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Best Towns: Boone 1,200 Behind Chattanooga, We Need Your Help! Spread the Word

High Country sunset. Submitted by Victor Ellison.

Don’t forget to vote online at outsideonline.com/vote and see the latest results.

Best Towns 2015 Round Four online voting results as of 3 p.m. on May 22

UPDATE: The Boone-Chattanooga match-up has pulled in more than 50,000 votes since Tuesday — way more than the other three match-ups in the fourth round. Boone has done some great work catching up, but still trails behind Chattanooga by more than 1,200 votes. Voting for this round ends at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday so keep those votes coming if you want to see Boone in the final four!


By Jessica Isaacs

Boone still trails behind Chattanooga, Tennessee in round four online voting for Outside Magazine’s Best Towns 2015 competition. We still have a lot of work to do as we take on a city that’s much bigger than Boone — but the way our community has come together on this is nothing short of an inspiration.

Three days into the fourth round, Boone is still more than 2,000 votes behind Chattanooga.

That’s why we’re asking you to help spread the word. Send us your photos that show what you love about the High Country — on Facebook, Twitter or by email at jessica@highcountrypress.com. We’ll post them on our website so that you can help us tell the world why they should vote for Boone as the “Best Town Ever.”

Our friends at Mast General Store, who are leading the social media campaign to earn votes for Boone, have already gotten started. You can see their photos below and yours will be there, too, as soon as you send them to us.

Chattanooga quickly took the lead over Boone when fourth round voting began at midnight on Tuesday. Right away, the Boone-Chattanooga match-up became a tight race that is still pulling in more votes than match-ups in other brackets.

Best Towns 2015 Round Four online voting results as of 11:50 a.m. on May 21.

In fact, Boone — a town with a population of 18,211 — has earned more than 18,700 votes in just three days. In the same amount of time, Chattanooga — with more than 173,300 residents — has earned 20,943.

While we’re still behind, our grassroots effort to help Boone win has accomplished amazing things — there’s no doubt about it.

After falling behind Savannah, Georgia in the second round, Boone made an impressive comeback, earning more votes than any other town in the South bracket and then more votes than any other in the country in the third round.

Mast General Store’s Sheri Moretz said she believes wholeheartedly that another comeback is on the way as long as the community stays committed to making it happen.

“There are a lot of people, both in the town and outside of the town, that have a soft spot in their hearts for Boone and they want to see us do well,” Moretz said. “No ifs ands or buts about it, Chattanooga is definitely an outdoor town and they’re nine times our size, so we just have to work a little bit harder.”

Boone’s hometown campaign has also inspired a collaboration amongst online voters in the High Country with Port Angeles, Washington — a small town of approximately 19,000 people that’s working to take on Flagstaff, Arizona (population 68,667) in the West bracket.

Speaking up for the hardworking small towns, voters in both Boone and Port Angeles are teaming up and voting for one another, contributing to each town’s effort to tackle much bigger cities. That’s a part of small town charm we can all be proud of — kindness!



The Outside editorial staff handpicked Boone to compete in the bracket-style tournament as one of 64 U.S. towns that represent the magazine’s ideals. In three five-day rounds, Boone earned a massive number of votes and knocked three towns out of the running to earn a spot in the top eight.

Now, in the fourth round, Boone will advance to the final four as the top town in the South bracket if we can earn enough online votes to defeat Chattanooga, Tennessee — a town nine times its size that won the entire competition in 2011.

Advancing to the final four will put Boone one step closer to the “Best Town Ever” title in 2015 and a feature story in Outside’s September issue — a phenomenal opportunity for the High Country, which relies heavily on travel and tourism, to earn national recognition.

Boone is now the only town representing North Carolina in the competition.


So what can you do to help?

Take a page from the Mast General Store’s book. The staff has been inundating their own social media networks, sharing the link to vote — www.outsideonline.com/vote — and using hashtags #BooneNC and #BestTowns2015. They’re calling up people they know, sending emails and encouraging people to vote and share the message.

“It’s not about the Mast General Store,” Moretz said. “It’s about our whole community.”

Remember that you can vote once a day per device and check back as often as you’d like to get real time updates on the results.

There’s no such thing as too many votes, so vote for Boone to your heart’s content! And if you’re feeling that team spirit today, cast your vote for Port Angeles, too.




Check out our other headlines to read more about the competition:



Beautiful Scenery. Submitted by Mast General Store.
The original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. Submitted by Mast General Store.
Daniel Boone Native Gardens. Submitted by Mast General Store.
Daniel Boone Native Gardens. Submitted by Mast General Store.
A game of bottle cap checkers. Submitted by Mast General Store.
A delicious grit skillet from Over Yonder restaurant in Valle Crucis. Submitted by Mast General Store.
Music legends like Doc Watson who called Boone “home.” Submitted by Mast General Store.
Boone’s rich history. Submitted by Mast General Store.
The Blue Ridge Parkway. Submitted by Mast General Store.