NFR Does this Sprinter Van make my trust fund look big?

Swimmy

Practice your craft.
WFF Supporter
Funny write up about the local scene
Au2jkNg6_o.gif


You can recognize them immediately. Sporting the latest athleisure wear by Fjallraven or Kuhl and swinging around some type of nostalgic, cedar canteen, or perhaps wearing ostrich cowboy boots, or maybe even driving a new Tesla, the hordes of privileged tourists from America’s wealthy urban centers have descended upon the West. Like trendy harbingers of death, they’re influencers with expensive cameras, loaded financiers from the Yellowstone Club, shamanic healers from the Bay Area, advertising executives from New York, and regular tourists from all points between.

Well, to be fair, they’ve been here for about a month now, ever since Gov. Bullock ordered the state’s borders open to tourists with no quarantine. It’s a form of elite escapism that nobody can really blame the wealthy and privileged for. Who wants to deal with the sick in crowded, violent cities? Especially during what should be another glorious American summer vacation. Except that it’s not.

While the coronavirus pandemic ratchets up, and civil unrest boils over, it’s obvious that mountain towns like Bozeman have become some sort of escape valve for those who just can’t be bothered to deal with it all.

Every time a Mercedes Sprinter van drives by, I hawk-eye the license plates. Are they from Montana? Idaho might be okay, maybe. There’s the requisite fly rod box, color-matched jerry cans, even a few Patagonia stickers for good measure. These $100,000 vehicles glisten like social media showpieces, home to cashed-up couples from California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, pretending to be free-spirited nomads while working in software design and parking at the local trailhead or searching for wi-fi at the local coffee shop like rabid huskies in a meat market.

Folks living the hashtag “vanlife” because it’s trendy to leave all that negative energy behind during a pandemic, especially when you can document it on social media. I think this type of behavior is the western hipster’s equivalent of your father’s gold Rolex or aunt Judy’s gratuitous fur coat. The status symbols of the New West have triumphantly arrived.

So, you’re a psychedelic therapist who micro doses five days a week? A Google executive? A professional illustrator who specializes in flower art? Thanks for the visit, but please go home when you’re finished spending money. I sincerely hope you don’t have the sudden realization that you should actually move to Bozeman to escape the doldrums of suburbia or some infected inner city landscape where police clash with protesters on TV.

Sorry, bub. You’re not the first to experience this lightning strike of common sense. Folks have been moving to Bozeman long before I ever did, and they’ve been exploring the mountains, rivers, forests and sagebrush looking for the good life just about as long as anyone can remember.

Don’t you think millions of Americans would do the same thing if they could afford to pull up stakes like some modern, dust-bowl refugees and escape this societal dumpster fire currently raging throughout our country?

Well, actually it’s been happening for quite a while now. Check out Bozeman’s local job postings for a few hundred reasons why an even greater influx of wealthy, possibly diseased telecommuters who stash money is a bad idea. Here, you’ll see plenty of jobs in the service industry paying between $10 and $15 per hour, but very few offering career benefits or a livable wage. In fact, Montana’s median wage is just $20.47 (according to the DLI), which is one of the lowest in the nation.

Factor in the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, $1,200, and the average cost for a single-family home, $510,000, and you’ll quickly see the economics are grim for working-class people in our community. There are very few affordable housing options, and urban sprawl continues to creep into valley pasturelands under the guise of overpriced tract homes with cheap finishes as far as the eye can see.

So, what’s a good Montanan to do? Thank our wealthy benefactors who have decided to grace us with their metropolitan cash in exchange for fresh air, good fishing, and fewer coronavirus cases? Placate them with more breweries and restaurants? Perhaps we just train our workforce to build bigger and more ostentatious mountain lodges for them to hunker down in, complete with elk-antler chandeliers and wrought-iron sculptures of eagles and rams?

Or, do we take this time to better organize and pay teachers, find safer ways to educate our students (who are threatened by the same outbreak of disease, despite contrary rumors), pump our economic stimulus dollars into new business ventures, build attractive affordable housing, and figure out how to bring high-paying jobs into Montana?

Are you ready to buy a ticket out of this pandemic? Which ticket is Montana trying to sell you?
 

ChrisC

Active Member
Luxury taxes (taxes on discretionary spend, e.g.over $100K for vehicles, and something similar for other categories of purchases) are what's needed to help address the issues that lead to the massive income inequality that you observe.
 
B

bennysbuddy

The hoardes of humanity will overspill into Montana & ruin that state too, Maine is where I may relocate too.
 

WAS

Active Member
Funny write up about the local scene
Au2jkNg6_o.gif


You can recognize them immediately. Sporting the latest athleisure wear by Fjallraven or Kuhl and swinging around some type of nostalgic, cedar canteen, or perhaps wearing ostrich cowboy boots, or maybe even driving a new Tesla, the hordes of privileged tourists from America’s wealthy urban centers have descended upon the West. Like trendy harbingers of death, they’re influencers with expensive cameras, loaded financiers from the Yellowstone Club, shamanic healers from the Bay Area, advertising executives from New York, and regular tourists from all points between.

