Let’s start with this: I love Chanhassen. Great town. But one of top ten places to live in the entire United States?

That’s what the editors of Money Magazine want you to believe. Or at least that’s what they want the local news in Minneapolis to report. And kudos to Money, because we’re reporting it.

Chanhassen has “good jobs right within its borders (manufacturing and technology company Emerson is based here), evening diversion (the Chanhassen Dinner Theater is the nation’s oldest and largest), and nature galore (34 parks, 11 lakes, and the enormous Minnesota Landscape Arboretum).”


We’re suckers for lists. We’re number 1 for working moms! We’re the best for bikes! We’re tops for hipsters! And to be gay! We’re the best!

It drives me nuts. It’s a cheap way for magazines to get publicity. Nye’s in Minneapolis is a charming place, but let’s get real, it’s not the best bar in Minneapolis, let alone the best in America. But, well done, GQ. You got us to report on it!

So how does Money arrive at Chanhassen as a top 10 small town for families? It took a lot for me to find this FAQ:

Start with all U.S. towns that have a population of 8,500 to 50,000.

Screen out places with median family income more than 200% or less than 85% of the state median; those more than 95% white; and those with poor education and crime scores.

Exclude retirement communities and towns with major job losses. Rank the rest based on job growth, home affordability, safety, school quality, health care, arts and leisure, diversity, and several ease-of-living criteria.

Factor in more data on the economy (including fiscal strength of state and local governments), jobs, housing, and schools. Weight economic data most heavily.

Visit towns and interview residents, assess traffic, parks, and gathering places, and consider intangibles like community spirit.

Select the winner based on the data and reporting.

So if your city has more than 50,000 people, you’re out. So Chanhassen isn’t one of the top 10 places to live, it’s one of the top 10 places with populations between 8,500 and 50,000. According to arbitrary data points selected by a magazine. Awesome.

And I can maybe understand Chanhassen on this list. But Arden Hills is #14? Money writes: ” On the negative side, there’s a Superfund site in the area–but the EPA estimates that the cleanup process is almost complete.”

What great news for the Vikings! The Arden Hills ammunition plant cleanup is almost complete!

Wait a minute. I’ve just been named the #2 hottest male newscaster in the Twin Cities?

I guess lists aren’t so bad after all.

Jason DeRusha

Comments (8)
  1. Theresa Kasel says:

    What was the age range for the hottest male newscaster? Was Frank too old?

  2. David says:

    Number two, heh-heh

  3. Matt says:

    Man Jason, what’s with the railing against Chanhassen? Can’t we bask in our glory for a brief moment? Most of the time people just consider us the “People who can’t afford to live in Eden Prairie” so we’ll enjoy this while we can.

  4. Ed Sulesky says:

    Eh who cares, south metro always gets the glory!

  5. Les Johnson says:

    The West side of the Twin Cities is a sh1.t.hole. I wouldn’t cross 35W heading West if I was paid to do so. Yuck.

  6. Chanhappenin says:

    great…another reason for my property taxes to go up, AGAIN, for the third year in a row and the value of my house will continue to go down, AGAIN….damn you Money Magazine!
    egh, it is what it is, I live there for geographical conveinence to my job, nice town and I guess a nice honor.

  7. jimbo says:

    The burbs are money pits for realtors, politicians and various parasites. Been in EP thirty years cause wife wanted it. Terrible choice, probably divorce because I can bend only so much.

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