Sandpoint, Idaho was a hippie haven back in the 1970s. Linda Navarre left her home in Cleveland in 1978 for the peaceful community where loggers and the new influx of long hairs fleeing the restrictions of society got along just fine. But that was then and this is now.
Navarre said she can hardly recognize the small town just this side of the Canadian border along the shores of Lake Pend Oreille. Its population has exploded with new residents who needed a break from big city life, but even more so, needed a break from the political rhetoric and policies of the blue states where they used to live.
Because of its natural beauty, Sandpoint is a resort town that caters to tourists year-round. Many of those tourists enjoy the sereneness so much that they come back to the area to live. But there’s more to it than meets the eye said 67-year-old Gail Cameron, a longtime resident. “People come here because it’s a red state.”
A number of real estate companies in the U.S. are attempting to capitalize on the exodus of fed-up conservatives bailing out of Democrat-controlled states. They’re targeting people on the right by telling them they can get them away from liberal strongholds such as San Francisco and Seattle by relocating them among like-minded people in places such as rural Idaho.
Flee The City is a group of four real estate agencies located in Sandpoint that advertises as one conglomerate. They say they are “a real estate firm for the vigilant” that specializes in properties located in western Montana and northern Idaho.
Taking things a step further, the company has partnered with a builder who designs sustainable homes with built-in ballistic and defensive capabilities. Each home can fully stand off a small invading army.
Todd Savage who owns the Black Rifle Real Estate firm that joined up with Flee The City said business could not be better. He thanked “insane” left-wing politics for the fortune he’s raking in but at the same time feels good about helping people escape the daily frustrations of living in a liberal state.
Perhaps the biggest player assisting with the mass exodus is Dallas-based real estate firm Conservative Move. Paul Chabot, founder, and chief executive said blue states can only blame themselves for pushing conservatives out. “People are tired of out-of-control crime and forced masking,” he said.
Due to the influx of people in places like Sandpoint, housing that once sold for near to nothing is at a premium with many listings being sold the very same day they go on the market, in many cases sight unseen.
Carolyn Knaack moved to Sandpoint a year ago and was hired as the associate director of the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper conservation group. She said a mixture of the pandemic and politics “has created a divisiveness among folks.” She’s “been applauded and belittled for wearing a mask,” and said she has “friends who refused to get vaxxed” while other friends didn’t hesitate.
When Savage was poised with the question of if he thought people segregating by their political ideologies was a good idea, he was ready with a spot-on answer.
Savage said he didn’t agree with the term ‘segregate’. “Folks simply ‘vote with their feet’ relating to issues such as crime, taxes, homeschooling, gun laws, mask and vaccine mandates, Orwellian laws and out of control tyranny in the sanctuary states.”
Nobody is saying you should do it, but if you’ve had all you can stand of living in liberal la-la land there are bulletproof heavily-armed fortresses awaiting you in the lush wonderlands of Idaho and Montana where you’ll be welcomed by others who will understand the purpose for your move.