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Chattanooga Prevails Over Port Angeles, Becomes Two-Time Best Towns Champion


By Jessica Isaacs

Although we didn’t make it to the top spot, there’s no denying that everyone in the Boone community felt a greater sense of pride when we pulled together to vote online for Outside Magazine’s Best Towns 2015 competition.

In what would become our last round of competition, we voted our hearts out in an effort to take out Chattanooga, Tennessee, which won the same competition on 2011. Even with a population more than nine times our size, they were only able to maintain a slight lead over our little town.

We were excluded from the competition when we couldn’t beat them, but securing a spot in the top eight was a remarkable accomplishment, nonetheless.

Chattanooga, with a population of more than 173,000, moved on to the final four and then to the top two. In the final round of voting, they took on the small town of Port Angeles, Washington, which boasts a population of little more than 19,000.

You may remember Port Angeles as the town of friendly folks who decided to stand up for small towns taking on big cities in the competition. They even voted for us many times, which then encouraged us to vote for them in their own bracket. Many of us even voted for them as they took on Chattanooga in the final round.

Although Port Angeles pulled in an impressive 62,130 (which is more than three votes per resident), Chattanooga kept the lead with 52.05 percent of the votes and a total of 67,432.

Chattanooga was crowned a two-time Best Towns champion on June 5 and will receive the feature spread in Outside’s September issue.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, and we can all agree that it was an exciting process for Boone as we fought for a top spot in the competition. Making it to the top eight has earned us national recognition, too, which can only mean good things for our town, or community and our future.

Visit outsideonline.com/vote for more information on the competition.