From Big City to Small Town

Is there a trend coming to Colorado?

The big cities are no longer holding their zest for life anymore as more Generation Zers, the young population who were born between 1990-2010, start to move into rural America.

They are moving across the United States in droves, specifically in the Midwest and Southern states

According to Thrive Global, since the pandemic, there has been a growing interest in rural and suburban lifestyles.

Rural America offers cheaper housing, easier access to the outdoors, and a greater impact on the local community. 

RentCafe mentioned that in light of cheaper housing, Gen Zers look for  “a vibrant local scene that feels authentic and closer to home for these young adults who are starting out in life in times of great uncertainty and change.”

As more Gen Zers move into rural towns, these towns need to be ready for the migration of younger people and offer what bigger cities could not: a sense of community and impact that Gen Zers crave.

Why should small towns be excited about more Gen Zers coming into their communities?

Suburban and rural communities should be thrilled that the younger generation wants to settle in smaller towns!


The boost to their economy will not only be improved, but when there’s more money being spent locally, the township can offer more to meet the needs of their growing population.

Another benefit of why communities should be excited is that their history could be preserved and cared for as the older generations pass on.

Has the trend caught on in Colorado?

In 2020, Boulder, Colorado, was the number one choice for Gen Zers to rent apartments, so Colorado is on the minds of our young people.

With its richness of history, great mountainous landscape, and diverse population, Colorado gives Gen Z everything they are looking for. 

That is why Small Town Association of Residents (STAR) searched for and found two people who moved from the big city to small-town life to start enacting their dreams and desire in a small town in Colorado.

Helena Cappon and Tom Orr moved from Denver to Walsenburg, 45-minutes south of Pueblo, Colorado, with the goal to start a business and make a lasting impact within the community.


From Big City to Small Town Impact: How Two People are Making it Happen

Meet Helena Cappon and Tom Orr, two Daniel Scholarship Recipients and Graduates from Denver’s prestigious college, the University of Denver, who moved to a small town where they both share their desire and vision to start a business.

Tom grew up in the small town of Walsenburg a few blocks away from where Helena’s family had just recently purchased a home.  

After a year of friendship and the start of the pandemic, Helena and Tom found themselves living together in the small town of Walsenburg, cooking, baking and enjoying all the other hobbies they had in common.  

Knowing that they were both meant to be a driving force of positive change (hence why they were chosen for the Daniel Scholarship), they knew they wanted to do something in Walsenburg that would not only benefit themselves but the folks around them too.  

They decided to combine all their passions and experience in cooking and business to open a Pizza and Ice Cream place called Gub Gub’s. 

Their plan is to revitalize a significant and historically essential business of an old gas station into a campy, fun 60s-style casual eatery with a plaza surrounding the building.  

Eventually, they would love to incorporate community events to maintain traditions and enact sustainable, positive change that benefits Main Street, businesses, residents, and the town as a whole.  

Helena and Tom want to be part of the planning in the community and help work the other residents into becoming more community-focused.

They plan on using this business to start a small scholarship program with John Mall and La Veta High Schools, so that other young people in the community have the same opportunities that both Helena and Tom had with the Daniels Fund Program. 

Construction on the restaurant is planned to start in Fall 2022.

Small Towns can become Communities of Change

If you’re a member of a small town where you’re seeing more Gen Zers coming in, know that you have an opportunity to watch them flourish and help them to bring your community together. 

How could your community benefit from more Gen Zers moving into your town?