When Gloversville residents feel the urge to complain about life here, they might want to consider that Outdoor Life magazine ranks the city 152nd on its list of the 200 “Best Places to Live.”
The rankings are in the April issue, and Fulton County Chamber of Commerce President Wally Hart said his office has contacted the magazine to learn whether the honor can be used for marketing purposes.
“We’re really pleased to be recognized as one of three communities in New York state,” Hart said. The other two are Ithaca at 175 and Utica at 196.
The No. 1 community in the nation is Mountain Home, Ark., followed by Lewiston, Idaho.
The criteria for the rankings is to be expected, since Outdoor Life is primarily a hunting and fishing magazine.
In the introduction to the article titled “Paradise Found,” the author, Andrew McKean, said the nation was “scoured” to find communities offering “world class hunting and fishing, easy access to public land and water, and vibrant economies that remain affordable and hospitable.”
Additional detail on the magazine Web site said sporting opportunities were balanced with data on growth rate of the economy, unemployment rate, tax burdens, commuting time to work, crime rate, housing prices, median income and cultural opportunities within driving distance.
The sporting data regarding Gloversville noted the population is 15,175, there are six huntable species in the area, seven fishable species and on a scale of one to 10 there is a trophy potential of five, the magazine found. The article gave a rating of seven for access to public land and a 4.7 out of 10 for year-round opportunities.
Hart said he believes the ESPN-sponsored smallmouth bass fishing tournaments held on the Great Sacandaga Lake the last two years may have attracted the magazine’s attention.
He said he also gives credit to Chamber Tourism Director Alison Swartz for marketing efforts that have spotlighted the area.
“That’s an honor,” said Mayor Tim Hughes of the city’s ranking.
“There’s a lot more here than most people realize,” said Hughes, acknowledging that many tend to focus on the city’s shortcomings.
“Property is still inexpensive,” he said, noting that houses can still be purchased for as little as $50,000 in some neighborhoods. If someone wants to spend more, he said, the homes on the top end may cost $300,000 or more. Compared to other communities that is very reasonable, he said.
The community provides access to quality schools and there are no traffic jams, Hughes said. If there is need to get away, he said, “in half an hour you can be anywhere you want. You’re right at the foot of the Adirondacks.”
Jeff Chamberlaine, owner of Adirondack Sports, said Gloversville is ideally situated for those who love outdoor activities.
“We have thousands and thousands of acres of state land, the majority of which is easily accessible to sportsmen. … Within a 20-mile radius there are probably 100 lakes and ponds, and most of them are accessible.”
Chamberlaine said locals may take their outdoor opportunities for granted, but “in the Adirondack Mountains taking a whitetail deer is still a real challenge.”
Coincidentally, Hart said the chamber is currently at work on a brochure identifying all the hunting, fishing and other outdoor opportunities in the area.
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