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Posted: 2/14/2023 3:43:06 PM EST
As  family we are in the early stages of thinking about escaping Colorado. The state is screwed, and I dont want to risk the kids futures (aged 2 and 4) through the education system.

My wife wants mountains, and I want a climate roughly similar to Colorado, and neighbours close enough that the kids can have friends. This puts the Rapid City suburbs as a serious contender. We are on a reconnoiter trip this weekend, to get a feel during the winter time although any move is months away.

I understand Sturgis is effectively a month of disruption in the summer. How rowdy does it really get outside of the maim event?

Whats the gun range situation? I saw the GFP center got canned. I'd like to still be able to take the 50's out at non-fud range.

Do you have any APC hikes/events?

Are the reservation relations problematic? I've done the tourism route and sensed atleast some tension for historic events, but want to make sure its nothing serious.

Anything else major I should be aware of?

Link Posted: 2/14/2023 5:20:08 PM EST
[#1]
Originally Posted By Wammel:
As  family we are in the early stages of thinking about escaping Colorado. The state is screwed, and I dont want to risk the kids futures (aged 2 and 4) through the education system.

My wife wants mountains, and I want a climate roughly similar to Colorado, and neighbours close enough that the kids can have friends. This puts the Rapid City suburbs as a serious contender. We are on a reconnoiter trip this weekend, to get a feel during the winter time although any move is months away.

I understand Sturgis is effectively a month of disruption in the summer. How rowdy does it really get outside of the maim event?
Wouldn't say it gets rowdy. Just a ton of slow traffic. They are mostly Harleys after all. During the Rally my wife and I were sitting at a gas station in Hill City and some Bikers for Jesus guys came up and led a prayer with us - and that's about as rowdy as it got. Even being in Sturgis itself is rather tame - it's not going to be anything like a night in Tijuana and with the events prices - it kind of ensures the younger dumber crowd isn't going to be causing a bunch of trouble simply because they cannot afford to be there. It's a well-managed event. All summer is going to be increased traffic area as it's a tourist destination

Whats the gun range situation? I saw the GFP center got canned. I'd like to still be able to take the 50's out at non-fud range.
Can't answer for out there but East River is very easy to set up long range shooting. Lots of people do 1000 yd shooting, know a guy near here that's into the 2 mile shooting KOTM. If you make friends with some ranchers out there, you'll have no trouble finding long ranges

Do you have any APC hikes/events?

Are the reservation relations problematic? I've done the tourism route and sensed atleast some tension for historic events, but want to make sure its nothing serious.
If you're looking for a Mayberry type town to raise kids in, I'd caution against a border town to the reservation. Just hang out for a bit, and watch some of the convenient stores, should be a good indicator. Sometimes it's more obvious. You'll know what to avoid in Rapid and Sioux Falls, otherwise there's no significant problems.

Anything else major I should be aware of?
Something to consider if you get sticker shock from a place in the Hills. On the other side of the state where I am we have a few couples I know around here (SE SD) that are recent Colorado transplants. They love it here. There's not as much landscape, but you're going to find your Mayberry type towns here super affordable, great ag economy that shields us from some of the lows of the economy in general, plenty of lakes and rivers, and an easy drive to the Hills for weekend getaways - or easy drive to Minneapolis or Omaha for the big city experience. Winters across the state can be a challenge, but challenge is a good thing. It's very easy to engage with the community and be a part of it. Use local businesses, get involved and within a few years you'll be one of the locals. It's also easy to be a hermit and stay in your house and order everything on Amazon or from the big city. However you'll get the feeling no one has ever welcomed you to town and you'll never feel at home as someone who didn't grow up here. If you're in a town of less than 3k or so, people are going to want to get to know you and don't be surprised when they know you long before you know them (if you're not in one of the bedroom communities directly outside of Rapid or Sioux Falls anyways - then it is what it is)

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Link Posted: 2/14/2023 6:29:01 PM EST
[#2]
Thanks for the insight.

I had pictured outer-suburbs, rather than small town, as thats where we are now. But that might be worth reconsidering. The housing market is honestly a big chunk of how I hope to fund the move. Colorado prices are so insane  we hope to get mortgage free on the move.

I've had native friends growing up, just never anywhere near a reservation. And want to cover all my bases and its a question that can easily get missunderstood if I phrase it badly.

