Bozeman Vs. Coeur d'Alene

Another season, another face-off. This time we take on Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, home to Lake Coeur d'Alene, 40,000 people, and almost three times as many car thefts in 2004 as Bozeman. Seems like we can take 'em, but with beautiful Lake Coeur d'Alene, fabulous skiing, beautiful city parks, and good access to potatoes, it might be a challenge. Let the battle begin.

Cult Recessions:
They hosted the Aryan Nations compound in Hayden Lake, about 20 minutes north of Coeur d’Alene, for three decades; the saucy skinheads immigrated to Pennsylvania in 2001 after losing a $6.3 million lawsuit and much of their membership. Our claim to fame, of course, is the once-mighty Church Universal and Triumphant, whose membership plummeted after one too many nuclear scares by their overly apocalyptic leader. Neither group’s future looks real bright, but we'll take the humongous bomb shelter over the ridiculous parades and bad haircuts, thank you very much.
Edge: Bozeman

Linguistic Challenge:
We've all heard it pronounced "Boz-man" by some doofus customer service rep, but at least our town's name doesn't involve apostrophes, a debate over whether the D is capitalized, and a conversation about what the hell it means in English. And because only 19.5% of Coeur d'Alene's population has a bachelor's degree or higher (compared with Bozeman's 49.5%), we're going to start calling it Coeur Duh Alene anyway.
Edge: Bozeman

Gambling Scene:
Still no craps or blackjack tables, but with 1,800 slot and video gambling machines, off-track betting, a great golf course, boxing events, and a shuttle all the way to Spokane, the Coeur d'Alene casino in Worley makes Bozeman's Lucky Lil's "empire" look like canasta night at the senior center. And at 30 minutes from town, the Coeur d'Alene at least takes some planning before throwing your retirement savings away.
Edge: Coeur d'Alene

Sprawl Factor:
The fact that Coeur d'Alene marks the beginning of almost nonstop development all the way to Spokane makes Bozeman's sprawl look like backwoods Alaska. If you're into strip malls and neighborhoods that look like something out of Edward Scissorhands, enjoy.
Edge: Bozeman

Collegiate Status:
Weenie little North Idaho College doesn't hold a candle to MSU. Even their picturesque lakefront campus can’t make up for a measly three associate’s degrees offered, compared to MSU’s 50+ majors—and that’s not counting graduate degrees. Did we mention they don’t even have a football team? The cats eat the cardinals.
Edge: Bozeman

City Parks:
Cooper Park may be quintessentially Bozeman, but Coeur d’Alene’s massive City Park could swallow four Coopers and still leave room for parking. Think Lindley Park flanked by a beautiful mountain lake instead of gravesites. Throw in tennis courts and a beautifully maintained city beach, and CDA’s downtown greenspace puts ours to shame.
Edge: Coeur d’Alene

Summer Lifestyle:
It's hard to beat Lake Coeur d'Alene. It's big and it's beautiful, no doubt, and there's both and upscale resort and a funky, small-town pub right there by the water for lazy-afternoon vodka-lemonades. But it's hard to go tubing or river rafting on a lake (you just sort of sit there). And Bozeman's biking trails, hiking trails, and river activities offer more variety and opportunities for people who like to burn calories once in a while too.
Edge: Draw

Tally: Coeur d'Alene–2 points
Bozeman–4 points

Another one bites the dust. Perhaps this is one reason our license plates say "Treasure State" and theirs only say "Famous Potatoes."