Review of Bozeman, Montana


The weather's a drag, but it's a super safe place
Star Rating - 2/24/2013
I was born and raised in Bozeman--which in my case means that I've lived most of 35 years here. I've been out-and-about for brief stints in Georgia, Utah, and California, but the vast majority of my life has been spent here in Bozeman. It's a nice enough place, but it has some big downsides. Most people are drawn here for the "four seasons," the snow sports, college, or just to get away from the big city. For all the above, Bozeman is a great place to be. But be aware that the cost of living is above the national average, people are somewhat exclusive to their existing circles of friends (i.e., people aren't tremendously social here), winter is long and generally pretty rough (lots of snow, cold, ice, and gray), and "good" jobs are in short supply. There are great jobs available at the local Oracle facility and a couple other "high-tech" firms, but generally speaking because there are so many people who want to live in a place like Bozeman, wages are depressed. Count on taking a 20-50% pay cut to live here. Yep, ouch.

The 1.5 good things about Bozeman from my perspective: crime is rare here, which is reflected in the fact that many people leave their cars and homes unlocked (crazy, I know). And summer here is BEAUTIFUL. Warm, sunny, with lots of gorgeous nature to bask in. It's also, unfortunately, short.

In my opinion, there are lots of other towns (Salt Lake City, UT, for example) which offer much of what Bozeman does with about the same standard of living, low crime rates, even more outdoor stuff to do because of the high mountains nearby, and much better wages and job availability. There's not much to recommend Bozeman, unless you really like the small town feel, don't mind the pay cut or are independently wealthy (or work remotely), like winter, and love the lack of sales tax. Just my two cents.
Abe | Bozeman, MT
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