I will need to pick up my long range game with those distances.
Link Posted: 2/15/2023 11:05:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7insert] [#3]
Very little in terms of ranges, a couple in the southern hills and the skeet range in rapid. Northern hills have an indoor 22 range under an opera house and a couple outdoor bench style ranges ive never been to.
Most people shoot at the aptly named Beretta Road which is a smaller version of turkey track in Woodland Park, CO. But once you know the area you can feel out the NF enough to shoot.
APC hikes do occur, I havent been.
Sturgis isnt really all that disruptive unless you decide to trawl bars that exact week
In terms of places to live you should look at spearfish and sturgis, the area is more growing and "newer". Id compare the area directly to maybe a lower income (in a good way) Castle Rock or maybe Black Forest,  whereas the nice part of rapid suburbs are roughly northern or older west co springs.
Reservation problems are really only problems if you are in SE rapid, but if you treat it like SE co springs you will be fine.
Dont let the east river gang convince you to join them in their sadness, west is the best.

But Hell, just come up and visit man the place isnt too far. Stop at Southern Hills tactical which is the best shop in the west half of the state. First Stop downtown rapid is a bit more fudd but where you should make a pitstop to fill up on Mk262. Feel free to DM me with additional questions.
Link Posted: 2/15/2023 12:18:49 PM EST
[#4]
Shame about the ranges. I've always used formal ranges, and like the surity of a good backstop , no risk of hikers coming over the hill, and a degree of safety from it not been open to the public. Guess I will have to suck that one up.

I can do a good job of hiding a way or timing vaccations. I've just avoided driving thru SD during Sturgis, so wanted to insight into what I was missing. The area comparisons and shop recommendations are useful, I will probably stop by this weekend.

I may take you up on the offer of more info nearer any move. I appreciate it.

Link Posted: 2/16/2023 3:28:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: tornadochaser] [#5]
@Wammel will you, your wife, or both of you be seeking out new employment as part of the move?  

Link Posted: 2/16/2023 5:00:50 PM EST
[#6]
Yes, and no. Between working from home and the hope of getting mortgage free (possible at current prices), it wouldnt be essential. That said if something better comes up, we will happily take better options. Frankly at this point there are a few years of the kids life i would be loathed to miss running the commute every day.

I did eye black hills ammo, and wonder if they offer staff pricing

If you have any hints on the jobs marked I would be interested.
Link Posted: 2/16/2023 10:59:06 PM EST
[#7]
No major discounts on Black Hills until you order at a dealer quantity. You will be waiting a sec on the dealer order, but best availability in the world.
Job wise, what do you do?
Link Posted: 2/17/2023 8:51:39 AM EST
[Last Edit: Wammel] [#8]
I'm focused on the move and assume I will workout the job situation as necessary.

Edited for persec
Link Posted: 2/17/2023 5:01:41 PM EST
[#9]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 7insert:

Dont let the east river gang convince you to join them in their sadness, west is the best.

View Quote


It's pretty OK here. This place just popped up on the market. https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/29147-437th-Ave-Menno-SD-57045/2112114816_zpid/
House is blah and needs help but it's on 36 acres of prime growing ground in the Corn Belt. In middle of the best pheasant hunting grounds the world has to offer.

If a guy doesn't need to work - start a hobby farm with the fam. House is near Menno and Freeman, 2 all American towns both with fantastic schools.

Hills to the west, summer lake recreation just south in Yankton, ice fishing to the North and NE, Sioux Falls is an hour away with fantastic health care networks. Near the James River for good hunting and fishing.

Oh, and the world outside your door is your shooting range.

If this house stays on the market long enough I may try to get it. It would have to be contingent on my current house selling which they'd never accept that offer early on.
Link Posted: 2/17/2023 9:30:57 PM EST
[#10]
I think my chickens would love the space.

We have just landed in Rapid City, so i will see how the weekend goes before getting ahead of myself on house shopping. Vacations are a lot more work with smalls to entertain.
Link Posted: 2/17/2023 11:27:04 PM EST
[#11]
Please understand that Rapid has had a fairly hefty boom as of late. Prices on housing are coming down some but may not be as inexpensive as you hoped.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with SE Rapid City. In fact a good portion of of the recent building has occurred there.

Job hunting may not pleasantly surprise you either. The main industry of the state is tourism. As you said you would rather not interact with people, you may find that challenging.

