Face-Off: For the Record

Tallying the spoils of war.

The quarterly face-off—it started in 2006, when Bozeman, then a smallish Montana mountain town, felt its oats and started squaring off with similar towns across the country. We came out swinging, giving Burlington, Vermont a 7-3 thumping. Emboldened by our quick success, we soon took on tougher challengers, and Santa Fe, Salt Lake, and Moab all gave us a run for our money with 3-2 nail-biters. But through it all—20 rounds, 13 states, and two countries—we’ve outscored our opponents 85-58, and only one of them (Coeur d’Alene) was brave enough to fight back. Our overall record is 18-2, with one loss coming from ourselves—when Old Bozeman taught New Bozeman a lesson in the Summer 2014 issue. While our rising home prices, urban sprawl, and general uptick of douchiness have cost us of late (Sandpoint, Idaho gave us our only crushing defeat in Summer 2017), our record speaks for itself. And all things considered, Bozeman is still a damn fine place to live. Our recreational opportunities, supportive mountain community, and outdoor diversity are as top-notch as ever. Who knows—maybe we’ll come out of retirement, for another glorious career of kicking other towns’ asses. In the meantime, we’re content to sit back and reflect on a full decade at the top. Not a bad run, Bozeman.

Bend—Sunny Disposition
Bend has 300 days of sunshine a year. We Bozemanites get 20 more days—almost a full extra month—of sunshine. If you don’t think 20 days of sun makes a difference, ask Bend’s droopy and sullen Portland brethren.
Edge: Bozeman

Jackson Hole—Pretention
Jackson Hole is one of those special places where most residents have more money than sense. If you prefer silicone injections, diamond rings worth more than your mortgage, and Teacup Chihuahuas that eat better than an Ale Works patron, come on down. That isn’t to say there aren’t haves and have-nots here, but the line isn’t quite as stark.
Edge: Bozeman

Coeur d’Alene—Linguistic Challenge
We’ve all heard it pronounced “Bahz-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