The Best Life Magazine's website

Fort Wayne has been ranked, as a destination for family fun, 18th in an upcoming article in the June/July issue.  The rankings:

1. Honolulu
2. Virginia Beach, Va.
3. Billings, Mont.
4. Columbus, Ga.
5. San Diego
6. Des Moines, Iowa
7. Minneapolis
8. Madison, Wis.
9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
10. Santa Rosa, Calif.
11. Wichita, Kan.
12. Los Angeles
13. Corona, Calif.
14. Austin, Texas
15. Stamford, Conn.
16. Omaha, Neb.
17. Naperville, Ill.
18. Fort Wayne
19. Springfield, Ill.
20. Boise, Idaho

and further down the list:

58. Indianapolis

From the Wednesday (5/28/2008) Journal Gazette:

City among best places for families

Top-20 ranking based on school, recreation data

By Angela Mapes Turner

After riding a roller coaster of magazine best and worst rankings for years – we’re fat and dumb, but sexually satisfied – Fort Wayne can add another high mark: Best Life magazine ranks the city the 18th-best place to raise a family.

The Summit City, sandwiched between Naperville, Ill., at 17 and Springfield, Ill., at 19, earned bragging rights over Indianapolis (58) and Cincinnati (a lamentable 90).

The list was published in the June/July issue of Best Life. The magazine – an offshoot of Men’s Health magazine, which in 2005 said Fort Wayne “ranks last in our measures of intelligence” – bills itself as “what matters to men,” and, like Men’s Health, has a bit of a fixation on lists.

Three out of five of the most popular stories on Best Life’s Web site Tuesday had to do with lists: “8 foods you should eat everyday” and “One in four men who will get divorced don’t have any clue it’s coming” joined “The 10 machines you must avoid at your gym.”

But when such a list mentions Fort Wayne in a positive light, given the dumb and fat labels of recent years, some in the community do embrace the distinction.

“We’re always happy when we’re rated high,” said Dan O’Connell, president and CEO of the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau, who said his staff tries to reference positive rankings in their promotions of Fort Wayne as a place to visit.

The ranking reflects Fort Wayne’s long history of investing in its youths, O’Connell said, ticking off his own list: Science Central, the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo and the city’s many festivals and parks, to name a few.

[…] Best Life editors used data of 257 cities on the availability of museums, parks and pediatricians, student-teacher ratios and test scores to compile their list of the best 100, the magazine said.

The contribution of educational data to boost Fort Wayne’s ranking made Fort Wayne Community Schools spokeswoman Krista Stockman happy, although she added a caveat on lists in general.

“We are always pleased when people recognize the good work that is being done in the city, and that includes what we’re doing in the schools,” she said.

“We don’t base our decisions on reports or surveys like this, but it is nice to be recognized.”

So we may not be smart, according to Best Life, but at least we’re FUN!

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