And also, there really are no such things as suburbs here.
Link Posted: 2/18/2023 8:42:15 AM EST
[#12]
I’ve been in rapid city for 13 years.  I moved here after going to gunsmithing school in Lakewood, CO.  Its similar to the foot hills in CO.  It’s a good place to raise kids, the city parks are well maintained. The downtown city square has fountains the kids can play in during the summer and it’s turned into an ice skating rink in winter.  You can hike or ride a bike on M hill without leaving town, food trucks are around when the weather is good in the parking lot.
 The rally isn’t bad.  The 75th rally was the biggest one I’ve seen, traffic was bad in rapid but nothing terrible.  You just have to watch for the idiot bikers that only ride once a year and think they own the road.
 The Fall River shooting complex is a pretty decent range.  The pistol and rifle ranges are covered.  50-100 yard range and 100-200 yard range for paper targets.  You can get out to 300-875 yards on steel targets.  It’s a 50 mile drive from rapid.  If you make a day if it the drive isn’t bad.  For general plinking I prefer Victoria lake road over beretta road for safety reasons.  
Link Posted: 2/18/2023 9:32:01 AM EST
[#13]
Trying to ride the housing market will be the trick. Ive taken cursury looks on zillow or realtor, and the see places, but dont want to fall in love with somwhere that gets sold. Im also hoping its like Colorado, in that housing stock dries upover the winter, and there is more avalibility in the spring.

I had heard tourism was a big employer, but trying to convince the wife limits my options. And the kids are the priority. Ten years of tax hikes and fees are starting to bite in Colorado, heck they now charge you to walk (3 dollar per person fee to walk thru State park in center of suburbia).

Im will get a better feel of the city this weekend, but already noticed its a lot smaller than the Denver metro (sherlock holmes i am). Though where we live now was a disconnected 'cow town' a generation ago (quote from inlaws).

I currently drive an hour to my range, as I prefer it to nearer options. So I can look into that when Im not entertaing the kiddos.

Link Posted: 2/20/2023 8:27:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: luv_the_huskers] [#14]
If you decide you need a realtor, let me know. I have a friend who is one and has helped several Arfcommers find what they need.
Link Posted: 2/20/2023 10:54:53 PM EST
[#15]
If and when we are at that stage I will pm you. What area of the state do they operate in? And beans or no beans in their chilli?

For an update if anyones interested. We spent the weekend in Rapid City, but left early to avoid getting stuck driving cross country in snowmageddon. The kids loved it and were sad to leave (as parents vacations are always hard work).

Neither of us fell in love with Rapid City. It felt too much like a big city, with minimal suburbs, rather than a small city to us. This matches what I've been told, but we wanted to see for ourselves, and the kids had a blast. Next stop is a wider net, maybe Spearfish, Custer areas. I next want to look at Pierre as well, maybe a spring break trip. The wife is still more hesitant about out east.
Link Posted: 2/21/2023 4:27:53 PM EST
[#16]
Custer is swell, a bit on the small side but if you enjoy the outdoors and small town vibes it cant be beat. Id clock it at a 1/2 or 1/3 scale woodland park. But with hill city 15min to the north and a short jaunt to rapid a lot of people end up there even if they have work that calls them to rapid
Link Posted: 2/24/2023 10:05:12 PM EST
[#17]
Pierre is like living in the middle of the plains in the 1970's in my opinion.
Link Posted: 2/24/2023 10:09:54 PM EST
[#18]
Ouch 1970's plains sounds tough.

Spring Break tripis out due to scheduling, so that delays any move. The talk of impending fiscal collapse dosent inspire confidence in major life changes either.
Link Posted: 2/28/2023 12:17:52 PM EST
[#19]
SD is Land of the Free!
God's Country.
Link Posted: 3/29/2023 3:21:18 PM EST
[#20]
If you and your wife likes to fish; don't go to the glacial lakes region in north east SD. If you do you will definitely want to move there! I know the wife and I REALLY look forward to our trips up there every year.
Link Posted: 3/30/2023 10:31:35 PM EST
[#21]
I live in the Glacial Lakes.
Hunters Paradise.
Link Posted: 4/3/2023 6:19:26 PM EST
[#22]
Gun complex near Rapid got approved, FWIW.
Link Posted: 4/4/2023 11:03:38 AM EST
[#23]
Thanks for the latest posts, life got busy and I've not checked here in a few weeks.

Neither of us hunt or fish, I'd love to go hunting but without knowing someone who knows the system I found it fairly difficult to get into. Then I got hooked on more modern guns and the didn't pursue it further.

