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Tell me about Great Falls, MT

2rocky

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So a couple of Career opportunities came across my desk today, and one of them was in Great Falls, MT.

I looked at the City Data info on GF and compared it to where I am now and Spokane WA for the weather. I saw how much lower the cost of living was.

Given the growth in Bozeman I've seen, I'm curious why GF has not experienced a similar rise in home values, employment etc.

If I can handle a Spokane winter, how much "worse" would a Great Falls winter be?

What should I "watch out for" if I look more seriously at Great Falls?

The amont of property crime and theft concerned me...Any Idea for the reason?
 
The issue with winter in GF isnt what youd normally think. It is wind. Think 30+ sustained 2-4 days/week Oct/Nov-Mar. Youll never get truly 'use to it', no matter how long youre there, and youll either cope or not. The wind really sucks - or blows, as it were.
 
GF is a military town with the base. The wind blows, constantly. There's some great history, and good hunting fishing opportunities around the area. I also would live somewhere nearby, if I have to...
 
The amont of property crime and theft concerned me...Any Idea for the reason?
Most attribute it to the demographics, but IMO it's not much different than any other city in Montana with a population over 50,000 various folks. The only way to avoid Montana crime nowadays is to live in a Hutterite Colony.
As far as the economy, it has experienced slow steady growth, as opposed to the rampant upsurge seen in the Bozeman, Missoula, Kalispell, even Billings area. Hence values are more moderate.

I grew up in Great Falls and return periodically. It was a great place to grow up and I think it's still a healthy place to live. It is centrally located relative to fishing, hunting, outdoor recreation, and exploring Montana. The historical significance is monumental.
If GF is too big for you, there is Belt and Sun River not far away.

Having lived in the Gallatin Valley for many decades since, I now try to avoid even going to Bozeman for groceries and appointments.
 
Lived there for 7 years. My wife is from a little town outside GF. I’d move back without question. I’ll take a GF winter over a Spokane a winter. PM if you have specifics.No desire to argue.
 
Judging from the stories I hear from family who lives there, the city has a heroin problem. I've always enjoyed my time there but it faces many of the struggles other mid-sized semi-rural locations do.
 
Great Falls has always struck me as an oddity. It lacks the character of other cities in Montana. It isn’t particularly scenic. It’s in the middle of everything, yet it’s hard to find a reason to go there.

Of all the towns in Montana, it’s the one to me that feels the most run down, industrial, just kinda blah. The crime, particularly in the last 5 years or so, seems disproportionate for what the town is. My husband’s family is from and most still live there, se we visit regularly. In almost 20 years it still hasn’t grown on me, and I can’t quite articulate why. But you are within striking distance of some great outdoor recreation.
 
I've lived in Spokane - they're similar in a lot of ways. Grimy, quasi-historically important, histories of boom/bust economies, largely centered around military or ag/natural resource industries, etc. My answer to a couple of your questions:

Winters? Colder, windier. Not a ton colder, but WAY windier.

Why is it not as growthy as Missoula and Bozeman? Those are valley towns with pretty mountains around them, and they do a ton of marketing; Great Falls is a plains town, and does less marketing to out of staters. Not as pretty, skirts the edge of the "economic boot", etc.

As for "what to watch out for", if you're living in Spokane now, then you're probably well prepared for the property crime menace fueled by drugs n such. That menace is pretty active in Great Falls too, so don't think you'll be in some kind of Beaver Cleaverville town where you leave your stuff unlocked and lying around.

Your mileage will vary of course, but by and large Great Falls is generally less hectic and frustrating than Spokane. Spokane really has gotten kind of out of control, in my opinion. There's less "city stuff" to do in Great Falls than Spokane, but there's way more "out of town stuff" in literally every direction.

If you're into thunderstorms, you'll get some good ones rolling off the Rockies and going over your head throughout the summer.

Also, you can get an elk tag for $20. Eat grouse all autumn for $7.50. Not. Bad.

Depending on who you are, living in Great Falls could heaven on Earth or just an absolute prison sentence.
 
For Montana it’s a shithole as far as the city itself goes, but there’s a lot to do in any direction from there.

Windy and below zero followed by chinook winds that turn everything into mud is a nice touch if that’s your thing.
 
Spokanistan is a sh@thole- prove me wrong ... and while GF has its challenges, you have grossly more access to the outdoors, hiking, hunting, fishing, camping...

In the summer, it's hot, dry, and dusty... but at least the wind blows every day.

In the winter, it's cold, dark, and wet... but at least the wind blows every day.
 
Great Falls has always struck me as an oddity. It lacks the character of other cities in Montana. It isn’t particularly scenic. It’s in the middle of everything, yet it’s hard to find a reason to go there.

Of all the towns in Montana, it’s the one to me that feels the most run down, industrial, just kinda blah. The crime, particularly in the last 5 years or so, seems disproportionate for what the town is. My husband’s family is from and most still live there, se we visit regularly. In almost 20 years it still hasn’t grown on me, and I can’t quite articulate why. But you are within striking distance of some great outdoor recreation.
Ah, the Pueblo of Montana.
 
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