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St. Louis Is Slightly More Exciting Than Rolla, Says Ridiculous Study

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Herkie on Flickr
St. Louis: Missouri's most exciting city.
The good news: A new study says St. Louis is Missouri's most exciting city.

The bad news: If Rolla, Warrensburg and Fulton are St. Louis' big competition, then St. Louis is nowhere near as exciting as we thought.

The real estate site Movoto ranked 77 Missouri cities with populations larger than 10,000 according to how exciting they are, naturally putting St. Louis at the top of the list. Movoto assigned each city's score based on seven criteria: nightlife (bars, clubs, etc.), live-music venues, active life options (parks, outdoor theaters), arts and entertainment, fast food (the less the better), non-fast-food restaurants (the more the better) and the percentage of residents ages 18 to 34 (the higher the better.)

Only Branson outranks St. Louis when it comes to nightlife venues, music venues and arts and entertainment. (What else do you expect from the Midwest's answer to Las Vegas?) But Branson's small population and abundance of fast-food spots kept it at the No. 5 spot.

The surprising winner in Movoto's ranking was Rolla, which beat Columbia, Kansas City and even Clayton for the No. 2 spot on the most-exciting list. Thanks to the Missouri University of Science and Technology, 43 percent of Rolla's residents are younger than 35, making it the fifth youngest city in Missouri. Rolla also has fewer fast-food restaurants per capita than any other city in the top ten except Clayton.

See also: VIDEO: Rolla Police Make Teenage Cancer Patient's Baddass Wish Come True

While it's probably true that Rolla tends to be a young town without the inundation of fast food, we have to wonder if anyone would describe it as "exciting" after, oh, say, going there. As a self-described Rolla native said about the study, "The town is dead besides the university. Except the drug dealers. How could it beat out KC and Columbia?"

Rolla does have its own version of Stonehenge. Is that exciting?

rollastonehenge.jpg
stannate via flickr
Rolla's partial reconstruction of Stonehenge.
Clayton, St. Louis County's capital, came in at No. 8 thanks to its restaurants. As Movoto writer Natalie Grigson says, "Just a few examples of said restaurants include Niche, Almond's, BARcelona Tapas, Crushed Red, the Libertine...okay, we could go on like this for a while. The point is, Clayton has a variety of delicious original fare."

The study has a few issues (besides thinking Rolla is in any way exciting). It credits Warrensburg, not Kansas City, with having the Starlight Theatre. And there aren't really any big vineyards in Rolla, although there are just a few towns away.

Here is the final ranking:
1. St. Louis
2. Rolla
3. Columbia
4. Kansas City
5. Branson
6. Fulton
7. Jefferson City
8. Clayton
9. Warrensburg
10. Springfield

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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110 comments
Stephen Martin
Stephen Martin

Got to admit, for a few days each year Rolla is the most exciting place to be in the state.

Lori Grisham
Lori Grisham

Rolla is my hometown, I moved to STl 13 years ago and wouldn't dream of going back...much more exciting!!

Amanda Conner
Amanda Conner

this is the stupidest thing I have ever saw... I won't read another story long as I live. FFS

CherylMShea
CherylMShea

@RiverfrontTimes.. I don't think so. I'm part of 18-34 demographic I think its boring... But I am a boring mom raising a family so its ok.

aaronmccoy242
aaronmccoy242 topcommenter

Hannibal is more exciting than Rolla.  Unless you're into math and Asian dudes.

Joey Zo
Joey Zo

who's Rolla? never heard of her. ;)

Darrel Pilsing
Darrel Pilsing

I believe in making my own fun wherever I may be. Big cities and small ones, the countryside, the ocean, rivers, lakes & streams, the clubs, the eateries, etc...they are most wonderful when I am there engaging in the best we all have to offer. Saying one area is better than another is just an opinion. I have my opinion too. And I can create my own fun. Long live the Lou!

Michael J Keller
Michael J Keller

I do have to agree with one comment: I'm thinking that it has truly turned into "The Onion"... "Not necessarily the news - or anything close to it, as far as that is concerned."

Jessi Foust
Jessi Foust

Seriously, has anyone been to Rolla? No fun to be had there. At least here in St.James, we have wineries with free tastings!

Christina Diane
Christina Diane

I can see a town of college kids having as much fun there as they would in downtown

Kirsten Mary
Kirsten Mary

Well if i wasn't from here I wouldn't come cause the crime is as bad as Detroit and. Chicago.

Kimmy Brooks
Kimmy Brooks

Sure hope it was a privately funded waste of time study.

Fran Whelan
Fran Whelan

Wow! Such an honor! I'm a native of St Louis. I always thought the real competition was between metro STL and metro KC (lived there for 6 yrs) and everywhere else fell into place. Guess I should be proud I've been living in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the last 30 years. Things that make you go hmmmm..... ;-)

Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

I can't. Everywhere I've worked over there I need a vehicle to get to other locations.

Rachael Pawlak
Rachael Pawlak

Have you ever considered taking the transit system?

Tony Merklin
Tony Merklin

...and slightly less exciting than Hyati, Missouri......Yee Hah, Ride 'em Cowboys.....

morganjbearden
morganjbearden

When the most interesting place in town to have breakfast is Panera...well, you know then that you are hurtin'.

Richard Head
Richard Head

Yes there was a song made about it on that old racist sitcom spin off called The Jeffersons..Something about not smelling chicken grease in the morning? I think,I may be wrong.. I usually am..

Katie Markert
Katie Markert

What the hell is in Rolla besides the college?

Zoe Erb
Zoe Erb

Rolla actually does have a lot of awesome things going on thanks to the university. I am a part of KMNR 89.7fm student run free format radio we put in a few concerts a year and most recently hosted Rollapalooza where a bunch if great St. Louis musicians played. And again this study it's ridiculous and poorly done, but there is a small population and there are a lot of bars that claim to double as music venues.

Zoe Erb
Zoe Erb

Oh man someone is butt hurt, maybe time spent defending S. Louis against an obviously poorly done study could be spent doing the things you actually do well RFT. While Rolla certainly shouldn't be ranked #2 in reality at least they aren't spending time bashing another Missouri city.

awbland28
awbland28

All in all I just have to say fuck you KC! Yet another reason I will never move there or visit again.

Tamra L. Frye Witt
Tamra L. Frye Witt

Oh wow. I think they missed the turnoff to Rolla. There isn't shit going on in Rolla!

Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

I know a student who turned down a full scholarship to Rolla because there was nothing to do there when she visited. She didn't want 4 yrs of that! Same thing with my hometown. The university did a survey and the students said there just wasn't anything to do. To me, St. Louis has plenty to do but needs improvement and more opportunities to be a mid-size city. For one they can improve their traffic flow. It is difficult on the Popular St. bridge. If the lane going downtown is backed up, it is backed up for miles into IL. In 2014 that just shouldn't be happening. Another is parking. Good grief!

Ryan Reed
Ryan Reed

Rolla is my hometown but I've also lived in STL, Como and Warrensburg. I've also visited the remainder of the towns listed in the survey. I completely agree that this survey is total bunk. Rolla definitely isn't STL, KC or Como but it does have its perks KMNR 89.7 FM, The Public House Brewing Company, Ozark Actors Theatre, Leach Theatre, Freaker’s Ball, St. Pat’s, Alex's Pizza Palace, Larry Bowen's Reader's Corner, Downtown Farmers Market, Benton Square, Maramec River, Lane’s Springs, Acorn Bike Trail, Deible Bike Trail, etc. Its definitely not comparable to STL, KC or Como but there are things to do and its a great town.

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