Vegas needs more fun

Las Vegas is far in the rear view mirror as New York tops a list of “fun cities” compiled by created a comprehensive formula to evaluate the opportunities for fun in the nation’s 100 largest markets.

The process began with the collection of federal statistics for 14 relevant types of businesses, from retail stores and restaurants to gambling casinos and golf courses. Each market was graded on both the volume total number and the concentration rate per 100,000 residents of such businesses.

Results were then grouped in seven broad categories of fun: shopping, food and drink, culture, popular entertainment, gambling, and high-impact and low-impact sports. The best scores went to markets that performed well in a wide array of categories. See the methodology sidebar for details.

Second place on the list of America’s fun places belongs to Chicago, which ranks among the 10 leaders in six of the study’s seven categories. Its best performances are third place for food and drink and fourth place for popular entertainment.

Rounding out the top 10 are Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland Maine, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis.

via New York Tops As Americas Best City To Have Fun – Business News –

You can check the interactive index to see how your favorite city did. Las Vegas scored thusly:

RANK: 26
SHOPPING: 81 (retail trade establishments)
POPULAR ENTERTAINMENT: 54 (motion picture and video exhibition establishments, spectator sports establishments, amusement parks and arcades)
CULTURE: 29 (performing arts companies, museums, and historical sites)
FOOD AND DRINK: 44 (full-service restaurants and drinking places)
LOW-IMPACT SPORTS: 88 (golf courses and country clubs, marinas, and bowling centers)
HIGH-IMPACT SPORTS: 65 (skiing facilities, fitness centers, and recreational sports centers)

Las Vegas didn’t do that badly, though we missed out of the top quartile. The methodology seems a bit casual: essentially the editors counted how many of a variety of institutions a city has, from golf courses to museums, and figured the ranking based on that.

I’m most surprised that there are 87 cities with more golf and bowling than us; sure, we don’t have many marinas, but I’d think that the golf alone would put us over 50. I’m even more surprised that the shopping rank is only 81.

I had trouble finding the “methodology sidebar” that explains in detail how they did the survey, but it doesn’t look like there’s any weighting for population. With the New York City metro area having a population of 18,922,571, it’s no shock that they’ve got more shopping, restaurants, and museums than everyone else and top those categories. But how did Portland, Maine get into the top 10? The city has a shopping rank of 3, meaning it has more retail establishments than Los Angeles, with a population of 512,357 vs 12,784,612. And there’s no way that Portland, Maine has more restaurants (rank 27) than Las Vegas.

The more I look at this study, the less it says. But I wonder if the LVCVA is working on a crash course to make us more fun than Rochester, New York (18) or Bridgeport, Connecticut (15).

At least we topped the list in gambling.

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