published Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Chattanooga wins online vote for ‘best town ever’

The skyline of downtown Chattanooga bathes in mid-evening sunlight.
The skyline of downtown Chattanooga bathes in mid-evening sunlight.
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Online voting for Outside’s Best Town Ever:

  1. Chattanooga 7,434

  2. Tucson, Ariz. 5,925

  3. Charleston, S.C. 2,251

  4. Boulder, Colo. 1,701

  5. Ashland, Ore. 1,154

  6. Burlington, Vt. . 786

  7. Madison, Wis. 750

  8. Portland, Maine 704

  9. Portland, Ore. 685

  10. Santa Fe, N.M. 585

Chattanooga has won the online voting component of Outside magazine’s “Best Town Ever” contest for 2011.

With voting now closed on a Facebook page, Chattanooga beat second-place Tucson, Ariz., by 1,509 votes.

Still, Chattanoogans must wait until early September to learn if the city is the ultimate winner of the contest because there are other elements to the judging.

“The winner won’t be announced until the October issue of Outside magazine hits the newsstands,” Jada Williams, the magazine’s publicist, said in an email Monday.

According to contest rules: “The winning town will be determined through a combination of total votes, overall support as a result of content [such as photos and testimonials] submitted, and creativity.”

“Chattanooga is in a great position right now,” Ryan Krogh, research editor at Outside magazine, said in a telephone interview on Monday. “Chattanooga won the voting hands down.”

Krogh said the magazine’s editors, some of whom are familiar with Chattanooga, will huddle in coming weeks to consider more subjective factors and name an ultimate winner. He said the contest is not a pure matter of voting because of the relative size of the 10 finalist cities.

“We try to even out the playing field for the smaller towns,” he said.

The winning city will be featured on the cover of the magazine and on a segment on Outside Television.

The three-week online contest featured 10 finalist cities from around the United States nominated by the editors of Outside. Chattanooga and Tucson emerged early in the contest as the leading vote-getters.

This is the first time the magazine has used social media to help choose the winner.

Contact Mark Kennedy at 423-757-6645 or

about Mark Kennedy...

Mark Kennedy is a Times Free Press columnist and editor. He writes the "LIfe Stories" human interest column for the City section and the "Family Life" column for the Life section. He also writes an automotive column, “Test Drive,” for the Business section. For 13 years, Kennedy was features editor of the newspaper, and before that he was the newspaper’s first Sunday editor. The Times Free Press Life section won the state press award for ...

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midnitewatchman said...

If you belive that all of america is choosing Chattanooga as the best town ever, I have some beach front property in Oklahoma for a good price! There is nothing wrong with being proud of your city but come on? You can run up a vote count easy by voting several times online. Unless you never travel outside Chattanooga (other states), you will not realize how hilarious all this type of stuff is!

June 28, 2011 at 6:38 p.m.
timbo said...

Hey kids, breaking news ......chattanooga has just been voted best ever place 4 chiropractors, orthopedic surgeons and psychologists because of injuries created from excessive patting themselves 4 imagined accomplishments . The psychologists say that this tendency to exaggerate is a symptom of an extreme case of collective low self esteem. This being designated a front page story is further evidence.

June 28, 2011 at 8 p.m.
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