A survey of 23 communities by a Denver research group concludes that Aspen by far has the highest cost of living in western Colorado.The Cost of Living Study, presented Thursday to the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG), ranked Aspen as the most expensive place for single people in rented apartments, couples who own condominiums, and homeowning families. Conducted by Corona Research, the study used Denver as a baseline to compare living costs to smaller mountain towns. For an average family of four, they found housing in Aspen — specifically a single-family home with three bedrooms and 1,500 to 3,000 square feet of living space — costs almost 10 times as much as an equivalent home in the state capital. That home would cost a family with a $72,000 annual income 975 percent of the same home in Denver. Vail, ranked second, registered at 359 percent of the Denver baseline. Basalt ranked third at 286 percent.
By Andrew Travers, Sept. 28, 2009, ADN

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