Vail Daily column: We’re No. 3!
Numbers are important, as are words, and none make a bigger headline splash nowadays than those ranking particular things, such as Vail being in the top 10 for “Ski Magazine’s best ski resorts” each year.
Sure, we were a disappointing No. 7 for the 2015-16 season, but that pales in comparison to last week.
Vail made No. 3 on the latest list to be compiled and disseminated over the Internet, but this list is sadly for, or at least pretends to be, “The 10 most dangerous cities in Colorado.”
“What?” you ask?
“WTF?” everybody else asks?
Yep, you read that correctly, Vail was awarded the wonderfully descriptive distinction of being the “third most dangerous city” in the state of Colorado.
And before you ask, no, Ben Carson did not make up the list.
A silly excuse for Web content called RoadSnack.com did, however, and like following one of those completely absurd Facebook memes (“Obama impeachment hearings have begun!”), 30 seconds of research is all it took to uncover the validity of their third-place claim.
These hyperbole-laced opportunists base their numbers on actual figures from the FBI’s “Uniform Crime Report,” but here’s the kicker: They used all Colorado municipalities with a population larger than 5,000, and then averaged property crimes and violent crimes over a three-year period based upon a base index of “per 100,000 of population.”
What this means for Vail, with a population just over the 5,000 mark, is every number used was multiplied by around 20 in order to reach the base index, making our 284 average property crimes per year magically become an astronomically and laughably high of almost 5,700 annually.
Our 20 annual violent crimes (mainly bar fights) suddenly read as 400, causing these morons to announce, “ … for every year you’re within Vail city limits, you face a greater than 5 percent chance of being robbed.”
While this might be a logical conclusion on some planets, it does not compute in Happy Valley, nor anywhere else with more logic than a Trump supporter.
The goal of this website is “to show you the real side of places that not everyone wants to hear,” using data to “create bite-sized snacks of shareable information,” claiming this is “how’d you argue at a bar.”
I’d be happy to argue with these dolts that Vail is a town, not a city, but the ad-click enthusiasts also offer “The 10 most stoned cities in Utah” and “The 10 drunkest cities in Kansas,” just to name a few.
I refuse to argue with the intellectually challenged (that’s also why I don’t respond to most emails).
And that is what’s really wrong with these silly lists. Like the world of politics, anyone can get away with saying damn near anything (just listen to Clinton), and the world is full of enough idiots to make the believability percentage a measurable number, meaning those on the damning side feel obligated to respond, as much as it pains them (me) to do so.
For what it’s worth, according to the same data without the forced parity, Vail, and our surrounding area, is one of the safest overall locations in the entire nation, not just the state of Colorado.
So sleep well, my friends, and do a little research whenever needed.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.