Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Living in Colorado, I run into people from somewhere else all the time. I've claimed that Pittsburgh is not friendly to outsiders, but growth states don't exactly embrace newcomers.
Akin to Washington State natives, California is a dirty word in Colorado. Even those who recently moved here, would prefer that the rest of world remain ignorant of the great quality of life in the Front Range. There are plenty of misconceptions about the local climate outside of the state, and we aim to keep it that way.
How do people, from places such as Pittsburgh, end up in Denver?
A few months ago, I met a couple from New Orleans at a beer festival in Longmont, CO. They came to Colorado for a friend's wedding and they never left. They had no clue that the weather was so pleasant. The people were friendly, at least more approachable than the lifers who call New Orleans home. They enjoyed their time here so much, that they relocated to the region without any job prospects.
I'm curious about Slacker nation and what draws them to Austin, TX or Olympia, WA. The economic push-pull model doesn't seem applicable. A number of Pittsburghers came to the Denver region without the attraction of employment. Many arrived to live the life of a ski bum, and ended up putting down roots.
With apologies to Richard Florida, Denver and Colorado are not particularly tolerant to alternative lifestyles. The assets are largely natural features and 300 sunny days per year. These positives are apparent to almost anyone who visits. The Front Range is an outdoor recreational Mecca.
Any region needs a non-economic draw card. The higher its profile, the better the pull. And then there is the network of nomadic twenty-somethings. Word gets out that there is a budding scene in Dinkytown, they will flock there, jobs or no jobs.
I think Pittsburgh could pander to this demographic. Does anyone know of attempts to draw feckless adults who won't grow up to Pittsburgh?
*Bumper sticker image is from http://www.coloradomountainstickers.com/.