Moving from Denver to Vail, Colorado
Moving from Denver to Vail can be a tempting option for many reasons. Vail is an awe-inspiring retreat for the spirit, nestled in the picturesque mountains. It offers abundant outdoor recreation opportunities ranging from exhilarating winter ski slopes to tranquil summer hiking trails. The town also boasts a tight-knit community and a slower-paced way of life. On the other hand, Denver is known as the Mile High City and is a metropolitan hub with a dynamic cultural scene. It offers a rich tapestry of experiences, from bustling business districts to quaint, tree-lined streets.
There are many great reasons why someone may choose to move from Denver to Vail:
- Breathtaking mountain scenery and abundant outdoor recreation activities
- A slower pace of life and a tight-knit community
- Proximity to world-class skiing and snowsports
- Clean air, stunning vistas, and connection to nature
Moving from Denver’s urban landscape to Vail’s serene environment requires careful consideration of various factors. These include the cost of living in a high-demand resort town like Vail, the availability of job opportunities in a smaller community, the nuances of mountain housing, and the significant lifestyle adjustments necessary to adapt to a more nature-centric way of life. Additionally, the logistics of such a move demand thorough planning and insight.
This comprehensive guide aims to equip you with all the necessary information to make a smooth, enriching, and fulfilling transition of moving from Denver to Vail. Whether you are looking to understand the contrasts in living environments between the two towns or practical advice on managing the logistics of the move, this guide will ensure that your journey is a remarkable chapter in your life story.
Comparing Denver and Vail
Before deciding to move, it’s helpful to understand the key differences between these two Colorado towns:
- A large metropolitan city with a population of over 700,000
- Urban, fast-paced environment with lots of amenities
- Major airport and transportation hub
- A diverse economy and many large employers
- Vibrant cultural scene – museums, music, sports, food
- Four distinct seasons with semi-arid climate
- A small resort town with a population of around 5,300
- Laidback mountain community popular for ski vacations
- Outdoor recreation paradise surrounded by nature
- Tourism dominates the local economy
- Limited amenities compared to a big city
- High-elevation alpine climate with long winters
|Average Annual Snowfall
|Median Home Price
|Finance, Aerospace, Tech
|Tourism, Outdoor Recreation
Making the Move from Denver to Vail
Relocating from a major city like Denver to the serene mountains of Vail takes careful planning and preparation. Here is a step-by-step guide to making this transition smooth and successful:
Step 1: Visit Vail to Experience the Lifestyle
If you are serious about moving from Denver to Vail, it’s important to fully immerse yourself in the area’s lifestyle to understand what to expect. This means experiencing winter skiing and summer hiking and biking, browsing real estate listings to understand neighborhoods and pricing, dining at local restaurants, shopping for groceries, and chatting with residents to gain insight into everyday life. This is the best way to set realistic expectations for full-time living in Vail.
We recommend arranging your transportation from Denver with Blue Sky Limo’s Denver to Vail Airport Car Service. We are the premier car service leader in the Vail Valley, offering unparalleled expertise as Vail locals since 2012. Opting for our private car service adds ease and luxury to your journey, allowing you to enjoy the scenic Rocky Mountains from Denver to Vail.
With our luxury vehicles, you’ll be in an intimate and relaxed setting with knowledgeable drivers and locals sharing insights about Vail living, dining, entertainment, recreation, and local secrets. This trip ahead of the big move presents a valuable opportunity to learn about Vail’s culture, activities, neighborhoods, and seasonal offerings from long-time residents.
Step 2: Secure Housing in Vail
Finding the right housing situation is crucial when relocating. Start your housing search 2-3 months in advance. Resources include:
- Vail Resorts Employee Housing – many hotels, restaurants, and shops connected to Vail Resorts offer affordable employee housing.
- Vail Valley Rental Agencies is a local property management company that handles long-term rentals.
- Vail Real Estate Listings – search houses, condos, and apartments for sale/rent from local realtors.
Consider renting for the first year to get a feel for different neighborhoods before purchasing a property. Prime residential areas include:
- Vail Village – walkable and lively hub with shops, dining, nightlife
- Lionshead – easily access amenities and Eagle Bahn Gondola
- West Vail – families and young professionals, views of Vail Mountain
- East Vail – woodsy with large lots, near Betty Ford Alpine Gardens
- Golden Peak – slopeside condos with ski-in/out access
Step 3: Find a Job in Vail
Securing employment should be a top priority when relocating to Vail. With tourism driving the local economy, most jobs revolve around hotels, restaurants, retail shops, recreation, and healthcare. Top employers include:
- Vail Resorts – ski resorts, hotels, retail shops, food & beverage
- Vail Health Hospital – medical care, emergency services
- Town of Vail – local government, community services
- US Forest Service – Protecting White River National Forest
- Property Management Companies – Housekeeping, maintenance, and landscaping for condos/hotels
Useful job search resources:
Be flexible and open-minded during your job search. Consider seasonal resort positions or exploring a new field. Gain transferable skills and make community connections.
