Dillon

“What would you do if you had ten years to live and $10 million in the bank?” and “Where Would You Live, Anywhere On The Planet?”

Two what we now describe as “Wireless Resorters” – Premier Resorts and Maturing Resorts – called Parker home.

 

An excerpt from Book Four in “The Knowledge Path Series” dedicated to helping you find the place of your dreams in the Rocky Mountain State.

When Siri told us we had arrived our host, Finnmark, waved down to us from his slightly worn natural-colored wooden deck.  

He leaned over his dark green metal railing as we pulled into his driveway and greeted us. 

From behind him we could see the smoke from his grill drifting up into the cooling dusk night-time sky.

When he called inside, his two large poodles scampered out.  

He climbed down his entrance way steps to quickly help us bring in our suitcases and ran back to his deck barbecue to flip the chicken one more time.

And then in minutes we sat at his kitchen table which probably was set much earlier than the time we arrived.  

We visited, settled into our room and then hit the bed early since we were clearly worn out from our drive. 

For the next few days we would enjoy our own base camp for hiking, touring, visiting, eating and drinking at the best of what Summit County would offer.

  • Dillon.
  • Frisco.
  • Breckenridge.
  • Loveland Pass.
  • Shrine Mountain Ridge.
  • The Continental Divide.
  • Keystone Resort.
  • Copper Mountain Resort.
  • Vail Resort.

And, discover what the attraction was to our hosts when they followed their dreams.

For the second time.

Colorado Regions

A decade earlier we visited them when they called Parker, Colorado, their home, an exurb Southeast of Denver.

They went out of their way to show us the off-the-beaten-path experiences no tourist would find in and around Denver.

How did they end up in Parker?

From Southern California, by way of Chicago. 

As a couple, they inspired me to write this “Guide for Leaving California.”

Both of them missed the outdoors, sports and mountain living – hiking, backpacking, and skiing. 

Both  grew up nearer the Pacific Ocean.

Both frequented the local mountains and the Sierra Nevada’s – Mammoth Mountain.

Finnmark worked summers near Tom’s place, where we’ll visit later following the Birds-of-a-Feather (BOFs) resort bucket list itineraries in California.

Rock Creek and Little Lakes Valley to be more exact. 

After the move out west again, everything they loved was in driving distance. 

Except the ocean, of course.

Finnmark told me it was the congestion.  

How all of Southern California became overdeveloped.

It forced him entertain second thoughts about returning to California, when he realized Illinois just didn’t suit him any more.

And what was wrong with the Windy City? 

The Great Lake comes close to being an ocean.

For a Southern California boy, it was the fact that he had to wear long underwear under his suit during the first winter there.

It wasn’t the cold so, much, he told me – Denver gets cold, but the humid cold of Chicago was something else. 

And no access to “real” mountains gnawed at them.

He told me it hit him when he waited to cross a downtown street at a pedestrian cross walk. 

A big SUV came barreling through the intersection, hit a puddle and drowned him with gray slush.

That slush broke the camel’s back! 

All the little things just added up into a general recognition of dissatisfaction for them.

They both had jobs.

They owned a home.

But, they recognized if they didn’t act the opportunity to move might just slip slide away.

He and his wife sat down that weekend – at a little resort hotel they both enjoyed — and answered two questions: 

“What would you do if you had ten years to live and $10 million in the bank?” and 

“Where Would You Live, Anywhere On The Planet?”

They listed their passions and their dissatisfactions. 

When they combined and prioritized their two lists into one common one they discovered they were in synch on the vast majority of their “Musts” and “Wants.”

So they transferred their jobs to a better quality of life location?

That was the hard part. 

They tried.

But, in the end they took a leap of faith.

They took a big risk. 

They gambled that they could both find jobs to support their lifestyle in a climate and geographical location where they’d be happy.

But, it was a calculated risk. 

  • They did their homework and tapped into their “Birds of a Feather” – tribal connections, if you will — ahead of time.
  • They knitted together a small group of like-minded people for the sole purpose of trading inside information and referrals.
  • They needed inside sources of business intelligence and introductions to make the best life decision they could.
  • And, they took several scouting trips – some on business trips, some on vacations to confirm what they had researched. 

They double-checked advice they had received from family, friends and new acquaintances they met along the way.

They set up their own “outpost” by renting outside of the Denver urban area while they explored where they wanted to live. 

As it turned out, Finnmark managed to finagle a position with his Chicago-based company by opening an office for them in Denver.

Shortly after arriving his wife landed her job.

In the same industry and function, with the flexibility to work from her home office since she conducted audits “in the field.”

In fact, like a farmer you could say she was outstanding in her field.

Look, I didn’t say you would, but you (I) could.

Point?

She earned an outstanding reputation recognized by her new employer.

And in a few months both began living their version of the “Colorado Dream” lifestyle in a beautiful home in Parker. 

Over a decade ago we profiled Finnmark in “The Journal of 2020 Foresight.”

On our chart it is in the upper right hand corner at the intersection of “Doing What You Love in Current Geographical Location.” 

We visited some of these neighborhoods in Parker, Colorado to which our friend moved from an exclusive Chicago suburb. 

They don’t have to live in congested, urban areas so you find like-minded residents in the elite suburbs. 

Statistically, these neighborhoods house a high concentration of the wealthiest in the United States. 

If you are familiar with the Southern California – you’d find them in … 

  • La Jolla, 
  • Torrey Pines, and 
  • Escondido (San Diego County) and 
  • Newport Coast, 
  • Newport Beach, 
  • Corona del Mar, 
  • Huntington Beach, 
  • Irvine and 
  • Mission Viejo (Orange County).

Not all of Parker’s neighborhood lifestyle profiles grouped together within the elite suburbs.  

Two what we now describe as “Wireless Resorters” – Premier Resorts and Maturing Resorts – called Parker home.

Here’s how we described the broad grouping and then two lifestyle segments – Country Squires and God’s Country –  in the “Journal of 2020 Foresight.”

And Landed Gentry?

They’re the fourth most affluent with multiple incomes from executive, professional and technology-related knowledge workers. 

They prefer to live in the exurbs – beyond the suburbs and dense urban areas.

And the Country Squires and God’s Country?

Both yearn to escape urban stress and prefer to live away from the city. 

Country Squires have been called “big bucks in the boondocks” by Claritas. 

God’s Country neighborhoods apply their dual incomes to support an active, outdoor lifestyle.

Slowly neighborhoods change.

You can see the fit that Finnmark and his wife found when they first moved to Parker many years ago. But over time, what once was exurban now becomes suburban, and almost urban as communities mature.

If they had to do it over again, they might check out Parker’s 2025 Master Plan to decide if there was as much fit as they had anticipated.

Here’s a kernel of an idea that grew over time. 

It evolved.

When the opportunity presented itself, it burst to the forefront of Finnmark’s planning.

In the long term Finnmark said he wouldn’t mind living off the grid – becoming more self-sufficient like in the Lone Eagle scenarios. 

We now call the Lone Eagle scenarios – High Country Eagles.  

And, in many of the mountain resort communities you’ll find them living farther away from the towns in Rural Cowboy ranches, farms and other sparsely populated rivers, lakes and open land.

Steps:

8) Sit down with your spouse, partner or friends and write-up your bucket list of places.

20) Pivot. Maybe the lists of best places don’t appeal to you. Where can you go to make a fresh, new start? Don’t limit your imagination. Think anywhere — across the globe. Where do you really, really want to live, work and play?  Why not live where it’s a vacation all year round?

21) Spend the time to find the best place to live and invest. It will be worth your while. The great thing about living where others spend their vacation is the year round quality-of-life.