4/24/2007 - Asheville Ranked #1 "100 Top Places To Live"
When it comes to education, crime rates, employment and housing, Asheville is the No. 1 place in America to live, an online ranking showed.
Relocate-America.com last week released its annual Americas Top 100 Places to Live list. Asheville beat other top 10 communities, including Traverse City, Mich.; Ithaca, N.Y.; Chicago and Cary.
Its not surprising, said Marla Tambellini, assistant vice president of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce. I think that one of the things thats compelling about Asheville is that its a very vibrant city. The people are very warm and friendly here. Its located in a great place in the South thats surrounded by mountains but not too far from the beach and has a year-round temperate climate.
To make the list, a community must be nominated. Relocate-America.coms editorial team reviews the nominations, which often include references to a communitys beauty, schools, economic health and environmental friendliness.
Towns are then ranked based on several factors, including crime rates, employment and housing data, said Steve Nickerson, president and chief executive officer of Michigan-based HomeRoute, which owns Relocate-America.com.
Nickerson said more than 2,000 cities were nominated this year. The list has been published since 1998 and is a service for consumers looking to relocate, he said.
We look at all cities and towns based on not because theyre big or small or because they are a college town, we look at everything equally, Nickerson said. Our main criterion that we look at is passion for the community.
Other North Carolina cities that made this years list include Beaufort, Blowing Rock, Greenville and Wilmington.
Relocate-America.com ranked Asheville the fifth best place to live in 2004 and No. 9 in 2005, Nickerson said. Asheville fell out of the top 10 last year, but was still among the top the top 100 cities, Nickerson said.
Ashevilles distinction as the best place to live in America for 2007 is the latest of the citys many accolades and recognitions.
For example, Frommers named Asheville as one of 12 top travel destinations for 2007; it was one of the 50 best places to live in the Singles Scene category by Mens Journal last year; and was ranked 24th in Forbes annual list of Best Places for Business and Careers in 2006.