HuffPo idiot: Colorado is fifth most overrated travel destination, Denver is "weirdly bland"
At Westword, we're all about hometown/home-state pride -- hence, posts such as "50 reasons we're glad we live in Denver and not the United States" and "Happy Colorado Day: Here are 50 reasons you should be glad you live here."
Photos and more below.
So you can imagine our befuddlement over a Huffington Post article calling Colorado the fifth most overrated travel destination on the planet, in an item that went out of its way to diss the Mile High City and plenty of others.
The piece in question, "10 Terribly Overrated Destinations (And Where To Travel Instead)," was penned by David Landsel, a contributing editor for Airfarewatchdog.com -- a site that's more about cheap flights than prose. In his introduction, however, Landsel says he's been writing about travel for fifteen years, and he clearly relishes ripping places he claims he'd be happy never to see again.
His take on Colorado? Well, he calls Denver a "weirdly bland, Midwestern snore, with an air quality problem" -- a line that suggests he was last here in the 1980s. And aside from its ski slopes, Vail, in his view, is "suburbia in the middle of nowhere, a collection of strip malls by the side of the highway" -- and besides, the Vail Valley "is so high up in the mountains, some people are alarmed to find themselves nearly unable to breathe, let alone ski."
David Landsel's Twitter portrait.
Pause to let the stupidity of these observations sink in.
Okay -- ready to read on? Because there's plenty more doltishness ahead.
According to Landsel, Colorado Springs is "uptight and boring;" Pueblo, Grand Junction and "too many other places to mention" are "drab and vaguely off-putting;" and Aspen and Telluride, which he lumps together under the "nicer ski towns" banner, are "buried so far in the mountains that getting there during ski season -- or any season -- costs time and money too many people don't have."
Pretty much the only good thing he has to say is that Colorado legalized marijuana last year -- so the next time you're in Denver, "you'll have something to do."
And where does he suggest people go instead? Utah, which "does as well or better" than Colorado "without the kerfuffle, the crowds or the cost," even if the beer in Colorado is "more advanced."
Thanks for tossing us one more bone, Dave.
At least Colorado's in good company. Landsel also disses international locales such as Buenos Aires, Berlin, Costa Rica, Vancouver and the entire Caribbean, plus the stateside stops Asheville, North Carolina, Chicago, San Francisco and his number one pick, Austin, which he shrugs off as a "legend in its own mind."
No shock Landsel's Twitter feed is dominated by upset Austinites. But also on hand are a couple of Colorado defenders, including one who correctly points out the irony of Landsel ripping the city for its air quality when he lives part time in (cough, cough) Los Angeles. Here's the exchange:
Our response? We offer fifty of them, courtesy of Jef Otte's 2011 opus "50 reasons why Colorado is the best state in America." Read it below in its entirety, and then decide if Landsel deserves to be on a list of most overrated travel writers.
"50 reasons why Colorado is the best state in America"
By Jef Otte
Basically all of these United States are pretty crappy -- or at least that's what Gawker would have you believe with its 50 Worst States in America series this week, in which Colorado took 41st (worst) -- not a bad ranking, provided you give two sailing shits what some liberal America-hating rag like Gawker thinks. Which we don't.
Other states, you cannot touch this shit.
And so, while we have before taken it upon ourselves to provide 50 reasons Denver is awesome, it falls upon us today to defend our entire state -- nay, this great nation (mostly our state, though) -- from some coastal city's sneering elitism. Colorado, eat your heart out.
Continue for more of the 50 reasons why Colorado is the best state in America.