Finding the Best Places to Retire Since 2006!
Crested Butte, Colorado
High in the Rugged Rocky Mountains of West Central Colorado, Scenic Crested Butte is a Cool Ski Town with a Relaxed Ambiance
At 8,900 feet above sea level and surrounded by national forest in west central Colorado, Crested Butte started out as a mining supply hub in the 1860s. Today, thanks to neighboring Crested Butte Mountain Ski Resort, the town is popular with both hardcore skiiers/snowboarders and vacationing families from around the country. It has also been called the coolest town in America.
A scenic, remote place, Crested Butte boasts a relaxed mountain affluence. It has a darling main street with buildings fronted by Old West facades. Top-notch restaurants, as well as casual cafes and diners, do a steady business. Merchants are mostly locally-owned, and there are enough service providers (dentists, florists, etc.) to meet basic needs. The Crested Butte Mountain Theatre has been in business for decades and its Center for the Arts offers classes and workshops. The Crested Butte Music Festival highlights chamber music and opera, and a film festival runs every September. The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame is here, and its annual Bike Week includes races such as the Fat Tire 40 and the Chainless World Championship.
Residents enjoy an ice rink and a Nordic Center with miles of cross-country trails. Bike trails cross through some amazing scenery in nearby Taylor Canyon and over Kebler Pass. Known as Colorado's Wildflower Capital, Crested Butte also attracts crowds in the spring and summer when backpacking, hiking and rafting opportunities abound. Housing stock includes condos, many of which are "ski-in, ski-out," and Victorian and chalet-style single family homes.
Population: 1,700 (city proper)
Percentage of Population Age 45 or Better: 25%
Cost of Living: 139% above the national average
Median Home Price: $1.2 million
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and winter temperatures are in the single digits and teens. On average, Crested Butte receives 20 inches of rain and a whopping 200 inches inches of snow per year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Gunnison Valley Hospital, 25 miles away, accepts Medicare patients. Gunnison Valley Primary Physicians provide primary and urgent care.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Gunnison Valley Hospital, 25 miles away, is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes
Crime Rate: Meets the national average
Public Library: Yes
Political Leanings: Very liberal
Is Colorado Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Yes
Cons: The nearest hospital is far away via a road that sometimes closes in winter.
Notes: Winters are long, and summers are short but spectacular. Many residents travel 25 miles to Gunnison for supplies. Crested Butte has grown 10% within the last couple of decades, and many locals bemoan the fact that their town is changing from a funky little mountain hamlet into a trendy destination. Others say that Crested Butte is still reminicent of Aspen before it became, well, Aspen. Home prices have increased 11% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Maybe. The remote location and lack of a hospital should be weighed if considering retirement here.
Similar to California, the Colorado area was surrendered to the United States in 1848 at the end of the Mexican-American War. It did not become a state until 1876, 100 years after the nation's birth.
The Centennial State's geography includes high plains, deserts, foothills, and mountains. Its Rockies are part of the 3,000-plus mile geologic uplift known as the North American Cordillera. More than 50 of the Cordillera's peaks taller than 14,000 feet are in Colorado. Outdoor recreation ranges from backpacking and climbing to road cycling and skiing.
With roots in mining and agriculture, Colorado's economy has branched in many directions. It currently has a high concentration of tech and scientific research companies. Food processing, manufacturing, and tourism round out the state's industries.
The Centennial State maintains a long list of superlatives. It has the highest paved road, the deepest geothermal hot spring, and the nation's largest concentration of scenic byways. Colorado is the only state in the Union to reject the Olympics and one of the first to legalize recreational marijuana.
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