Originally Posted by Corbet
Durango is way cheaper than Telluride or Aspen but still not cheap. Really not bad in the overall picture of CO though. The job market is pretty competitive but that will be the case in any "lifestyle" town in high demand.
You might look at Montrose or Grand Junction if your not a skier.
Yeah..... you might want to check the cost of living in Aspen or Telluride before you look for work there.. Avg housing/rental prices in Aspen are $1300+ per month for a studio with no garage. Average home prices are just under $1,000,000.
Average rental in Telluride is $1507 in 2011. Home prices are on par with Aspen at $968,000.
IMO Telluride is 10 million times better, but hard to find suitable work to pay for the lifestyle you mentioned. And, Telluride is pretty isolated from the rest of the state. I'm not a fan of Aspen at all. You'll need to make some nice bank if you want to accomplish the goals you stated above. It's no fun working 7 days a week to pay for your place to live. That leaves no extra coin for traveling, gas, food or even the ability to take time off.
I like Corbets advice of Grand Junction or Montrose, but they are VERY different from North Carolina and you'd be wise to spend some time there before committing.