PorchLight Real Estate Group was recently mentioned as the “go-to” resource by Job Dash for those thinking about moving to Denver. The entire article is below.
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Should You Move to…Denver?
Feb. 6, 2014, 11:30 a.m.
The Seattle Seahawks might have soundly defeated the Denver Broncos in this year’s Super Bowl, but the opposing team’s hometown is gaining traction as a top jobs provider in 2014. Sure, Seattle has a slight advantage on the labor market with a current unemployment rate of 5.9 percent compared to Denver’s 6.7 percent (figures RiseSmart used to accurately predict the Super Bowl victor), but the Mile High City is growing and employing at a steady pace.
Denver ranked 6th in Forbes’ August 2013 list of the Best Places for Businesses and Careers based on combined factors of past and future job growth, cost of living and business, educational attainment, and projected economic growth. Forbes’ findings are similar to those of NerdWallet’s Best Cities for Job Seekers in 2014 with Denver coming in 4th for job availability, city growth, and cost of living.
At least Peyton Manning can rest easy knowing his adopted city is resilient and strong.
So, if you can take or leave the Seahawks—or maybe just aren’t sold on Seattle—Denver could be your ticket to a winning job search. But before you relocate, review our Denver highlight reel to see if it’s worth a move for employment.
These days, any mention of Denver might trigger impromptu sing-alongs to John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High,” Colorado’s unofficial anthem since 1972 and, more recently, a convenient allusion to the state’s new law legalizing marijuana. But the original “high” praises the state’s impressive altitude and mountains for days.
If you love the great outdoors you’re in luck: Denver is a popular destination for skiing, camping, biking, hiking, and other activities involving fresh air, great heights, and wide open spaces. Since healthy people are often happy people, Denver residents tend to be approachable and laid back. Which isn’t to suggest locals aren’t plugged-in and moving forward. In fact, the city is quickly becoming a hub for startups—an alternative Silicon Valley with a lower cost of living and an arguably more favorable work/life balance.
Eat and Drink
Denver is passionate about beer. The city boasts 22 craft breweries (just a short drive from where Coors pours) with several companies offering guided tours to help narrow down your favorites among a bevy of solid options. You can also plot your own taste test of Denver’s best brews alongside selections from participating vendors representing other U.S regions at the annual Great American Beer Festival. It’s a great way to expand your palate and engage with the local community.
Denver’s Blue Moon Brewing Company at the Great American Beer Festival. Photo credit: DJ Speiss
If beer isn’t your beverage of choice, try Mile High Spirits, a handcrafted, small-batch distillery featuring an on-site tasting lounge that often invites nearby food trucks down to complement cocktails with tasty, homegrown bites. Despite what celebrity chef Mario Batali has to say, Denver’s food scene boasts plenty of “talented, intelligent and unpretentious” industry players producing dishes that speak to the city’s open, inviting culture. Notable eateries in 2014 include Uncle, ChoLon Modern Asian Bistro, Old Major, Beast + Bottle, Biker Jim’s, and Root Down.
Sports and Recreation
In 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper continued his mission to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation, efforts that date back to 2006 when, as Denver’s mayor, he spearheaded Greenprint Denver. The successful green-initiatives program helped lay the groundwork for one of the country’s first large-scale municipal bike-sharing system, now operating as Denver B-Cycle, which should play a critical role in Hickenlooper’s new plan to increase the number of urban bike commuters from 1.6% to 10% by 2018. Current Denver Mayor Michael Hancock is also a proponent of increased bike sharing (he stood to win a custom bike of his own in a friendly Super Bowl wager with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray).
Of course, plenty of Denver cyclists take their riding off-road, too. Many Colorado “Front Range” trails are within close range of Denver proper where fat tires and all ages are welcome. Routes vary in difficulty but you should have no problem locating the right path for your interests and abilities. Research trails online or pick up a guidebook from Denver’s tourism agency. You could also connect with one of several businesses specializing in guided mountain bike tours.
