Online voting for Outside's Best Town Ever:
Tucson, Ariz. 5,925
Charleston, S.C. 2,251
Boulder, Colo. 1,701
Ashland, Ore. 1,154
Burlington, Vt. . 786
Madison, Wis. 750
Portland, Maine 704
Portland, Ore. 685
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 firstname.lastname@example.org