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Manitou Springs ranked 14th-best hippie town

By: Jesse Paul jesse.paul@gazette.com
August 2, 2013 Updated: August 4, 2013 at 10:27 am
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photo - Those heading up the Incline aren't always serious athletes.
Gazette file
Those heading up the Incline aren't always serious athletes. Gazette file 

The dreadlocks and tie-die have done it again.

Manitou Springs has been named the 14th best U.S. city for hippies by a blog on Estately, a national real estate search website.

"For those who like their hippies new age, prefer mate to coffee, and want to legally buy weed in a store, Manitou Springs is a place that's both mellow and trippy," the blog said. "Sometimes called the 'hippie Mayberry,' the town at the base of Pike's Peak is a haven for the artsy, spiritual types. The city was once ruled by Mayor Bud Ford, a down-to-earth hippie who wears tie dye and looks a lot like Jerry Garcia."

According to Seattle-based Estately blogger Ryan Nickum who created the post, the ranking was based on a formula that measures marijuana availability and legality, number of stores selling hemp, local counter-culture icons, tie-dye availability, hippie festivals, progressives in government, intensity of Occupy Wall Street protests, and a Facebook poll. Overall, 17 cities were listed on the "Best U.S. Cities for Hippies" list.

Manitou Springs officials are leaning toward allowing retail sales of pot because more than two-thirds of the town's voters supported legalized marijuana in the 2012 election.

"For us, it seems like Manitou is a bit of a contrast compared to the surrounding areas," Nickum said. "We looked for towns that came up in Google searches. We just searched basic terms like the name of the city and 'hippie.' "

Manitou Springs showed up frequently, especially for the size of the town, he said.

"Originally, the town was a scenic health resort with healing mineral springs, but the waters were eventually made undrinkable after sewage polluted them, which is such a hippie thing to do," the post said. "However, the problem was fixed and now the mineral springs are drinkable and have become a tourist attraction again."

Another Colorado city, Boulder, was ranked 4th on the list. To view the blog online, visit: http://blog.estately.com/2013/07/17-best-u-s-cities-for-hippies/

The rankings were:

1. Eugene, Ore.

2. Olympia, Wash.

3. Asheville, N.C.

4. Boulder, Colo.

5. Portland, Ore.

6. Burlington, Vt.

7. Ithaca, N.Y.

8. Berkeley, Calif.

9. Austin, Texas

10. Bisbee, Ariz.

11. Missoula, Mont.

12. Oakland, Calif.

13. Berea, Ky.

14. Manitou Springs, Colo.

15. San Francisco, Calif.

16. Bloomington, Ind.

17. Arcata, Calif.

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Contact Jesse Paul at 636-0253. Twitter: @JesseAPaul

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