Welcome to Buena Vista, CO
The Town of Buena Vista has small town charm, a growing economy, amazing mountain views and an abundance of outdoor recreation. Sandwiched between Mount Princeton and the Arkansas River, Buena Vista is a great place to raise a family, retire, open or relocate a business, or maybe you will come for the summer and stay forever. Good people, great quality of life. Love your life!
Moving to BV
Right now is a great time to move to Buena Vista, Colorado! Development inside town limits has exploded in recent years. There are still empty lots, “fixer-upper” properties, and beautiful ready to move in homes on the market. Outside of town there are homes of every size and scale in neighborhoods and areas a varied as you can imagine. The market is very active right now, so be ready to move on something you like when you find it.
We are Chaffee Podcast
This is my favorite local podcast. We Are Chaffee: Looking Upstream is a human-forward, conversational podcast based in Chaffee County, Colorado. It is part of the We Are Chaffee storytelling initiative. Underlying these stories on Looking Upstream are what are known as “upstream health factors.” These are factors related to housing and living conditions, social inequities, and many related policies and systems. And it’s about how those upstream factors lead to downstream consequences on social behaviors and health, and ultimately the connectedness and wellbeing of all of us as a community. Listen to the podcast on Spotify below, and visit the We Are Chaffee website to learn more about this great organization.
Finding a Job in BV
The economy in Buena Vista is strong and growing. The downtown businesses district is thriving. There are zero empty store fronts and there have been numerous high quality restaurants and shops open on Main Street in the last several years. The Town of Buena Vista has put a lot of energy and money into improving the pedestrian friendliness of town. Several large projects bringing homes and businesses to town are currently underway. The Hwy 24 improvement project brought us an easier to navigate highway with bike lanes, sidewalks, and new pedestrian crossings. Highway properties just went up in value! While the service industry represents the bulk of the jobs in Chaffee County, more tech and specialty employers are moving to town every year. Here are a few websites to view current local job postings: Chaffee County Times, Indeed BV, Town of Buena Vista jobs, Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center jobs, Buena Vista School District jobs, Salida School District jobs, Fading West jobs, CO Dept of Corrections BV jobs.
Spectrum is hands down the best internet provider in Buena Vista, CO. Spectrum internet offers the highest speeds at the best rates; however, they have a very limited range of service. Spectrum is available only within the Town of BV; it’s a good idea to call and confirm availability of service. Homes outside of town limits generally rely on satellite internet. There are two local satellite internet providers: Aristata Communications and Hughes Net. Generally speaking, satellite internet is slower and more expensive. Central Colorado Telecom also offers fiber optic internet service; currently their fiber optic service is available only along Main St and the Highway. Luckily for us the future of internet has arrived. Starlink is rapidly expanding their service areas and can provide blazing fast satellite internet service to rural areas. You can enter an address into their website and see if service is currently available or when it will be available.
Buena Vista is a great place to raise kids! The Buena Vista School District operates four schools: Avery Parsons Elementary School (and Preschool), McGinnis Middle School, Buena Vista High School, and Chaffee County Alternative High School. It’s easy to envy kids who grow up in Buena Vista, Colorado. Both of the Preschools (Avery Parsons and Busy Bees) are fantastic. Avery Parsons Elementary School underwent a major renovation in 2014. The new campus is a major improvement and provides a great place for our kids to learn, explore, and grow. McGinnis Middle School and Buena Vista High School share a recently (2020) renovated campus. The new buildings, campus, and facilities are amazing! Darren Patterson Christian Academy offers faith based curriculum for grades K-12, and they operate Busy Bees Preschool. Colorado Mountain College has a campus near the Buena Vista Airport.
Health & Medical
Buena Vista is fortunate to have several high quality options for health care.
HRRMC Buena Vista Clinic located on the South side of town is an extension of the larger and more comprehensive Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Salida.
Valley Wide Health Systems is the newest medical clinic to open in BV (2020). They are a non-profit health center specializing in high-quality integrated health care services such as pediatrics, dental, prenatal care, preventive medicine, elder care, physical therapy, and much more.
Our Town Medical is a private practice offering personalized medical care with a flexibility unheard of in modern medicine. Dr. Gibb makes house calls, takes appointments when it’s convenient for you, and knows every one of his patients.
Collegiate Peaks Eyecare provides exceptional eye care and hometown service. Dr. Matthew Scott brought a new level of eye care technology to Buena Vista and they offer a selection of glasses and sunglasses that will make you think you are in Denver.
Premier Home Care provides in home medical care to clients across the age span from infants all the way to geriatrics.
