Honolulu slapped in face by Portfolio magazine


POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2010

Console yourself, oh woebegone reader, for if you are in the City and County of Honolulu, you live in about the most boring city in America, according to Portfolio magazine.

It ranks Honolulu 77th among the top 100 most fun cities in the U.S., with a “;fun score”; of -3.02. You read that right, our score was a negative number.

Perhaps the Oahu Visitors Bureau and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau will send strongly worded e-mails, or maybe arrange a re-education excursion for the editorial team.

Portfolio collected federal statistics for 14 types of businesses relevant to its study, including stores, restaurants, casinos and golf courses. Graders rated the total number and per-capita concentration of such businesses, and the best scores were given to markets that did well in several categories.

The magazine's methodology did give Honolulu a top-20 ranking in the culture category, in which we placed 19th for the availability of performing arts companies, museums and historical sites.

We were just below the top 25 in the food and drink category, at No. 26, so Oahu restaurateurs will likely be gladdened to learn that. However, retailers probably will not feel that they deserve the 77th-place finish the magazine gave them in the shopping category.

Law enforcement authorities might be concerned to learn that in the gambling category, Honolulu ranked at No. 89, not dead last, as one might expect.

Our movie theaters and video exhibition establishments, spectator sports facilities, amusement parks and arcades got us ranked at No. 62.

It might seem surprising, given the number of golf courses, country clubs, marinas and bowling centers, that Honolulu is in 84th place in the low-impact sports category. Maybe the ranking would have been higher if all those luxurious neighbor island golf courses could have applied toward the score.

Portfolio decided it was important to include skiing facilities in its high-impact sports category, along with fitness and recreational sports centers, so Honolulu was ranked in 99th place. Almost at the bottom for high-impact sports?

Um, perhaps Portfolio doesn't know that we have this big thing, it's called the ocean? People swim, surf and canoe and paddle-board, wind-surf, kite-board and do all-kine other stuff in it—competitively, even. Not high-impact enough? Hello?

The story points out that renowned visitor destinations are missing from the top 10 and completely fails to mention Honolulu as a shoulda-been.

Oh, the top 10 and their fun scores were:

» New York City, 17.88.
» Chicago, 11.99.
» Boston, 11.95.
» Miami, 11.74.
» Los Angeles, 11.61.
» San Francisco, 8.07.
» Seattle, 7.84.
» Portland, Maine, 7.78.
» Philadelphia, 7.56.
» Minneapolis, 6.42.

The bottom five? Ogden, Utah; El Paso, Texas; Bakersfield and Modesto, Calif.; McAllen, Texas; and Provo, Utah.

A link to the website is included herein, if you even feel like bothering to read about how much New York City-based Portfolio loves Manhattan.