Boulder escapes ‘Best’ list not to be on

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Monday, December 7th, 2015 at 10:22am.

Sometimes it's better to miss being named to a ‘Best’ list, like the new Most Pretentious American City list published in Nov. by Café Valet.

Thankfully, ‘most pretentious’ is one claim Boulder missed.

But neighboring metro-area Denver did make this list and is ranked the fourth most pretentious city in the U.S.

The first-ever Pretension Index analyzed the top 50 U.S. metro areas with 1 million residents or more. Analysts examined where latte drinkers and art lovers are most concentrated, using data from sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Facebook and local businesses.

San Francisco took the top spot with a score of 85 out of a potential 100, besting San Jose (64), San Diego (59), Denver (56) and Portland (56).

The least pretentious cities were also ranked, noting major U.S. metro areas that eschew such trappings. Birmingham and Riverside, California led the list of the least pretentious cities with a score of 18, followed by Detroit (20), Dallas (20) and St. Louis (22).

Apparently, Boulder’s population size – at less than 1 million – kept us out of consideration. 

Below is the criteria used to rank cities for the Pretension Index. What do you think; are these the mark of pretentiousness – or merely signs of the times and shifting lifestyles?

Local business concentration (63% of overall score) is based on the following five metrics from business data providers Infogroup and Localeze:

  • The number of independent coffee shops per capita. The higher the concentration, the more pretentious.
  • The number of yoga studios per capita. The higher the concentration, the more pretentious.
  • The number of art galleries per capita. The higher the concentration, the more pretentious.
  • The number of Whole Foods per capita. The higher the concentration, the more pretentious. The number of Walmart stores per capital. The lower the concentration, the more pretentious.

Area interests (25% of overall score) is based on the following five metrics from Facebook Audience Insights.

  • Indexed number of people interested in philosophy by metro area. The greater the interest, the more pretentious.
  • Indexed number of people interested in poetry by metro area. The greater the interest, the more pretentious.
  • Indexed number of people interested in Moleskine notebooks by metro area. The greater the interest, the more pretentious.
  • Indexed number of people interested in Sting by metro area. The greater the interest, the more pretentious.
  • Ownership of electric or hybrid cars by metro area. The higher the ownership, the more pretentious. (This data from Edmunds / R.L. Polk)

Area activities (12% of overall score) is based on two metrics from business data providers Infogroup and Localeze.

  • The number of community gardens per capita. The higher the concentration, the more pretentious.
  • The number of opera-related events per capita. The more events, the more pretentious.

Images courtesy of Café Valet, a provider of in-room coffee and coffee makers for hotels. 

Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder
303-441-5620
tomkalinski33@gmail.com

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