JOHN COHEN: Boise is an amazing place

READER'S VIEW: Boise's Sesquicentennial

July 7, 2013 

In early March, I visited Boise for the first time for my final interview for the position of executive director of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau. There was a tight schedule of meetings with the board and local stakeholders, but after my last meeting was completed, I had some time to myself to explore Downtown and find a place to eat dinner. As I walked, I had an epiphany. I realized that was l falling in love with Downtown Boise and that if I was offered the position, I would accept.

We have an amazing Downtown that I believe is the heart and soul of Boise, but there is so much more throughout the entire city and in neighboring communities. I love the arts and culture, the incredible restaurants, a wine country that is just a short distance away (and produces wine that is as good as any wine I have ever tasted). I love the variety of stores from major chains to unique independently owned retail businesses that reflect the character of the community.

I love that it doesn't take more than 15 minutes to get anywhere in Boise. I love that there are legal U-turns at most stoplights. I love the amazing parks that are all over Boise, and I love having outdoor adventure and incredible natural beauty right at my fingertips. What I love the most is the strong sense of community that sometimes is hard to find in larger cities. Beyond our great attractions and activities, it is the residents that make Boise great. Both professionally and personally, my family and I have been welcomed with open arms.

Below are some comments we get from visitors to Boise and I have attached a little essay about my personal experience as a new resident. Chop it up any way that you see fit.

Here are some comments we get from clients about Boise:

- No greater tribute to a community than to know you have made such a good impression that people want to come back - from Nattional Governors Association.

We hear over and over - "This city just feels good"

- From the Serbians during the Davis Cup Tennis Event:

"No doubt the tennis was outstanding but what we will remember much longer than the tennis was the genuine warmth, kindness and hospitality that surrounded us in the arena and wherever we went. …You gave us your hearts and showed us how proud you were of your city, state and country."

John Cohen is executive director of the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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