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Spokane is on a lot of lists

Thu., Dec. 12, 2013

Seems like almost weekly Spokane is ranked and rated for facet of Inland Northwest life

Spokane is on a lot of lists.

Hard to believe that one of them is No. 1 most mispronounced city. It’s SpoKAN, not SpoKANE, people. Nevertheless, the Lilac City is apparently a friendly, outdoorsy, inexpensive, giving place to live with only a couple of drawbacks. “If it’s something good, that catches our attention,” said Kevin Dudley, Greater Spokane Incorporated’s marketing coordinator, whose organization uses the rankings to help promote the city to businesses.

Most lists frame Spokane in a positive light; some, not so much

An online publication named Spokane the most likely location for the next mass shooting in the United States. Atlantic magazine’s Wire, relying on past shootings and probabilities, opined that an emotionally disturbed 38-year-old white man would kill seven people and wound six more at his former workplace in Spokane.

The piece was widely derided; Dudley called the suggestion “ridiculous” and “reckless.”

Spokane is the right place for all ages

Outside magazine says the city is the best place to live because of “killer farmers’ markets, quick access to adventure,” and bike trails. Traffic isn’t bad, there’s a variety of nice neighborhoods and housing is affordable, the magazine added.

For many of the same reasons, Money magazine touted the city as one of the 10 best places to retire. It has no state income tax and offers a lower cost of living than Tacoma or Seattle.

Spokane is also kid-friendly with its good schools and myriad activities for families, Parenting magazine found.

Dudley adds that the city has a high concentration of colleges and universities, and pointed out that a magazine once listed Spokane as one of the most sophisticated cities.

Third-gayest city in America


The ranking by the nation’s largest gay rights magazine, The Advocate, caused some jaws to drop locally. The same list ranked Seattle No. 5 and didn’t include San Francisco.

The magazine explained there’s a method to this madness. The ranking came from a specific set of assessments, including the number of openly gay representatives in office at the city, state and federal levels; whether gay marriage is legal; the quality of the shopping; whether there’s a local roller derby league; and how many companies on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index are based in the city.

Spokane is No. 12 for best places for conservatives to live

No word on whether there’s a list of the worst places for liberals to live, or who’s on it.

Money matters

The city is one of the top 10 best places for cheapskates to live, as well as one of the most generous cities.

Kiplinger magazine assembled the list of cheapest cities using the Council for Community and Economic Research’s calculations of living expenses in 307 urban areas, which measured prices for housing, groceries, utilities, transportation, health care, and miscellaneous goods and services in cities with a population of more than 50,000.

Just last month, “Craftsy”– a company specializing in online craft courses – named Spokane third-most generous based on responses from 10,000 crafters. This ranking is based on the likelihood of Spokane residents to give handmade gifts.

Wait. That fits with the cheapskate ranking.

Fourth-highest nationally for car thefts two years in a row

Honda and Toyota owners beware – not only has the National Insurance Crime Bureau named Spokane-Spokane Valley as a car-theft hot spot, those makes occupy half the spots in the 10 most-stolen cars list from the same insurance industry organization. Maybe it’s because they’re long-lasting and reliable and make good meth taxis.

If your car is stolen, at least Spokane has good beer

“Draft” magazine named the city as a Beertown, U.S.A., for establishments such as Iron Goat Brewing Co., Manito Tap House, the Elk Public House and No-Li Brewhouse.


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