The complex getting approved is great news, at the rate I feel progress is going on the move it may be finished by the time I arrive!
Link Posted: 4/10/2023 1:05:42 PM EST
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By luv_the_huskers:
Pierre is like living in the middle of the plains in the 1970's in my opinion.
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Come on now... it's the 2020's... we rolled over to the 1980's now!
Link Posted: 4/10/2023 7:37:42 PM EST
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Kit_Karson:
Come on now... it's the 2020's... we rolled over to the 1980's now!
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Kit_Karson:
Originally Posted By luv_the_huskers:
Pierre is like living in the middle of the plains in the 1970's in my opinion.
Come on now... it's the 2020's... we rolled over to the 1980's now!


You even got that instant on lighting I hear.
Link Posted: 4/11/2023 7:47:15 AM EST
[#26]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By luv_the_huskers:


You even got that instant on lighting I hear.
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it's like a candle that you can turn on and off instantly!
Link Posted: 4/28/2023 4:40:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: TrailFork] [#27]
I read the OP's post and had to recheck to see if I'd written it myself and forgotten.   Suffice it to say, same boat as even Colorado Springs has become unrecognizable.

The responses to the OPs questions about location are appreciated so I'll just add my supplemental questions:

(1) I work from home and we homeschool, so the "jobs and schools" issue isn't one for us.   Having said that I need pretty decent broadband internet, how pervasive is broadband in the hills west of Rapid?

(2) I notice in the responses it seems a lot here have familiarity with Colorado by citing local reference points.   With that in mind,  what in Colorado most closely aligns with Rapid and the hills west of there in terms of weather?    For the record, one of the things I like best is the WX in the Springs - not too extreme at either end and lots of sunshine.


Gracias!

Link Posted: 5/2/2023 12:43:32 PM EST
[#28]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TrailFork:
Some stuff


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#1)  Via obama grants back in the day and other programs the state took a bunch of money and handed it out to a local internet cooperative (Golden West Telco). You will find decent fiber where there arent even paved roads. Goldenwest is also a totally great ISP to have to deal with, very much the antithesis of centurylink/comcast hell. "Home" plans cap out at gigabyte symmetric for $99/mo very good uptimes, FTH termination and very supportive of bridged networking. If thats too much for you; Its good internet for no money.

#2) The weather in rapid could be described as the springs if not a smidge hotter, weather in the hills depends if you are on north, central or south hills. North hills is absolutely i70 tier snowed in couple times a year, central is more akin to Denver and southern hills more akin to the springs. Hot springs is borderline raton/santa fe in the sense that it is oddly warm year round and more dry.

If you are fully remote id move to Custer to dodge the eventual tax creep of the further north counties and not be sucked into old people politics of fall river county.
Link Posted: 6/30/2023 8:14:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: TrailFork] [#29]
We're driving in from Colorado Saturday 7/1 for a long 4th of July weekend.   I know it'll be busy, but the timing worked out best.   This will be part getaway and largely a "could you live here?" for wife and daughter.
We'll base out of Custer and plan to do a mix of touristy things but mainly try to get a better feel for the region to see if it remains on our list and if so narrow down which parts to focus our home shopping.
Link Posted: 6/30/2023 8:25:16 AM EST
[#30]
We are on almost the same plan. Driving up on Monday to Custer area to see how busy it is in the height of summer.

I think we need South Dakota club, with the first rule been "don't talk about it" so the morons who ruined Colorado don't all head to SD next.
Link Posted: 7/6/2023 10:36:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: TrailFork] [#31]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By TrailFork:
We're driving in from Colorado Saturday 7/1 for a long 4th of July weekend.   I know it'll be busy, but the timing worked out best.   This will be part getaway and largely a "could you live here?" for wife and daughter.
We'll base out of Custer and plan to do a mix of touristy things but mainly try to get a better feel for the region to see if it remains on our list and if so narrow down which parts to focus our home shopping.
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Wammel,  sorry last minute things before leaving got in the way or would have tried to coordinate meeting you there but can definitely agree on the "don't talk about it" theme

Got home last night and based on the aforementioned scope the trip was an unqualified success.  I'm going to restrain myself from posting my complete observations but suffice it to say that SD is firmly on our short list and frankly will be hard to displace but we have the same sort of trip planned for southern Utah this fall.
Link Posted: 7/11/2023 12:50:07 PM EST
[Last Edit: Wammel] [#32]
Ha you dodged a bullet by not meeting up this time, our toddler was a grump the whole trip.

I've always liked the north east corner of Utah, the south would be too hot.
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