Buena Vista is a outdoor lover’s paradise! If you can do it outside you can probably do it in BV, even surfing. In addition to river sports like rafting, kayaking, and SUP surfing there is an awesome amount of fantastic mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing, snowboarding and much more. Buena Vista has claimed the title as the music capitol of the Arkansas Valley! The Lawn and the Ivy Ballroom are BV’s premier music venues. The Lawn is located just outside the Surf Hotel in South Main steps from the Arkansas River, and the Ivy Ballroom is inside the Surf Hotel near the courtyard behind the Wesley and Rose restaurant. The Wesley and Rose has been known to host musicians during dinner service. The Surf Hotel has booked some major musicians like Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Polish Ambassador, DJ Logic, Jojo Herman & Jerry Joseph, Rapid Grass, The Grant Farm, Dead on the Lawn, and many many more. The Lariat on E. Main St re-opened in the spring of 2022 (post pandemic) with a new and improved stage, sound system, and lighting to the delight of local music lovers! The Riverside Grill at River Runners is a fun outdoor riverside stage with amazing views and a variety of local and national bands. There are smaller stages all around town: House Rock Kitchen, Deerhammer Distillery, BV Roastery, McPhelemy Park, Turner Farm, and more are popping up. Living in BV is about living the life you love.
BV Whitewater Park
The Arkansas River is an integral part of the community, and the Buena Vista whitewater park is one of the longest white water play parks in Colorado. The park is fun at many different flow levels, and during Paddlefest you can see some of the best kayakers in the world compete in our backyard. SUPs (Stand Up Paddle Boards) have become hugely popular. Several waves have been designed specifically for upriver SUP surfing. Link to American Whitewater River Levels.
The mountain biking in Buena Vista is awesome, all the time, year round! During spring and fall you can ride anywhere and we have some of the best trails in Colorado. In the summer get up and explore the high country and ride above tree line. When the snow comes grab a fat bike and head up Cottonwood Pass. The Colorado Trail and Monarch Crest Trail area two of Colorado’s most epic mountain bike rides, and they are right here. Click here for an interactive map to the local mountain bike trails. The Buena Vista Single Track Coalition has been instrumental in the development of new trails in our area. The have done a great job posting signs and maps throughout the trail system.
The Arkansas Valley is known as a banana belt because the relatively mild climate. The mighty Sawatch Range holds the moisture so that the town of Buena Vista gets very little precipitation. During the winter the west side of the valley, up Cottonwood Pass and along the Continental Divide, will have several feet of snow while the east side, town and Midland Hill, remain dry.
Gold Medal Fishing
The Arkansas River is home to an incredible 103 miles of Gold Medal Fishing Waters. This is the longest designated section of river in the state of Colorado! Brown trout are the dominant species, and the rainbow trout population is growing nicely. Float fishing and wade fishing are both very popular. There are hundreds of alpine lakes within a day’s drive and hike from Buena Vista. Many have drive up access and many more require some length of hike. ArkAnglers Fly Shop & Guide Service is a great place for local advice.
14ers = Mountains over 14,000 ft
There are more peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation in Chaffee County than anywhere else in the continental United States. Only Alaska has more. There are twelve 14ers in Chaffee County. Mount Princeton is the iconic peak that dominates the Buena Vista skyline. Mount Yale, Mount Harvard, Mount Columbia, and Mount Antero are some of the mountains that can be seen from town. Get out and explore, but know before you go. The Trailhead store on E. Main St in BV has all the gear, tons of maps, and friendly knowledgeable staff. If you are looking for hiking info and maps check out www.14ers.com for the most comprehensive database of user-generated info on climbing Colorado 14ers.
Cottonwood Pass is a winter recreation playground. Several parking areas are available; Denny Creek is the most popular and final trailhead. Hundreds of miles of trails are groomed by the local snowmobile club. Cross country skiing is also very popular. The Collegiate Peaks Campground is a great place to cross country and snowshoe. Fat Biking is quickly catching on. Fat Bike sightings at the summit are common. There are three resorts within one hour of Buena Vista. Monarch is 45 minutes away, Ski Cooper is 50 minutes, and Copper Mountain is 60 minutes.
Industry in Chaffee County
According to the Department of Local Affairs (DOLA), the most prominent industries in the County in terms of number of jobs are: government, accommodation and food, retail trade, and construction. The Town’s economy relies heavily on lodging, restaurants, and general retail sales. As internet speeds and reliability continue to improve more and more remote based businesses are relocating to Buena Vista.
In the fall of 2021 Fading West Development opened a 110,000 square foot state-of-the-art housing manufacturing facility in Buena Vista. The facility will employ “100 skilled construction and production jobs in Chaffee County and may produce up to 700 homes each year.”
Job Growth & Migration
While many rural counties throughout the State experienced a decline in population during the Great Recession, Chaffee County experienced positive migration. The business community is surprisingly diverse. The Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation is an excellent (and free) resource for businesses looking to relocate to Chaffee County.
The population of the unincorporated area of the County has consistently been greater than the combined population of the Town’s three incorporated areas, which include two towns (Buena Vista, Poncha Springs) and one city (Salida). Both in-town and out of town properties are very popular and development shows no signs of slowing down. Housing is in demand!
Buena Vida Wine & Spirits
This new boutique wine shop and liquor store is coming to South Main in BV sometime in the fall of 2024. Buena Vida Wine & Spirits plans to offer a wide variety of fine and affordable wines and liquor, and a comprehensive selection of micro and macro beer. Their knowledgeable and friendly staff will help you discover new favorite beverages and maybe learn something about one of your favorites. www.buenavidawineandspirits.com