Words & Deeds

Boise ranks only 13th in Best & Worst Cities for Recreation? Get out!

Look, I feel ya, Boise.

We’ve had enough of these meaningless, out-of-nowhere website rankings. They’re spit out by data farmers who have never set foot in our state. Whether it’s WalletHub naming Boise the No. 1 — then 37th — best city for singles, or some random website deeming us the top destination for “cheap beer, weed and a dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings” — we’ve seen it all. We’re over it.

Sorry, I can’t help myself. Here we go again. This latest report from WalletHub is just full-on weak sauce.

Boise has finished in 13th place among WalletHub’s “2017’s Best & Worst Cities for Recreation.” And much like a trail or two in our beloved Foothills system, that ranking feels like a bunch of dog crap.

1. Orlando, Florida; 2) San Diego, California; 3) Las Vegas, Nevada; 4) Tampa, Florida; 5) Atlanta, Georgia; 6) Cincinnati, Ohio; 7) Tucson, Arizona; 8) Denver, Colorado; 9) San Francisco, California; 10) Chicago, Illinois; 11) Portland, Oregon; 12) Seattle, Washington; 13) Boise, Idaho.

It’s not the ranking itself that makes me roll my eyes. It’s the cities that finished higher. Cincinnati? And, really, Atlanta? Or Chicago? What, is crime a new form of recreation?

There is no way an outdoors enthusiast chooses those big cities over our little city. Fido land mines or not, the Boise Foothills are fantastic for hiking and biking. Our Greenbelt is outstanding. We also happen to have a freaking ski resort, Bogus Basin, a snowball’s throw away. They’re even building a mountain coaster there! Come on!

Therein lies the problem. WalletHub wasn’t overly concerned with outdoor recreation. “To determine the places where recreation is a high priority,” WalletHub explains, “analysts compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 44 key metrics that speak to the relative benefits of public spaces and recreational activities across the country. In each city, we examined basic living costs, the quality of parks, the accessibility of entertainment and recreational facilities, as well as the weather.”

We must have gotten dinged because 20th Century Bowling Lanes closed. After all, Boise finished No. 8 in WalletHub’s recreation ranking last year.

OK, I’m done. Thanks for letting me vent. By the way, I’m staying indoors all day. The 101-degree weather in Boise is flippin’ awful.

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