Well, to be fair, they’ve been here for about a month now, ever since Gov. Bullock ordered the state’s borders open to tourists with no quarantine. It’s a form of elite escapism that nobody can really blame the wealthy and privileged for. Who wants to deal with the sick in crowded, violent cities? Especially during what should be another glorious American summer vacation. Except that it’s not.

While the coronavirus pandemic ratchets up, and civil unrest boils over, it’s obvious that mountain towns like Bozeman have become some sort of escape valve for those who just can’t be bothered to deal with it all.

Every time a Mercedes Sprinter van drives by, I hawk-eye the license plates. Are they from Montana? Idaho might be okay, maybe. There’s the requisite fly rod box, color-matched jerry cans, even a few Patagonia stickers for good measure. These $100,000 vehicles glisten like social media showpieces, home to cashed-up couples from California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, pretending to be free-spirited nomads while working in software design and parking at the local trailhead or searching for wi-fi at the local coffee shop like rabid huskies in a meat market.

Folks living the hashtag “vanlife” because it’s trendy to leave all that negative energy behind during a pandemic, especially when you can document it on social media. I think this type of behavior is the western hipster’s equivalent of your father’s gold Rolex or aunt Judy’s gratuitous fur coat. The status symbols of the New West have triumphantly arrived.

So, you’re a psychedelic therapist who micro doses five days a week? A Google executive? A professional illustrator who specializes in flower art? Thanks for the visit, but please go home when you’re finished spending money. I sincerely hope you don’t have the sudden realization that you should actually move to Bozeman to escape the doldrums of suburbia or some infected inner city landscape where police clash with protesters on TV.

Sorry, bub. You’re not the first to experience this lightning strike of common sense. Folks have been moving to Bozeman long before I ever did, and they’ve been exploring the mountains, rivers, forests and sagebrush looking for the good life just about as long as anyone can remember.

Don’t you think millions of Americans would do the same thing if they could afford to pull up stakes like some modern, dust-bowl refugees and escape this societal dumpster fire currently raging throughout our country?

Well, actually it’s been happening for quite a while now. Check out Bozeman’s local job postings for a few hundred reasons why an even greater influx of wealthy, possibly diseased telecommuters who stash money is a bad idea. Here, you’ll see plenty of jobs in the service industry paying between $10 and $15 per hour, but very few offering career benefits or a livable wage. In fact, Montana’s median wage is just $20.47 (according to the DLI), which is one of the lowest in the nation.

Factor in the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, $1,200, and the average cost for a single-family home, $510,000, and you’ll quickly see the economics are grim for working-class people in our community. There are very few affordable housing options, and urban sprawl continues to creep into valley pasturelands under the guise of overpriced tract homes with cheap finishes as far as the eye can see.

So, what’s a good Montanan to do? Thank our wealthy benefactors who have decided to grace us with their metropolitan cash in exchange for fresh air, good fishing, and fewer coronavirus cases? Placate them with more breweries and restaurants? Perhaps we just train our workforce to build bigger and more ostentatious mountain lodges for them to hunker down in, complete with elk-antler chandeliers and wrought-iron sculptures of eagles and rams?

Or, do we take this time to better organize and pay teachers, find safer ways to educate our students (who are threatened by the same outbreak of disease, despite contrary rumors), pump our economic stimulus dollars into new business ventures, build attractive affordable housing, and figure out how to bring high-paying jobs into Montana?

Are you ready to buy a ticket out of this pandemic? Which ticket is Montana trying to sell you?
 
Last edited:

WAS

Active Member
Was this from the Gazette?

Sounds so much like Sun Valley/Ketchum/Hailey and a hundred other places in the US.

Thanks for posting.
 

Jojo

A sometimes eternal optimist
WFF Supporter
Funny write up about the local scene
Au2jkNg6_o.gif


You can recognize them immediately. Sporting the latest athleisure wear by Fjallraven or Kuhl and swinging around some type of nostalgic, cedar canteen, or perhaps wearing ostrich cowboy boots, or maybe even driving a new Tesla, the hordes of privileged tourists from America’s wealthy urban centers have descended upon the West. Like trendy harbingers of death, they’re influencers with expensive cameras, loaded financiers from the Yellowstone Club, shamanic healers from the Bay Area, advertising executives from New York, and regular tourists from all points between.

Well, to be fair, they’ve been here for about a month now, ever since Gov. Bullock ordered the state’s borders open to tourists with no quarantine. It’s a form of elite escapism that nobody can really blame the wealthy and privileged for. Who wants to deal with the sick in crowded, violent cities? Especially during what should be another glorious American summer vacation. Except that it’s not.

While the coronavirus pandemic ratchets up, and civil unrest boils over, it’s obvious that mountain towns like Bozeman have become some sort of escape valve for those who just can’t be bothered to deal with it all.

