewhere.

'I have lived here 77 years'

Sad to see the changes. I have lived here 77 years. Climbed all the 14ers when we seldom saw others on the trail or on top. Now I-70 traffic and even reservations required to park at some.
Jay Folk

I thought that becoming a civil engineer would provide enough for me to purchase a modest home and be able to help my family but those dreams have been smashed'

I was born and raised in Colorado in the late 80’s and have been watching this state deteriorate for nearly 35 years. I put myself through college as did a number of my friends and became a civil engineer hoping to one day be able to afford a place of my own. There are countless young professionals my age with respectable jobs who cannot afford a home and I know multiple people my age who are forced to live with their parents and work a professional job. I thought that becoming a civil engineer would provide enough for me to purchase a modest home and be able to help my family but those dreams have been smashed. I love this state but it is sad to see almost all of the opportunity disappear because Of the mass migration. This was a beautiful place full of possible adventures and nature but you can’t even get into nature without a reservation much less being able to pay the bills with taking time off of work. Good piece but I think it under represented a deeper sadness that a lot of people are facing here…
Scott Kallase

'Totally unfair all for the sake of growth'

With all those moving to Colorado they and the developers are pricing native Coloradans from being able to live in our own state. With gentrification already in play those coming here are making it even harder for minorities and lower income families to live in the state they have grown-up in which is totally unfair all for the sake of growth.

'I cry each day for what is lost here'

My family are pioneers of Colorado. I have seen this beautiful place overrun by humans looking for a good life where we have overbuilt everything over the last few years. The explosion of cheaply built but expensive to live in apartments and houses has just been insane yet we cry that there are not enough housing available! They are tearing down neighborhood places for big apartments and building more on any parking lot or open land for sale. The infill raises the temperature and causes crowding and traffic like we have never known. The pressures in our mountains, our water sources our ski resorts etc., etc., is just becoming too much for many to bear. It's a sad thing to not be able to afford a ticket to concert or game, find a seat at a theater or find the wait at a restaurant or other places just too too much. Our own home has went up in value in the North metro so much, we thought of selling but then looked at what we would be losing and decided to stay where we are. I cry each day for what is lost here. There is so much to speak of but I won't bore you here. One more thing however...we have destroyed so much history here, history that we no longer seem to even care about in our museums but for a few. Sadly, I once was going to schools to share our history here but it has slowly eroded away where interest has truly disappeared. Thank you for your time!
Martin K.

'Never thought I'd want to leave my beloved home'

I was born and raised in Colorado and now thinking of moving out of state. The crime, the cost of living and taxes are out of control. Never thought I'd want to leave my beloved home of Colorado but things are bad here and getting worse.
Gail Kinney

'inadequacy of our highways have been the major contributors to a painful decrease in quality of life'

I first moved to Colorado as a teen in the early 70s. Except for 11 months spent in Mexico a few years back, I've been here ever since. The rapid increase in population and the resulting inadequacy of our highways have been the major contributors to a painful decrease in quality of life here. In the 90s, I was climbing a fourteener almost every summer weekend, and snowshoeing many winter weekends. Now, we don’t leave the Denver area on a Saturday, or return on a Sunday due to the parking lot conditions on I-70. Rather than enjoying Colorado’s mountains dozens of times a year, we enjoy them four or five times a year, when we can get the time off to travel mid-week. It’s quite sad, really. Apparently, there is no practical remedy.
Mark Vanderbrook

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