And the winner is…
The Annual Best Towns contest put on by Outside Magazine each year has brought a little piece of fame to little ole PA–that’s what the OGs call Port Angeles by the way. As a wildcard entry into the contest, Port Angeles took the nation by storm and ended up in the championship round with Chattanooga, TN–a pretty cool “big” town we’d say. Although PA ended up coming in second to Chattanooga, we were all just super honored to be there!
Co-Owner of Next Door, Jacob Oppelt, took the competition to a level it’s never been before when he made a spectacular video outlining all the cool things you could do in PA in one single day. The video went viral on Facebook within hours which inspired him to travel to Chattanooga in the final days of the contest to make a similar video of all the fun things you can do there in a single day. With money raised by fellow excited citizens, he and business partner Justin Tognoni jumped on a last minute flight to Tennessee to challenge Chattanooga in a positive way. The two boys really took to Chattanooga and you could say Chattanooga took to them as well.
“The people of Chattanooga really embraced the video project and reached out to us in ways we couldn’t imagine while visiting their town,” says Jake. “We were called by local radio stations, taken on some super fun excursions and really just treated like we were in the contest with them instead of against them.”
Because of the Best Towns Contest 2015, Port Angeles has already gotten some extra tourist attention. Local business have seen business increase as high as 30% in some cases in July and August.
“Any exposure is great exposure for a small town economically,” says another Co-Owner of Next Door Gastropub Angela Oppelt, “but what coming in 2nd in this contest did–and moreover what my brother Jacob did with his videos–was shine a positive light on the people of PA. It really is a testament to the spirit of the Northwest and what we are all about up here. We might be second best in an annual contest, but in our minds we’re in the best small town every morning we wake up.”
Check out the videos below and most importantly…get OUTSIDE!!