Step 4: Handle Financial Considerations of Living in Vail
With a significantly higher cost of living, it’s essential to budget and prepare finances before relocating from Denver to Vail.
|Median Home Price
|Average Apartment Rent
Ways to offset the higher cost of living:
- Seek employee housing discounts
- Get roommates to share housing costs
- Cook at home vs. eating out
- Limit car usage with free bus transportation
- Maintain Denver job remotely with Denver salary
- Negotiate salary based on Vail’s cost of living
Also, factor in moving costs like movers, transportation, taking time off work, application fees, and utility setups. Being financially prepared will make the transition less stressful.
Step 5: Plan the Logistics of the Move
When the big moving day arrives, plan ahead to make it go smoothly:
- Choose a moving company – get quotes from moving companies in Denver and review ratings. Load-up, drive, and unload options are the simplest.
- Transportation – Rent a moving truck or car trailer yourself for self-move. The drive from Denver to Vail is approximately 100 miles / 2 hours. Avoid weekday rush hours and allow extra time for mountain roads.
- Pack strategically – Pack essential daily items separately or leave them with friends during the move. Transport valuables yourself. Clearly label boxes by room.
- Change address – Update your address with the post office, accounts, subscriptions, insurance, etc., a few weeks before the move.
- Transfer medical records – Request record transfers from doctors, dentists, and vets in Denver and find new providers in Vail.
- Utility setup – Schedule installation and setup for cable/internet, power, and water in the new home 1-2 weeks out.
- Cleanup – Remove all possessions, clean thoroughly, and take pictures at the original home right before handing over the keys.
With the right coordination, you can ensure that the move day goes as smoothly as possible.
Settling Into Life in Vail
Once moved into your new Vail home, take time to relax, unpack, and adjust before diving into mountain town life:
Transportation in and Around Vail
- Vail offers free bus service across the valley from early morning to late night. View schedules and routes.
- For neighboring towns, use the pay-per-ride ECO Transit regional system.
Food and Dining in Vail
- Stock up on affordable basics at grocery stores like Safeway and City Market.
- Check restaurant deals and happy hours to save money eating out.
- Sign up for Vail food and wine event alerts like Restaurant Week and Taste of Vail.
- Try local favorites like Big Bear Bistro or La Bottega.
Recreation in Vail
- Buy an Epic Pass for access to skiing at Vail, Beaver Creek, and other major resorts.
- Sign up for hiking, biking, yoga, fitness, and other recreation programs through the Vail Recreation District.
- Rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards at Lakota Guides to enjoy local lakes and rivers.
- Try popular hiking trails like Booth Falls, Berry Picker, Mill Creek Canyon, and Meadow Mountain.
- Learn about Vail events like free summer concerts at Gerald R Ford Amphitheater.
- Establish care with a primary doctor through major providers like Vail Health, Steadman Clinic or Colorado Mountain Medical.
- Sign up for insurance, update prescriptions, and transfer medical records.
- Register at Vail Valley Surgery Center or Vail Health Hospital if emergencies arise.
- Find a local dentist, like Elevated Dental, for checkups and cleanings.
Getting to Know the Vail Community
- Introduce yourself to neighbors to start meeting fellow residents.
- Attend a Town Council Meeting or Vail Social to connect with locals.
- Follow Discover Vail and Vail Daily for news and happenings.
- Join a club or volunteer organization like Rotary Club, SOS Outreach, or Bright Future Foundation to give back.
With some time and effort getting oriented, you’ll feel right at home in the Vail community. Enjoy immersing yourself in the mountain lifestyle!
Final Thoughts about Moving from Denver to Vail
While not without its challenges, moving from the big city of Denver to the alpine village of Vail can be an extremely rewarding life transition. The unbeatable natural scenery, friendly small-town community, and abundance of outdoor recreation provide a wonderful lifestyle for many. By following the steps in this guide, you can make the relocation smooth and informed and set yourself up for the absolute best experience living in this iconic Colorado mountain town.
From Denver to Vail in Style
with Blue Sky Limo!
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