Survey shows most Roaring Fork regional residents satisfied with their communities, homes
HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS
A recent survey asked Roaring Fork Valley residents where they would want to live in the valley if cost wasn’t an issue.
Aspen: 91% wants to stay in Aspen
Snowmass: 67% want to stay in Snowmass
Basalt: 56% want to stay in Basalt
Carbondale: 75% want to stay in Carbondale
Glenwood Springs: 64% want to stay in GWS
Source: Roaring Fork Valley Regional Housing Study
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, it’s only fitting that a recent survey of regional residents showed most people love the community where they live.
As part of a housing needs assessment, a consultant for regional governments conducted a survey of residents from Aspen to Glenwood Springs and from Parachute to Eagle to rate their satisfaction level with both their community and their residence.
“(A) large percentage of residents are satisfied with both their residence and the community in which they live,” said the Roaring Fork Regional Housing Study. “Yet, there is widely held sentiment that housing is a ‘critical’ or ‘serious’ problem in the region.”
Forty-two percent of respondents said they were “very satisfied” with their community while another 33 percent were satisfied, the study said.
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In contrast, only 4 percent were “very dissatisfied” and 5 percent were “dissatisfied.” The remaining respondents, 16 percent, were “somewhat satisfied” with their hometowns.
The report broke the responses down by subregion rather than individual town. Aspen through Old Snowmass had a “very satisfied” rating of community by 47 percent. That was topped by Basalt through Carbondale at 53 percent, the report said.
From Glenwood Springs through Battlement Mesa, 33 percent of respondents ranked themselves as “very satisfied” with their towns. For Eagle through Dotsero, 47 percent of respondents were “very satisfied” with their community.
There were similar findings regarding satisfaction with residences. The results showed residents from Eagle through Dotsero had the highest level, with 52 percent “very satisfied.” Basalt through Carbondale residents were a close second, with 49 percent “very satisfied” with their homes.
Satisfaction was lowest for Aspen through Old Snowmass at 38 percent “very satisfied.” That was close to the 41 percent mark for Glenwood Springs through Battlement Mesa.
The study was conducted by Economic & Planning Systems Inc. and RRC Associates on behalf of governments throughout the region. A final draft was released last week. A final report will soon be delivered to the various governments with the goal of getting them to act in concert to solve affordable-housing issues.
Further results of the survey seemed to verify the cliche that home is where the heart is. The survey respondents were asked where residents would like to live in the region if they could afford the cost of housing. Most respondents replied they would want to stay put. Basalt had the lowest percent within the Roaring Fork Valley wanting to stay where they are with 56 percent. Aspenites overwhelmingly want to stay in Aspen.
“For example, 91 percent of Aspen respondents prefer Aspen, 67 percent of Snowmass residents prefer Snowmass and 56 percent of Basalt residents prefer Basalt,” the study said. “Significant majorities living in Carbondale (75 percent) and Glenwood Springs (64 percent) also prefer their communities.
“Among towns farther west the figure dips to between 40 and 50 percent,” the study continued. “For residents in Eagle it is a high 78 percent, and in Gypsum it is 63 percent.”
There are clear implications from the results, according to the study.
“For example, they suggest that while Aspen may be the location of employment for many, it is not necessarily everyone’s preferred place to live,” the study said.
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Wayne Hall took a job as an air traffic controller at the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport in 2003 thinking he would stay for a short time. Instead he stayed for nearly 17 years and was promoted up to the position of air traffic manager. He reflected on the experience upon retirement.