Active Living for All Ages: Pueblo, CO’s Appeal Spans Generations
Pueblo appeals to the young of age and at heart.
When it comes to livability, this ‘Steel City’ has a softer side that appeals to residents of all ages. From the littlest residents toddling around the Pueblo Zoo to the senior set playing 18 holes at one of the area’s selection of stellar golf courses, people here stay active, entertained and engaged.
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The Outdoors Really Are Great Here
“My personal favorite thing about Pueblo is the climate. I love having four seasons and abundant sunshine,” says Justin Holman, CEO of Aftermarket Analytics, a Web-technology company based out of Pueblo. Holman also teaches at Colorado State University–Pueblo and writes about what makes the area great on his blog.
“I love the way the air feels on a summer night. In Mexico, they refer to Guadalajara as the city of ‘eternal spring’ because of the combination of elevation and latitude. Pueblo is also something very special,” Holman says.
The climate makes the area perfect for a wide range of ages. Families enjoy outdoor activities year round, taking advantage of the zoo, a host of outdoor festivals, and dozens of parks and trails set against beautiful scenery. Older residents enjoy golfing options or relax with some of the state’s best fly fishing.
Antiques, Arts and Literature
After retiring, Steve Hodapp moved to Pueblo to be near family. He says that along with enjoying the antique shops grouped just off the Arkansas River on Union Street, he likes a more studious Puebloan pursuit: the library system.
“I’ll spend an hour or two in a library quiet room and peruse newspapers and magazines. I also like to listen to books on my MP3 player when walking or working out,” Hodapp says. “Getting audiobooks from the library is easy and free.”
Rawlings Library is part of Mesa Junction area, which is on the south end of the city’s Creative Corridor – the second largest in the state. The corridor also contains the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, which hosts exhibits from local and international artists. The center and adjacent Buell Children’s Museum offer educational opportunities for both the young of age and heart.
Low Cost of Living
It’s easier to enjoy what Pueblo has to offer with the extra disposable income that comes from the area’s low cost of living. According to the 2013 U.S. Census, Pueblo’s cost of living was 13 percent lower than the national average.
“Housing is way cheaper [in Pueblo than other Colorado cities],” Hodapp says. “And the big three of water, gas, and electricity are both cheaper and used less.”
“I predict that Pueblo will be ‘discovered’ in the next 10 to 20 years, especially as boomers retire with insufficient funding, parents refuse to pay $50,000 per year to send their kids to college, and more and more people telecommute from home offices and realize they can live just about anywhere,” Holman says.
For Hodapp, the appeal of Pueblo is all about the people, though.
“What I really like is being with my grand-girls, especially at their semi-annual dance recitals. [My wife and I were also drawn to] the diversity and the more laid-back, less-populated lifestyle,” Hodapp says.
That laid-back vibe is something you’ll hear from just about any Pueblo resident. It’s what makes the area special for residents big and small – the combination of big-city opportunities and small town, low-stress lifestyle. It’s just how they do things around here.