Outdoor activity puts excitement in city’s ranking

When it comes to excitement — at least by the definition created by one national business and technology news website — Grand Junction ranks fairly high on the list of Most Exciting Small Cities in America.

Number 13 to be precise, according to BusinessInsider.com.

It’s an admittedly unscientific analysis, but the specific criteria used in coming up with the rankings of U.S. cities with 50,000 to 60,000 residents — and how Grand Junction fared in each of the designated categories — reveal some of the strengths and weaknesses of the city in drawing new residents.

For example, one of the criteria Business Insider measured in which Grand Junction rated highly — 12th, actually — was “active life options per capita, including parks and outdoor activities.”

On the other end of the scale, Grand Junction rated 80th of 140 small cities nationwide for fast-food restaurants per capita. That was clearly one of the criteria that kicked Grand Junction out of the top 10 on the Business Insider list.

Other measurables included in the ranking:

■ Nightlife per capita, including bars and clubs (Grand Junction ranked 21st);

■ Live music venues per capita (25th);

■ Percentage of young residents (42nd);

The preponderance of college towns making the list — La Crosse, Wis., at number 2; Chapel Hill, N.C., at number 3; New Brunswick, N.J., at number 5; and Manhattan, Kan., at number 6 — did tend to skew the results, the website admits.

That isn’t the case with the top city on the list, though, Hoboken, N.J., which was deemed most exciting small city because nearly half the population is between the ages of 20 and 43, and just 2.5 percent of Hoboken restaurants are fast-food chains, among other reasons.

Grand Junction, according to the analysis, ranked 44th in terms of percentage of restaurants that are considered fast-food joints.


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