a VirtualTourist member from Cajon
I am considering moving to Amarillo, ot nearby Canyon, Texas. Any pros and cons of the area? Also, how dangerous is it living as near the Pantex Plant as Amarillo is? Tahnk you!
I've only driven through a few times, but the weather was horrible every single time. Also, living near that Big Texan steak house could be dangerous - I mean, eating a 72 oz steak within their contest time limit to win a free dinner? Talk about overdoing it! ;-) Happy travels, Karen
Pantex Plant is America's nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility (see www.pantex.com).
I've lived in Amarillo for six years now, and here's my take on the area. As you read this, keep in mind that I'm a transplanted Californian who moved here because of a job and who is staying here because of the job: Pros: Low housing costs and it's easy to get around. Cons: A lack of diversity of every kind -- political, social, religious, racial and cultural. And, the wind constantly blows.
Lived in Amarillo for 5 years. Moved here from a Big City. This part of the country is both safe and has some of the nicest people around. They have a good work ethic, have good morals and crime is low. Housing is cheap and if you have kids to raise, you can't beat it here. The wind does blow here usually 15 mph. The weather is good enough and the sunsets... well you can't beat them. If you move here, take time to hold the door at a store for someone and you'll fit right in....
I am currently living in Canyon. You have to drive to Amarillo to do any kind of shopping. It's windy most of the time. You can usually smell feed lots. The crime rate is low. Canyon has an occasional vandalism incident, but not that often. I don't consider the houses cheap. I suppose if you want to buy a falling down, fixer upper, you can get a good deal. But, I don't consider a1,200+ house payment cheap by any stretch of the imagination. Be careful with rentals. Landlords have more rights than the tenants...which can be a good thing. However, I have found that many people in the rental/landlord business are out to make a quick buck and really don't care much about the tenant...as long as he/she pays the rent. There are some good landlords. Canyon doesn't have many though. The schools in Canyon are pretty awesome and have a good sports/band programs.
Ist..Where are you moving from? If it is a big city, get ready for mega-culture shock. Amarillo is the world's largest truck stop and railroad yard. If you are the sort who needs a nightlife, upscale shopping, and the sort more inclined to be an observer than a "do-er" this likely is not the place for you. The winter is short and not severe by northern standards. Temps start getting into the 70's in late Feb-early March. 100+ degree temps in the summer are typical, usually until late Sept. Canyon is a "suitcase college" town. The majority of students leave for home every weekend during the school year and during the summer. Canyon is located in a "dry" county, with drive-up liquor stores at the county line. High school sports are the number one civic activity in both Amarillo and Canyon. West Texas A&M is an NCAA Divsion 2 school, used to be a D-1 school when it was West Texas State Univ. By and large the people are some of the most decent Americans in the country, not overly sophisticated but incredibly hard working, honest, patriotic, and caring. Most are Southern Baptists or nondenominational Fundamentalist, with a rare Catholic in the mix. I don't know if it still is, but West Texas A&M was one of the primary recruting grounds for the nation's intelligence services. PanTex might be weird to live by, but it won't stink like the IBP meatpacking plant, or the humungous feedlot in Hereford.
One more thing.... PLEASE visit the public schools in Amarillo and Canyon before moving there if you have children of k-12 level. They are some of the very lowest achieving I have ever encountered. There is an inordinate amount of emphasis placed upon sports and other extra curricular activities. Students attending these schools would a minimum of 1-3 grade levels behind at most school districts in the midwest and west coast.
Thank you for your reply. I would too be a transplanted Californian. I have lived in San Diego for over four years, grew up near Chicago, lived in Lubbock for two years. The wind blew a lot in Lubbock, too! What we miss about west Texas are the mannerly people. It seems much too fast paced and dog -eat -dog out here for us. I am a letter carrier in San Diego, and it is stressing us out financially living in Southern Califronia. I moved with my family to Lubbock in 1996, mainly to escape the cold and rain of Chicagoland. We liked the family atmosphere of Lubbock. After two years there, an opportunity came up to transfer to San Diego, so we took it. The family seems ready for a slower, more affordable lifestyle again. Steve B.
Amarillo is a wonderful city and will offer you a lot more than Lubbock. The people are very friendly, helpful and accepting. It is very easy to fit in. The schools are the best in Texas. The city is for the most part safe, especially the fast growing areas of south and southwest. The city is going through a major growth spurt and it can offer you entertainment, dining and culture. The weather is famous, but you definately get all four seasons and if it is hot during the day it will always cool down at night. Pantex is not a worry they run a very tight ship and you are as safe there as anywhere in the world.