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.

illustration of moving from Denver to Vail

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.

Denver to Vail Moving Map

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
Elevation5,280 ft8,150 ft
Average Annual Snowfall56 in356 in
Median Home Price$559,900$1,347,500
Unemployment Rate3.7%2.9%
Key IndustriesFinance, Aerospace, TechTourism, 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:

flow chart for moving from Denver to Vail

Step 1: Visit Vail to Experience the Lifestyle

Blue Sky Limo's Denver to Vail Airport Car Service
Blue Sky Limo’s Denver to Vail Airport Car Service

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. We also know all the major alternative routes in case I70 is closed!

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

looking for affordable housing in Vail

Finding the right housing situation is crucial when relocating. Start your housing search 2-3 months in advance. Resources include:

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

– What are the best areas to stay in Vail for someone new to the area?

When visiting Vail for the first time, it can be overwhelming to choose the best area to stay. For Vail lodging recommendations, consider staying in Vail Village for easy access to the main shops and restaurants or Lionshead for a more laid-back local atmosphere.

Step 3: Find a Job in Vail

finding 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:

Vail offers abundant job opportunities, with numerous positions available in the tourism and hospitality industry. One popular option is working as an airport shuttle driver, providing transportation for visitors to and from ski resorts and various locations around the area. This position offers a flexible schedule and the chance to interact with people from all over the world.

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$559,900$1,347,500
Average Apartment Rent$1,685$2,114
Sales Tax7.65%8.4%

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

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.

Healthcare Considerations

Getting to Know the Vail Community

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!

Blue Sky Limo - Denver to Vail Airport Car Service
Private Airport Car Service from Denver to Vail, CO

Relax and enjoy a comfortable trip to Vail with Blue Sky Limo’s Denver to Vail Airport Car Service. Our private, door-to-door transportation service offers premium luxury vehicles with modern amenities to ensure comfort and productivity. Our professional chauffeurs will accommodate your schedule to provide prompt and smooth travels through the picturesque Colorado Rockies. You can take advantage of our complimentary refreshments, entertainment, and mobile device charging during your journey. Our experienced drivers will skillfully navigate winter roads and airport traffic so you can sit back, relax, and arrive at your destination feeling refreshed and ready to take on all Vail’s activities. For safety, service, and style combined, choose Blue Sky Limo.

Looking for a luxurious and hassle-free transfer service from Denver International Airport (DEN) to Vail? Look no further than Blue Sky Limo’s premium airport shuttle service! Our private Vail airport shuttle fleet is well-maintained, and our professional and courteous chauffeurs are dedicated to making your shuttle transfer from DEN to Vail smooth, seamless, and effortless. Our spacious and comfortable leather seats and panoramic windows offer stunning Rocky Mountains views to make your journey all the more enjoyable. With complimentary refreshments and WiFi on board, our experienced and knowledgeable drivers ensure a safe and stress-free trip. Blue Sky Limo is committed to providing first-class service, so why wait? Book your reservation today and travel in style!

Arport Shuttle Services from Denver to Vail with Blue Sky Limo
Blue Sky Limo’s Denver to Vail Airport Shuttle Service