Of That

Brandt Redd on Education, Technology, Energy, and Trust

30 April 2010

Provo: Awesome or Boring?

The April 24 edition of Forbes listed my city of Provo, UT as the second best city in the United States for Business and Careers (following Des Moines, IA). Meanwhile, Portfolio.com rated Provo the least fun among the 100 largest cities in the U.S.

If you believe the rankings, "good for business and careers" and "fun" seem to be contrary pressures. For example, New York City ranks #1 on the Portfolio "fun" list and #99 on the Forbes "business" list. Nearly an exact reversal of Provo's ranking (#2 for business and #100 for fun). However, I think that the Portfolio ranking is badly flawed. Their categories for ranking are Shopping, Gambling, Popular Entertainment, Culture, Food and Drink, Low-Impact Sports and High-Impact Sports.

There's little question that Provo's not a very good gambling destination (#92 on their list) and I also have a hard time disputing New York's #1 rank for shopping and culture. But how do they get away with ranking Provo as #98 for high-impact sports (represented by an icon of a skier) vs. New York's #2 ranking? I can be on the slopes at Sundance 20 minutes from leaving my front door. And best-in-the-world resorts like Alta, Snowbird, Brighton, Solitude, Deer Valley and Park City are all within an hour's drive. Where do New Yorkers go to ski, much less hike, mountain bike, camp, drive off-road, fish and so forth?

Oh well, I like New York too. And despite it's #99 business ranking I think a brokerage would be better off locating in New York than in Provo. There's a lot more subjective influence than these rankings would suggest.

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