Every time a Mercedes Sprinter van drives by, I hawk-eye the license plates. Are they from Montana? Idaho might be okay, maybe. There’s the requisite fly rod box, color-matched jerry cans, even a few Patagonia stickers for good measure. These $100,000 vehicles glisten like social media showpieces, home to cashed-up couples from California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, pretending to be free-spirited nomads while working in software design and parking at the local trailhead or searching for wi-fi at the local coffee shop like rabid huskies in a meat market.

Folks living the hashtag “vanlife” because it’s trendy to leave all that negative energy behind during a pandemic, especially when you can document it on social media. I think this type of behavior is the western hipster’s equivalent of your father’s gold Rolex or aunt Judy’s gratuitous fur coat. The status symbols of the New West have triumphantly arrived.

So, you’re a psychedelic therapist who micro doses five days a week? A Google executive? A professional illustrator who specializes in flower art? Thanks for the visit, but please go home when you’re finished spending money. I sincerely hope you don’t have the sudden realization that you should actually move to Bozeman to escape the doldrums of suburbia or some infected inner city landscape where police clash with protesters on TV.

Sorry, bub. You’re not the first to experience this lightning strike of common sense. Folks have been moving to Bozeman long before I ever did, and they’ve been exploring the mountains, rivers, forests and sagebrush looking for the good life just about as long as anyone can remember.

Don’t you think millions of Americans would do the same thing if they could afford to pull up stakes like some modern, dust-bowl refugees and escape this societal dumpster fire currently raging throughout our country?

Well, actually it’s been happening for quite a while now. Check out Bozeman’s local job postings for a few hundred reasons why an even greater influx of wealthy, possibly diseased telecommuters who stash money is a bad idea. Here, you’ll see plenty of jobs in the service industry paying between $10 and $15 per hour, but very few offering career benefits or a livable wage. In fact, Montana’s median wage is just $20.47 (according to the DLI), which is one of the lowest in the nation.

Factor in the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment, $1,200, and the average cost for a single-family home, $510,000, and you’ll quickly see the economics are grim for working-class people in our community. There are very few affordable housing options, and urban sprawl continues to creep into valley pasturelands under the guise of overpriced tract homes with cheap finishes as far as the eye can see.

So, what’s a good Montanan to do? Thank our wealthy benefactors who have decided to grace us with their metropolitan cash in exchange for fresh air, good fishing, and fewer coronavirus cases? Placate them with more breweries and restaurants? Perhaps we just train our workforce to build bigger and more ostentatious mountain lodges for them to hunker down in, complete with elk-antler chandeliers and wrought-iron sculptures of eagles and rams?

Or, do we take this time to better organize and pay teachers, find safer ways to educate our students (who are threatened by the same outbreak of disease, despite contrary rumors), pump our economic stimulus dollars into new business ventures, build attractive affordable housing, and figure out how to bring high-paying jobs into Montana?

Are you ready to buy a ticket out of this pandemic? Which ticket is Montana trying to sell you?
This is well written.
 

Bryce Levin

Active Member
Building out a sprinter van myself right now... it ain’t the $100k version, I can promise you that.

I do feel for places being loved to death... the volume of people at trailheads and the few campgrounds that are open along the west side S rivers is crazy. People are camping in any nook and cranny they can find.

Maybe things will go back to normal next year when Timmy and Suzy have baseball and soccer tournaments on weekends again.
 

JayB

Active Member
Luxury taxes (taxes on discretionary spend, e.g.over $100K for vehicles, and something similar for other categories of purchases) are what's needed to help address the issues that lead to the massive income inequality that you observe.

That's been done before. There was a luxury tax on boats over $100K, and the most concentrated negative impact was on the working class guys that make their living building yachts. Same cause and effect kicks in whenever there's a targeted tax on the construction of expensive houses, etc.

Something like a very broad, progressive consumption tax would accomplish the same thing and be less distortionary. That's what I'd vote for in my private utopia.
 

JayB

Active Member
"Here, you’ll see plenty of jobs in the service industry paying between $10 and $15 per hour, but very few offering career benefits or a livable wage."

"Here" encompasses pretty much any small town away from major population centers that's surrounded by a scenic landscape with lots of outdoor recreational opportunities.
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
Nothing new here. Locals from tourist destinations have hated tourists and what they stand for since tourism existed. Don’t like these people descending on your town, don’t live in Bozeman. In fact, skip town on western MT altogether. There are lots of places in MT you can live that tourists don’t flock too. Be a “real” Montana’n and move there. I live on Bainbridge Island which gets pounded by tourists every summer (many from MT btw). They clog up my ferry, make it run late, cause traffic and drop the shitkickers for boat shoes. Annoying, sure but I understand the appeal. It’s why I moved here.

Also, MT should be prepared for even more if this. Way of the world going forward. My guess is many companies...and big ones will move to full time work from home after this pandemic. This thing was like a forced mass experiment and companies are realizing that their workforce’s are just as productive when they do so. They’ll save on real estate expenses, be able to hire talent from anywhere instead of specific markets, work life balance for employees improves, less expenses for employees not commuting, etc.. Win, win all around.

I have already started looking at properties in MT in anticipation of my company going that direction which I think is a possibility.
 

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