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2016's Ten Worst Big Cities for Recreation: How a Colorado Place Made the Cut

People come from all over the world to play in Colorado, and the folks who live here tend to be in much better shape than those in most communities around the country.

Note that four Colorado metro areas were listed among the thirty most active U.S. cities in a survey issued earlier this year.

So we were positively floored when a Colorado place landed among the ten worst U.S. cities for recreation on a list assembled by the folks at WalletHub. But an analyst who worked on the study stands behind the ranking and offers suggestions about how the city can improve its standing in the future.

Continue to count down the photo-illustrated bottom ten of the 100 major cities analyzed by WalletHub. The list is followed by the analyst's take and a complete data set for the one from Colorado.

Number 100: Chula Vista, CA

Total score: 32.21

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 96

"Costs" Rank: 95

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 76

"Climate" Rank: 29

Number 99: Charlotte, NC 

Total score: 32.41

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 75

"Costs" Rank: 71

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 97

"Climate" Rank: 71

Number 98: San Antonio, TX

Total score: 33.72

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 73

"Costs" Rank: 57

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 91

"Climate" Rank: 74

Number 97: Irving, TX

Total score: 33.77

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 84

"Costs" Rank: 79

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 44

"Climate" Rank: 76

Number 96: Hialeah, FL

Total score: 34.16

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 74

"Costs" Rank: 96

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 88

"Climate" Rank: 38

Continue to see the next five major cities judged among America's worst for recreation, including details about why one in Colorado made the cut.

Number 95: Jersey City, NJ

Total score: 34.26

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 87

"Costs" Rank: 86

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 48

"Climate" Rank: 55

Number 94: Newark, NJ

Total score: 34.30

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 82

"Costs" Rank: 75

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 26

"Climate" Rank: 97

Number 93: Aurora, CO

Total score: 34.50

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 81

"Costs" Rank: 73

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 43

"Climate" Rank: 65

Number 92: Memphis, TN

Total score: 35.33

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 77

"Costs" Rank: 24

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 93

"Climate" Rank: 87

Number 91: New York, NY

Total score: 35.40

"Entertainment & Recreational Facilities" Rank: 39

"Costs" Rank: 100

"Quality of Parks" Rank: 2

"Climate" Rank: 55

Why did Aurora fare so poorly from a recreational standpoint?

According to WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez, corresponding via e-mail, "Aurora ranked 81st for the entertainment and recreational facilities key dimension due to the low number of entertainment opportunities in the city. Aurora has the ninth lowest number of music venues at 1.47 per capita, along with few hiking trails, restaurants, attractions and food festivals."

In terms of costs, she continues, Aurora "ranked below average as the city has quite high bowling ($6.22, ranking 89th) and movie ($11.16, ranking 76th) costs. For the 'quality of parks' category, Aurora ranked fairly better, 43rd, because a large percent of the population (86 percent) has walkable park access, ranking 15th best for that specific metric."

Denver ranked in the top quarter of the WalletHub roster: twentieth overall. Shouldn't Aurora's proximity to the Mile High City help its standing? Nope. "This study focused only on the city proper, excluding surrounding metro areas," Gonzales notes. "Thus, Denver's high ranking was not facilitated by Aurora's amenities, and vice versa."

What can Aurora do to upgrade its standing in these areas in the future?

"Aurora can start attracting new businesses that focus on offering recreational opportunities, such as more health clubs, bowling alleys and fitness centers," Gonzales says.

Better get on that right away, Aurora officials. Look below to see the complete Aurora data set from WalletHub.


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