If you can believe voters on the Internet, Duluth is a better town than Minneapolis -- at least as far as outdoorsy people are concerned.
Duluth boosters flooded an online contest to promote the Lake Superior city in a national Outside magazine battle of best towns.
With more than 60,000 votes in the fourth round, which ended Tuesday night, Duluth scored at least 10,000 more votes than any other town on the list. It was crowned champion of the Midwest region, defeating Minneapolis 60,210 votes to 40,530.
It was enough to make a mayor proud.
"It’s a fun contest," Duluth Mayor Don Ness said Wednesday. "I don’t think there’s any question that Dulutians are taking this a lot more seriously and putting more stake into this contest than Minneaplis had or some of the other cities. I think that’s a reflection of this kind of newfound enthusiasm for this identity as a premier outdoor recreation city."
Duluth, now in the contest's final four, got a voting push from a #VoteDuluth campaign on social media, with the non-profit Destination Duluth its primary promoter.
The town is now facing off against the winner of the South: Asheville, N.C.
Duluth enthusiasts hope former Minneapolis voters find it in their hearts to join them.
"Now that we are representing the entire Midwest in this contest ... we want to demonstrate to the rest of the nation that the Midwest isn’t just flyover country for outdoor recreation but we have some world class experiences to offer," Ness said.
Voters have until 11 p.m. Central time on Sunday to cast a vote at www.outsideonline.com