Earlier this spring Outside Magazine asked America to identify America’s Best Town Ever in their fifth annual contest. Outside Magazine looked for places with great access to trails and public lands, thriving restaurants and neighborhoods, and, of course, a good beer scene. For the first time, they added a wild-card round, letting their Instagram followers nominate favorite towns. As wild cards, Port Angeles, WA; New York, NY; Saugatuck, MI; and Roanoke, VA filled final spots in each section of the bracket. A beautiful video was produced to help support the Port Angeles cause, showing off the area at its finest. Do you see familiar places? https://vimeo.com/129609263
After a lively campaign Port Angeles and Chattanooga ended up in the finals with Chattanooga taking the top prize. Port Angeles had a tough road to get to there, going through Santa Barbara, CA; Bainbridge Island, WA; Glenwood Springs, CO; Flagstaff, AZ; and Eau Claire, WI. With a population of only 19,000, Port Angeles had a fine showing against more populated areas. Chattanooga’s population is a little more than 193,000. It was a David and Goliath battle to be sure! Chattanooga’s final round count was 67,432 votes to Port Angeles’ 62,130 (52 percent to 48 percent). At the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau there are visibly more requests for Travel Planners from Chattanooga area since the contest!
This friendly (for the most part!) contest brought the two towns in contact with each other and forged a connection between the two communities. At the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau there have been more requests for Travel Planners from Chattanooga area since the contest!
In July, the sad story of the death of four Marines and a Navy Petty Officer during an assault on Military Recruiting office sent Chattanooga into shock and Port Angeles into sympathy for our newly-acquired Tennessee friends. Twenty banners with sympathy messages expressing condolences to the people of Chattanooga were taken personally to Chattanooga’s mayor by Leslie Kidwell Robertson. You can read the story of Leslie’s visit to Chattanooga at Revitalize Port Angeles. It was reported that everyone who saw the banners were deeply moved when they were presented.