Winter Park Resort
Denver is arguably not as ideal for skiers and snowboarders as are Vail, Aspen, and Telluride, however its relative proximity to fresh powder at Winter Park, Loveland, Eldora, and Echo Mountain makes a 70-minute drive well worth taking. Add another 20-30 minutes to your trip to experience Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper Mountain resorts.
For the organized sports fan, check out Denver’s seven professional league teams—Broncos (football), Rockies (baseball), Nuggets (basketball), Avalanche (soccer),Mammoth (lacrosse), Outlaws (lacrosse), and Barbarians (rugby).
Denver’s music scene stepped into national headlines in 2013 when charming indie-folk trio, The Lumineers, hit it big with their sweet, simple, catchy tune, “Hey-Ho.” Time will tell whether the young act’s staying power is comparable to fellow Denver export, Devotchka. The multi-instrumental and vocal ensemble gained prominence on indie radio airwaves and on-stage at venues across the country for a captivating live show (often accompanied by aerial dancers). The same qualities that attract tech workers to Denver—reasonable cost of living; convenient travel hub) apply to musicians, as well. Resident bands and touring acts can be found most nights at small-to-medium-sized clubs including The Bluebird, Larimer Lounge, Meadowlark, and the Hi-Dive.
In spring and summer months, head to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a stunning, naturally occurring outdoor venue located 15 miles west of Denver in Morrison, Colorado. Musical performers scheduled for the 2014 season include James Taylor, Chromeo, John Prine and Emmylou Harris, The Head and The Heart, and Devotchka with the Colorado Symphony!
Take The Kids
Denver Art Museum
Besides a multitude of family-friendly outdoor activities readily accessible through Denver parks and mountains, the town is also home to multiple institutions sure to please visual arts enthusiasts (Denver Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art), history buffs and hobbyists (Wings Over The Rockies Air and Space Museum, Forney Museum of Transportation), and curious minds of all ages (Downtown Aquarium, Children’s Museum of Denver, Butterfly Pavilion, Dinosaur Ridge, Denver Zoo).
In addition to its ongoing efforts to facilitate metro cycling, Denver boasts a progressive light rail and bus system with affordable options for commuters and incentives for employers to purchase annual employee passes.
Denver Light Rail
Denver rental rates seem to be increasing relative to the influx of tech workers who aren’t quite ready to commit to owning an area home. If you’re ready to take the plunge, now is a great time to purchase property in Denver. If traveling by car, start budgeting for snow tires—winter driving conditions can be challenging for those new to icy roads.
Just the Facts
Median Household Income: $60,699
Median Home Price: $250,400
Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation lists eight industries responsible for Denver’s continued economic expansion: Aerospace, Aviation, Bioscience, Broadcast and Communications, Energy, Financial Services, Health and Wellness, and Information Technology-Software. What does that mean for job seekers? Skilled IT professionals are in high demand and generally have their pick of both establish and up-and-coming companies to join. There are also plenty of opportunities for healthcare practitioners, from surgeons and pediatricians to pharmacists (annual salary averages $114,000). The Bureau of Labor Statistics also points to postsecondary educators as some of Denver’s higher-wage earners. And, in keeping with the city’s reputation for outdoor adventures, 27 of Outside Magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work are Denver-based, including the list’s No. 1 pick: Groundfloor Media.
Start your search: Looking remotely for jobs in Denver? Online job boards can spotlight openings, but if you have your sights set on a specific field consider heading straight to the source—in other words, check out company websites for positions that might not be listed elsewhere. Interested in Denver’s IT world? Try Built In Colorado and Startup Hire. If you prefer to meet with career counselors in person, check out one of Denver’s severalworkforce development centers. And, of course, JobDash can help you organize and manage your findings, keeping you on track throughout the process.
That’s it for now. We’ve only touched on a handful of things that make Denver ideal for many job seekers. Let us know what we missed and stay tuned for more Market Spotlights featuring additional cities where you just might get hired.