Archived Story

Why does website think Alex City isn’t exciting?

Published 12:15am Saturday, August 30, 2014

Normally I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to surveys, because I have no idea who actually compiled the data or who those people talked to or what they researched to get the findings.

I know that is a jaded way of looking at things, but recently my feelings were vindicated when I saw an online list ranking  “The Most Exciting Places in Alabama.”

Movoto Real Estate, an online real estate brokerage based in San Mateo, California, released the rankings as a part of its online blog.

The company puts out these lists on a regular basis, ranking the best places to live, as well as the best places for food, nightlife, for recreation, and even for family life.

I know the purpose is to get people talking about cities and to build interest in real estate. It’s a great concept. Heck, this column alone is generating the exact kind of publicity that they had hoped for.

With all that said, I couldn’t let this one go. I had bit my tongue so hard that blood was trickling from the corner of my mouth.

In our state, the Top 10 list went like this:

1. Birmingham

2. Florence

3. Montgomery (tie)

3. Mobile (tie)

3. Fairhope (tie)

6. Huntsville

7. Tuscaloosa

8. Enterprise

9. Phenix City

10. Selma

Now that is just the Top 10. According to their site, Movoto ranked the 50 most exciting places using Census data on nightlife, live music venues, age of residents, along with other factors to create the list.

Did they ever think about visiting Alabama before the put this out? Apparently not.

I know that Alexander City will never be confused with Las Vegas. So not being listed among the Top 10 may be correct, but Alexander City wasn’t even in the Top 50.

They say numbers don’t lie, but these sure have twisted the truth.

Phenix City? Seriously? Sure, the next-door neighbor to Columbus, Georgia and Smiths Station has done a lot to clean up its act.  But when it comes to nightlife, is having a lot of places having a liquor license enough to classify as a good thing? The kind of excitement I have experienced in Phenix City isn’t the kind I would call a good thing.

No, Alexander City doesn’t have a honky tonk on every corner. Yes, we have had some tough economic times and we have an older population. But does that make us boring?

Right here you can go from having a four-star meal to a moon-lit stroll on the lake within the space of five minutes.  We play host to some of the largest festivals of their kind in the state and we have big-name entertainment here several times a year. You can go from city to country in a blink of an eye. On top of that, there are few places that can match the opportunities for outdoor fun that are found here.

According to Movoto, Tillmans Corner, Bessemer, Alabaster, Albertville and Hartselle are more exciting than our hometown.

Before I am taken as a total homer, I don’t think that Alexander City is the only Alabama town that got the shaft.

Auburn came in at No. 17 in the rankings. There are few places in the state with the entertainment and nightlife that is enjoyed in Auburn.  With that said, Selma, Northport, Pelham and Enterprise rank above Auburn.

What about Gulf Shores? It is one of Alabama’s gems, with fun things to do at every turn, but not exciting enough, according to Movoto.

I guess I will get off my soapbox now. I guess I’m just a bit old fashioned in that I think you should at least see something first-hand before you pass judgment.

Maybe this is a good thing. People won’t realize what a special place we have here and we can keep it all to ourselves.

Sneed is editor of The Outlook.