Sunday, January 6, 2013
Dothan is a comparatively small town, with a population of only 65,000 and a surrounding metropolitan area of only 135,000. This makes it the second smallest city and metro area of those in contention to be my next hometown.
Although settlers had arrived in the Dothan area by the 1830s to harvest timber, the city was not actually incorporated until 1885, making it the newest of all the cities I'm considering. It lies in the southeastern corner of the state of Alabama, just 18 miles north of the Florida border and 20 miles west of Georgia.
Like nearly all other towns in the Sun Belt, Dothan has a humid subtropical climate. Although Wikipedia cites Dothan as being prone to tornadoes, the actual tornado risk in Dothan is below the Alabama state average and comparable to that of Marion, which has a handful of tornado warnings and sightings each year, but has suffered no significant tornado damage in the 12 years I've lived there. Summers in Dothan are hotter and more humid than in the Georgia and South Carolina cities I'm considering, but slightly milder than Texas. More information about a Dothan can be found in the Wikipedia article here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dothan,_Alabama.
The chief advantages of Dothan are its affordable housing, low cost of living, and proximity to Florida's Gulf Coast and airports. For a town its size, Dothan has a large inventory of affordable homes, most of which are in livable condition and do not require significant remodeling or repairs. As with other small towns, violent crime is also negligible in Dothan.
Dothan is only about a 1.5-hour drive from Panama City, so if I or those visiting me want a day at the beach it's as close as if I lived in Alpine, California! Dothan is also roughly equidistant from the Pensacola or Tallahassee airports, each about a two-hour drive, which is about my current commute to the Indianapolis airport. Dothan also has a municipal airport with daily flights that serve as a feeder to Delta's hub in Atlanta, so it's probably quicker, easier, and less expensive overall to just take a flight from Dothan that connects through Atlanta.
There are only a handful of golf courses in the Dothan area, but three of them are very reasonably priced and would allow for frequent play within my recreation budget.
Dothan is hot! I don't do well in hot, humid weather.
Flying from Dothan to San Diego, Phoenix, or Seattle is both more time-consuming and expensive than from most other US locations I'm considering.
There is already a JKI/KNBK-member dojo in Dothan. So I would either have to affiliate with them or compete against them in a very small market area.
As always, I'd like to know your thoughts about Dothan ... Is moving there a good idea or a bad idea for me? What are your impressions of Dothan? If you know me, would you be more inclined or less inclined to visit me in Dothan than you would in Marion? Or compared to the other locations I'm considering?