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Duluth wins online contest for best outdoors town in America

Posted by: Pam Louwagie Updated: June 15, 2014 - 11:14 PM

Congratulate Duluth’s hard-working civic boosters. Their online voters swarmed a national outdoors magazine website to win the crown of Best Town in America on Sunday night.

Duluth bested Provo, Utah to gain the title from Outside Magazine by a vote of 66,758 to 54,875.

It was a social media-boosted contest that had even Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken urging Twitter followers to vote for Duluth last week.

Spurred by a #VoteDuluth campaign and website, the city routinely got more votes than any other of the 64 cities originally competing through six rounds of bracket-style face offs that began last month.

As the votes continued to climb Sunday, Mayor Don Ness all but declared victory several hours before the contest ended. Ness acknowledged that title was just an online popularity contest, but credited a change in attitude for the win.

“This contest has been an effective measure of city pride and enthusiasm and people invest in cities that they are confident and optimistic about – they invest in their home, their business, their own skill sets, their careers, etc.,” Ness wrote on his Facebook page Sunday evening, well before the contest ended at 10:59 p.m. Central Time.

For too long, Ness wrote, pessimism hung over the city, with people too ready to accept that Duluth would never reach its potential.

“Is this change real?” Ness continued. “Ask yourself this question…. Do you think Duluth could have won this contest 20 years ago?”

In earlier rounds, Duluth beat out Columbia, Mo; Athens, Ohio; LaCrosse, Wis., Minneapolis and Asheville N.C. 

Outside magazine asked voters which town was the best place to live if they love an active lifestyle. Duluth's boosters posted photos of Lake Superior and promoted the area's range of opportunities for activities including hiking, biking, kayaking and skiing. VoteDuluth touted the town’s “outdoor adventures within the city limits.”

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

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Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona - LP: O. Perez 0 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 1
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 0
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 2 FINAL
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 0
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 3
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 2
Pittsburgh 21 FINAL
Philadelphia 31
Carolina 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Washington 73 FINAL
Indiana 78
San Antonio 84 FINAL
Minnesota 88
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