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Maury County’s Appeal Encourages West Coast Residents to Pack Their Bags

More than 96,000 residents from around the glob now call Maury County home.

By Rebecca Treon on September 15, 2021

People from around the globe have been moving to Maury County for years, and the area’s population continues to increase. In fact, more than 96,000 residents now call Maury County home.

The region boasts one of the most progressive business climates in Tennessee. High-quality jobs are a given, as companies such as General Motors, Landmark Ceramics, Groove Life, SmileDirectClub and the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation have major operations here, and the lifestyle the county allows for is more than attractive – think safe, friendly communities, great schools, recreation opportunities and affordable housing options.

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“We wanted to do better for our children, to create better opportunities and give them a better education,” says Jon Erhardt, director of rehab services at Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, who recently relocated with his family from Portland, Oregon. “This is the place that checked all the boxes.”

Maury County has seen an influx of people like Erhardt relocating from the West Coast. Part of the growth can be traced to the pandemic, which caused people to rethink what they are looking for in their community, such as a lower cost of living, more home for their dollar, a lower population density and access to outdoor recreation options. According to U-Haul’s 2020 Migration Trends Report, Tennessee posted the largest net gain of U-Haul trucks crossing its borders in 2020, the first time the state topped the list, which ranks all 50 states by migration growth.

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Maury County is riding that wave. For Cindy Nunn and her husband, Curt, it was retirement that brought them from California to Columbia. As the cost of living and property taxes in their home state continued to increase, they began to look for other places to live based on their retirement income.

According to a cost comparison calculator available through tnvacation.com, the cost of groceries comes in 5.2% below the national average in Maury County, while the cost is 30.1% higher than the national average in San Francisco; and the housing costs in Maury County are 15.3% below the national average, while they are 265.4% above the national average in San Francisco.

“Tennessee has a different kind of beauty — it’s so beautiful — but it is the people that won me over.”

Cindy Nunn

Former California resident

The Nunns had visited Tennessee many times over the years and made the choice to move based on those visits.

“Tennessee has a different kind of beauty — it’s so beautiful — but it is the people that won me over,” Cindy says. “Everyone is so amazingly friendly. It’s been a new life experience on so many levels, but we have absolutely no regrets, and we’re excited to see what’s next.”

Nunn’s mother-in-law, daughter, son-in-law and grandkids have also moved to Tennessee. Bryan Mueller, CEO of Maury Regional Medical Group, who recently relocated from the Spokane, Washington, area with his family, left the West Coast for a better quality of life.

“The progressive business climate of Middle Tennessee, its business and population growth, a vibrant health care economy, and, for me, a wonderful professional opportunity with a high-quality regional health care system were all very appealing,” he says.

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When people move to Maury County, they are met with an abundance of leisure activities, as the area boasts a diverse dining and retail scene.

A few local restaurant favorites include Mt. Pleasant Grille in Mt. Pleasant, Legends Steakhouse in Columbia and the Tito’s Mexican Restaurant in Spring Hill.

Must-shop places include Hauteology Trading Company and Tin Cottage in Columbia and Too Much Stuff Emporium in Mt. Pleasant.

For those looking for outdoor recreation options, the locals here love spending time on the Duck River as well as at the 474-acre Yanahli Park, Chickasaw Trace Park and Jerry Erwin Park, to name a few.

“Columbia is a great city, poised for growth, but it still holds its character, history and small-town feel but is close to the big-city amenities of Nashville,” Mueller says.

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