Carnes: Edwards a non-binary town? |

Carnes: Edwards a non-binary town?

Perhaps it’s just me, but I feel some are beginning to take this whole “Identifying versus Being” thingy a tad too far.

The first is subjective while the other is objective, yet both are considered truth in respective circles.

“But Richard, how does this apply to Edwards?” you might be asking yourself at this point.

I’m glad you asked.

A nonpartisan, nonprofit “think tank” called Heartland Forward has ranked little ol’ Edwards No. 10 out of over 500 “micropolitan” areas in the country based upon a formula of growth in employment, GDP, per capita income, degreed workers, and young firms and employers.

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“But Richard, what in the world is a ‘micropolitan’ area?” you’re most assuredly asking yourself by now as well.

Although micropolitan is a real word to me like the Metaverse is a real place, we must return to the days of yore for this to make sense (sort of). 

Way back in 2006, Edwards made the‘s top 10 list of micropolitan areas across the country.
July of 2009 saw Money Magazine choosing Edwards as the sixth best micropolitan area in the country for the “rich and single.”

Then in 2015, a index of micropolitan money (aka small-town wealth) ranked Edwards as the second wealthiest small town in the entire U.S. of A.

What the fudge?

It turns out, like those of recent headlines identifying as dogs, cats and tree stumps, Edwards was way before its time in identifying as a town, although in actuality it simply is not.

If it were, then who’s the mayor?

Still, most of us around here call it a town. Maps list it as a town. Mail addressed to it is received just like a town (most of the time), and if you’re standing in the right spot at the right time with good lighting it even looks like a town.

But it ain’t no town.

Believe it or not, each of these silly studies uses info from the US Census Bureau and the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, and reach their click-bait-worthy conclusions based upon Eagle County, not the “town” of Edwards, but it’s the only “urban cluster that has a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000” within the area, thus propelling it to the top of these superficial lists.

Yep, they claim Edwards to be the “central city which the surrounding area is economically dependent upon,” making it blatantly apparent that no one ever bothers to actually look at the area to gather a single morsel of hands-on facts.

Or ever visited Vail or Avon for that matter.

In other words, “micropolitan Edwards” means “Eagle County” in each report, and here we are today, still having to teach one another how to maneuver roundabouts, complaining about livable wages, non-affordable housing and the price of eggs.

Gosh, it almost makes one question the validity of such eye-catching proclamations.

Either way, these inane “think tanks” need to think again, or at the very least start identifying as advertising gimmicks as opposed to the serious studies they’re pretending to be.

Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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