Duluth, in all its glossy, outdoorsy glory
By Christa Lawler
Forum News Service
DULUTH -- The cover of the September issue of Outside magazine features a cityscape view of Duluth as seen from the rocky shore in Canal Park.
That’s right, online voters. It’s here.
Some subscribers to the outdoor-centric magazine received the issue featuring the “Best Towns Ever” contest — which Duluth won in a multi-round online voting campaign — in Wednesday’s mail. The issue hits newsstands Monday, according to the Outside website.
The two-page spread about Duluth includes photographs of local businesses such as Vikre Distillery, Northern Waters Smokehaus and Bent Paddle Brewing. The identity of the man who graces the cover and several of the inside photos is not revealed.
The article mentions the more than 150 Olympians the city has produced — from Kara Goucher to the 2010 curling team — and notes Mayor Don Ness’ height (6-foot-3).
“It’s cool the issue is coming out,” Ness said via email. “But at least from my perspective, this has always been about Duluth taking pride in our incredible outdoor recreation and looking ahead to build on that competitive advantage.
“The nationwide exposure is great, but it’s much less important than the experience and opinions of people who live here and experience Duluth every day.”
There is a bit on outdoor infrastructure, the city’s history of millionaires, Loll Designs, Bob Dylan and the Duluth Rowing Club.
It mentions the record-setting winter of 2013-14, with its 23 consecutive days with low temperatures below zero.
“Duluthians seem to thrive on extremes,” writes Stephanie Pearson, who according to the article’s final anecdote grew up skiing at Chester Bowl and exploring Hartley Field.
Duluth cruised to victory in the final round of the online voting, which closed June 15, drawing 66,758 votes to 54,875 for Provo, Utah. Duluth earlier had defeated Columbia, Mo.; Athens, Ohio; La Crosse, Wis.; Minneapolis; and Asheville, N.C., in head-to-head competition to reach the final.
Throughout the rounds of voting, Duluth’s hiking, skiing, biking, kayaking and other outdoor assets were promoted by a social media campaign, with a “VoteDuluth” tag used on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The city previously was featured in Outside’s “Best Towns” list in 2007 and was on the magazine’s list of “Dream Towns” in 2001.