Local leaders question statistics, findings that say Gadsden is most boring city in Alabama

Local leaders question statistics, findings that say Gadsden is most boring city in Alabama
First Friday on Broad Street in Gadsden. (Source: Dixon Hayes)

GADSDEN, AL (WBRC) - An online article that picked the "most boring city" in 48 of the 50 states, selected Gadsden as the most boring city in Alabama.

But leaders in the area dispute that, especially based on the numbers.

The article makes it clear "boring" isn't necessarily a bad thing, however.

"If you like big cities with tons of food and culture to explore, there are plenty of cities in the US where you won't be at a loss for things to do," the article states. "But if you like taking life at a slower pace, one of these 'boring' cities might be the place you want to call home."

The article, titled "The Most Boring Place to Live in Every State," compared their figures for Gadsden's full-service restaurants (61),  bars (7), museums (they only count one), and hotels (16), to a population they give as 102,873.

But area leaders whose jobs are devoted to promoting the area say the numbers--and the article's reliance on them--are all wrong.

Kay Moore, the director of Downtown Gadsden, Inc., says the actual population of Gadsden is some 38,000, apparently based on U.S. Census figures from 2015.  She also suggested the people who compiled the article didn't count restaurants like Chili's and Applebee's that also have bars.

Hugh Stump, executive director of the Etowah County Tourism Board, says many of their numbers are all wrong.

"If you're going to say that you're going to look at 103,000 people as the population of Etowah County, which it is, and you're going to use that as your basis, then you have to look at the Etowah County-wide statistics for the other things.

"So you're going to see that we have triple the number of restaurants that they have, that they talked about. We have seven museums, we have 13 bars and we have 23 hotels," Stump added.

He says the msn.com stats are mostly inaccurate. The number of museums, for example, is much bigger in downtown Gadsden alone--The Center for Cultural Arts, the Gadsden Museum of Art and the Walnut Gallery--then one more museum, the Carver Museum on Tuscaloosa Avenue, and three more in Etowah County.

Stump questioned whether statistics alone can determine what might be exciting or interesting. He says it should take into consideration what there is to do in the area, including Noccalula Falls Park and its recently added hiking trails, the Coosa River and its boating and fishing opportunities, and things for young people to do, like the laser tag facility inside The Factory and a virtual reality business that opened recently.

Msn.com published the article January 29 of this year. They ranked Gadsden alongside cities like Pueblo, Colorado; The Villages in Florida; Hinesville, Georgia; Honolulu, Hawaii; Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Carson City, Nevada; Springfield, Ohio; Morristown, Tennessee; and Walla Walla, Washington.

Copyright 2018 WBRC. All rights reserved.