Vail Daily column: Hooray, we’re all rich!
August 24, 2015
Last Thursday I not only woke up in Homestead a year older but wealthy as well.
Ain't America great?
I fired up the interwebs and came across a Bloomberg.com index of micropolitan money (aka small town wealth) ranking little ol' Edwards as the second wealthiest small town in the entire US of A.
"Whoa," I thought, and immediately pulled up my bank and investment accounts to see exactly how much wealth I had accumulated.
"Damn … ," was my next thought, as nothing had changed.
In fact, a water bill had processed overnight, so if anything my totals were a tad lower.
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"So who," I thought, "comes up with this crap, and what the hell is a micropolitan?"
A tedious 30 seconds of research taught me it is "a geographic entity with a population of more than 10,000 but less than 50,000," and the index came from four specific metrics: Median household income and home value, percentage of households making at least $200K annually and homes worth north of $1 million.
"Hmmmm … " I thought (I was apparently thinking a lot that day).
Something didn't seem right here. I felt like I had just read a guy named Jared being announced as the new spokesman for Chuck E. Cheese's and the Duggar family naming their next two kids Ashley and Madison.
And all this time I thought Edwards' biggest claim to fame was when Kobe said "No!" to heading up Cordillera's summer marketing program for fear some might misinterpret his meaning of the word "consensual."
But then it hit me.
Back in September 2006 Edwards was chosen by bizjournal.com as a Top 10 town in which to live compared to 577 other micropolitan areas across the country.
And in July 2009 Money Magazine chose Edwards as the sixth best micropolitan area in the country for the "rich and single."
Rummaging through old mental notes I rediscovered all of these "studies" claim Edwards to be the "central city which the surrounding area is economically dependent upon."
An old familiar smell began rising up my olfactory canals.
Every single number used to reach these headline-grabbing conclusions are based upon Eagle County, not the "town" of Edwards, simply because Edwards is the only "urban cluster" falling into their population requirements.
And I should mention the fact that Edwards is not incorporated to begin with.
So pardon my cynicism, but when steer guano is being served by the plateful somebody needs to shout, "steer guano!" before anyone takes a bite.
But maybe I am wrong.
If you have a bit of trouble with September's rent a week from today, no worries, just tell them you live in Edwards and I'm sure everything will be hunky dory.
And if it is indeed true about Edwards, other than making people in the trailer park feel financially empowered, I think being the top dog in Eagle County will be accepted just fine by the masses.
That is, as long as none of those "Vail people" come snooping around, trying to hitch a ride on our coattails.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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