Release Date: Thursday, September 6th 2012
Tempe 3rd-most fun in U.S., report says
By Caitlin Cruz
Tempe can pump out its collective chest and boast that it is among the country's most fun and affordable places to live.
And it's more fun than Scottsdale, honest.
A Better Homes & Gardens real-estate report recently named Tempe the third-most fun, affordable city in the U.S. Perhaps that, in part, is because its residents are not in the habit of weaving a tangled web of lies and deceit. In another survey this summer, Tempe tied three cities for 16th-most honest in the first National Honesty Index, by Honest Tea, in early August.
Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell joked that he would tell his two young daughters to be mindful that they are living in an exceedingly honest city.
"I think it's great," he said. "We're honest and transparent. Fun and affordable."
Mitchell said the accolades are among many reasons Tempe residents should show their hometown pride.
"It's great to have this kind of nationwide recognition of the things that make Tempe so unique: our diverse residents, variety of businesses, unique entertainment and recreation opportunities," Mitchell said in a news release.
The fun and affordable study, published in Bloomberg Businessweek, evaluated more than 6,100 ZIP codes across the U.S. that had median home prices within 20 percent of each state's median and had a high concentration of restaurants and bars.
The survey noted the cluster of restaurants, nightlife and affordable homes in Tempe's 85281 ZIP code. The evaluated area includes Arizona State's Tempe campus and the Mill Avenue District.
After Ocean City, Md., topped the list followed by the Ala Moana-Kakaako section of Honolulu. Just behind Tempe: Scottsdale.
Nancy Hormann, executive director and president of Downtown Tempe Community, said that Tempe has maintained the No. 3 spot for two years.
"This destination is recognized for its fabulous special events, proximity to Tempe Town Lake and, of course, the great clubs and restaurants," Hormann said. "This all equals great fun. It is wonderful to be recognized nationally for being what we've all known locally."
Though Mitchell, a former Tempe councilman, has been mayor only a month, he said he is excited to continue the work of promoting Tempe.
"We look forward to continuing to make Tempe the best place to live, work, play and receive an education," Mitchell said. In addition to being regarded as fun and affordable, Tempe is 92 percent honest, according to Honest Tea. The public was given the opportunity to pay or not pay for Honest Tea when it appeared that no one was looking. Honest Tea constructed unmanned stands supplied with the beverages and a jar requesting $1 on the honor system.
The social experiment cataloged and analyzed numerous statistical categories, including, among many others, how honest bald men were. In Tempe, bald men sandbagged the results: They were 50 percent honest. Find results at http://thenationalhonestyindex.com/.
Republic reporter Dianna Nanez contributed to this report.